Valencia: Pre-race news and notes

PROMOTIONAL DAY IN VALENCIA In the build up to the penultimate WTCC event in 2006, a day of promotional activities took place yesterday in the centre of Valencia. A press conference was held at the "Ciudad de los Artes y las ...

PROMOTIONAL DAY IN VALENCIA

In the build up to the penultimate WTCC event in 2006, a day of promotional activities took place yesterday in the centre of Valencia.

A press conference was held at the "Ciudad de los Artes y las Ciencias" ultramodern complex, which was attended by Andy Priaulx, Duncan Huisman, and Spanish drivers Maria De Villota, Oscar Nogués and Jordi Gené. The press received speeches from David Serra, Secretary of Sport for the Valencia region, Marcello Lotti, KSO Manager, and Eduardo Nogués, manager of the Valencia racetrack, who spoke about the expectation of a good crowd this weekend. For the Valencia public, a static exhibition was set up in front of the Hémisferic auditorium in which an Alfa Romeo 156, Chevrolet Lacetti and SEAT León were displayed together with GT and Formula 3 cars.

The fans then got to meet the drivers at an autograph session which was also of great interest to several TV crews.

DE VILLOTA: I AM PRIVILEGED TO BE HERE

María De Villota is 25 years old and the first female to race in the WTCC. She will be at the wheel of a Maurer Motorsport Chevrolet Lacetti. Having competed in the Spanish Formula 3 Championship as well as other domestic series María has some experience of the Valencia circuit.

"I know the track quite well but what I am unfamiliar with is the championship and the car," she said. "Valencia has a great feel because the people here are enthusiastic about motorsport and it is a great circuit for spectators because it is like a circus arena."

As for the newcomer's feelings on the forthcoming races, "This is by far the most important event of my racing career. I am privileged to be here and can't wait to start."

María's family has great tradition in motorsport; her father Emilio took part in a few Formula 1 GPs in the late Seventies at the wheel of a private McLaren, while her brother Emilio jr. raced in Formula 3 and Formula 3000 in recent years.

A BUSY WEEKEND FOR OSCAR NOGUÉS

Oscar Nogués is going to be a busy man this weekend. The 28 year old from Banyeres del Penedés is making his first appearance in the WTCC in addition to the Spanish Supercópa SEAT León which is a support race for the event.

All in all he will take part in five races during the weekend, one on Saturday (Race 1 of the Supercópa SEAT) and four on Sunday (Race 2 and 3 of the Supercópa SEAT and the two WTCC races).

"The WTCC is a championship I watch on the TV so this is a special opportunity to gain insight into it and to meet the drivers."

Nogués, who enjoys mountain biking and squash then added: "My team-mates are pleased I am here to try to help them win the championship. Although it will be difficult I am aiming to score some points for SEAT at this track which I like very much."

TEST ON MONDAY FOR BMW ITALY-SPAIN

Roberto Ravaglia's BMW Team Italy-Spain will stay in Valencia on Monday for a half-day test.

The Italian squad will give 23 year old Spaniard Félix Porteiro the first real opportunity to drive the BMW 320si. In two weeks Porteiro, who has just completed his maiden season in the GP2 series, will join the team for the FIA European Touring Car Cup at Estoril, as Alessandro Zanardi's team-mate.

-credit: fia.wtcc

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About this article
Series WTCC
Drivers Andy Priaulx , Duncan Huisman , Felix Porteiro , Jordi Gene , Roberto Ravaglia , Marcello Lotti