FIA WTCC Newsletter
10th December 2005

AMENDED CALENDAR FOR THE 2006 FIA WTCC Yesterday in Monaco, the FIA World Motor Sport Council approved the amended calendar for the 2006 FIA World Touring Car Championship. Changes from the provisional calendar include: swapping the dates for Brno (Czech Republic) and Oschersleben (Germany) and for Puebla (Mexico) and Curitiba (Brazil); plus the postponement of Valencia by one week.

<pre> 02 April ITA Monza 30 April FRA Magny-Cours 21 May GBR Brands Hatch 04 June GER Oschersleben 02 July BRA * Curitiba** 30 July MEX Puebla*** 03 September CZE Brno 24 September TUR Istanbul 08 October ESP Valencia 19 November CHN Macau

* Subject to the ASN's approval ** Subject to the FIA homologation of the circuit. *** Subject to the completion of the modifications required by the safety commission

</pre> PRIAULX CROWNED WORLD CHAMPION BY THE FIA

Andy Priaulx has been officially titled 2005 FIA World Touring Car Champion, during the traditional FIA prize giving gala last night in Monaco. In the sumptuous setting of the Sporting d'Ete's Salle des Etoiles, the FIA honoured all its champions. In a progression from Truck Racing to Formula 1, the new FIA World Touring Car Championship's prize giving took place between those of the FIA GT and the World Rally Championship. On the stage, where the BMW Team UK winning car was exhibited, the first three drivers classified Andy Priaulx, Dirk Muller and Fabrizio Giovanardi received their crystal trophies, while BMW Motorsport Director Mario Theissen collected the Manufacturers' champion trophy.

A THREE-YEAR DEAL FOR FIA WTCC AT BRANDS HATCH

Brands Hatch will host the FIA WTCC on May 20/21, 2006 and for the following two years on its full length 4.18-km Grand Prix circuit.

Motorsport Vision Chief Executive Jonathan Palmer commented: "Top touring car racing provides fantastic entertainment and I have been very impressed with the rapid development of the WTCC. We are thrilled that the UK round of this FIA World Championship will be racing on our Grand Prix circuit for the next three years at an event that could be the biggest of the year at Brands Hatch."

Marcello Lotti, General Manager of Championship promoter KSO, said: "We are delighted to have a three year agreement with MotorSport Vision. With its superb viewing, spectacular setting, proximity to London and the impressive improvements that Jonathan Palmer's team has achieved, no doubt that Brands Hatch will be a success for our British event."

LORIS CAPIROSSI DROVE THE FIA WTCC SEAT LEON

Moto GP ace Loris Capirossi drove the FIA WTCC SEAT Leon at the Bologna Motor Show. The Italian rider, at the wheel of an FIA WTCC car for the first time, joined the SEAT Sport team to take part in the Bomb Boogie Eurotouring race.

In front of a huge crowd, experienced FIA WTCC independent driver Adriano De Micheli at the wheel of an Antonelli Sport Alfa Romeo 156 eliminated Capirossi in the quarter- finals. In the semi-finals De Micheli prevailed over team-mate Marco Antonelli and eventually beat Stefano Valli's Zerocinque Motorsport BMW 320i in the final.

NOMINATION FOR PRIAULX AT THE AUTOSPORT AWARDS

After having been voted British Competition Driver of the Year at the 2004 Autosport Awards for his victory in the FIA European Touring Car Championship, Andy Priaulx was again included in the nominations this year thanks to his FIA WTCC title.

However on Sunday night in London the award went to Dan Wheldon, winner of the Indy 500 and the IRL championship. Other nominees were Formula 1 drivers Jenson Button and David Coulthard, DTM Champion Gary Paffet and BTCC Champion Matt Neal.

On Monday in Silverstone, Priaulx, Wheldon and Paffet were also awarded with the prestigious BRDC Gold Star.

BMW MOTORSPORT'S PARTY IN AUSTRIA

Last Saturday BMW Motorsport celebrated the end of the 2005 season with a party in the Austrian town of Seefeld.

BMW Board Member Burkhard Goschel and BMW Motorsport Director Mario Theissen paid tribute to Andy Priaulx's triumphs in the World Touring Car Championship.

The BMW Sports Trophy with its prize money of euro 35,000 was won by Franz Engstler (winner of the Asian Touring Car Championship) from Richard Goransson, (winner of the FIA European Touring Car Cup) and Marc Hennerici (winner of the FIA WTCC Michelin Independents' Trophy).

FLASH NEWS

MURRAY: Irish youngster Eoin Murray might join the FIA WTCC next year. For his victory in the 2005 European Alfa Challenge, Murray has been awarded a S2000 Alfa Romeo 156 racing car.

MADENO RACING: Another team who took part in the 2005 European Alfa Challenge is working on an FIA WTCC project. Netherlands-based Madeno Raging would like to enter a couple of Alfa Romeo 156 cars for Mikko Heino from Finland and Jose João Magalhaes from Portugal.

THEY SAID: QUOTE OF THE WEEK

Alfa Romeo Brand Manager Antonio Baravalle, during a press conference at the Bologna Motor Show: "Alfa Romeo will support the participation of independent teams in the next year's World Touring Car Championship, and at the same time we will be working on the plan to return in official form in 2007. Because sporting activities are an important part of the make's identity."

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