Pau: Rounds seven, eight preview

ROUTE TO: PAU, FRANCE The 7rd and 8th rounds of the FIA WTCC will take place next week in France, on the historical street circuit of Pau. This is the championship's first visit to the old city on the Pyrenees, home of the Grand Prix de Pau...

ROUTE TO: PAU, FRANCE

The 7rd and 8th rounds of the FIA WTCC will take place next week in France, on the historical street circuit of Pau. This is the championship's first visit to the old city on the Pyrenees, home of the Grand Prix de Pau since 1930.

From the 1935 edition the track has not been changed - it is the oldest street circuit in activity - and has seen victories of many famous aces such as Etancelin, Nuvolari, Lang, Fangio, Ascari, Behra, Trintignant, Brabham, Clark, Rindt, Stewart, Cevert, Depailler, Arnoux, Cecotto, Alesi, Montoya. In 1947 Pau hosted the first Grand Prix held after the end of World War II, won by Nello Pagani's Maserati.

After many years of Formula 1, Formula 2 and Formula 3000, this 67th edition of the Grand Prix de Pau is the first one to qualify as a round of a World Championship.

A few WTCC drivers have already raced at Pau in their single seater years, but only one of them won the Grand Prix: Jorg Muller, in the 1996 F3000 race.

QUALIFYING SESSION IS LONGER

This weekend at Pau the FIA WTCC qualifying will be held for the first time on the extended duration of 45 minutes, from 3.00 to 3.45 pm.This means an extra 15 minutes compared to the usual 30. Longer qualifying sessions will also take place later in the season at Porto and Macau.

This change has been introduced in order to limit the problems that might occurr on street circuits, like last year in Macau, when two red flags and a shower permitted the drivers to complete only two attempts for posting a qualifying lap.

HANDICAPS FOR FARFUS AND TARQUINI

Augusto Farfus (BMW Team Germany) and Gabriele Tarquini (SEAT Sport), who are currently lying third and fifth respectively in the championship standings, face this weekend's WTCC Race of France meeting at Pau knowing that they have to cope with an important handicap. Both drivers were given a 10 position drop on the starting grid for the first race, as the Stewards judged them responsible for causing two avoidable collisions in Valencia's Race 1.

Tarquini caused the pile-up at the start that eliminated six cars including his own, while in the late stages of the same race Farfus was involved in a clash with Tom Coronel and Stefano D'Aste, while they were fighting for the 10th position. Recovering from their handicaps on Pau's infamous street circuit won't be an easy task for them.

-credit: wtcc

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About this article
Series WTCC
Drivers Tom Coronel , Jorg Muller , Augusto Farfus , Gabriele Tarquini , Stefano D'Aste