Racing season newsletter 2005-08-05

FIA WTCC NEWSLETTER NO. 28 5th August 2005 RESULTS FROM SPA REMAIN PROVISIONAL Results from the 11th and 12th rounds of the FIA WTCC, held last week in Spa, remain provisional, pending technical checks (the ECU...

NO. 28 5th August 2005


Results from the 11th and 12th rounds of the FIA WTCC, held last week in Spa, remain provisional, pending technical checks (the ECU of Farfus' Alfa Romeo, sealed by the Scrutineers after he set pole position on Friday) and the two appeals lodged by Alfa Romeo racing against as many sporting decisions taken by the Stewards.

The Italian team appealed against the 3-second penalty inflicted on Stefano D'Aste in Race 2 and the decision to consider the collision between Gabriele Tarquini and Antonio García at the end of Race 2, a normal race incident. The FIA Court of Appeal is due to meet after the championship's next event in Oschersleben (August 28th).

Alfa Romeo's third appeal, against Farfus' exclusion from Race 1 due to a collision with Jörg Müller, has been withdrawn. Müller will be dropped by ten positions on the starting grid for Oschersleben's Race 1, having been considered jointly liable for the incident.


Official figures of on site attendance for the meeting in Spa say that 77,000 people attended between Thursday and Saturday, the days of the FIA WTCC track activities. Meaning an increase of 28 % compared to the spectators who came to the Belgian track for the same period in 2004.

The average attendance in the current season so far, totals 45,500 per event.


SEAT's presence in the FIA World Touring Car Championship makes another step forward with the addition of Stéphane Ortelli in a Toledo Cupra car run by Team Oreca and supported by SEAT France.

Ortelli, 35 year old, born in France but citizen of the Principality of Monaco, will take part in the championship's next three meetings: Oschersleben (28 August), Istanbul (18 September) and Valencia (2 October) alongside SEAT Sport's works drivers Rickard Rydell, Jordi Gené and Peter Terting, and the two GR Asia Team's Independents, Tom Coronel and Valle Mäkelä.

Hugues De Chaunac's Team Oreca have achieved success in every category: single seaters, sportscars and touring cars (the 1994 French Supertourisme title with Yvan Muller and BMW). As for Ortelli who has recently established himself as one of the best sportscar drivers (twice FIA GT champion in the N-GT class for Porsche), had touring car experiences in the early Nineties at the wheel of Peugeot and BMW cars.


In Oschersleben it will be Eric Hélary's turn to drive the Peugeot 407 run by the Peugeot Sport Denmark team. The French car made its maiden appearance in the championship at Spa, in the hands of Soheil Ayari.

Hélary, 39 years old from Paris, is a Touring Car veteran, having claimed a number of race wins in the French and German championships. He is currently Peugeot Sport's works driver in the French Supertourisme, and his tie to the French Manufacturer dates back to 1993, when he won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in a Peugeot 905.

DE MICHELI'S RETURN IN OSCHERSLEBEN After missing the previous meeting in Spa, JAS Motorsport's Adriano De Micheli will rejoin in Oschersleben.

"My car was badly damaged after the crash in Puebla," he said. "It was not possible to repair it in time. Now I'm looking forward to positive results in Oschersleben. I've had enough bad luck this year, I do hope that the second part of the season could give the team and myself what we really deserve."

Team principal Alessandro Mariani added: "The more you eat, the more you are hungry. In Spa, like in Puebla, only unlucky circumstances prevented us from achieving the results that would reward our efforts. The JAS Team and the Honda Accord are today generally perceived as top contenders in the FIA WTCC, but this is not enough. We are still missing the icing on the cake. There are still 8 races to go, and we'll try harder."


Monica Sipsz is our first woman of the week. She has been Team Manager of Alfa Romeo touring car team for twelve years.

What is your role as Team Manager? "I overlook every aspect of the team so I could be involved in anything from the drivers to budget decisions. It's difficult to explain because there is not a fixed set of duties but basically there is nothing I do not deal with!"

What is it like being one of very few women in motorsport management? "At the beginning it wasn't easy. But when people realise you know the job and are valuable to the team, you are accepted. The most important thing is how hard you work."

How is the 2005 season going? "This season has been hard so far. It is extremely competitive out there but that is how it should be. The organisation has done a great job in balancing the performances in the championship. The FIA WTCC is one of the best Championships in the world."

Will an Alfa Romeo man be the 2005 Champion? "I really hope so. Our job is to try and win everywhere, and have one or more of our drivers fighting for the title until the last race."


LIVE ON ZDF: For the third consecutive meeting the FIA WTCC will be broadcast live in the hosting Country by a major terrestrial TV channel. After the races in Puebla were aired on TV Azteca and those in Spa on RTL TVI, the 13th and 14th rounds in Oschersleben will be live on ZDF.


Chevrolet Motorsport Manager Eric Nève, on the `SOS Children Villages' laps in Spa: "One girl asked Rob Huff to go as fast as he could, which he duly did. A blind young man, who had traveled on his own from Cherbourg to Spa, could tell from the gearshifts and revs where exactly we were on the track."


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About this article
Series WTCC
Drivers Jorg Muller , Stéphane Ortelli , Eric Helary , Peter Terting , Soheil Ayari , Valle Makela , Rob Huff , Gabriele Tarquini , Jordi Gene , Stefano D'Aste