Post-season Newsletter 2006-12-29

A LONGER BREAK BETWEEN WTCC RACES The two races held at each event of the 2007 FIA WTCC will no longer be back to back. During the next season, whenever possible, the first race will start at 12.00 (noon) and the second at 15.30 local time.

A LONGER BREAK BETWEEN WTCC RACES

The two races held at each event of the 2007 FIA WTCC will no longer be back to back. During the next season, whenever possible, the first race will start at 12.00 (noon) and the second at 15.30 local time. However parc fermé rules have not been changed and the parc fermé will still end 25 minutes before the time of the formation lap for Race 2. Meaning that the teams will only be allowed to work on the cars for 15 minutes, until the green light at the pit exit turns to red.

"We have decided to stretch the gap between the two races because we wish to give the spectators on site a more varied show," explained KSO president Jacque Behar. "We'll have the first WTCC race at the end of the morning and the second one at the beginning of the afternoon. These will be the highlights of our events, but the interest of the crowd will be kept alive in-between by the new Formula Master."

FIRST TEST FOR FARFUS IN A BMW

Augusto Farfus had his first test in a BMW 320si WTCC car last week at the Spanish track of Jerez de la Frontera.

The Brazilian youngster started his new job as a driver for BMW Team Germany, testing together with his new team-mate Jörg Müller and with BMW Team UK's double World Champion Andy Priaulx. Although official times were not released, unofficial timing reported Farfus' fastest lap at 1:58.1, only 4 and 2 tenths of a second from Priaulx's and Müller's respectively. Nicola Larini also took part in the test in his Chevrolet Lacetti, setting an impressive second fastest time at 1:57.8, only one tenth off Priaulx's.

PORTEIRO JOINS BMW TEAM ITALY-SPAIN

The 23 year old Spaniard Félix Porteiro signed for BMW Team Italy-Spain to compete in the 2007 FIA WTCC alongside Alessandro Zanardi. Last October Porteiro had joined the team for the FIA European Touring Car Cup at Estoril, making a positive impression. After being fastest in testing and practice, the Spaniard qualified third, only 0.086 seconds off his team-mate Zanardi's pole position. Although rainy conditions on the race day made life difficult for all BMW drivers, Porteiro managed to finish third in the first race behind the GR Asia SEATs of Sharp and O'Brien. In the second race Félix retired after a clash with another car.

Porteiro, who was successful in karting and the World Series by Renault (5th in 2005) and raced the 2006 GP2 championship, said: "This switch from formula to saloon cars is a big boost for my motivation. Everything will be new to me and I will do my best to get over the apprenticeship period and break into the top positions as soon as possible."

-credit: fia/wtcc

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