Macau: Pre-race newsletter

MASSIVE TV COVERAGE FOR THE WTCC GUIA RACE The WTCC LG Guia Race of Macau will benefit from even greater TV coverage, as well as an enhanced live broadcast on Eurosport, a number of premier TV channels from Asia- Pacific and Portugal will ...


The WTCC LG Guia Race of Macau will benefit from even greater TV coverage, as well as an enhanced live broadcast on Eurosport, a number of premier TV channels from Asia- Pacific and Portugal will broadcast both races live or on a delayed basis. Live coverage will be broadcast by TDM (Macau), MASTV (Macau, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan), ESPN Star Sports (Pan Asia), Guangdong TV (China), TVB (Hong Kong), RTP1, RTPi and SIC (Portugal).

Among the channels that will feature delayed broadcast or highlights are CCTV 5, Guagzhou TV, Chengdu TV and Zhuhai TV (China), VideoLand TV (Taiwan), J Sport and Tokyo Eizosha (Japan), ZDF (Germany) and Sport TV (Portugal).


Hironori Takeuchi from Japan and James Kaye from England were the latest additions to an already impressive entry list, which comprises of 32 drivers from 12 countries. The first Japanese driver to join FIA WTCC, Takeuchi will be at the wheel of a Toyota Altezza run by the Macau-based Ao's Racing Team, marking the first appearance of a Toyota car in the championship. It will be the only rear-wheel-drive car of the field besides the BMWs. Takeuchi has a long standing relationship with the Japanese manufacturer, for which he won the 2001 All Japan GT Championship.

Kaye (41) is a Touring Car veteran, with 11 years of experience in the BTCC in which he claimed two Privateers' trophies and one Production Class title. In 2005 Kaye has raced a Synchro Motorsport Honda Civic, while at Macau he will drive a GR Asia SEAT Toledo.


FIA WTCC's timetable will change in order to adapt to the traditional format of the Macau Grand Prix. According to art.116 of the Sporting Regulations, which allows an extra test session of 30 minutes, Touring Car drivers will hit the track on Thursday. They will run on the usual schedule on Friday, for two free practice and one qualifying session. Competitors will enjoy a day off on Saturday, when the Guia track will host the Motorcycle Grand Prix and the qualification race to the Formula 3 Grand Prix. The two final races of the 2005 FIA WTCC will be on Sunday, at 12.05 and 13.20 local time.


Last Friday, at the Moscow Sport-Motor-Tuning exhibition, Russia's biggest car manufacturer LADA Avtovaz launched their project to compete in the FIA World Touring Car Championship from the next season.

During a press conference at the LADA stand, Avtovaz Chief Designer Engineer Vladimir Guba and representative from the German Mtec Sport team presented to the Russian media the first prototype of the LADA 21106 in Super 2000 technical specifications. In his speech, Mr Guba confirmed that the WTCC project is underway. Some aerodynamic tests are already taking place at the factory in Togliatti and construction of the racing cars' chassis will begin soon.

LADA will race two 21106 cars in the 2006 season but they will switch to the new Priora from 2007.


Eurosport 100 percent shareholder of KSO appointed George Bolos as Vice President, Marketing and Sales, in charge of the FIA WTCC.

"By creating this position and filling it with George Bolos, we are signalling to sponsors, manufacturers, teams, event promoters and media partners that Eurosport is committed to raising the FIA WTCC to yet another level," said Angelo Codignoni, Eurosport President and CEO. "Over the past three years we have worked to upgrade a European series to FIA's third World Championship alongside Formula 1 and WRC. The next step will be promoting the FIA WTCC to a mega event."

Lately George Bolos has held the position of General Manager in charge of marketing, ticketing, torch relay, spectators and services for Athens 2004. In this position, he contributed in making the Athens Olympic Games an outstanding success.


PARTY: The FIA WTCC's end of season party and prize giving ceremony will be included in the Macau Grand Prix traditional party on Sunday, November 20, at the Macau Tower Convention and Entertainment Centre. The Soiree will begin at 7.00 PM with a dinner that will be followed by the Macau Grand Prix prize giving. The FIA WTCC prize giving will close the programme.

REPLACEMENT: Peter Scharmach, 41 from Germany, will replace fellow countryman Franz Engstler at the wheel of the second BMW 320i car run by the Engstler Motorsport team, alongside that driven by Paul Poon from Hong Kong. Scharmach took part in the 2002 and 2003 Macau Guia Race, in both cases he was classified fourth in Race 1 at the wheel of a Schubert Motors BMW.

MARATHON MAN: For the second time Gabriele Tarquini competed in the New York Marathon. And again he managed to complete the distance, in 3 hours and 49 minutes. "I'm pleased despite not breaking my record of 3 hours 14. But this time it was hotter and I only started training from the beginning of October," he said.


Ao Chi Hong on his participation to the Guia Race: "For any Macau driver it would be a privilege to compete in an FIA World Championship, and the fact that the final round of FIA WTCC's inaugural season is held right here in Macau, makes it even more special."


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Series WTCC
Drivers Hironori Takeuchi , Franz Engstler , James Kaye , Gabriele Tarquini , Paul Poon , Ao Chi Hong , Peter Scharmach