Guia Race of Macau Presented by Sociedade de Jogos de Macau, S.A. Six of the Best for Macau Title Shootout Six of the biggest names in touring car racing will fight it out for the prestigious FIA World Touring Car Championship title at the ...
Guia Race of Macau
Presented by Sociedade de Jogos de Macau, S.A.
Six of the Best for Macau Title Shootout
Six of the biggest names in touring car racing will fight it out for the prestigious FIA World Touring Car Championship title at the Macau Grand Prix after a dramatic penultimate round of the championship at Monza. The title fight could not be any closer, with BMW's Andy Priaulx and SEAT's Yvan Muller tied on points at the head of the standings and Augusto Farfus, James Thompson, Jorg Muller and Nicola Larini all in contention for the crown.
The title will be fought out over two action-packed 9 lap races on the Macau Guia street circuit, which could be the scene of the first diesel- powered race car to win a world racing championship through Yvan Muller and his SEAT Leon TDI.
But BMW Team UK driver Priaulx (33) comes to Macau as favourite after clinching the championship on the most challenging street circuit in the world in both 2005 and 2006, although he expects it to be the closest fight yet.
"I have very special memories of Macau after winning the World Championship there twice," says Priaulx. "It will be a very tough fight as it always is in Macau and it will be very close. I am leading the championship going there, so I hope to still be ahead after the races."
Frenchman Yvan Muller (38) believes that the diesel-powered SEAT will be strong at Macau, although he also expects the race to be the most competitive of the season.
"The diesel was very fast at Monza, but although it will definitely be fast at Macau the BMWs, Chevrolets and Alfa Romeos will push us very hard," says Muller. "The circuit is one of my favourites and I think one of the favourites of every driver, so I am confident for the races."
Although SEAT is currently the form team in the WTCC having won three out of the last six races before Macau, BMW has strength in numbers with Augusto Farfus and Jorg Muller also driving for the marque.
BMW Team Germany's Augusto Farfus (24) is just ten points off the lead and came close to winning the FIA WTCC in Macau in 2006.
"We were very close in 2006 with Alfa Romeo and I hope that I can go even better with BMW," says Farfus. "Macau is all about small margins and having a little bit of luck, that is why the races are always very competitive." Farfus is not the only BMW Team Germany driver in contention. Jorg Muller (38) was second in last year's championship after winning the second race at Macau and is also in contention.
"I am a long way behind but we will always keep on fighting in Macau while there is a chance," says Muller. "It is always a very exciting race there so anything can happen."
The most unlikely championship contender is James Thompson (33). Driving for the N.Technology-run Alfa Romeo team, he is just 12 points off the lead despite almost no testing miles in 2007 and a limited budget.
"It's very romantic to be able to go to Macau still with a shot at the title," says Thompson. "I believe that our car is as quick, if not quicker, than the rest and we know it can go well there. We will just aim to pick up as many points as possible and see where we end up because the unexpected usually happens at Macau!"
The final contender is Italian Nicola Larini (43), who is the only Chevrolet driver in with a shot at the crown.
"It will be very difficult for us to win but Macau can be a lottery as the races are always so dramatic," says Larini. "I will go there aiming to take my first race win of the year and hopefully to use that to climb up the championship points."Already this season 11 different drivers have won in just 20 races, with star names such as ex-Formula 1 stars Larini and Alex Zanardi yet to win. With the top 20 in qualifying often covered by less than one second, the Macau Guia race is set to once again be the scene for a famous title decider.
The Manufacturers' Championship too will be awarded in Macau, with BMW and SEAT separated by only 10 points