Pre-season newsletter 2007-02-23

RAIN SPOILS WTCC TEST IN ZANDVOORT Over five days during this week, some WTCC teams tested in Zandvoort in view of the season's second race meeting that will take place on May 6. Bad weather partially spoiled their hopes of a dry test. The Dutch...

RAIN SPOILS WTCC TEST IN ZANDVOORT

Over five days during this week, some WTCC teams tested in Zandvoort in view of the season's second race meeting that will take place on May 6. Bad weather partially spoiled their hopes of a dry test. The Dutch circuit was completely dry only on Monday, as rain dampened it from Tuesday morning onward and with growing intensity.

Teams were able to test with slick tyres also on Tuesday morning, but they soon switched to rain tyres as the track was getting more and more soaked.

LUCKY ZANARDI IN THE NETHERLANDS

Two BMW teams took part in the first part of the test in Zandvoort. BMW Team Italy- Spain were at the Dutch track from Monday to Wednesday with one car that was driven by Alessandro Zanardi first (on Monday and Tuesday morning) and Felix Porteiro later (from Tuesday afternoon). BMW Team Germany attended the test also with one car that was alternatively driven by Jorg Muller and Augusto Farfus on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Zanardi was the only one of them lucky enough to test in perfectly dry conditions, on Monday.

"It's a shame the weather did not allow us to test on the dry track as much as we had planned," BMW Team Italy-Spain's project manager Umberto Grano commented. "However I'm quite pleased with the lap times clocked by both our drivers."

BMW Team Germany's team manager Charly Lamm echoed: "We are happy we had the opportunity to test here, because both Jorg and Augusto did not know the track. And despite the bad weather the team have gained a lot of data and experience in these two days. I like this circuit and I'm sure we'll see a couple of great WTCC races here in May."

6000 KM OF TESTING FOR CHEVROLET

Chevrolet completed their winter test programme in preparation for the 2007 FIA WTCC with three days in Zandvoort, from Monday to Wednesday. The RML team ran their test Lacetti car at the Dutch circuit, with their three drivers taking turns at the wheel.

Alain Menu, the only Chevrolet man who had previously raced in Zandvoort, took the basic set up by himself on Monday. And this also enabled him to test on the dry track. Nicola Larini and Rob Huff took over from Tuesday morning, in wet conditions.

Despite the weather, the team was able to make the last technical adjustments before the start of the season and the Lacetti covered a total of 800 km over the three days, which stretched the total distance covered by Chevrolet during their winter tests to 6,000 km.

ZANDVOORT SUITS THE SEAT LEON

SEAT Sport also attended the test in Zandvoort. The team's four drivers tested on Thursday (Gabriele Tarquini and Michel Jourdain) and Friday (Jordi Gene and Yvan Muller).

"We went to Zandvoort to learn the track and to adapt our cars and drivers to it," explained team manager Antonio Rodriguez. "In this respect it was a very positive experience, because we have discovered that the circuit suits the Leon very much. We were able to test both in the wet and the dry, therefore we will be prepared when we come back for the race meeting."

PRIAULX DISCOVERS THE LONG TRACK

Although Andy Priaulx and the BMW Team UK have tested in Zandvoort many times, on Thursday and Friday the reigning World Champion drove for the first time on the long track.

"Everybody says that we know Zandvoort like nobody else," team manager Bart Mampaey said. "But the truth is that we always tested on the short track. Therefore for us this was an important occasion to know the long one. Personally I'm very happy that we'll come to race here, because we feel welcome by the people of the circuit and by the Dutch fans."

-credit: fia/wtcc

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About this article
Series WTCC
Drivers Andy Priaulx , Jorg Muller , Augusto Farfus , Rob Huff , Gabriele Tarquini , Jordi Gene , Nicola Larini , Charly Lamm , Alain Menu , Michel Jourdain