Oschersleben: Series preview

ROUTE TO: OSCHERSLEBEN, GERMANY Rounds 17th and 18th of the FIA WTCC will take place next week in Germany, at Oschersleben's Motorsport Arena on September 6th. The German track, located in the Bode region some 30 km from the city of Magdeburg,...

ROUTE TO: OSCHERSLEBEN, GERMANY

Rounds 17th and 18th of the FIA WTCC will take place next week in Germany, at Oschersleben's Motorsport Arena on September 6th.

The German track, located in the Bode region some 30 km from the city of Magdeburg, is a traditional venue for the FIA Touring Cars having hosted the European Touring Car Championship from 2001 to 2004 and the World Touring Car Championship from 2005. The WTCC meeting is also one of the fans' favourites as it usually attracts large crowds.

Oschersleben is regarded as BMW's home circuit. Not only because it is in Germany, but also because the BMW drivers have managed to win twelve out of the fourteen S2000 races held there so far, with Andy Priaulx claiming four victories. The Bavarian cars were only defeated at Oschersleben twice by SEAT.

Last year's races were won by BMW Team Germany's Augusto Farfus and BMW Team Italy-Spain's Felix Porteiro.

THE WTCC RESUMES FOR A GRAND FINALE

The WTCC resumes in Oschersleben after a six-week summer break. The German event opens the final part of the season and it will be followed by the last European meeting (Imola, 20th September) and the long leap to the Far East (Okayama, 1st November and Macau, 22nd November).

The championship looks set for a grand finale, landing in Oschersleben with a strong 27-car field.

With 8 races to go, the fight for the world titles is wide open. Three men are covered by only six points in the Drivers' Championship: Yvan Muller (82 points), Gabriele Tarquini (77) and Augusto Farfus (76). But with 80 points still at stake, four others may also have a shot at the title: Rickard Rydell (54), Robert Huff (53), Jorg Muller (52) and Andy Priaulx (48).

In the Manufacturers' Championship only 10 points separate the leader SEAT from BMW.

In the Independents' Trophy, Felix Porteiro has a 16-point lead ahead of Tom Coronel, while Franz Engstler is a further 25 points adrift.

Compensation weight Oschersleben
+ 40 kg BMW 320si, SEAT Leon TDI, Chevrolet Lacetti
+ 30 kg Chevrolet Cruze LT
= 0 kg BMW 320si Zanardi
- 20 kg LADA 110, LADA Priora, SEAT Leon TFSI

CORONEL DETERMINED TO FINISH THE SEASON

Despite the decision of SEAT Holland to stop funding his participation to the FIA WTCC, Tom Coronel is determined to finish the season.

Earlier this week SEAT's Dutch importer Pon Car, announced the decision to stop the WTCC programme after the events in Oschersleben and Imola, due to financial reasons related to the decrease in car sales.

"It is a big disappointment, because Japan and Macau are very special places to me. I fully respect the motivations behind the Pon Car's decision. They have always given me tremendous support and the fact that I have been racing in WTCC for the last five years is fully due to their efforts. However, myself and SUNRED Engineering are keen to finish the season, especially as we are still in contention for the Independents' Trophy. So we are looking for the budget that will enable us to race in Okayama and Macau. I never give up, so I will try everything I can to complete this mission," said Coronel.

DANISH DRIVERS JOIN WTCC IN GERMANY

Two Danish drivers will join the championship at the German event: Michel Nykjær and Jason Watt. For both of them this will be their first appearance in the FIA WTCC.

Nykjær, currently second in the Danish Touring Car Championship behind James Thompson and twice a winner of the FIA European Touring Car Cup (2007 and 2008), will be at the wheel of a Chevrolet Lacetti car run by Perfection Racing. As this is the first time in the current season a Lacetti is entered in the championship, Nykjær's car will be laden with 40kg of compensation weight. However, 30kg of this handicap will be scrapped because of two decisions issued by the Bureau during the previous years (27/07/2006_1 and 26/02/2008_6).

Watt, who is currently fourth in the Danish Touring Car Championship, will drive a petrol-powered SEAT Leon entered by Team Bygma. His previous and only appearance in the FIA Touring Cars dates back to the 2004 European Championship, when he raced at Donington in a Peugeot 307.Watt's racing career suffered a serious blow in 1999; after finishing runner up in the FIA Formula 3000 championship he lost the use of his legs following a motorcycle crash. He came back the year after, using driving aid systems to race in touring cars, and in 2002 he managed to clinch the Danish title.

COUNTDOWN: - 9 DAYS to the 2009 FIA WTCC Race of Germany - 5th / 6th September, in Oschersleben

-credit: wtcc

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About this article
Series WTCC
Drivers Andy Priaulx , Tom Coronel , Jorg Muller , James Thompson , Augusto Farfus , Jason Watt , Franz Engstler , Felix Porteiro , Rickard Rydell , Gabriele Tarquini