Newsletter 2005-07-15

PEUGEOT JOIN IN THE FIVE LAST EVENTS Peugeot Denmark will take part in the final meetings of the 2005 FIA World Touring Car Championship with one Peugeot 407 car. The programme will be run by the Peugeot Sport Denmark team, the same that last...

PEUGEOT JOIN IN THE FIVE LAST EVENTS

Peugeot Denmark will take part in the final meetings of the 2005 FIA World Touring Car Championship with one Peugeot 407 car.

The programme will be run by the Peugeot Sport Denmark team, the same that last year took part in selected rounds of the FIA European Touring Car Championship with Peugeot 307 cars driven by Jan Magnussen, Jason Watt and Sandro Sardelli. Peugeot Sport within their activity in support of sporting customers and importers is cooperating closely with the Danish team in the car's technical development, and will also supply their own works drivers Soheil Ayari and Eric Helary, who are currently committed to the French Supertourisme Championship.

The two Frenchmen will alternate at the wheel in the remaining events, with Ayari having the honour of driving the Peugeot 407 on its maiden appearance, in two weeks at Spa- Francorchamps. Ayari has already tested the car in Magny-Cours last week.

The Danish team have been running and developing the Peugeot 407 in Super 2000 specs since the beginning of the season, and one car, driven by Johan Stureson, is also competing in the Swedish Touring Car Championship.

HUGE INCREASE IN TV AUDIENCES FOR THE FIA WTCC

TNS Sport, appointed by KSO to track TV audiences of the 2005 FIA World Touring Car Championship events, have released their first report which comprises of information about the five race meetings held so far.

Audience tracking methodology : TNS Sport have measured the `average audience' (for each highlight shorter than 26 minutes, taking also into consideration the average audience of the programmes in which FIA WTCC features were included, such as Pitlane on RAI, Auto Moto on TF1, Sport Reportage on ZDF, etc.) and the `reach audience' for each highlight or live programme longer than 26 minutes.

Evaluation and projection: TNS Sport have measured a 138 million cumulative audience in the first five race meetings. After only five events, the FIA WTCC's audiences have been 2.5 times larger than the overall figures for the 2004 FIA ETCC. On the basis of the broadcasting agreements between KSO and TV channels and especially the live feed on ZDF and TVE a 278 million total audience for the whole 2005 season has been estimated, which would mean a 450 % increase compared to 2004.

MENU: IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF LUIS CHEVROLET

Chevrolet's return to its motor sport roots with the FIA WTCC programme was also the occasion to retrace the footsteps of Louis Chevrolet, born in 1878 in Switzerland and founder of the company.

To celebrate him, Chevrolet organised a pilgrimage for three groups of 25 international journalists to Louis's hometown, Bonfol in the Jura region, where he went to school and undertook an apprenticeship as a mechanic in a bicycle shop.

The tour was guided by Alain Menu, a Swiss driver like Louis, and ended on the racetrack of Poully en Auxois, where the journalists attended a short driving stage at the wheel of Chevrolet Lacetti WTCC R+ cars.

MAN OF THE WEEK: FABRIZIO GIOVANARDI

Fabrizio Giovanardi drives for the Alfa Romeo Racing Team. After winning the 2001 and 2002 FIA ETCC titles, the following years were not as successful. Some thought his racing career was fading but after wins in Imola and Puebla he is currently lying 2nd in the Drivers' Championship.

What is the key to your success this year? "Hard work from me and the team. Most drivers experience ups and downs in their career, and adapting to changes is difficult. Now I am 100% happy with my car and believe that I can win the championship."

What has been the highlight of your season so far? "My first win in Imola, because it was a break through and I began to get a really good feeling for the car. Puebla was also a success, all the Alfa cars were competitive and my race win was great."

What are your expectations of Spa? "I am confident because I only have 10kg more ballast than in Puebla. However, it is a totally different track; a difficult track. Every point counts so it is important to be careful and not go for a race win at all costs."

FLASH NEWS

TESTING: At the request of the teams, the FIA has authorized a 30-minute test session in Spa (Thursday 26th July, from 18.00 to 18.30), in order to check the cars after their voyage back from Mexico.

CHEVROLET: A group of children of the organisation `SOS Villages Enfants' will be invited to Spa by Chevrolet. The children will also enjoy a ride onboard five Chevrolet Lacetti WTCC R+ cars around the Belgian racetrack.

FIA CUP: The new FIA European Touring Car Cup, to be held in Vallelunga on October 16, 2005, has its own website: www.fiaetcc.com. Information on the event may be found there, along with regular updates from the different national Touring Car championships whose drivers are eligible for the Cup.

THEY SAID: QUOTE OF THE WEEK

Soheil Ayari, looking forward to his debut at Spa: "We have to consider that our car is brand new, and it has only completed two half days of testing at Magny-Cours. My first impression was that it has a good racing potential, like all the Peugeot cars, but now we have to work on its development. I'm very excited to get back to international racing, although I know that the FIA WTCC is very tough for newcomers."

-fia-

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About this article
Series WTCC
Drivers Fabrizio Giovanardi , Jan Magnussen , Eric Helary , Jason Watt , Soheil Ayari , Alain Menu