Series newsletter 2008-05-23

ROUTE TO: PAU, FRANCE The 7th and 8th rounds of the FIA WTCC will take place next week in France, on the historical street circuit of Pau. This is the championship's second visit to the old city on the Pyrenees, home of the Grand Prix de Pau...

ROUTE TO: PAU, FRANCE

The 7th and 8th rounds of the FIA WTCC will take place next week in France, on the historical street circuit of Pau. This is the championship's second visit to the old city on the Pyrenees, home of the Grand Prix de Pau since 1930.

Last year, Alain Menu and his Chevrolet Lacetti dominated the first race with a lights to flag victory after setting pole position in the Saturday's qualifying session. SEAT Sport's Frenchman Yvan Muller and his Portuguese team-mate Tiago Monteiro completed the podium.

The second race was won by BMW Team Germany's Augusto Farfus, who completed an amazing recovery after having rolled his car in qualifying at the infamous Monument bend. The Brazilian youngster crossed the line ahead of BMW Team UK's Andy Priaulx and Monteiro.

61 EXTRA KILOS FOR TARQUINI

As a consequence of his stretched championship lead, SEAT Sport's Gabriele Tarquini will carry the heaviest ballast in Pau. The Italian's Leon TDI will be loaded with 61 kilos of success ballast, 13 more than Robert Huff, who was the most successful driver in Valencia with 18 points scored.

Jordi Gene (39 kg), Jorg Muller (35 kg) and Alain Menu (34kg) are the other drivers with more than 30 kg of ballast. Rickard Rydell and Yvan Muller, who are joint seconds in the championship, will both have 28 extra kilos, only one more than Andy Priaulx, who is BMW's best placed man in the points.

A total of fifteen drivers will have success ballast in Pau, including the race-by-race entry Oscar Nogues who will receive 30 entra kilos according to article 79 c) of the Sporting Regulations.

Success ballast - France

61 kg       G. Tarquini

48 kg R. Huff
39 kg J. Gene
35 kg J. Muller
34 kg A. Menu
30 kg O. Nogues
28 kg R. Rydell, Y. Muller
27 kg A. Priaulx
12 kg T. Monteiro
10 kg T. Coronel
9 kg F. Porteiro, N. Larini
3 kg A. Farfus
1 kg O. Tielemans

GRAND PRIX DE PAU LAUNCHED YESTERDAY

The 68th Grand Prix de Pau WTCC Race of France was launched yesterday at the Quartier Libre shooping mall, where BMW, Chevrolet and SEAT show cars where exhibited.

Alain Menu, winner of last year's first race in Pau and last week's second race in Valencia attended the event, together with the city's Mayor Mrs Martine Lignieres-Cassou and Jean-Paul Pasquet, president of the ASAC Basco Bearnais.

Large media representative attended the press conference. "We are absolutely delighted to welcome the World Championship again," said the Mayor. "This year's event will be remembered because of an exceptional range of races and it will also grant the city of Pau an enormous exposure thanks to the WTCC's worldwide TV coverage."

OSCAR NOGUES TO RACE IN PAU

Oscar Nogues Farre is the first competitor of the new SEAT Eurocup to be awarded with a participation in the FIA WTCC. The 31-year old Spaniard will race in Pau at the wheel of a petrol-powered SEAT Leon TFSI run by the SUNRED Engineering Development team.

After his fellow countryman Jose Manuel Perez-Aicart was given the same opportunity in Valencia for having won the 2007 SEAT Leon Supercopa (he performed very well, finishing both races in 13th and 14th position respectively), Nogues was awarded with the WTCC participation because he emerged as the best driver in the first round of the Eurocup at Valencia, where he won Race 1 and finished second in Race 2.

Nogues is not a rookie in the WTCC; in the previous seasons he had been already awarded twice with WTCC participations for his two consecutive titles in the 2005 and 2006 Supercopa. He raced at Valencia in 2006 and Monza in 2007 and his best result was 12th in last year's Monza's Race 1.

BMW 320D IN NURBURGRING 24H

BMW's WTCC works drivers Augusto Farfus and Jorg Muller will drive a Super 2000-spec diesel-powered BMW 320d this weekend in the Nurburgring 24 hour race. The car will be run by the Schubert Motors outfit, while Farfus and Muller will share driving duties with Scandinavians Fredrik Ekblom and Stian Sorlie.

The BMW 320d that will be raced in the 24-hours is fitted with the same type of engine that BMW have been using in the BMW 120d car for endurance racing. A machine that proved to be very successful in the 2006 Nurburgring 24-hours, finishing the race in a brilliant fifth place, ahead of many more powerful cars.

This will be Farfus' maiden experience on the infamous 25-km Nurburgring Nordschleife.

COUNTDOWN: - 9 DAYS

-credit: fiawtcc.com

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