Racing season newsletter 2006-10-25

LAUNCH OF THE 53rd MACAU GRAND PRIX The 53rd Macau Grand Prix was launched on Monday at Macau; the event will include the FIA World Touring Car Championship's final meeting as well as the FIA Formula 3 Intercontinental Cup and the 40th Macau ...

LAUNCH OF THE 53rd MACAU GRAND PRIX

The 53rd Macau Grand Prix was launched on Monday at Macau; the event will include the FIA World Touring Car Championship's final meeting as well as the FIA Formula 3 Intercontinental Cup and the 40th Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix.

During a crowded press conference held at the Fisherman's Warf Convention Centre, engineer João Manuel Costa Antunes, coordinator of the Macau Grand Prix Committee presented the event in detail to a large representative of the local press. "Of the many international sporting events hosted by our city, the Macau Grand Prix has the longest history and serves well to boost our tourism industry and raise the profile of Macau across the world," he said.

As for the second appearance of the FIA WTCC in Macau, Mr Costa Antunes commented: "Once again the title will be decided here and, with no fewer than nine drivers in contention to clinch the world champion's crown, this event has already been described as the most open series final in motor sport history."

ALFA ROMEO'S UNEXPECTED LEADERSHIP

"If somebody had told me at the beginning of the season that one of my drivers was leading the classification before Macau, I would have said he was crazy," N.technology boss Mauro Sipsz commented in Valencia after Augusto Farfus emerged as the new championship leader.

And yet the Brazilian youngster benefited from the 11th change at the top and ousted Andy Priaulx. It is the first time Farfus leads the points as, since the season's opening round at Monza, the leadership has bounced back and forth between Priaulx and SEAT's men Muller, Thompson and Tarquini.

Farfus' lead was unexpected, not only because the N.technology team is running on a reduced budget, but also because the Alfa Romeo 156 is the oldest car in the field, in its ninth and last racing season.

FARFUS IS A HEAVYWEIGHT IN MACAU

Augusto Farfus will arrive in Macau as the leader of the FIA WTCC, but also as the heaviest driver. The Brazilian youngster will have the maximum applicable ballast on board his Alfa Romeo 156. And he must thank the regulations that limit the handicap weight to 80 kg, otherwise he would have forced to carry a total of 90 extra kilos considering the previous event's results and the championship points.

Jörg Müller, who is joint second in the championship together with Andy Priaulx, will be only 5 kilos lighter than Farfus. All the other title contenders have considerably less weight, from the 45 kg of Priaulx and Tarquini down to the 20 kg of Thompson and Yvan Muller.

New to the handicap weight list are Luca Rangoni (45 kg due to his extraordinary performance in Valencia) and Duncan Huisman; with only a 5 kg handicap the latter will have another excellent opportunity to increase his winning record in Macau. An automatic 20 kg handicap will be imposed to the newcomers, André Couto of SEAT Sport and Jan Magnussen of BMW UK.

-credit: www.fiawtcc.com.

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Series WTCC
Drivers Andy Priaulx , Jan Magnussen , Jorg Muller , Augusto Farfus , Duncan Huisman , Andre Couto , Luca Rangoni