On Wednesday and Thursday this week in changing weather conditions, BMW's RBM team and Chevrolet spent two days testing at Portimao's new Autodromo do Algarve, in Southern Portugal, the venue that will host rounds 11 and 12 of this year's FIA WTCC on July 4th.

Rain poured down at intervals on the first day, while by the end of Thursday morning the track finally dried up completely.

Facing his fourth season as BMW Motorsport driver, Brazilian youngster Augusto Farfus completed his first test in the BMW 320si run by Bart Mampaey's RBM outfit, in which he joins triple WTCC champion Andy Priaulx.

Chevrolet fielded two Cruze LT cars during the test, for 2008 world champion Yvan Muller and Robert Huff, who both had already tested two weeks ago in Valencia. Alain Menu attended the test and the briefing, but did not drive. He will be back at the wheel together with his two team-mates during the team's last test session before the beginning of the season, on February 17th and 18th at Valencia again.


ATS has entered into a multi-year partnership with the FIA WTCC. The German wheel manufacturer will become 'official supplier' offering specially designed lightweight alloy wheels to factory and independent teams, together with technical support for ATS supported teams at each event during the season.

As part of the agreement, ATS will fully support the Chevrolet team in their effort to win the world title, after the wheels successfully underwent extensive track and aerodynamic testing and analysis. ATS will also make significant investment in offering its support to the competitors of the Yokohama Independents' Trophy.

"As a global company, we want to further expand our technological and leading role in the sector of top-quality lightweight alloy wheels and to present it to a broader public. Cooperation with leading teams and the WTCC organisers was the logical step to take", said Harald Jacksties, Marketing and Motorsport Manager of the Uniwheels Group, parent company of ATS.

Marcello Lotti, General Manager of KSO, promoter of the WTCC, commented: "The fact that ATS is making such a long-term and focused commitment to the WTCC is fantastic for both the teams and the championship and we are delighted to welcome a brand with such a rich motorsport history."

COUNTDOWN: - 44 DAYS to the 2010 FIA WTCC Race of Brazil - 6th / 7th March, in Curitiba

-source: wtcc