Racing season newsletter 2006-07-07

NEXT STOP: PUEBLA-AMOZOC, MEXICO The first overseas event of the 2006 FIA WTCC season has just been put in the archives, and already a new one is impending. The 11th and 12th rounds of the championship will be held at the Autódromo Miguel E....

NEXT STOP: PUEBLA-AMOZOC, MEXICO

The first overseas event of the 2006 FIA WTCC season has just been put in the archives, and already a new one is impending. The 11th and 12th rounds of the championship will be held at the Autódromo Miguel E. Abed located in Amozoc, 20 km from the city of Puebla, Mexico.

After rounding the mid season buoy, the fights for both the Drivers' and Manufacturers' titles are still very close. BMW team UK's reigning world champion Andy Priaulx is back in solo lead, having scored four victories and 44 points so far. However he is closely chased by two SEAT Sport men: his fellow countryman James Thompson (41 points) and Gabriele Tarquini from Italy (40). Two other SEAT drivers Rickard Rydell and Yvan Muller are sitting in fourth and fifth positions, only 10 and 11 points behind the leader respectively. BMW Team Germany's Dirk Müller and SEAT Sport's Peter Terting are joint one further point adrift.

The situation in the Manufacturers' Championship is even closer, with SEAT edging ahead of BMW by one mere point.

ANDY PRIAULX ON MAXIMUM HANDICAP

Andy Priaulx is the first driver to reach the maximum handicap weight during the current season. Following his victory in the second race at Curitiba, the Briton will carry 80 kg on board his BMW 320si in Mexico.

His closest followers in the championship points will drive much lighter cars: Thompson's SEAT will be loaded with 60 extra kilos and Tarquini's with 45. A new entry in the handicap chart is Gianni Morbidelli whose brilliant second place in Curitiba Race 2 has resulted in 25 kilos of ballast.

YOKOHAMA CONFIRMED AS WTCC TYRE SUPPLIER

Last Wednesday, following an invitation to tender, the FIA World Motor Sport Council appointed the Yokohama Rubber Company to supply the control tyre for the 2007 FIA World Touring Car Championship.

This is the second consecutive year the Japanese manufacturer has won the tender. "The confirmed appointment is again a great honour for Yokohama. For this year's events so far, we are proud to have given our contribution to make the series extremely competitive, with both the front and rear wheel drive cars capable of winning races with our control tyres. We wish another prosperous year for the championship in 2007 and we are looking forward to be part of it again," commented Shinichi Mori, General Manager of Yokohama Motorsport Department.

THE VOYAGE FROM BRAZIL TO MEXICO

The FIA WTCC cars are on their way from Curitiba to Puebla. All the 25 cars and their relevant spare parts have been placed in 28 containers, forming a convoy of 14 trucks that drove from the Autódromo Internacional de Curitba to the harbour of Itajai under the escort of the Policia Federál of the States of Paraná and Santa Caterina.

The precious cargo will sail from Itajai on Friday night, on board the Libra Santos vessel, which is due to dock in Vera Cruz, Mexico on July 21st.

From Vera Cruz the containers will reach the Puebla-Amozoc circuit on the road. A further container, full of Yokohama tyres, has been shipped from Europe.

CARS REPAIRED BEFORE DEPARTURE

Both cars Emmet O'Brien's BMW and Alain Menu's Chevrolet which were involved in crashes at the last corner during Curitiba's Race 2, have been already repaired on Sunday evening.

Although both impacts were spectacular, the tyre wall worked very well and none of the two cars suffered from massive damages.

-fia-

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Series WTCC
Drivers Andy Priaulx , Dirk Müller , James Thompson , Peter Terting , Rickard Rydell , Gianni Morbidelli , Gabriele Tarquini , Emmet O'Brien , Alain Menu