Season newsletter 2006-05-12

70 KILOS OF BALLAST FOR ANDY PRIAULX For his home event, at Brands Hatch, Andy Priaulx will be carrying the heaviest handicap weight of the field onboard his BMW Team UK car. The reigning World Champion who is currently leading the Drivers' ...

70 KILOS OF BALLAST FOR ANDY PRIAULX

For his home event, at Brands Hatch, Andy Priaulx will be carrying the heaviest handicap weight of the field onboard his BMW Team UK car.

The reigning World Champion who is currently leading the Drivers' classification after winning Race 2 in Magny-Cours, has been given 70 extra kilos as a consequence of the results obtained in the previous meetings and the championship points he scored.

Priaulx started the season in Monza with the automatic 20-kg ballast imposed to all the competitors; 20 were added after the first race meeting and 30 after the second, for a total of 70 kg. Although the maximum handicap weight applicable for results in the previous meetings is limited to 60 kg, Priaulx must add on top of this the 10 kg due to the points he has scored in the championship so far.

Yvan Muller has lost 20 kg after Magny-Cours, while Jörg Müller has joined the handicap list with 45 kg after two second positions in France. Eight cars will have extra weight onboard.

CHEVROLET LOOK FORWARD TO HOME EVENT

The Chevrolet team and drivers are keen to play a home match in Brands Hatch, especially with Rob Huff and Alain Menu having raced and won there before.

Brands Hatch was the track were Huff scored his first ever touring car win, in the 2004 BTCC. "I'll probably remember it forever," he said. "The safety car pulls off the track with only one lap to go and I'm fourth. Two guys in front of me take each other off and I'm second behind Yvan Muller. He opens the door just a bit in Druids, I sneak through and win."

The whole team knows the track very well. "We tested here in winter, albeit on the shorter Indy course," Team Manager, Mark Busfield said. "We should be in a position to put on a great show, as none of our cars carry any ballast, which should give us an advantage considering Brands Hatch's very undulating nature." The team tested for three days at the Mira Proving Ground last week, with Alain Menu.

"We made improvements on the brakes and suspension that will make the drivers' job a little bit easier," Busfield said. "As we have seen from the qualifying times in the previous rounds, lap times are getting ever closer, so we are now looking to gain just tenths of a second. But one tenth makes a big difference where you start the first race."

A NEW CAR FOR TOM CORONEL

GR Asia's Tom Coronel will switch to a brand new SEAT León from the event in Brands Hatch; in the two previous meetings the Dutch driver was at the wheel of a SEAT Toledo Cupra. The León should be a big boost for his hopes to grab the WTCC Independents' Trophy.

"I'm very much looking foward to race the new car," said Coronel who is backed by SEAT Holland. "However it will be a jump in the dark for us, because the team is currently assembling the car at SEAT Sport and then they'll go straight to Brands Hatch. We'll only have the chance to shake the car down during the testing session on Friday."

Tom's team-mate, Maurizio Ceresoli is also due to switch to a León from the next meeting at Oschersleben.

-fia-

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About this article
Series WTCC
Drivers Andy Priaulx , Tom Coronel , Jorg Muller , Yvan Muller , Rob Huff , Maurizio Ceresoli , Alain Menu