Puebla: Series preview

THREE MEN IN ONE POINT SEAT Sport team-mates Yvan Muller and Gabriele Tarquini arrive in Puebla as co-leaders of the Drivers' Championship after they won one race apiece in the season's opening meeting at Curitiba, Brazil. "After only one...

THREE MEN IN ONE POINT

SEAT Sport team-mates Yvan Muller and Gabriele Tarquini arrive in Puebla as co-leaders of the Drivers' Championship after they won one race apiece in the season's opening meeting at Curitiba, Brazil.

"After only one event it is difficult to say that any team is the favourite to win the championship. We have exactly the same chances as BMW," said Muller.

And Tarquini agreed: "SEAT won in Brazil but we didn't dominate the races. The BMW was the fastest car. What we did better than the rest was to exploit our car's performance in both the qualifying and the races."

Reigning World Champion Andy Priaulx is currently lying third, only one point behind. "In our last visit here in 2006 we all had to cope with difficult conditions as the track was breaking up. However, I did prove you must never give up as I battled through to seventh position in race two from 18th on the grid, despite a full 80 kilos of ballast. I am confident the organisers have done their best to improve all the facilities," said the BMW UK man.

DRIVERS MEET FANS IN PUEBLA

The FIA WTCC drivers took part this afternoon in a promotional event that officially launched the championship's second race meeting to be held this weekend in Puebla, Mexico.

The event was organised with the support of Puebla's Municipal Institute for Sports.

Onboard pick-up trucks, the drivers paraded through the city's main streets - including the elegant Avenida Juarez - until they reached the Zocalo, Puebla's central square, where Rydell's SEAT, Larini's Chevrolet and Romanov's BMW were exhibited in front of the Cathedral. At the Zocalo, the drivers attended a one-hour autograph session that attracted a large crowd.

IN MEMORY OF DAVID LESLIE

Former Touring Car ace and Eurosport commentator David Leslie perished last Sunday at the age of 54 in a private plane crash in Farnborough, Kent. Leslie was killed along with the two pilots and two other passengers, one of them was motorsport team boss Richard Lloyd.

During his long racing career Leslie was five times Scottish karting champion before winning the British Formula Ford title in 1978. He had spells in Formula Three, Sportscars and Thunder Saloons before establishing himself as a race winner in the British Touring Car Championship at the wheel of Vauxhall, Honda and Nissan cars, some of them prepared by Chevrolet WTCC team boss Ray Mallock.

Later he brought his expertise and enthusiasm to Eurosport and for nearly ten years provided racing analysis co-commentating the FIA European and World Touring Car Championships together with Martin Haven.

THOMPSON TO RACE IN DENMARK

James Thompson will drive for Hartmann Honda Racing in the Danish Touring Car Championship, when he will not be racing for N.technology in the FIA WTCC.

The team announced that - with the support of Honda Denmark - they have signed an agreement with Honda Motor Europe and their technical partners JAS Motorsport to field two Honda Accord Euro R cars fitted with the newest engine and suspension specifications.

With the co-operation of N-technology, Hartmann Honda Racing will run one car for James Thompson alongside that of their regular driver Jens Reno Muller.

"I will not want to make up the numbers in Denmark," James Thompson said. "The guys at Hartmann are very enthusiastic, and I see no reason why we cannot win races or be on the podium consistently."

-credit: fiawtcc.com

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About this article
Series WTCC
Drivers Andy Priaulx , Yvan Muller , David Leslie , James Thompson , Richard Lloyd , Gabriele Tarquini , Ray Mallock