Pre-season newsletter 2008-02-08

FIRST TEST FOR THE N.TECHNOLOGY HONDA concluded their first test towards the 2008 FIA WTCC in Valencia with James Thompson at the wheel of the Honda Accord Euro R Super 2000. "The car has a good base," said Thompson. "This test...

FIRST TEST FOR THE N.TECHNOLOGY HONDA concluded their first test towards the 2008 FIA WTCC in Valencia with James Thompson at the wheel of the Honda Accord Euro R Super 2000.

"The car has a good base," said Thompson. "This test was primarily used for the team and I to get to know the car and that went well. We still have plenty of work to do before our season starts but this was a starting point. It's a work in progress!" will be looking to carry on last year's end-of-season form, which saw Thompson score more points in the second half of the season than any other driver on his way to finish third in the championship.

"This car is a totally different package from the Alfa Romeo 156," added Thompson. "But the challenge is similar in that we have to develop the car quickly to be competitive. That's something are extremely good at though and the Honda package as a starting point is good. We still have work to do but as a first test, things went well. The car has great potential."


Busy days for the BMW drivers in view of the start of the FIA WTCC season.

After they tested in Valencia, Andy Priaulx, Jorg Muller, Augusto Farfus and Felix Porteiro headed to Southern Bavaria where they are taking part in a fitness camp. Their sporting activities include cross country skiing, trekking, climbing and even Zen meditation to improve their power of concentration.

On Monday the four drivers will take part in a Media Day at the BMW headquarters in Munich, where they will meet a group of readers of daily newspapers and radio listeners. Trained by the drivers in the use of the WTCC computer game, the guets will face each other in the "Challenge the Champions" competition that awards two invitations to the first European WTCC event in Valencia.

After the Media Day, Priaulx, Muller, Farfus and Porteiro will be given a tour of the BMW plant in Munich - together with the BMW Motorsport Director Mario Theissen - and will finish the day with a long autograph session at the plant.


Tiago Monteiro returned to the Estoril circuit for a day of test with SEAT Sport. It was the first chance for the Portuguese driver to drive the SEAT Leon TDI he will be using in the FIA WTCC. Tiago's work was more intense in the afternoon, when the track was dry. Therefore he was able to test new shock absorbers that gave him some good sensations. At the end of the day he was satisfied with the development and his adaptation to the new car.

"The TDI is 80 kg heavier than the petrol-powered Leon TFSI I drove last year and so the handling is very different," Monteiro said. "But we are on the right track and everything indicates that our results are positive."

Tiago Monteiro's next test session with the SEAT Leon TDI is planned at the Albacete circuit in Spain.


German team Engstler Motorsport had their first roll out with the BMW 320si cars they will run in the 2008 FIA World Touring Car Championship. In the past few weeks the team have worked very hard to build the new cars and immediately after finishing they headed to Hockenheim to shake them down.

Team manager Kurt Treml commented: "We have put so much into this programme. It is a big challenge for the team and now we have finally started on-track activities."

Team owner Franz Engstler, who tested alongside his Russian team-mate Andrey Romanov, was impressed: "I won't forget about this first roll out. We were all eager to see if everything worked like it should and the whole team did a great job."


After having fought for the 2007 WTCC Independents' Trophy crown, Belgian driver Pierre-Yves Corthals is now ready for a second season with the Exagon Engineering team directed by Luc Marchetti. Like last year Corthals will be at the wheel of a SEAT Leon TFSI backed by SEAT Belgique and Monroe.

"I claimed three victories in 2007 and only a few mishaps, especially some race incidents for which I was not responsible, prevented me from doing better. Last year the team and I have gained a lot of experience, and we definitely intend to benefit from that to try and win the title," said Corthals.

-credit: fiawtcc

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About this article
Series WTCC
Drivers Andy Priaulx , Tiago Monteiro , Augusto Farfus , Franz Engstler , Felix Porteiro , Pierre-Yves Corthals , Mario Theissen , Andrey Romanov