The Castrol Honda World Touring Car Team will start the first race of the 2013 WTCC from the 10th place on the grid at Monza with the Honda Civic WTCC driven by Gabriele Tarquini having set 5th fastest time but having been penalised by the stewards for an on-track incident.

Gabriele Tarquini, Castrol Honda World Touring Car Team Honda Civic
Gabriele Tarquini, Castrol Honda World Touring Car Team Honda Civic

Photo by: XPB Images

The exciting qualifying sessions showed just how competitive this World Championship is going to be. Tarquini and team mate Tiago Monteiro found it challenging to get a clear lap and the Portuguese will start the race from fifteenth position not having been able to make it to Q2 due to traffic in Q1.

Team Principal Alessandro Mariani explained, "This was such a frantic session we should be pleased with fifth for our very first time in this super competitive field. In the few laps we could run our times came down constantly and 1min57.956sec gives us fifth position. It is unfortunate that Gabriele received the penalty. For sure the weather will be a factor in tomorrow's race but also the same for every team. We are pleased to be the challenger in WTCC this year."

The World Touring Car Championship race day format is for two races, each of ten laps, the first grid uses a rolling start and the second a standing start. Gabriele Tarquini points out that the starts are vital with such a big grid and with so few laps in the race. "We must make the starts count and then we can challenge for the positions. Also at Monza some slip-streaming can help our positions but in the qualifying it was so difficult with the traffic that we could not benefit this time. We are ready for tomorrow's race and hope that we can gain some points to start our championship challenge."

J.A.S Motorsport