Monza: Pre-race newsletter

FIA WTCC RACE OF ITALY READY TO START The new season of the FIA World Touring Car Championship will get underway tomorrow morning at 9.00, when the 35 cars will hit the Monza track for the first free practice. As a prelude to the first round,...

FIA WTCC RACE OF ITALY READY TO START

The new season of the FIA World Touring Car Championship will get underway tomorrow morning at 9.00, when the 35 cars will hit the Monza track for the first free practice. As a prelude to the first round, WTCC cars were displayed in front of Milan's Corso Vittorio Emanuele yesterday. In beautiful and historic settings, alongside the Duomo, thousands of people viewed the racing cars throughout the afternoon.

The crowds then gathered for the autograph session. Italian drivers Gabriele Tarquini, Nicola Larini, Diego Romanini, Davide Roda, Salvatore Tavano and Stefano D'Aste were joined by Marcel Costa, Augusto Farfus, and 2005 world champion Andy Priaulx.

1200 FREE TICKETS FOR MONZA SCHOOLBOYS

Within the promotional actions set up by KSO and the Autodromo di Monza for the opening meeting of the FIA WTCC season, is a distribution of 1200 free admission tickets to Monza schoolboys.

Approved by the Education Councillor of Monza Municipality, prof. Paolo Pilotto, this action will cover 16 secondary schools in Monza and its sorroundings.

NEW HANDICAP WEIGHTS COME INTO FORCE

The first effects of the new FIA WTCC handicap weights will begin to bite from the first two races of the season.

The new system provides an automatic 20-kg ballast for all the cars from their first appearance in the championship. From the second event onwards, handicaps will change according to the points scored by each driver in the previous meetings and the championship classifications. The maximum handicap weight applicable is 80 kg.

FOR THE FANS: FIA WTCC DVD AND VIDEO GAME

The FIA WTCC moves another step towards its fans, with the production of a DVD and a video game.

Produced by Eurosport in English and Italian, the DVD consists of one-hour highlights of the 2005 season plus extra contents; it is distributed worldwide through the Italian company Cinehollywood and may be ordered on-line at www.mondocorse.it.

Eurosport and experienced Sweden-based SimBin have signed a deal for the production of the FIA WTCC official video game that will be launched on the market just after the end of the current season. "This is an agreement that we have worked hard to achieve, actually since 2004, and it is most inspiring to finally have reached the goal," said Henrik Roos, CEO of SimBin.

BIG TV FIGURES FOR THE 2006 FIA WTCC

The new season of the FIA World Touring Car Championship is ready to get underway in Monza with a number of improvements in the TV field.

Eurosport, the championship's host broadcaster and rights owner, is making a very strong effort to enhance production, distribution and coverage. An effort that is testified by big figures.

TV PRODUCTION ­ A team of 60 people, with a minimum of 25 cameras, will be on site to produce up to 15 hours per weekend. Among the new features are a Jimmy Jib camera, for special aerial views, and a Pole-Cam camera, for innovative shots of the starting grid from the above. The number of on-board digital cameras has doubled to 10, three of them remotely controlled.

HIGH DEFINITION ­ The FIA WTCC is the first motorsport Championship produced in High Definition. All European Events will be produced in both, Standard and High Definition. Live feed delivery will cover both free practice sessions and the qualifying session plus interviews on Saturday. Both races with podiums and interviews on Sunday. In addition to this, News Access will be produced on Saturday and Sunday afternoon (3 and 5 minutes respectively), while the 26-minute FIA WTCC Magazine will be produced and delivered for the first time on Sunday evening.

TV DISTRIBUTION ­ New deals have been signed to have TV coverage in all the five continents. Among the addition to the list of terrestrial TV channels are Turkey's Kanal D and CNN (all races live), Russia's TV7 (all races live), Portugal's SIC News (26-min highlights), Mexico's Sicom (all races live or delayed), UK's ITV1 (Brands Hatch live), Brazil's Bandeirantes (5-min highlights from all events, Curitiba live), New Zealand's Prime (26-min highlights), China's Beijing TV, Shanghai TV and Guangdong TV (26-min highlights from all the events, Macau live) and Malaysia's RTM (26-min highlights from all the events, Macau live). The FIA WTCC will be also seen on important Pan-Regional cable/satellite channels like Eurosport, Eurosport World, Ten Sport, Zee Sport, Goara (Japan), Fox Sport Latin America, Dubai Sport Channel and Supersport Africa. The goal is to reach an audience of 450 million viewers during the season, meaning an 30% increase compared to 2005.

TV PROGRAMMING ­ Eurosport and Eurosport 2 start the season in Monza with a massive 10-hours of coverage from Thursday March 30, to Thursday April 6. This will include live broadcasting of Qualifying (Saturday at 3.00 PM CET), Warm-up (Sunday at 9.00 AM) and both Races (Sunday from 2.50 PM).

THE FIA WTCC'S NEW WEBSITE IS ONLINE

The FIA World Touring Car Championship's new official website is on line from today. Built by the experienced team of www.eurosport.com the website maintains the same address www.fiawtcc.com and the basic informative contents about the championship. However it has become faster and more fan-friendly, also offering dynamic contents such as videos and audios, plus free live video streaming from the races.

The website is also available in four other languages: French (www.fiawtcc.fr), German (www.fiawtcc.de), Italian (www.fiawtcc.it) and Spanish (www.fiawtcc.es).

LATEST CHANGES TO DRIVER LINE-UP

Roberto Colciago replaces Gianni Calabrese in the SEAT Sport Italia team.
- Elio Marchetti replaces Adriano De Micheli in the DB Motorsport team.

-fia-

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About this article
Series WTCC
Drivers Andy Priaulx , Augusto Farfus , Marcel Costa , Henrik Roos , Gabriele Tarquini , Salvatore Tavano , Stefano D'Aste , Nicola Larini , Roberto Colciago , Diego Romanini , Davide Roda , Elio Marchetti