Pau: Series preview

CAZENAVE REPLACES TIELEMANS IN PAU Laurent Cazenave will replace Olivier Tielemans at the wheel of the Wiechers-Sport BMW 320si car for the WTCC meeting in Pau. A 33-year old from Pau, Cazenave makes his WTCC maiden appearance on his home ...

CAZENAVE REPLACES TIELEMANS IN PAU

Laurent Cazenave will replace Olivier Tielemans at the wheel of the Wiechers-Sport BMW 320si car for the WTCC meeting in Pau.

A 33-year old from Pau, Cazenave makes his WTCC maiden appearance on his home circuit. Since 1995 he has emerged as one of the fastest amateur drivers in French car racing. Further to a couple of single-seater seasons (he classified third in the 1997 Formula Ford B championship) Cazenave switched to covered wheels: touring cars first and GT later. He achieved brilliant results in the French Super Production Championship (third in 2000) before moving to the FFSA GT Championship in 2001. In this latter series he has shared Porsche, Chrysler and Corvette cars with his fellow citizen (and former ETCC driver) Eric Cayrolle achieving race wins and podiums.

"Tielemans cannot race in Pau because he is recovering from a minor health problem. Luckily we had the opportunity to make an agreement with Cazenave in such a short time. We are happy with this, because we believe that the team will benefit a lot from his experience of the track," Wiechers-Sport team manager Dominik Greiner said.

DRIVERS PARADED THROUGH THE CITY CENTRE

The WTCC Race of France got underway in Pau, with two successful promotional days.

Activities began on Thursday afternoon at the Quartier Libre shopping malll, where some of the drivers competed against fans using the Race simulators, the official WTCC videogame.

Later the drivers paraded along the city's central streets, eventually arriving at the City Hall in Place Royale, where they were received by the Mayor, Madame Martine Lignères-Cassou, who officially opened the 68th Grand Prix de Pau.

On Friday afternoon, after attending the briefing, the drivers reached the Maître Kanter restaurant in rue Alfred de Lassence to meet the fans in a crowded autograph session.

EXTENDED QUALIFYING SESSION IN PAU

Like in 2007, the WTCC competitors will benefit from extended qualifying sessions on the street circuits.

Tomorrow in Pau, Saturday's usual 30-minute qualifying session will last 45 minutes: from 15.00 to 15.45 local time.

The same will apply at Macau, on the occasion of the season's final race meeting.

BUREAU'S MAKE BMW AND HONDA LIGHTER

In their effort to make performances on the track as equal as possible, the FIA Touring Car Bureau have issued two decisions that will have effect from the event in Pau and until further notice. Both decisions concern a reduction of the cars' minimum weight:

- all BMW cars: minus 15 kg

- all Honda cars: minus 20 kg

These reductions will be applied to the cars' total weight including the success ballast.

PRIAULX AND ENGSTLER UNDER OBSERVATION

From this week's event in Pau, the WTCC Stewards will pay special attention to Andy Priaulx and Franz Engstler's behaviour on the track. In fact both drivers received a suspended ten-grid-position drop after they were involved in different collisions during the championship's previous race meeting at Valencia.

Priaulx had a clash with BMW fellow driver Augusto Farfus at the start of the first race; his penalty will remain suspended for the next two events: Pau and Brno.

Engstler collided with fellow Independent competitor Olivier Tielemans during the second race; his penalty will remain suspended for the next three events: Pau, Brno and Estoril.

WTCC MAGAZINE TO FOCUS ON INDEPENDENTS

From the next issue, that will be published on Tuesday, June 3rd, the WTCC Magazine will dedicate a three/four minute feature to the competitors of the Independents' Trophy.

In each issue of the magazine, dedicated footage, reports, interviews and stories will be focusing on privateer drivers and their teams. The WTCC Magazine is aired by Eurosport on the Tuesday evening after each race meeting and is distributed to thirty TV channels worldwide.

EUROSPORT LIVE COVERAGE FROM PAU

Saturday, 31st:
Qualifying - LIVE Eurosport 2, 15.00/15.45

Sunday, 1st:
Warm up - LIVE Eurosport International, 08.30/09.30
Race 1 - LIVE Eurosport 2, 11.45/12.45
Race 2 - LIVE Eurosport International, 15.00/16.30

Times are CET (Central European Time)

COUNTDOWN: - 2 DAYS

-credit: fiawtcc.com

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About this article
Series WTCC
Drivers Andy Priaulx , Augusto Farfus , Eric Cayrolle , Franz Engstler , Olivier Tielemans , Laurent Cazenave