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42 Minutes
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Macau: Series preview

Macau: Series preview
Nov 13, 2009, 3:12 AM

TITLE CONTENDERS ON EQUAL WEIGHT Gabriele Tarquini, Yvan Muller and Augusto Farfus are the only three men in contention to clinch the Drivers' World Championship. Altogether they have won 12 out of the 22 races held so far and in Macau they will ...


Gabriele Tarquini, Yvan Muller and Augusto Farfus are the only three men in contention to clinch the Drivers' World Championship. Altogether they have won 12 out of the 22 races held so far and in Macau they will face each other for the final fight on equal weight.

In fact, according to the calculation that took into account the lap times set in the three previous events (Oschersleben, Imola and Okayama), the SEAT Leon TDI and the BMW 320si cars will receive the maximum 40kg compensation weight.

The Chevrolet Cruze's ballast is reduced from +30 to +10kg, while Alessandro Zanardi's BMW 320si (equipped with a sequential gearbox), the LADA Priora and the petrol-powered SEAT Leon will have 20kg deducted from the minimum weight.

Compensation weights Macau
+ 40 kg BMW 320si, SEAT Leon TDI
+ 10 kg Chevrolet Cruze LT
- 20 kg BMW 320si Zanardi, LADA Priora, SEAT Leon TFSI


Both, the Drivers' and Manufacturers' world titles are still at stake in the final meeting at Macau.

SEAT leads BMW by three points only in the Manufacturers' Championship, a very slim margin that promises two breathtaking races.

In the Drivers' Championship the gap is even smaller between SEAT Sport team-mates Gabriele Tarquini (the current leader) and Yvan Muller (the reigning champion). BMW team Germany's Augusto Farfus can still have a shot at the crown, as he lies third, 13 points behind Tarquini.


* Gabriele Tarquini wins the title:
- at 47 he would become the oldest ever FIA World Champion, one year older than Juan-Manuel Fangio when he won his fifth Formula One title in 1957 and two years older than Derek Bell when he won the 1986 World Sportscars Championship;
- he would be the first Italian to become World Champion in circuit racing, 18 years after Teo Fabi in the 1991 World Sportscars Championship;
- he would become the eighth Italian automobile World Champion after Nino Farina and Alberto Ascari (F1), Mauro Baldi and Teo Fabi (Sportscars), Roberto Ravaglia (Touring Cars), Sandro Munari and Miki Biasion (Rally).

* Yvan Muller wins the title:
- he would be the third Frenchman to win back to back FIA World Championships after Alain Prost (F1 - 1985 and 1986) and Sebastien Loeb (WRC - from 2004 to 2009).

* Augusto Farfus wins the title:
- he would be the first Brazilian World Champion in motor sport, 18 years after Ayrton Senna in the 1991 Formula One Championship;
- he would be the fifth Brazilian automobile World Champion after Emerson Fittipaldi, Nelson Piquet and Ayrton Senna (F1) and Raul Boesel (Sportscars).


Liqui Moly Team Engstler will run three additional BMW 320SI cars for local drivers at Macau. Alongside regulars Franz Engstler - who is fighting for a podium position in the Independents' Trophy - and Kristian Poulsen, the German outfit will field Henry Ho, Liu Lic Ka and Joseph Rosa Merszei.

Ho, 27 years old and three times winner of the Macau Touring Car Championship, already joined the team in the previous event at Okayama, scoring one point in the Independents' Throphy by finishing eighth in Race 1.

Both Liu Lic Ka (38 years old) and Joe Merszei (35) are facing their maiden WTCC appearance. The former is also a regular in the Macau Touring Cars, while the latter has mostly driven singleseaters in the Malaysian Formula Campus and the Asian F2000, Formula V6, Formula Renault and Formula 3 series.


Japanes driver Takayuki Aoki will make his return to WTCC and the Wiechers-Sport team for the event in Macau.

Aoki made his first WTCC appearance last year, when he raced in the three final race meetings at the wheel of a Wiechers-Sport BMW 320si. His best results were two fourth places in the Independents' Race 1 at Monza and Okayama.

This year he joins the team's regular Stefano D'Aste and will face among the others his fellow countryman Nobuteru Taniguchi who drives a BMW car run by Proteam Motorsport.


Macanese driver Lei Kit Meng was the last addition to the strong 29-car field that will take part in the final meeting at Macau.

The 42-year-old Lei will race a BMW 320si run jointly by China Dragon Racing and RPM Racing Team Macau. This is the same car that took part in last year's WTCC events at Okayama and Macau in the hands of Melvin Choo from Singapore.

Lei's racing career includes seasons in the Asian, Chinese and Macau Touring Car series as well as a number of participations in the Macau Formula 3 Grand Prix.

COUNTDOWN: - 9 DAYS to the 2009 FIA WTCC Marriott Guia Race of Macau - 20th / 22nd November, in Macau

-credit: wtcc

BMW Motorsport newsletter 2009-11-11

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