Newsletter 2005-07-08

FIA WTCC NEWSLETTER 8th July 2005 YOKOHAMA TO SUPPLY FIA WTCC TYRES Following an invitation to tender the FIA has appointed the Yokohama Rubber Company to supply the control tyre for the 2006 FIA World Touring...

FIA WTCC NEWSLETTER
8th July 2005

YOKOHAMA TO SUPPLY FIA WTCC TYRES

Following an invitation to tender the FIA has appointed the Yokohama Rubber Company to supply the control tyre for the 2006 FIA World Touring Car Championship. The Japanese manufacturer replaces Michelin who have supplied the FIA Touring Car Championship since 2001.

"This appointment is a great honour to our Company. We feel very proud for being involved with such a high-profile and professional championship," commented Kazuyoshi Sekiguchi, marketing manager of Yokohama Europe. "In Japan our technicians are already working hard on the new 17" tyres for the 2006 FIA WTCC. We are taking it very seriously, and our plan is to start testing as soon as possible in order to evaluate different solutions before selecting the control tyre for the next season. And this is not an easy task, because the final tyre has to be an ideal compromise between speed and durability, it has to suit all the different kinds of racetracks and it has to ensure equal performances to both, the rear and the front wheel drive cars."

Yokohama will also supply the control tyre for the first FIA European Touring Car Cup event to be held on October 16, 2005 in Vallelunga.

GIOVANARDI AND GARCÍA GAIN WEIGHT

Further to their excellent race results in Mexico, Fabrizio Giovanardi and Antonio García have climbed the championship classification, but also the handicap weight list... In Spa the Italian driver will carry the maximum ballast onboard his Alfa Romeo car, while the young Spaniard's BMW will only have five kilos less of extra weight.

Among the title contenders, Dirk Müller and Andy Priaulx have lost 20 kg each, whereas Gabriele Tarquini has only lost 5 despite his retirement in Race 2 at Puebla.

New comer to the list is Peter Terting, who will be loaded by 35 kg of ballast because he took his first FIA WTCC victory, in the second Mexican race.

With eight of the top-drivers handicapped with 25 kg or more, Augusto Farfus, Jörg Müller (both on 10 kg), Jordi Gené and Jason Plato (who have 5) will benefit from a considerable advantage on the uphill sections of the Spa-Francorchamps racetrack.

ZANARDI SWITCHES TO MECHANICAL THROTTLE

From Spa Alessandro Zanardi's hopes for being at the top of the FIA WTCC ranking will be greater. His BMW Team Italy-Spain car will be equipped with a mechanical hand- operated throttle, in place of the fly-by-wire system Zanardi had adopted since his return to racing in 2003.

"We have struggled a bit to develop the mechanical throttle. We had tested it since last winter, but in the beginning it was too hard to pull. Now it's ok, and has improved my driving a lot, because the response is quicker than with the fly-by-wire," Zanardi explained.

The Italian driver raced with the mechanical throttle for the first time last weekend at Mugello, in an Italian Superturismo event. He finished second to Gianluca De Lorenzi in Race 1 and then won Race 2. His first overall victory in Touring Cars.

MAN OF THE WEEK: TOM CORONEL

Tom Coronel of GR Asia is currently 2nd in the Independent's Trophy. In Puebla he took the Independent win in both races. Spa is the closest race to the Dutchman's home and has seen some great results for him in the past.

What did you think of Puebla? "It is a good circuit even though overtaking places were limited. It was very hot and the altitude made the races extra hard work. My results were the best so far but I hope Spa is even better."

What do you expect from Spa? "In 2002 I finished 3rd overall and last year I came from last to finish 5th in Race 2 as well as setting the fastest lap in the race. It's a challenging circuit - fast with a good variation of high speed corners. I want at least a top 5 finish and to be the best independent."

What are your chances of winning the Independent Trophy? "That is certainly the aim of the season and although I've had a lot of bad luck, I just focus on the next race. After coming 2nd in 2003 and winning in 2004 I am working hard to prove my talent and hoping for a factory drive."

FLASH NEWS

CHEVROLET: Thanks to a promotion made by Chevrolet Belgium, 250 free tickets (grandstand + paddock) for the FIA WTCC races in Spa will be distributed through five different Belgian publications: the magazines Autonews, Turbo and P-magazine, the newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws and the website Play the Game.

THEY SAID: QUOTE OF THE WEEK

BMW Motorsport Director Mario Theissen commenting the takeover of Sauber F1 team: "Nothing has changed in terms of our commitment to touring cars. BMW without touring car racing and touring car racing without BMW is unimaginable."

-fia-

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About this article
Series WTCC
Drivers Fabrizio Giovanardi , Andy Priaulx , Antonio Garcia , Dirk Müller , Tom Coronel , Augusto Farfus , Jason Plato , Peter Terting , Gabriele Tarquini , Jordi Gene , Mario Theissen
Teams Sauber