Newsletter 2005-06-10

FIA WTCC NEWSLETTER 10th June 2005 SEAT SPORT ENTER PLATO IN PUEBLA Jason Plato will drive SEAT Sport's fourth car again in Puebla, alongside the team's regular drivers Rydell, Gene and Terting. Plato, whose priority is racing for SEAT Sport...

10th June 2005


Jason Plato will drive SEAT Sport's fourth car again in Puebla, alongside the team's regular drivers Rydell, Gene and Terting. Plato, whose priority is racing for SEAT Sport UK in the British Touring Car Championship, had already joined the FIA WTCC team in the two previous events in Silverstone (where he claimed second position in Race 2 behind team-mate Rydell) and Imola. He was not expected to race in Puebla, as according to SEAT Sport's original plans, his next appearance in the FIA WTCC was due to be in Spa. "We have decided to bring him to Puebla as a reward for the excellent results he's achieving with our cars, in both the BTCC where he claimed two podiums on Sunday in Brands Hatch and the FIA WTCC," SEAT Sport director Jaime Puig explained.


The Touring Car Bureau decided that, until further notice, front-wheel drive cars will continue to benefit from the 20-kg reduction of the minimum weight, as in Silverstone and Imola.


For the first time this year two drivers carry the maximum handicap weight of 60 kg: Dirk Muller and Andy Priaulx, who are currently first and second in the Drivers' Championship. A total of 340 kg of ballast are split between eleven different cars, covering all the works drivers of the three premiere Manufacturers (Alfa Romeo, BMW and SEAT), except Alessandro Zanardi. Therefore the latter has a good chance to go for a win in Puebla, like Jorg Muller and James Thompson (who have only 10 extra kilos) or Jordi Gene and Jason Plato (who have 5).


The voyage of the Mexican vessel `Campeche' is proceeding according to schedule. After having left Bermerhaven last week, with the FIA WTCC cars and materials onboard, the ship paid a short stop in Le Havre before sailing through the Atlantic Ocean She is currently mid-way between Africa and America, and is due to dock in Vera Cruz on Thursday 17th June, in the early morning, as scheduled.

Meanwhile, team coordinator Nunzia Corvino and the Mexican event promoter have finalized the travelling plan to move drivers, teams, officers and organisation staff from Europe to Mexico, for a total of nearly 350 people.


Carl Rosenblad of Crawford Racing is `Man of the Week'. He won the Independent category in Magny-Cours and is currently second in the Independents' Trophy. How do you feel you have progressed this season? "From the start of the 2004 season we have been improving and this year we are able to use what we had learned. I am very happy and expect us to get even better."

What are your chances of winning the Independents' Trophy? "I don't think Marc Hennerici is unbeatable. I had a disappointing start in Monza with zero points but the same happened to Marc at Imola. It is going to be difficult, but not impossible." What do you expect from the next races? "Puebla will be very interesting and exciting. I am hoping all my bad luck has been and gone so I can get some good results."


PUEBLA: The new look of the Autodromo Miguel E. Abed at Amozoc will be unveiled to the Mexican press on Friday, June 17th. After the inaugural ceremony, journalists will have the opportunity to drive Alfa Romeo, BMW, Chevrolet and SEAT road cars on the rebuilt racetrack. A number of FIA WTCC drivers will also attend the media day.

SEAT SPORT: Testing of the new SEAT Leon Cupra for the FIA WTCC have begun this week. Jordi Gene was behind the wheel of the new car that is due to make its racing debut in August at Oschersleben.

CORONEL: Just before flying to Mexico, Tom Coronel will take part in the Le Mans 24 Hours, on June 18th and 19th. The Dutchman will race in the GT2 class with a Sypker C8; he will share the car with fellow countrymen Crevels and van Merksteijn.

HONDA: Tomas Engstrom, who took part in the FIA WTCC opening meeting at Monza, won the second round of the Swedish Touring Car Championship in Karlskoga, achieving the very first win of a Honda Accord Euro R in S2000 specs.


Yvan Muller, interviewed by Motor Sport News, about his visit to FIA WTCC in Imola: "I was impressed with the championship. It is one of the possibilities for me, like it has always been. I talked to some of the teams but it is only the beginning of June." Robert Huff, interviewed by "In my first two years in touring cars I've had Jason Plato, Alain Menu and Nicola Larini I don't think you could have three better teachers if you tried. They're three completely different characters, but three fantastic legendary drivers."


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About this article
Series WTCC
Drivers Andy Priaulx , Tom Coronel , Jorg Muller , Carl Rosenblad , Yvan Muller , James Thompson , Jason Plato , Jordi Gene , Nicola Larini , Tomas Engstrom , Jaime Puig , Alain Menu