Macau: Post-race newsletter

FIA WTCC SEASON FINAL FIGURES Figures say it all. And in the case of the FIA WTCC they prove how successful the maiden season has been and how good its potential is. On the sporting side 53 drivers, from 20 different countries and four ...

FIA WTCC SEASON FINAL FIGURES

Figures say it all. And in the case of the FIA WTCC they prove how successful the maiden season has been and how good its potential is.

On the sporting side 53 drivers, from 20 different countries and four continents took part in at least one championship meeting. They were at the wheel of cars built by eight manufacturers and made an average participation rate of 28.4 competitors per event.

The victories obtained by Augusto Farfus and Duncan Huisman in Macau meant that 12 drivers were victorious over 20 races (Fabrizio Giovanardi topped the field with 5 wins). 24 drivers scored championship points and 15 of them claimed podium results. Over ten qualifying sessions, only two drivers Gabriele Tarquini and Jorg Muller were able to claim pole position twice. The latter was also the only driver capable to win both races in the same weekend, at Magny-Cours.

An average of 40,700 spectators attended the events on-site, meaning an increase of 67.5 per cent compared to the 2004 FIA ETCC. Official TV data say that more than 300 million viewers watched the races live or delayed. Media attendance was also very good and reached its peak in Macau, with 1063 accreditations; the average over the season was 274 media persons per meeting.

CHEVROLET APPEALED AGAINST MENU'S EXCLUSION

Chevrolet appealed against the decision of the Stewards to exclude Alain Menu from Race 2 in Macau. The Swiss driver finished the race third, behind the BMW cars of Huisman and Priaulx, giving Chevrolet their first podium result.

However during post-race scrutineering, because the weight of Menu's Chevrolet Lacetti was close to the minimum weight, the FIA Technical Delegate drained the remaining fuel from the tank. This revealed that only 0.5 litres were left, while art.60 of the Sporting Regulations requires a minimum of three litres as a sample for fuel analysis.

Further to the technical report the Stewards decided to exclude Menu, handing third position in the race to Farfus. However the team lodged an appeal grounded on the fact that the car's data logging system revealed that damages caused by an accident during the first race caused excessive fuel consumption.

The FIA will communicate the date for the hearing of the International Court of Appeal.

FIA WTCC TROPHIES AWARDED IN MACAU

2005 FIA World Touring Car Championship's trophies were awarded last Sunday, during the traditional Macau Grand Prix party at the Macau Tower, where Andy Priaulx's championship winning car was exhibited in the main lobby.

After a spectacular film of the season, KSO president Jacques Behar and general manager Marcello Lotti, together with Henry Krausz, Vice President of the FIA Senate, called to the stage the 2005 FIA WTCC champions, Andy Priaulx and BMW, represented by Motorsport Director Mario Theissen, to slice the WTCC cake.

The prize giving ceremony started with the Michelin Trophies. Marc Hennerici, Giuseppe Cirò and Stefano D'Aste filled the Independent Drivers' podium, while Teams' trophies were awarded to Proteam, GR Asia and Wiechers-Sport. The soiree culminated with the Manufacturers' Championship BMW, Alfa Romeo and SEAT and Drivers' Championship podiums Andy Priaulx, Dirk Muller and Fabrizio Giovanardi.

HENNERICI AND PROTEAM WIN TROPHIES

Both WTCC Michelin Trophies have found their winners in the final meeting at Macau. Marc Hennerici of Wiechers-Sport had led the points for the Independents' Trophy from the very first race in Monza and victory was finally his in Macau. The young German had a dream start to the season, winning three consecutive races and putting pressure on his rivals to catch up. And that's exactly what they did. Tom Coronel had double victory in Puebla, Stefano D'Aste finished 2nd overall in Spa and Carl Rosenblad and Giuseppe Cirò were increasing their point totals with consistent finishes. Heading into Macau, the fight was closer than ever and with double points to be awarded, it was all to play for. The unforgiving nature of the Guia track played into the hands of Hennerici as despite finishing just one of the races, his competitors also fell victim to accidents. Over the previous 18 races Hennerici had built a large enough cushion to claim the title after the first race in Macau and finished with a total of 114 points ahead of Cirò and D'Aste.

Despite not winning the Independents' Trophy, Stefano D'Aste and Giuseppe Cirò's performances this year drove Proteam Motorsport to victory in the Teams' Trophy. Consistency was the key for the Italy-based team. They were the only competitors to score at every round and finished in fine form by achieving maximum points in Macau as D'Aste and Cirò claimed one win apiece. They finished 61 points ahead of GR Asia with Wiechers-Sport in third place.

FLASH NEWS

BOLOGNA: Five FIA WTCC cars Alfa Romeo, BMW, Chevrolet, Ford and SEAT will be exhibited at the 30th Bologna Motor Show, 3rd to 11th December. The five racing cars will be placed in the Motorsport Zone, inside Hall 33, together with the Formula 1 and World Rally Championship winning cars, Renault R25 and Citroen Xsara.

SEAT: German driver Florian Gruber will drive for SEAT Sport in one of the 2006 FIA WTCC race meetings. In the 2005 season Gruber (21) finished 4th overall in the German SEAT Leon Supercopa and won the SEAT European Masters Race in Barcelona.

GARCÍA: A few days after Macau, BMW Team Italy-Spain's Antonio Garcia finished his racing season on a high note. Today in Barhein, the Spaniard won the final round of the FIA GT Championship, sharing an Aston Martin with Christophe Bouchut.

THEY SAID: QUOTE OF THE WEEK

Andy Priaulx, after winning the World title: "I am proud that it is my name that will be on the World Championship Trophy. I am proud of being from Guernsey and proud to be British and feel I have done something special for my country."

-fia-

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