Sunday 25 March 2012



The 3rd and 4th rounds of the FIA WTCC will take place in Spain, at Valencia's Circuit Ricardo Tormo next week. This is the eighth consecutive visit of the World Championship to the Spanish stadium-like racetrack. This year the WTCC Race of Spain has been moved again to the beginning of the season, after being held in September in 2009 and 2010.
The 4km circuit does not seem to suit any particular car, as Manufacturers shared honours in the previous years. SEAT scored four victories on its home soil, just like Chevrolet that won both races in 2011 with Yvan Muller. BMW and Alfa Romeo won three times apiece.
Taking into account the potential they showed in Monza, claiming pole position and fighting with the Chevrolet Cruze cars for victory in Race 1, Gabriele Tarquini and his SEAT León seem able to try and score a first success for Lukoil Racing Team and SEAT Sport's new 1.6L turbo engine.
And we shouldn't forget a group of young Spaniards that will be worth watching: Pepe Oriola who drives a SEAT like Tarquini's and managed to chase the top drivers at Monza, Fernando Monje who faces his maiden WTCC appearance in a SEAT León TDi after dominating the FIA European Touring Car Cup opening rounds at Monza, and Isaac Tutumlu at the wheel of a Proteam Racing BMW 320 TC.

Valencia's Circuit Ricardo Tormo will host WTCC's second meeting next week

Like every year Eurosport Events invited more than 250 guests, including partners, teams and media, to an exclusive season launch in Munich's "Upside East" roof garden.
Bernd Daubenmerkl, managing director of Eurosport Media delivered the opening speech: "These are tough times for car manufacturers and WTCC represents an excellent opportunity to invest in a cost effective motorsport programme that grants excellent returns in terms of media coverage and TV distribution. Which makes us a lot confident in the future."
Afterwards, championship promoter Marcello Lotti, Eric Nève of Chevrolet, Charles Ng of Liqui Moly Team Engstler and Dominik Greiner of Wiechers-Sport, took part in a round table on the status of the championship after the season's opening event at Monza.
"With 24 full season entries, four brands represented and two others - LADA and Honda - that will join, we are more than happy," Lotti said. "And now we may focus on the future developments of technical regulations. The FIA has created a working group that has the task to evaluate the introduction of environmental-friendly technologies - maybe a common hybrid system - modified suspension and a more aggressive look."
Eric Nève added: "Chevrolet's main goal is to retain the world titles, but we are also very much looking forward to race at Sonoma. Chevrolet is an American brand and a home race was one of our priorities for the WTCC programme. Finally we will be doing it and in style, because I believe that a Chevrolet vs Ford fight is the best present the championship could offer to the American motorsport fans!"

Charles Ng, Eric Nève, Marcello Lotti and Dominik Greiner during the Munich launch

BOARDMAN AND MONJE TO JOIN THE FIELDThe second race meeting of the season at Valencia will also mark Tom Boardman's and Fernando Monje's maiden appearance. For Boardman this will be a comeback, after the whole season in 2009 and a one-off outing in 2010. The Briton will be at the wheel of a SEAT León TDi car run by Special Tuning Racing. This until he will switch to SEAT Sport's new 1.6L turbo engine.As for the 19-year-old Monje, Valencia will be his first ever appearance in the World Championship, driving a SUNRED Engineering SEAT León TDi. That is the very same car in which he dominated the first two rounds of the FIA European Touring Car Cup at Monza."It was very important for me that I had a good weekend at Monza, in order to get to know the car in view of my WTCC debut at Valencia. Winning both races there has boosted my confidence and now I know I may do well in my home event," Monje said.CHEVROLET TEAM TESTED AT VALLELUNGAIn preparation of the Spanish event, the Chevrolet team spent two days testing at Vallelunga racetrack, nearby Rome.Project Manager Ron Hartvelt explained: "We did all our winter testing in Valencia, so we can say that we are well-practiced there. But it is notoriously a difficult track for front wheel-drive cars and we have to see how the extra weight affects us. This is why we went testing at Vallelunga with the three drivers as we had updates for the rear suspension that we wanted to validate. Vallelunga is not a usual choice, but has a stable Mediterranean climate and a design that suits the purpose of testing well. Additionally, it is quite representative of some of the WTCC tracks."WTCC NEW OFFICIAL WEBSITE IS ONLINEEurosport Events is proud to launch the new official website of the FIA World Touring Car Championship.The website has been radically redesigned with the aims of sporting a more dynamic and fan-friendly look, offering even more services to insiders and fans, including clips and highlights, and opening to social network activities. The new website is also directly linked to the WTCC iPhone and iPad applications.More features will be implemented during the season and special actions and competitions for the fans will be organized.Keep on following the only "Real car, real racing" World Championship on !WTCC AND GOLF TO TWIN AT MARRAKECHGolf is a very popular sport among the WTCC racers who have now the opportunity to challenge each others on the green before doing it on the racetrack. Marrakech's Al Maaden Golf will host the first edition of the Marrakech Grand Prix Golf Cup that will take place on April 12, only a few days before the race cars start running on the Circuit Moulay El Hassan.Located at the foot hills of the Atlas Mountains, the Al Maaden Golf opened in March 2010 and has hosted several professional and amateur tournaments since.


Fabio Ravaioli - FIA WTCC Media Delegate

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