Oschersleben: News and notes 2005-08-25

TOURING CAR BUREAU'S LATEST DECISIONS The Touring Car Bureau have confirmed the cars' minimum weights will remain as they were during the previous meeting in Spa. A 10-kg reduction for all the front-wheel drive cars, plus another minus 10 kg...

TOURING CAR BUREAU'S LATEST DECISIONS

The Touring Car Bureau have confirmed the cars' minimum weights will remain as they were during the previous meeting in Spa.

A 10-kg reduction for all the front-wheel drive cars, plus another minus 10 kg for the Ford Focus and the Chevrolet Lacetti cars.

SEAT LEÓN WTCC BREAKS COVER

On Tuesady Jordi Gené gave the new SEAT León WTCC car its first public outing at Oschersleben, where the Spaniard drove a number of journalists around the German circuit. Because the sporting regulations ban testing on the tracks that will be hosting championship rounds, SEAT Sport received special authorisation from the FIA to organise the session.

This weekend in Oschersleben Gené will give the car its race debut in rounds 13 and 14 of the FIA World Touring Car Championship, while Rickard Rydell and Peter Terting will continue racing the Toledo Cupra. It will be the same at the following FIA WTCC race meeting in Istanbul, while all three SEAT Sport drivers will race the León in Valencia in October.

A NEW CHALLENGE FOR STÉPHANE ORTELLI

There will be a new SEAT Toledo Cupra among the FIA WTCC field at Oschersleben this weekend, with twice FIA GT Champion (N-GT class) Stéphane Ortelli at the wheel. It is exactly ten years ago that he was driving with Team Oreca in the French Supertourisme and he returns to touring cars with great anticipation.

"It's special to be back, especially in an exclusive championship such as the FIA WTCC. When I raced with the GTs I always paid attention to the touring car races, both for enjoyment and also on a professional level - I wanted to learn from them. This championship looks increasingly exciting from an outside point of view and I expect more and more drivers from other series to take part for a new challenge."

Team Oreca Playstation, who are supported by SEAT France, have had two days testing, at Magny-Cours and Alès in preparation for their FIA WTCC race debut.

"Testing with Jordi Gené at Magny-Cours was particularly helpful for me and the team as we were able to compare my data with his and this highlighted how we can progress. You can't expect too much when you join such an exclusive and demanding championship in the middle of the year. It feels as though I am a school boy joining the year late and I need to catch up on what the other students have done. I am very curious, open-minded and extremely excited."

MAN OF THE WEEK: ERIC HÉLARY

Eric Hélary will be behind the wheel of Peugeot Sport Denmark's 407 car at Oschersleben this weekend for rounds 13 & 14 of the FIA WTCC. Eric is an experienced man in the world of touring cars having driven for Opel in the French and German Super Touring and then the DTM. How is he feeling about his first FIA WTCC appearance?

What do you think of the Championship? "It is a great package. For a manufacturer it is not too expensive, the press and TV coverage is excellent and the races are amazing. On a competitive level it is a big challenge."

What are your expectations for the weekend? "My expectations are not high but I hope we can do better than in Spa. Primarily we are focusing on the future. It is my job to help in the learning process so we can assess things and develop gradually. It is worth remembering it is not a complete factory car and that makes things a little more challenging."

What is your first impression of the car? "I tested the car two days ago. We only had one day to test and of course I would have preferred three or four but I can say the car has good potential; I like it and will be trying my best out there."

FLASH NEWS

PRIAULX: Andy Priaulx has a new chassis in Oschersleben: "After Spa Bart Mampaey and his team, who run my BMW Team UK car, decided I needed a new chassis and got down to work. I tested the new car last week in Zolder and fell in love with it."

JAS: Like in Spa, JAS Motorsport will run only one Honda Accord car in Oschersleben. This time it will be Adriano De Micheli to take the wheel, replacing Roberto Colciago. Team principal Alessandro Mariani explained: "Ours is an independent programme, run on a limited budget. The car De Micheli crashed in Puebla was not repairable, and for the moment we cannot afford to replace it. We are working to find the money to be back with the second car from Valencia."

THEY SAID: QUOTE OF THE WEEK

Dirk Müller about racing in Oschersleben: "I'm really looking forward to competing in the FIA WTCC German round. Races in your home country are always very special. You meet a lot of friends and acquaintances, and that gives you an added incentive."

-fia-

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About this article
Series WTCC
Drivers Andy Priaulx , Dirk Müller , Stéphane Ortelli , Eric Helary , Peter Terting , Rickard Rydell , Jordi Gene , Roberto Colciago , Bart Mampaey