BMW national teams aim to continue upward trend in Valencia. Munich, 27th May 2009. The FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) approaches its next round. This weekend, the BMW national teams will be battling for points and victories at the ...
BMW national teams aim to continue upward trend in Valencia.
Munich, 27th May 2009. The FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) approaches its next round. This weekend, the BMW national teams will be battling for points and victories at the "Circuit de la Comunitat" in Valencia (ES). Following the good performance in Pau (FR), where BMW Team Germany's Augusto Farfus (BR) picked up 16 points and moved to second in the Drivers' Championship, the BMW drivers are now determined to make up more ground in the World Championship.
However, there is a question mark over the current balance of power in the World Touring Car Championship. The FIA Touring Car Bureau has once again made changes to the technical regulations, including raising the supercharged air pressure of the SEAT turbodiesel engines to 2.7 bar plus overboost spikes which last less than one second.
In addition Farfus, his team-mate, Jorg Muller (DE), BMW Team UK driver Andy Priaulx (GB) and Sergio Hernandez (ES) from BMW Team Italy-Spain will line up with the maximum compensation weight of 40 kilograms. After them come the Chevrolet drivers with 30 kilograms, then the SEAT diesel cars carrying 20 kilos of ballast. Hernandez' team-mate Alessandro Zanardi (IT), on the other hand, will race in a 20kg lighter BMW 320si WTCC with its sequential gearbox.
Andy Priaulx (BMW Team UK):
"My goal for Valencia has to be one of the highest points' scorers so I can reduce the gap to the championship leaders. The track itself has been kind to BMW over the last few years, so I can't see any reason why this won't continue."
Jorg Muller (BMW Team Germany):
"After my first podium finish of the year in Pau, I now want to be up there at the top in Valencia as well. We'll have to wait and see if that is possible. The race track suits me - I have already won two World Championship races there."
Augusto Farfus (BMW Team Germany):
"The distribution of the compensation weight traditionally plays a greater role in Valencia than elsewhere. With this in mind, we don't necessarily hold the trump cards. However, I will be giving everything to follow on from the good result in Pau."
Alessandro Zanardi (BMW Team Italy-Spain):
"To move through from right at the back to finish fifth in Pau gave the team and me a huge motivational boost. With the exception of 2005, I have never really had any luck in Valencia. Hopefully it will be different this time."
Sergio Hernandez (BMW Team Italy-Spain):
"Valencia is not a bad circuit for touring cars, even if it is not perfect. Overtaking opportunities are few and far between. Valencia is just 40 minutes away from my home town of Javea. In 2008 I won there in the Independents' Trophy. Now I want to launch an attack on the overall standings."
History and background:
Jorg Muller and Andy Priaulx are the most successful WTCC drivers in Valencia so far, and have both enjoyed three podium finishes there. Muller won twice at the 4.005-kilometre track in 2005 and 2006. So far in his career he has picked up 45 World Championship points in Spain. Team-mate Augusto Farfus has also tasted success in Valencia. In 2006 - when still racing for Alfa Romeo - he won the first race. Last year, only Muller and Priaulx were able to pick up points at the "Circuit de la Comunitat" for BMW. Priaulx finished third in the second race to claim his place on the podium.
The "Circuit de la Comunitat Valenciana Ricardo Tormo" - to give the Spanish WTCC venue its full name - is one of the most modern racetracks in Europe. In addition to the World Touring Car Championship, many other series regularly pay visits to Valencia.
Valencia is the scene of much winter testing as the teams prepare for the season ahead. As a result, all the teams know this circuit back to front. It has a bit of everything. As in Puebla, the winding layout creates a stadium atmosphere. However, the track is heavily influenced by external conditions: a minimal change in temperature can affect the grip behaviour. The engineers must work out the best set-up at lightning speed.
Since 2006, every one of the BMW Sauber F1 Team's new Formula One cars has had its roll-out at this circuit. However, the first Formula One race in Valencia was held at the new circuit by the harbour. The 2008 European Grand Prix was won by Felipe Massa (BR), ahead of Lewis Hamilton (GB) and BMW Sauber F1 Team driver Robert Kubica (PL).
The "Circuit de la Comunitat" is the location for the Formula BMW Racing Center, the venue for the licence and scholarship courses for the worldwide Formula BMW junior series.
Valencia is located in the centre of the Iberian Peninsula's Mediterranean coast, at the mouth of the River Turia. Consequently its visitors experience a nice seaside climate. Even in winter the temperatures rarely drop below ten degrees Celsius, and in summer a fresh sea breeze makes for agreeably warm conditions.
With more than 800,000 inhabitants, Valencia is Spain's third biggest town - behind Madrid and Barcelona - and the capital of the Eastern Spanish region of the same name. Some 1.8 million people live in its metropolitan area. Thanks to a variety of sporting activities and Valencia's outstanding nightlife, visiting the city is an extraordinary experience. At the same time the metropolis is one of Spain's most dynamic cities and one of the most powerful commercial regions in Europe.
The two WTCC races will both be held over 13 laps - a total distance of 52.07 kilometres. The first race begins on Sunday at 12:50hrs local time (11:50hrs BST). Race two gets underway at 15:05hrs (14:05hrs BST).