Puebla: Round six preview

DRIVERS RECEIVED BY THE MAYOR OF PUEBLA The WTCC drivers and cars went down a storm at the autograph session which took place at the Zocalo, Puebla's main square, yesterday afternoon. The queue to get close to the drivers went all the way around...

DRIVERS RECEIVED BY THE MAYOR OF PUEBLA

The WTCC drivers and cars went down a storm at the autograph session which took place at the Zocalo, Puebla's main square, yesterday afternoon. The queue to get close to the drivers went all the way around the square with an estimated 2000 people in it.

As well as this, there were members of the public admiring the N.technology Alfa Romeo, SEAT Sport Leon, GR Asia SEAT Leon and the Wiechers Sport BMW of Oscar Hidalgo which were all on static display.

The drivers also took part in a parade through the city in pick-up trucks accompanied by a police escort as well as receiving the honour of being a `distinguished guest' from the Mayor of Puebla, which took place in the city hall.

The excitement of the crowd hit an all time high when the WTCC stars were called up to the open-air stage one by one and began throwing caps to the cheering Mexican motorsport fans.

TESTING: FASTEST LAP FOR FARFUS

The test session that was planned to enable the field to check their cars after the trip to Brazil has taken place and Augusto Farfus was fastest in his Alfa Romeo. He was lying second on the timesheet until his final lap when he posted a 1:47.853. The next two positions were occupied by independent drivers. Tom Coronel of GR Asia had a best time of 1:48.098 at the wheel of his SEAT Leon and 0.101 of a second behind him was Proteam Motorsport man Stefano D'Aste.

Rickard Rydell was 4th overall and the best of the SEAT works drivers followed by Salvatore Tavano; Farfus' N.technology team-mate. Just like Farfus, Yvan Muller and Nicola Larini completed their best laps in the closing seconds and this shot them up to 6th and 7th respectively.

Jorg Muller was the quickest of the BMW works drivers with the 11th best time followed by Dirk and Priaulx in 12th and 13th.

RACE DISTANCE INCREASED BY ONE LAP

The race distance for the FIA WTCC rounds 11 and 12 at Puebla-Amozoc in Mexico has been increased by one lap. Recent checks of the racetrack have set its actual length at 3.24 km. Each race will be therefore be contested over 16 laps as opposed to 15.

10-KG BONUS FOR ALFA ROMEO AND CHEVROLET

The Touring Car Bureau have issued a decision to reduce the minimum weight of the Alfa Romeo and Chevrolet cars by 10kg for the race meeting in Puebla. This means the new minimum weight for the Alfa Romeo 156 and Chevrolet Lacetti cars is 1130 kg, driver included.

MEXICAN DRIVER FOR WIECHERS-SPORT

Young racing driver Oscar Hidalgo is 23 years old, was born in Puebla and will be competing in the FIA WTCC race of Mexico this weekend. He replaces Emmet O'Brien at the wheel of a Wiechers Sport BMW. O'Brien has left the team which is now talking to a number of drivers regarding a deal for the remainder of the season.

Hidalgo's racing career started in the Puebla Karting Championship and for the past four years he has competed in the Formula Renault 2000 de America series, achieving 2nd place in the championship last season. He is set to prove a hit with the local fans and is an important asset to the promotion of the championship.

DOUBLE VICTORY FOR ZANARDI IN ITALY

Last Sunday at Mugello, Alessandro Zanardi claimed a double victory in rounds 7 and 8 of the Italian Superturismo Championship.

At the wheel of his BMW Team Italy-Spain BMW 320si Zanardi set pole position in Saturday qualifying and then dominated both races from lights to flag on Sunday. In Race 1 he crossed the line ahead of Simone Iacone (Zerocinque Motorsport BMW 320i) and Emanuele Naspetti (GDL Racing BMW 320i); in Race 2, which was red-flagged due to heavy rain, Roberto Colciago (SEAT Sport Italia SEAT Leon) and Iacone finished second and third respectively.

These results enabled Colciago to take the championship lead, while Zanardi moved up to second, only one point behind.

CHEVROLET TRIO TO RACE IN ARGENTINA

Chevrolet WTCC drivers Alain Menu, Nicola Larini and Robert Huff will take part in the 200 Km of Buenos Aires, counting towards the Argentine TC2000 championship, the event takes place next October.

The decision was taken after a meeting in Curitiba between Eric Nève, Chevrolet Europe's motorsports manager and Jorgue Marquez, motorsport manager of GM Argentina.

The trio of WTCC drivers will share three Chevrolet Astra cars with local drivers Matias Rossi, Christian Ledesma and Marcelo Bugliotti.

Menu has already taken part in the 200 Km race twice, in 2004 and 2005.

-fia

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About this article
Series WTCC
Drivers Tom Coronel , Jorg Muller , Yvan Muller , Emanuele Naspetti , Augusto Farfus , Rickard Rydell , Salvatore Tavano , Stefano D'Aste , Nicola Larini , Roberto Colciago , Simone Iacone , Emmet O'Brien , Christian Ledesma , Alain Menu
Teams Proteam Motorsport