FIA WTCC NEWSLETTER 4 August 2006 FIA WTCC HEADING BACK TO EUROPE After the two American events at Curitiba, Brazil and Puebla, Mexico the FIA World Touring Car Championship faces a one month summer break before resuming at Brno, Czech ...
FIA WTCC NEWSLETTER
4 August 2006
FIA WTCC HEADING BACK TO EUROPE
After the two American events at Curitiba, Brazil and Puebla, Mexico the FIA World Touring Car Championship faces a one month summer break before resuming at Brno, Czech Republic.
The Czech racetrack will host rounds 13 and 14, marking the beginning of the series' second European phase that will continue in Turkey and Spain before the grand finale at Macau.
SIX DRIVERS COVERED BY NINE POINTS
Alfa Romeo's double triumph in Mexico propelled Brazilian youngster Augusto Farfus back into the fight for the world title.
SEAT Sport's James Thompson is the new championship leader, however he has a very slim margin only three points over his fellow countryman and reigning champion Andy Priaulx (BMW Team UK) who is joint with Farfus in second.
Another pair of SEAT Sport drivers Rickard Rydell and Gabriele Tarquini are both 5 further points adrift, with BMW Team Deutschland Dirk Muller one mere point behind them.
With 20 points at stake in Brno, three other men Yvan Muller, Peter Terting and Jorg Muller have theoretical chances of grabbing the championship lead.
SEAT STRETCH MANUFACTURERS' LEAD
On the eve of the Mexican event, SEAT edged BMW by one single point in the Manufacturers' classification. In the two races at Puebla, the Spanish make managed to stretch their margin by 8 points.
At the same time Alfa Romeo which is lying third reduced the gap from BMW to 28 points.
INDEPENDENTS: CORONEL vs SHARP
Tom Coronel and Ryan Sharp have shared all the victories in the Independents Trophy during the four latest events. The Dutchman from GR Asia claimed five wins in his SEAT Leon, while the Scotsman and his JAS Motorsport Honda Accord three, including a brilliant third place overall in Puebla's Race 1.
Coronel has a solid 33-point lead over his rival, while Proteam Motorsport's Luca Rangoni is third, 15 points behind Sharp.
ZANARDI AND YVAN MULLER UNDER OBSERVATION
BMW Team Italy-Spain's Alessandro Zanardi and SEAT Sport's Yvan Muller collided twice in Puebla, once in each race; their second collision eliminating both. The Italian and the Frenchman had already come to blows in the first race at Oschersleben.
They were both summoned by the Stewards after the second race in Puebla, and judged guilty for "unacceptable driving behaviour"; Muller received blame, while Zanardi was given a penalty of five positions on the grid for the next race. However this penalty is suspended for one event; should Zanardi be involved in another collision at Brno he will be dropped by five positions on the grid for Valencia's Race 1. Otherwise the penalty will be scrapped.
THE WTCC RETURNS AT BRNO AFTER 19 YEARS
Whilst Brno is a regular venue for Moto GP and Superbike, the FIA WTCC event will be the first car racing world championship hosted by the Czech track in 19 years. The previous was the sixth round of the...1987 World Touring Car Championship.
On 16 August 1987 Klaus Ludwig and Klaus Niedzwiedz won the 19th Brno Grand Prix at the wheel of an Eggenberger Motorsport Ford Sierra RS500, beating by a small margin the sister car drivern by Steve Soper and Pierre Dieudonne. Third overall and winner of Division 2 was the Bigazzi BMW M3 driven by Luis Perez Sala and Olivier Grouillard.
Among the drivers who took part in that race was the Olympic ski champion Franz Klammer, in an AMG Mercedes 190E, but also three of the current WTCC main men: Roberto Ravaglia, Nicola Larini and Gabriele Tarquini.
On his way to clinch the World title, Ravaglia now team manager at BMW Team Italy- Spain classified fourth in a BMW M3 run by Schnitzer Motorsport; the team was already directed by Charly Lamm. Both, Tarquini and Larini were at the wheel of Alfa Romeo 75 Turbo cars, entered by Brixia Motorsport and Alfa Corse respectively.