Macau: Pre-race notes

CLAIMANTS TO THE WORLD TITLE No less than nine drivers will be fighting to become World Champion during the 2006 FIA WTCC final race meeting, next week in Macau. MACAU: A CIRCUIT THAT MAKES THE DIFFERENCE It is interesting to see which kind of...

CLAIMANTS TO THE WORLD TITLE
No less than nine drivers will be fighting to become World Champion during the 2006 FIA WTCC final race meeting, next week in Macau.

MACAU: A CIRCUIT THAT MAKES THE DIFFERENCE
It is interesting to see which kind of relationship each driver has with the infamous 6.1km Guia street circuit. In 52 years of racing at Macau, Jörg Müller was only the second man capable to win both, the Grand Prix and the Guia Race, after John McDonald who added the Motorcycle GP on top of it!

Last year Augusto Farfus managed to win the Guia Race on his first visit to Macau, while Andy Priaulx and Rickard Rydell proved on different occasions that they like the track. Among the WTCC magnificent nine, those who have struggled most at Macau so far are Yvan Muller and Gabriele Tarquini. The Frenchman raced there only in the 1991 F3 Grand Prix and retired, while the Italian finished 10th in the first leg of the 1988 F3 Grand Prix and recently made two unsuccessful attempts in the Guia Race: he retired in 2002 while fighting for the podium, and did not even take the start last year after a massive crash in qualifying.

WHAT IF...

* either Augusto Farfus or Peter Terting wins the title:

- he would be the youngest FIA World Champion ever: on the race day Farfus will be 23-years, 2-months and 16-days old, Terting 22-years and 10-months; the current record is held by Fernando Alonso who claimed the 2005 Formula One crown being 24-years, 1-month and 27-days old.

* Augusto Farfus wins the title:

- he would be the first Brazilian World Champion in motor sport after Ayrton Senna in 1991.

- he would give Alfa Romeo their first World title since the 1977 World Sportscar Championship.

* Andy Priaulx wins the title:

- he would equal Roberto Ravaglia (1986 and 1988 ETCC, 1987 WTCC), being FIA Touring Car champion for three years in a row.

* Jörg Müller wins the title:

- he would be the second driver ever to be FIA champion for single-seaters (1996 in F3000) and touring cars after Jacky Ickx who claimed European titles in Touring Cars (1965) and F2 (1967).

* any of Jörg Müller, Dirk Müller and Peter Terting wins the title:

- he would be the first German to win an FIA Touring Car title, ten years after Manuel Reuter in the 1996 International Touring Car Championship.

* Gabriele Tarquini wins the title:

- he would be the first Italian FIA World Champion since Teo Fabi won the 1991 World Sportscar Championship.

* Rickard Rydell wins the title:

- he would be the first Swede to become FIA World Champion in car racing.

* James Thompson wins the title:

- this would reassert the superioriy of the British touring car school, following Priaulx's two titles and the recent success of Ryan Sharp in the FIA European Touring Car Cup.

* Yvan Muller wins the title:

- he would be the second French World Champion of the season together with WRC winner Sébastien Loeb.

* any SEAT driver wins the title:

- this would be the first international motor sport championship won by a Spanish car manufacturer.

AO CHI HONG JOINS FOR HIS HOME RACE
Macanese Ao Chi Hong will join the WTCC for his home race at the wheel of an Ao's Racing Team BMW 320i.

A podium finisher in the Asian Touring Car Championship, the 46-year old was due to take part in last year's WTCC, but a crash at Fishermen's bend during qualifying sidelined him for the rest of the weekend.

-credit: fia/wtcc

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About this article
Series WTCC
Drivers Andy Priaulx , Fernando Alonso , Jorg Muller , Manuel Reuter , Ayrton Senna , Jacky Ickx , Sébastien Loeb , Yvan Muller , James Thompson , Augusto Farfus , Peter Terting , Rickard Rydell , Gabriele Tarquini , Teo Fabi , Ryan Sharp , Roberto Ravaglia , Ao Chi Hong