Series newslatter 2008-05-09

ROUTE TO: VALENCIA, SPAIN The 5th and 6th rounds of the FIA WTCC will take place in Spain, at Valencia's Circuit Ricardo Tormo on May 17th and 18th. This is the fifth consecutive visit of the FIA Touring Cars to the Spanish ...

ROUTE TO: VALENCIA, SPAIN

The 5th and 6th rounds of the FIA WTCC will take place in Spain, at Valencia's Circuit Ricardo Tormo on May 17th and 18th. This is the fifth consecutive visit of the FIA Touring Cars to the Spanish stadium-like racetrack.

Alfa Romeo dominated the 2004 FIA European Touring Car Championship meeting, with Fabrizio Giovanardi and Gabriele Tarquini who took one victory apiece. The following year, on the FIA WTCC inaugural season, local hero Jordi Gene started from pole position to give the new SEAT Leon its first win, while Jorg Muller won Race 2 for BMW. In 2006 Alfa Romeo won again with Augusto Farfus in the first race and Jorg Muller in the second. Last year's event was the Italian manufacturer's swan song as James Thompson claimed a double victory after two breathtaking races. Thompson will make his first appearance in the 2008 WTCC at the wheel of the brand new Honda Accord Euro R built by N.technology and JAS Motorsport.

The Valencian event will mark the beginning of WTCC's European season after the first two race meetings held in Brazil and Mexico. The activities on the track will start on Friday, May 16th, with a 30-minute test session at 3.00pm giving the teams the opportunity to shake their cars down after they were shipped from Mexico.

YVAN MULLER FASTEST IN OSCHERSLEBEN

SEAT Sport's Yvan Muller set the fastest time in the official test at Oschersleben on Tuesday and Wednesday. With a lap of 1:35.227 clocked on Wednesday afternoon, the Frenchman managed to beat Robert Huff's fastest time of 1:35.324 from the previous day. Most of the drivers who took part in the test were able to be faster than last year's pole position set by Alain Menu's Chevrolet at 1:36.291.

Huff and team-mate Nicola Larini emerged as second and third fastest behind Muller with a gap of only one tenth of a second behind the leader. BMW Team Germany's men Augusto Farfus and Jorg Muller were classified fourth and fifth respectively, one further tenth behind.

James Thompson continued to develop the new Honda Accord Euro R car built by N.technology and JAS Motorsport. After clocking up an impressive third fastest time on day one, the Briton focused on the race set up. "With only free practice left at Valencia before we race, it was essential that we focused on assessing the car under race conditions," he explained.

On their first appearance alongside their fellow WTCC competitors, Russian Bears Motorsport were also impressive. Their LADA 110 car driven by Viktor Shapovalov completed only 15 laps on Tuesday before being halted due to an engine failure. However, the Russian machine hit the track again on day two and Shapovalov managed to dramatically improve his lap times, reducing the gap to 2.5 seconds, while his Dutch team-mate Jap van Lagen set a fastest lap of 1:36.476, which was only 1.2 seconds off Yvan Muller's fastest time of the day.

This was a very encouraging performance in view of LADA's maiden races at Valencia next week.

BUREAU LIMIT TDI ENGINE SPEED

The Touring Car Bureau have issued a decision to limit the engine speed of the SEAT Leon TDI cars. From the next event in Valencia and until further notice, the engine speed of the turbo-diesel SEAT cars will be limited to 4100 revs per minute.

At the same time the Bureau confirmed the decision issued before the previous meeting in Puebla to limit the supercharged air pressure, the fuel rail pressure and the fuel/air ratio to the average maximum values measured measured with the FIA homologated data logger during the Curitiba event. This supercharged air pressure limit will be corrected by the atmospheric pressure ratio between Curitiba and Valencia.

OTHER BUREAU'S DECISIONS

The Bureau have issued two other decisions, which are also valid from the next event in Valencia and until further notice:

- reduction of the homologated minimum weight of the BMW 320si car driven by Alessandro Zanardi by 15 kg.

- the possibility to adjust the weight of the N.technology Honda Accord Euro R car at any moment during the events.

THOMPSON'S FIRST PODIUM OF THE SEASON

James Thompson claimed his first podium of the season as he finished third in the Danish Touring Car Championship's Race 1 last weekend at the Jyllandsringen.

On his maiden DTC appearance in the Hartmann Racing's Honda Accord Euro R, Thompson finished all the weekend's races in the points: "I was very pleased to get some points and finish all three races, because historically the team has not been strong at this track," Thompson said.

"There are definitively some tough competitors out there, and I enjoyed the cut and thrust of it and look forward to the next race." In Race 1, Thompson made to the end in third behind Tom Pedersen's and Jan Magnussen's BMW 320si cars, and then he was classified sixth and fourth in Race 2 and Race 3 respectively. He will continue racing in the Danish Championship when there is no clash with WTCC.

EUROSPORT LIVE COVERAGE FROM VALENCIA

Saturday, 17th:
Qualifying Eurosport 2, 16.00/16.30

Sunday, 18th:
Warm up - LIVE Eurosport International, 09.00/09.30
Race 1 - LIVE Eurosport 2, 11.45/12.45
Race 1 - highlights Eurosport International, 15.00/15.30
Race 2 - LIVE Eurosport International, 15.30/16.30

Times are CET (Central European Time)

COUNTDOWN: - 9 DAYS

-credit: fiawtcc.com

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About this article
Series WTCC
Drivers Fabrizio Giovanardi , Jan Magnussen , Jorg Muller , Yvan Muller , James Thompson , Augusto Farfus , Gabriele Tarquini , Jordi Gene , Nicola Larini , Viktor Shapovalov , Alain Menu