THE MONROE PERFORMER IS WORTH 72,000
The total prize money for WTCC Independent competitors has been raised by 72,000 euros thanks to the MONROE Performer trophy that will reward the fastest drivers.
3,000 euros will be awarded to the drivers setting the fastest lap in the Independents' category at each of the championship's 24 rounds. At the same time, the drivers setting the race's overall fastest lap (irrespective of being independent or not) will be awarded a TW Steel watch MONROE Perfomer limited edition and a Marzotti mountain bike WTCC limited edition.
"We are very grateful to MONROE, who recently joined WTCC as an official partner, for their generosity. The MONROE Performer 72,000-euro prize money comes on top of the 480,000 euros awarded by the Yokohama Independents' Trophy, increasing the total prize money to an amazing 552,000 euros," KSO general manager Marcello Lotti commented. During the 2009 season, Stefano D'Aste set the independents' fastest lap in eight races, which would have been worth 24,000 euros.
WIECHERS-SPORT SIGN MEHDI BENNANI
Young Moroccan driver Mehdi Bennani who made an impressive WTCC debut last year, will compete in the whole 2010 season at the wheel of a Wiechers-Sport BMW 320si.
"We are delighted that Mehdi will be able to do the entire season with Wiechers-Sport. As the only Moroccan driver in a world championship, he will be carrying high the colours of Morocco on the world's most prestigious circuits" said Aly Horma, President of Marrakech Grand Prix.
"We are very pleased that Mehdi Bennani has joined Wiechers-Sport. From his very first laps in the WTCC, he proved to be very competitive Our common aim is a place on the podium of the 2010 Yokohama Independents' Trophy," said team manager Dominik Greiner.
In 2009 Bennani took part in selected events with a SEAT León run by Exagon Engineering and managed to claim an outstanding victory in the Independents' class on his maiden appearance at his home race in Marrakech.
HARTMANN RACING CONFIRM WTCC PLANS
Denmark-based Hartmann Racing have confirmed their plans to take part in a couple of 2010 FIA WTCC events with their Honda Accord Euro R cars, one of them driven by British touring car ace James Thompson.
"Our priority is the FIA European Touring Car Cup, because we want to defend the title James won last year at Braga," team principal Hans Hartmann revealed. " However we are also looking at occasional participation in the WTCC, because we would like to warm Honda up for the future."
The Danish team are due to take part in the WTCC events at Monza and Brands Hatch and they are currently in negotiations with a few experienced drivers for their second Accord car.
"I think we can spring a surprise or two at one of those races and represent ourselves well," Thompson commented.
COUNTDOWN: - 37 DAYS to the 2010 FIA WTCC Race of Brazil - 6th / 7th March, in Curitiba