Racing season newsletter 2006-06-09

The FIA WTCC competitors prepare themselves for the first overseas race meeting of the season: the WTCC HSBC Race of Brazil at Curitiba. This will be the first time the 1.8 million inhabitant-capital city of the state of Paraná hosts an FIA...

The FIA WTCC competitors prepare themselves for the first overseas race meeting of the season: the WTCC HSBC Race of Brazil at Curitiba.

This will be the first time the 1.8 million inhabitant-capital city of the state of Paraná hosts an FIA event on its 3,695 metre-long Autodrómo Internacional, which is located between Curitiba and the village of Pinhais.

The championship lands in Brazil with a greatly tangled classification as, following the results in Oschersleben, the top six drivers classified are covered by only two points. Andy Priaulx and Yvan Muller have a joint lead on 33, followed by Dirk Müller and James Thompson on 32, while Rickard Rydell and Gabriele Tarquini are one further point adrift. However, the most awaited driver by the Brazilian fans is Alfa Romeo's Augusto Farfus, who was born right in Curitiba 22 years ago.

70 KG HANDICAP FOR DIRK MÜLLER

In total the seven drivers on top of the championship's classification will carry 415 kg of handicap weight in Curitiba.

With a 2nd and 3rd position, Dirk Müller emerged as the highest scorer in Oschersleben, which costs him 70 kg of ballast. His fellow BMW competitors Andy Priaulx and Jörg Müller follow him closely in the weight list, 5 and 10 kg behind respectively. All the best SEAT drivers Y. Muller, Rydell, Thompson and Tarquini have 55 kg onboard their León cars, while Alfa Romeo's main man Farfus arrives in his home town with 40 extra kilos.

THE WTCC CARS ARE ON THE HIGH SEAS

The cargo ship NYK Espirito set sail yesterday from Hamburg, carrying 27 containers loaded with 24 out of the 25 WTCC cars, 200 tonnes of spares and over 1500 tyres. After the Atlantic crossing the vessel is due to dock in Paranagua, Brazil, on 21st June. The 25th car, Alain Menu's Chevrolet Lacetti, badly damaged in a crash at Oschersleben, was sent back to the team's workshop in the UK; after the needed repairs it will be dispatched to Brazil via air freight.

TOM CORONEL BUILTS A SOLID LEAD

GR Asia driver Tom Coronel has built a solid lead in the Yokohama Independents' Trophy. Since the third meeting of the season at Brands Hatch, when he switched to the new SEAT León, the Dutchman has claimed three victories out of four races. His double win in Oschersleben resulted in him stretching the leading margin to 24 points over his closest competitors.

Behind Coronel, three drivers are covered by only two points: Proteam Motorsport's Stefano D'Aste is currently second on 36, chased by JAS Motorsport's Ryan Sharp on 35 and by his own team-mate Luca Rangoni on 34.

A PROMISING RESULT FOR PEUGEOT

Jens Edman and the Peugeot Sport Denmark team left Oschersleben with a couple of fourth positions in the Independents Trophy. Which are positive results for their second appearance of the season in the FIA WTCC.

The Danish team took part in the first race meeting at Monza, where Edman and his Peugeot 407 were eliminated during the first race following a collision with Roberto Colciago's SEAT Toledo.

In both races at Oschersleben, Edman was able to fight for podium Inpositions in the dependents' Trophy.

"I believe we might have finished with better results without the 10-grid position penalty we were given after qualifying," team manager Jørgen Agergaard commented. Edman was penalised because the team changed the engine after Monza to compete in two rounds of the Danish Touring Car Championship.

"We committed a mistake not applying for the change between the two . races at Monza By doing so we had paid the penalty in the second race,". explained Agergaard .

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About this article
Series WTCC
Drivers Andy Priaulx , Dirk Müller , Tom Coronel , Jorg Muller , Yvan Muller , James Thompson , Augusto Farfus , Rickard Rydell , Gabriele Tarquini , Luca Rangoni , Stefano D'Aste , Ryan Sharp , Roberto Colciago , Jens Edman , Alain Menu