Macau: Season finale preview

FIA WTCC FINALE READY TO GET UNDERWAY The last preparations for the FIA WTCC finale in Macau are over. Expectations are high, as the whole season will be decided on the streets of the former Portuguese protectorate. Everything is still at...


The last preparations for the FIA WTCC finale in Macau are over. Expectations are high, as the whole season will be decided on the streets of the former Portuguese protectorate.

Everything is still at stake. The Drivers' Championship, in which two BMW men Dirk Müller and Andy Priaulx are leading the classification separated by just one point and closely chased by Alfa Romeo's Fabrizio Giovanardi who is five points behind Dirk. The Manufacturers' Championship, with BMW leading Alfa Romeo by 25 points with 36 still to be awarded. And the Independents' Trophy, awarding double points in Macau, led by Marc Hennerici from Giuseppe Cirò and Tom Coronel.

Action will begin tomorrow at the Guia street circuit, with a 30-minute testing session at 15.40 local time.


This afternoon, at the Macau's Senado Square, an FIA WTCC team formed by Coronel, Couto, Farfus, Harrison, Hennerici and Larini defeated two other teams, formed by the F3 Grand Prix drivers and the Motorcycle Grand Prix riders respectively, in "The Historic Centre of Macau Jigsaw Game". A special promotional event to celebrate Macau's inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage Site List.

Each team was asked to complete jigsaw puzzles of three different Macau landmarks which have been listed as UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Following the prize-giving ceremony, an autograph session was held with drivers and riders meeting the fans.


The Macau Grand Prix Committee put in great efforts to accomodate the FIA WTCC teams in the best possible way, including the construction of 34 temporary garages inside the paddock area, whereas until last year Guia Race cars were sheltered under canopies.

The garages are fully metallic structures with sizes varying between 16 x 4.6 and 8.9 x 4.6 m; the inner height is 2.5 m. Their cover is made of deformed zinc plate, supported by galvanized hollow section pipes fixed on concrete beams covered with galvanized steel sheets. The inner partition walls are of steel with zinc plate skin, supported by a steel frame. Each garage has false ceiling and steel roller shutter and fitted with water pipes, power sockets, television signal, air compressor and Internet access.


Last Saturday, in Barcelona, SEAT Sport unveiled their aim to fight for both the 2006 FIA WTCC Drivers' and Manufacturers' titles. To achieve this goal they have put together one of the strongest line ups ever seen in motor sport: six top-rated aces who come from six different countries and boast impressive CVs in Touring Car racing will drive the SEAT León cars in the 2006 FIA World Touring Car Championship.

Current SEAT Sport drivers, Rickard Rydell, Jordi Gené and Peter Terting will be joined by Yvan Muller, Gabriele Tarquini and James Thompson.

Jaime Puig, Director of SEAT Sport, said: "The introduction of Muller, Tarquini and Thompson will permit us to form a team at the same level as our main competitors.

Their experience will be an important strengthening and makes us very optimistic that 2006 should see SEAT fighting for the title."


GR ASIA: A last minute change to the FIA WTCC entry list occurred when James Kaye pulled out. He has been replaced at the wheel of the second GR Asia SEAT Toledo Cupra car by Hong Kong driver Lo Ka Fai.29-years old, the youngest of three brothers all racing drivers Lo Ka Fai competed in the Asian Touring Car Championship's Division 2.

CHEVROLET: After a successful experiment from Istanbul, Chevrolet is again hosting live internet press conferences at Macau. Chevrolet drivers, Menu, Larini and Huff will answer questions from the media and racing fans on Thursday, Friday and Sunday at 12.30 pm CET (8.30 pm Macau time).

PROTEAM: Proteam Motorsport was the first independent team to unveil their plans for next year. They will continue campaigning with two BMWs in the FIA WTCC and have already signed their first driver: Luca Rangoni a competitor in the 2004 FIA European Touring Car Championship who had already joined Proteam for the FIA ETC Cup. ATCC: The FIA WTCC first race in Macau will also count as 13th and final round of the Asian Touring Car Championship. Four ATCC drivers Ao Chi Hong, Paul Poon, Peter Scharmach and Hironori Takeuchi will fight for Division 1 points. Seven other ATCC competitors will race in Saturday's CTM Macau Cup, aiming for Division 2 points.


Chevrolet driver Robert Huff: "Macau is a special track that requires special preparation. For that reason we went to Millbrook with plans and a tape measure to reproduce the Melco hairpin. The idea was to see what we could do if we run wide, or how quickly we can get ourselves out of different worse case scenarios."


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About this article
Series WTCC
Drivers Fabrizio Giovanardi , Andy Priaulx , Tom Coronel , Yvan Muller , James Thompson , Hironori Takeuchi , Peter Terting , James Kaye , Marc Hennerici , Rickard Rydell , Gabriele Tarquini , Jordi Gene , Luca Rangoni , Giuseppe Ciro , Paul Poon , Ao Chi Hong , Jaime Puig
Teams Proteam Motorsport