Curitiba: Series Friday report

FARFUS TOPS FIRST TEST IN BRAZIL Local man Augusto Farfus posted the fastest lap during today's test as the 2010 WTCC season officially got underway at the Autodromo Internacional de Curitiba. The Brazilian topped the timesheets in his BMW 320si...

FARFUS TOPS FIRST TEST IN BRAZIL

Local man Augusto Farfus posted the fastest lap during today's test as the 2010 WTCC season officially got underway at the Autodromo Internacional de Curitiba. The Brazilian topped the timesheets in his BMW 320si at the halfway point, before the session was briefly halted when Stefano D'Aste lost the back end of his BMW 320si and ended beached in the gravel at turn four.

In the dying moments of the session, Farfus bettered his earlier time clocking a 1:24.243 to remain on top. His BMW Team RBM team mate Andy Priaulx (1:24.732), who had led the session at the start, ended in third.

Alain Menu was the fastest of the Chevrolet men, driving his Cruze to the second quickest time with a lap of 1:24.732. Team mates, Yvan Muller (1:24.805) and Rob Huff (1:24.960) finished fourth and fifth respectively.

Reigning champion Gabriele Tarquini was quickest of the SEAT cars, posting a lap time of 1:25.308 to end the day sixth. His SR-Sport team mate Jordi Gene's session ended early as he suffered problems with the steering box on his SEAT Leon TDI.

Hungarian youngster Norbert Michelisz was the best of the newcomers, posting an impressive seventh fastest time (1:25.625) and placing ahead of experienced drivers like Tom Coronel and Tiago Monteiro.

THEY SAID. THEY SAID..

Augusto FARFUS: "I am happy. We took advantage of the red flag and pitted to make some changes to the car, which were very effective. It was a good feeling to drive around so quickly. Now I have set the pace. I'm sure that from tomorrow the others will be closer but I wish to stay ahead if I can."

Alain MENU: "It was a session to get used to the track again. For the time being we are competitive as I am four tenths slower than Farfus, who was very quick. The car has too much understeer in the tight corners, so we have something to work on. If we manage to solve this I think we will be looking good."

Gabriele TARQUINI: "I am quite satisfied. We benefitted from our past experience and went out straightaway with the best set up for this track. The car was good from the very beginning so I am optimistic. I was really surprised by how much grip there was on the track. Last year we were struggling to find grip but now it's totally different."

DRIVERS MEET THE FANS IN CURITIBA

Official proceedings to the 2010 WTCC season got underway yesterday in the centre of Curitiba that hosts the championship's opening meeting this weekend.

The promotional day began with the drivers meeting the fans in two crowded autograph sessions in front of the HSBC palace, on the central Ruas das Flores.

Three FIA WTCC racing cars - Tom Coronel's SEAT, Augusto Farfus' BMW and Alain Menu's Chevrolet - were exhibited in front of the building.

In the afternoon WTCC drivers joined the Secretary for Tourism of Curitiba, Ms Juliana Vosnika, Marcello Lotti, general manager of KSO and other local personalities, for a cocktail reception at the elegant Awake Concept Club.

KSO LAUNCHES WTCC ROOKIE CHALLENGE

FIA WTCC promoter KSO has launched the new WTCC Rookie Challenge. All the drivers who entered in the championship's full season for the first time are eligible for the Challenge: Norbert Michelisz, Michel Nykjær, Fredy Barth, Harry Vaulkhard, Darryl O'Young and Mehdi Bennani.

Points will be awarded according to the following scale:
1st: 10 points; 2nd: 8 pts; 3rd: 6 pts; 4th: 5 pts; 5th: 4 pts; 6th: 3 pts; 7th: 2 pts; 8th: 1 points.

The winner of the Rookie Challenge will be awarded with a trophy during the traditional end of season party at Macau.

"We have a number of young drivers who joined the championship this year for the whole season and this gave us the idea to establish this Rookie Challenge to encourage and reward the new competitors," KSO General Manager Marcello Lotti explained.

COUNTDOWN: - 2 DAYS to the 2010 FIA WTCC Race of Brazil - 6th / 7th March, in Curitiba

-source: wtcc

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About this article
Series WTCC
Drivers Tom Coronel , Tiago Monteiro , Yvan Muller , Augusto Farfus , Darryl O'Young , Rob Huff , Gabriele Tarquini , Jordi Gene , Stefano D'Aste , Mehdi Bennani , Harry Vaulkhard , Norbert Michelisz , Fredy Barth , Marcello Lotti , Alain Menu
Teams BMW Team RBM