Series newsletter 2008-08-01

JAPANESE DRIVER JOINS THOMPSON Japanese driver Yukinori Taniguchi will join James Thompson to drive the second Honda Accord Euro R car developed in collaboration with JAS Motorsport at two FIA WTCC events this season: Monza and ...

JAPANESE DRIVER JOINS THOMPSON

Japanese driver Yukinori Taniguchi will join James Thompson to drive the second Honda Accord Euro R car developed in collaboration with JAS Motorsport at two FIA WTCC events this season: Monza and Okayama.

Taniguchi, whose racing experience includes wins in the Super Taikyu Endurance Series and the Japan Classic Car Challenge, finished second in the Japan Le Mans Challenge series last year. At the wheel of a Porsche 997 GT3 RSR, Taniguchi claimed LMGT-2 class podium finishes and one win.

Hiroshima-born Taniguchi will test with N.Technology at Adria on 24 and 25 September, before heading to Monza the following week.

"We have been looking into running a second car for some time," said N.Technology Team Manager Andrea Muller. "We believe Yuke will be a worthwhile addition to the team. His experience at Okayama, where he finished first last year in the Japan Le Mans Challenge, will be extremely valuable to us."

Alessandro Mariani, JAS Managing Director, added: "The Honda Accord has raced in the WTCC since the Championship started and finally, for 2008, there is a Japanese event. The only thing missing was a Japanese driver and so we all are very pleased that Yuke will be part of this project in Monza and in Okayama."

SEAT'S NEW BOY COMES FROM CROATIA

Marin Colak, 24 year old from Zagreb, Croatia, is the SEAT Eurocup's driver who won WTCC participation in Oschersleben.

Colak, whose racing experiences range from single seaters to one make trophies, won the Eurocup's second race in Brands Hatch and took the championship lead. Therefore he will make his WTCC debut at Oschersleben on August 31 at the wheel of a SEAT Leon run by SUNRED Engineering; the same machine in which previous SEAT Eurocup's winners Oscar Nogues from Spain, Tom Boardman from United Kingdom and Lourenco Beirão da Veiga have raced in Pau, Estoril and Brands Hatch respectively. The best results so far were third places in the Independents' Trophy obtained by Nogues and Boardman.

PRIAULX RETURNS TO RACE OF CHAMPIONS

Andy Priaulx will compete again in The Race of Champions when the event returns to Wembley Stadium on Sunday, December 14.

The WTCC triple champion presided over F1 ace Heikki Kovalainen and French fellow WTCC star Yvan Muller in the 2007 Race of Champions before being eliminated in the semi-finals by seven-time F1 World Champion, Michael Schumacher. The BMW Team UK driver will renew his Nations Cup partnership with Honda Racing's F1 star Jenson Button. Once again, it was the Germans who put a halt to Priaulx and Button's progress in 2007, with the duo of Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel proving too strong in the semi-finals.

"The Race of Champions brings together the world's top drivers and Andy is undoubtedly one of the toughest," said Fredrik Johnsson, President of event organisers, IMP. "The competition in the WTCC is so intense; it is an amazing feat for him to have scored a hat-trick of world titles. We are thrilled that Andy will be racing at Wembley with us again this year."

CORONEL: A WEEK TO REMEMBER

The last one was a week to remember for SUNRED Engineering's Tom Coronel. Just before heading to Brands Hatch, the Dutch driver attended at the Amsterdam's Tuschinsky theater the launch of DJ Armin van Buuren's DVD "Armin Only" that was recorded in April.

SEAT Netherlands organized for van Buren a very special arrival at the theater, with the DJ being passenger on Coronel's SEAT Leon racecar and presenting his 'chauffer' with the first copy of his new DVD.

A few days later Coronel took part in the WTCC meeting at Brands Hatch and claimed a brilliant fifth position in the first race, fighting with factory drivers like Zanardi, Porteiro, Tarquini and Menu. Started from the second row on the reverse grid for Race 2, Coronel's dream to score more points vanished when he was involved in an incident with Gene and Thompson at the Paddock Hill bend.

COUNTDOWN: - 30 DAYS

to the 2008 FIA WTCC Race of Germany - 30th / 31st August, in Oschersleben

-credit: fiawtcc.com

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About this article
Series WTCC
Drivers Jenson Button , Michael Schumacher , Andy Priaulx , Tom Coronel , Yvan Muller , James Thompson , Heikki Kovalainen , Tom Boardman , Sebastian Vettel , Yukinori Taniguchi , Marin Colak