RECORD ATTENDANCE FOR THE MACAU EVENT The Macau Grand Prix Committee announced a record attendance for the event that included the 53rd Macau Grand Prix, the 40th Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix and the WTCC Guia Race of Macau. Over 40,000 ...
RECORD ATTENDANCE FOR THE MACAU EVENT
The Macau Grand Prix Committee announced a record attendance for the event that included the 53rd Macau Grand Prix, the 40th Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix and the WTCC Guia Race of Macau.
Over 40,000 spectators crowded the grandstands during the four days, and furthermore over 200,000 people watched the Macau Grand Prix from their hotel rooms, their flats and from restaurants' terraces around the track.
And furthermore, the Macau Immigration Department reported a dramatic increase in the number of visitors in the period 15th/19th November: 576,968 people, meaning a 149% increase compared to the 231,708 who arrived in the same period last year. Other significant figures come from the Hotels' daily occupancy rate that averaged 83.5% over the 11,508 rooms available.
END OF SEASON STATISTICS
The 2006 FIA World Touring Car Championship is placed in the archives with the same winners as in 2005: Andy Priaulx and BMW as Drivers' and Manufacturers champions respectively. However the season was extremely exciting and only the chequered flag at the end of the second and final race in Macau sanctioned Priaulx's second world title.
50 DRIVERS, 11 DIFFERENT WINNERS
50 drivers coming from 17 different countries and three continents, at the wheel of cars built by 7 manufacturers, took part in the championship, for an average participation of 27.5 cars per event.
11 drivers managed to win at least one of the 20 races, with only three of them being capable of winning more than one (Priaulx 5, Jörg Müller 4, Augusto Farfus 3); 16 drivers led at least one lap during the season, 20 achieved podium results and 23 scored championship points.
Priaulx emerged as the most effective man, topping the statistics for race victories (5), pole positions (3, like Rickard Rydell; Gabriele Tarquini and Jordi Gené took 2 apiece) and laps led (65, or 25.7% of the 253 laps run during the whole season; J. Müller and Farfus led 45 and 39 respectively). The 20 fastest laps during the races were clocked by 14 different drivers; only Farfus, Tarquini, Alain Menu, Gené and Yvan Muller set more than one fastest lap during the season.
Only two drivers were given drive through penalties: Yvan Muller and Jordi Gené, both due to jump starts.16 drivers were dropped 10 grid positions due to engine changes or incidents; Luca Rangoni had the dubious honour of topping this list having been dropped 30 positions.
FOUR MANUFACTURERS WON RACES
Seven major car manufacturers were represented in the 2006 FIA World Touring Car Championship: Alfa Romeo, BMW, Chevrolet, SEAT, Honda, Peugeot and Toyota.
The first four of them also competed for the Manufacturers' Championship that went to BMW after a tough fight with SEAT.
In spite of the fact that the BMW 320si cars won 11 of the 20 races and led 135 laps out of 253 (53 %), life was not easy for the German make that clinched the title only after the first race at Macau.
Alfa Romeo (4 victories), SEAT (3) and Chevrolet (2) were all capable of winning races and the SEAT León proved to be the fastest car on the track throughout the season, claiming 5 pole positions (BMW had 3 and Alfa Romeo 2) and 9 fastest laps (against BMW's 4, Chevrolet's 3, Alfa Romeo's 2 and Honda's 1).
FIA WTCC TROPHIES AWARDED IN MACAU
Last Sunday night the 2006 FIA WTCC trophies were awarded during the traditional Macau Grand Prix party at the Macau Fishermen's Wharf, where Andy Priaulx's championship winning BMW 320si was exhibited on the stage.
After a spectacular film that included highlights of the season, KSO president Jacques Behar delivered a brief speech. The awarding of the trophies followed, starting with the Yokohama Trophies. Tom Coronel, Luca Rangoni and Stefano D'Aste filled the Independents' podium, while Teams' trophies were awarded to GR Asia's team principal Tim Huxley, Proteam Motorsport's team manager Samuel Francalanci and JAS Motorsport's team principal Alessandro Mariani.
The ceremony culminated with the Manufacturers' Championship BMW (represented by BMW Motorsport director Mario Theissen), SEAT (represented by SEAT Sport director Jaime Puig) and Alfa Romeo (represented by N.technology director Mauro Sipsz) and the Drivers' Championship podiums Andy Priaulx, Jörg Müller and Augusto Farfus.