2009 FIA WTCC CALENDAR APPROVED On Tuesday in Paris the FIA World Motor Sport Council approved the draft for the 2009 World Touring Car Championship. Twelve meetings are listed, including one in Morocco on May 3rd that will be hosted on a new...
2009 FIA WTCC CALENDAR APPROVED
On Tuesday in Paris the FIA World Motor Sport Council approved the draft for the 2009 World Touring Car Championship.
Twelve meetings are listed, including one in Morocco on May 3rd that will be hosted on a new street circuit at Marrakesh, which needs to be homologated by the FIA. The only other change concerns the Portuguese event that comes back to Porto after having been hosted in Estoril this year. Like in 2008, the next season will start in Curitiba, Brazil, and end in Macau.
The date of the Belgian Formula One Grand Prix has been moved to August 30th, and is now in clash with the WTCC's German event, therefore KSO and the Motorsport Arena Oschersleben are working together to move the meeting to September 6th.
WTCC JOIN FIA INSTITUTE'S ADR PROGRAMME
The event in Monza has marked the introduction of the FIA Institute Accident Data Recorder on WTCC cars. This device - mounted between the driver's seat and the door - will be tested until the end of the season to become mandatory from 2009.
The ADR Programme has been developed by the FIA Institute, and WTCC is the first championship invited to join it. Andy Mellor of the Institute visited Monza to help the teams to fix the recorder in place and get used to it.
"The aim is to analyze crashes in detail and have a better understanding of their consequences. The application of similar systems resulted in massive safety improvements in Formula One, and now we want to focus on doing the same in other categories. All the data recorded by the ADR will be collected in the FIA Accident Data Base at Geneva and will provide an important reference for the future. As an example this kind of data may help to have a more scientific approach in designing components that are crucial for the drivers' safety, like seats, roll cages, safety belt anchorages," Mellor explained.
The ADR adopted by WTCC is the Model 3. IWI Witness that is capable of measuring and recording meaningful chassis acceleration data during the impact of an accident, in three orthogonal axes at a minimum frequency of 1000Hz and a minimum range of ±150g.
"We are honoured that WTCC is the first championship invited by the FIA Institute to join the ADR Programme. This is an important additional service offered to the competitors thanks to the good cooperation between the FIA and KSO," championship promoter Marcello Lotti commented.
SEAT CLOSER TO THE WORLD TITLES
Following their triumphant weekend in Monza, where a crowd of 50,000 attended two races dominated by the Leon Tdi cars, SEAT are now closer to claim both the Drivers' and Manufacturers' Championships.
Two punctures occurred at almost the same time during the second race in Monza forcing Chevrolet's Robert Huff and BMW's Andy Priaulx to retire. Therefore the Drivers' Championship fight looks now restricted to Yvan Muller and Gabriele Tarquini, who shared victories in Monza and are split by 9 points. With 40 points still at stake, the hopes of Huff (31 points behind), Rickard Rydell (33) and Priaulx (34) have nearly vanished. All other competitors haven fallen out of contention.
In the Manufacturers' Championship, the Spanish brand have stretched their lead to 54 points ahead of BMW.
PROTEAM MOTORSPORT CLAIM TEAMS' TROPHY
Proteam Motorsport clinched the Yokohama Teams' Trophy with two race meetings still to go. After Monza the leading margin of the Italian outfit was stretched to 119 points ahead of Liqui Moly Team Engstler, and there are only 108 still at stake.
This is the second consecutive year that Proteam Motorsport have claimed the Trophy.
Proteam's drivers Sergio Hernandez and Stefano D'Aste may add the icing to the cake, as they are currently first and second in the Independents' Trophy. Hernandez, victorious in Monza's second race, leads by 22 points ahead of his team mate. Their closest competitor, Exagon Engineering's Pierre-Yves Corthals, fell a further 14 points adrift after he was sidelined in the second race by electronic problems. Corthals had won the first race in Monza.
F2 AND ABARTH TROPHY TO SUPPORT WTCC
The new FIA Formula 2 Championship and the Trofeo 500 Abarth will be two important additions to the FIA WTCC events in 2009.
Formula Two will make its debut at the Valencia WTCC round on 31 May 2009, and will run at four other European WTCC events: Brno, Brands Hatch, Oschersleben and Monza. "We have eight events, and most of them are associated with the FIA World Touring Car Championship, which you know always draws big crowds at circuits around the world," said the series' promoter Jonathan Palmer.
The Trofeo 500 Abarth, reserved for the 190bhp Fiat 500 Abarth Assetto Corse cars, will join six WTCC events. The same five as F2, plus Porto.
FIA EUROPEAN CUP NEXT WEEK IN AUSTRIA
The fourth edition of the FIA European Touring Car Cup will take place next week at the Austrian Salzburgring, on October 18th and 19th. About 40 drivers coming from 17 countries are due to compete in the three categories eligible for the event: Super 2000, Super Production and the new Super 1600.
FIA Cups will be awarded to the winners of each category, while the Nations' Cup will be awarded to the National Sporting Authority of the country whose drivers have scored the highest number of points.
COUNTDOWN TO AUSTRIA: - 16 DAYS