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A sprint to the top - Porteiro well-prepared for Spanish home event. Munich, 15th May 2008. The 2008 FIA World Touring Car Championship heralds a new era for Felix Porteiro (ES). No longer the "greenhorn" in the BMW national team line-up, the ...

A sprint to the top - Porteiro well-prepared for Spanish home event.

Munich, 15th May 2008. The 2008 FIA World Touring Car Championship heralds a new era for Felix Porteiro (ES). No longer the "greenhorn" in the BMW national team line-up, the Spaniard is thus increasingly bearing the burden of expectation. The reason is simple: During his debut 2007 season the BMW Team Italy-Spain driver was able to deliver good results right from the start. His hour arrived spectacularly in Brno, where he took pole position for the first race and promptly converted it into victory.

During the season Porteiro not only earned a reputation as a fast, young charger, but was also able to impress his fellow BMW drivers with a further attribute. As a result of my fitness regime, they call me Rambo," states the racing driver from Castellon. "The nickname was coined during our 2007 BMW fitness week. There we completed various tests, including pull-ups. My colleagues were battling at the 25- mark, by which time I had pulled well over 50. I also had longer hair back then, so I guess you could say I resembled Sylvester Stallone slightly."

It was not coincidental that Porteiro proved fastest during a unique challenge held at the same training course: the BMW drivers were required to run up the 22 floors of BMW's headquarters building in Munich. Porteiro reached the top first.

The former GP2 driver places a high priority on fitness. "Obviously in touring cars the loads on neck muscles are not as high as in Formula One," he explains, however, you still need to be extremely fit to withstand the high cockpit temperatures in touring cars. Therefore I practice a lot of sport, with running and cycling being on my programme. Karting is also demanding, and helps keep me fit. I spend a lot of time in the sauna to help me acclimatise to heat."

At first glance the physical demands placed on WTCC drivers appear comparatively low. They compete in two sprint races of approximately 50 kilometres each. However, according to Porteiro the drivers cannot afford to neglect their physical fitness. In order to be able to go on maximum attack down to the last lap he believes, "you have to have utmost confidence in your own strength." Porteiro surely can.

Porteiro's fitness tip: "I believe jogging offers the best means of staying in shape. In order to achieve the same level of fitness through cycling clearly requires more time. To run for 45 minutes three times per week does the body an enormous amount of good. And the best part about jogging is that you can practice it whilst travelling. That is not only important for racing drivers like me, but also for everyone else who has a tough job."

-credit: bmw motorsport

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Series WTCC
Drivers Felix Porteiro