Argentina is the first "fly-away" WTCC event after the seven meetings already run this season in Europe, Morocco and Russia.
Honda Civic racer Gabriele Tarquini believes that the inaugural visit of the FIA World Touring Car Championship to Termas de Rio Hondo circuit in Argentina will produce some very high speed racing.
"I have watched lots of video of the circuit and it is a very nice circuit, very wide in comparison to many South American circuits I have raced on and this will make the speeds high. There is a very long straight with a tight turn at the end so there will be opportunities for overtaking.
Argentina is the first "fly-away" WTCC event after the seven meetings already run this season in Europe, Morocco and Russia. This is the first time that the WTCC has been to Argentina and the first World Championship event to be held at the 4.8km circuit at Termas de Rio Hondo in the province of Santiago del Estero, 1300kms North West of Buenos Aires. The Championship then moves on to the USA, Japan, China and concludes in Macau.
Tarquini is locked in a battle for third place in the Drivers' World Championship; just 4 points covering Nash, Huff and Tarquini as the teams arrive in Argentina. "I love Argentina and the racing here is wonderful. I drove with local hero "Pechito" Lopez in a Honda in 2010. It was the 200kms de Buenos Aires and the atmosphere was electric. They love their racing in South America and the fans will be there for sure,"enthuses Gabriele.
The Castrol Honda Racing Civics will start the Argentina race without the weight penalties applied after the early season success and this pleases Team Director Alessandro Mariani. "Now we are back to the original racing weight and this will be better for our cars. Our target for the remainder of this season is to continue the development of the car at every race, constantly adding some performance.
We must collect as many points as we can with the aim of delivering Gabriele back to the number 2 position in the Drivers' Championship. We must remember that this is still only the first year for the Civic racing in this very competitive World Championship and we have won a race and had 10 podiums in our first year. Remembering that we took podium result even in the trial races at the end of 2012 we want to give the Civic at least another victory before the end of this season."
With the 2013 WTCC now past its halfway point teams are already looking to the future as new technical regulations will apply for next season and the cars will look substantially different to the present machines.
"The new aerodynamic specs will alter completely the car characteristics, improving a lot the performance and making the engineering challenge even more exciting," says Mariani. "Our engineers and design office are working flat out on the new concept. This is an exciting time for the team. We are pushing really hard for more results with the current car at races right across the world and at the same time in our racing shop designing and building a race winner for next year."
Castrol Honda World Touring Car Team