BLACK MAGIC With the 2009 FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) launched at the last round in Brazil, the series will move to Puebla, Mexico, on 21-22 March, one of the most demanding tracks of the year. With the greatest number of turns...
With the 2009 FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) launched at the last round in Brazil, the series will move to Puebla, Mexico, on 21-22 March, one of the most demanding tracks of the year.
With the greatest number of turns per kilometre of any circuit on the calendar, Puebla is notoriously tough on drivers and cars, particularly when faced with temperatures of up to 40DEGC. Although the track, located in the centre of Mexico, has a low-grip road surface, constant changes in direction place a greater demand on the lateral stability of the tyres than most circuits.
However, because the Autodromo Miguel E. Abed also featured on last year's calendar, Yokohama engineers now have a much clearer picture of how the ADVAN race tyre reacts in such dynamic conditions.
"Despite extreme temperatures, Puebla is actually an easier circuit on tyres than it looks; grip levels are the lowest on the WTCC calendar, and the average speed of the circuit is also modest," said Ian Beveridge, Yokohama Technical Consultant. "The emphasis is on the lateral stability of the tyre, as the tyre moves from side-to-side under cornering."
With the WTCC Yokohama ADVAN tyre in the final season of a four-year life cycle, one of Yokohama's primary roles is to advise teams on how to get the best from their car and tyre set-up, especially important for new drivers and cars on the grid.
"To counteract the increased lateral forces, we advise teams to increase the pressure of the tyres; it is Yokohama's job to ensure that the best performance is attained," added Beveridge. "A race tyre has a relatively low profile compared with a road-going tyre, but 10-15mm of tyre sidewall deflection is expected, which is well within the operating limits of the ADVAN tyre."
Eurosport will provide television coverage of qualifying and both races from the Autodromo Miguel E. Abed. Live qualifying will take place at 23:00 CET on 21 March, broadcast on Eurosport International and Asia-Pacific, with Races 1 and 2 live on 22 March, broadcast at 19:00 CET and 22:30 CET respectively.
Puebla track facts
Circuit length: 3,030 metres
Number of turns: 18
Race distance: 51.51 kilometres
2008 fastest race lap: Tiago Monteiro (SEAT Leon TDI) 1:41.067 (131.61 km/h)