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FIA WTCC Newsletter 12
Posted by: newsla on Mar 22, 2014 - 02:07 PM
Sports Cars
FIA WTCC Newsletter 12

Twenty-two cars have been entered in the 2014 FIA World Touring Car Championship on a full season basis.
The largest contingent is formed by the sixteen of the new TC1 vehicles: four Honda Civics, three Citroën C-Elysées, three LADA Grantas and six Chevrolet RML Cruzes.


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An additional Citroën, for Ma Qing Hua, will be entered for five events later in the season.

Six cars have been entered in the TC2 class by Liqui Moly Team Engstler (2 BMWs), Campos Racing (3 SEATs) and Nika Racing.
Team Engstler and Campos Racing are due to communicate their full line up of drivers in the next days, while Nika Racing will announce later the driver’s name and the model of the car they will run

Onyx Race Engineering informed the FIA that they have been forced to give up on their plan to compete in the championship in 2014.

In Short...

Citroën’s six-months of preparation for its first season in the WTCC resulted in a superior pace during the championship’s official test at Valencia.

Sébastien Loeb and his C-Elysée car set the pace yesterday on the Ricardo Tormo circuit, well ahead of the two factory Honda Civic cars of Gabriele Tarquini and Tiago Monteiro.

The test was also the first occasion to see the brand new Chevrolet RML Cruze in action. Tom Chilton and Hugo Valente took the wheel of the cars run by ROAL Motorsport and Campos Racing respectively.

Despite an early problem with the mounting of the rear wing, that was soon solved by the teams with the help of the RML technicians, the Cruze impressed for speed and consistency considered that this was its very first test after last week’s shakedown.

It is worth noticing that the Citroën and Monteiro’s Honda were the first race cars built by the teams for the season. While Tarquini was still driving the Civic test car.

Yesterday Campos Racing young new comer John Filippi took also part in the test at the wheel of the TC2 SEAT León, while Citroën’s Ma Qing Hua tested on Thursday before handing the car to Loeb.

The Honda Castrol Team continued working flat on developing the new Honda Civic WTCC in TC1 specifications during a three-day test in Valencia.

This was only the second proper test for the Japanese car, built and run by J.A.S. Motorsport.

Commenting on the technical evolution of the car, Andrea Adamo, Chief Designer, J.A.S. Motorsport, said: “The new Civic WTCC does not have much in common with last year's Civic. Everything is new: the chassis, the engine, the suspension, the aerodynamic parts, even the size of the tyres has changed! Considering we started the project in September 2013 and were able to perform a shakedown of the new Civic WTCC in January 2014, our staff really have done an incredible job in a short amount of time.”

Speaking about the 1.6-litre turbo engine, Daisuke Horiuchi of Honda R&D said: “On top of having created a new casting for the block and sump, we also made great progress on the intake and combustion. After these first track tests, I am satisfied that the simulations we have carried on the test bench have been confirmed in real life on the track. Our only job is now to fine tune the engine management.”

Gabriele Tarquini added: “The Civic has become a nice racing car. As a driver I can only applaud such an evolution, because it is a lot of fun to drive this kind of racing car. I think I can safely say that I’ve never driven such a strong a front-wheel drive car before! The only time that I was at the wheel of a car that came close was in 2010 with a Civic in the Buenos Aires 200 Km for the Argentine TC 2000 Championship.”

At the end of his first test in the Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1 car run by Campos Racing, Hugo Valente was thrilled by the car’s potential.

“The first test was good. It was difficult to know what to expect, as RML had a very tight schedule to develop the car, but they did a great job as always! We had a few problems with the rear wing on Thursday, but it was fixed for good. Besides this we did not experience any major issue; the car was reliable, which is very positive for its first test. I am also pleased with the pace we have shown, we were only a few tenth behind the two Honda cars and for myself to be only one tenth of a second slower that Tom Chilton on my first day wasn't so bad either. He's more experienced with the Chevrolet and has claimed some great results last year! The car feels great! The new regulation really made an impact on the driving and it's much more fun now! I'm really excited for the season to begin, it's a great opportunity for us to be here and I want to enjoy every second of it!” the French driver commented.

Folllowing the announcement that he will compete in the 2014 WTCC for Campos Racing, 19-year old French John Filippi tested the team’s SEAT León at Valencia.

“I have weighed different options for starting a professional career. After making different tests I chose WTCC because I feel it represents the better opportunity. It is a competitive world championship that involves important manufacturers and famous drivers, and benefits from a global TV coverage. I know it will be a diffficult task, but my target is to gain experience during my first season. I am happy to join Campos Racing that is one of the most respected teams in the series. And they also have the experience for helping young drivers to grow up, as they proved with Pepe Oriola in the past,” Filippi said.

Oriola attended the Valencia test, acting as Filippi’s personal trainer. “I’m glad that the team trusts me and my talent for training the young drivers. This is a pride for me. I know the championship and I can transmit my experience to help the rookies,” Oriola said.

Campos Racing team manager Joan Orús commented: “Filippi has completed a good test and I really hope our test programme will make easier for him to adapt to touring cars competitions.”

The Liqui Moly Team Engstler has entered two BMW 320 TC cars for the full season in the 2014 FIA World Touring Car Championship.

The first car will be driven as usual by team principal Franz Engstler, a WTCC regular since 2007. The German driver has taken the start in 140 races, claiming one overall victory at Oschersleben in 2011 when he was classified eighth in the Drivers’ Championship.
“We have currently a few negotiations ongoing for the second car and hope to unveil the name of Franz’s team-mate in the next days,” explained team manager Kurt Treml.

Tom Coronel unveiled the livery of his Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1 car he will drive in the 2014 WTCC for ROAL Motorsport.
The Italian team had the first test in Valencia with Tom Chilton’s sister car, while Coronel’s will be delivered in the next days.
“Off course it is unfortunate not being able to put the first miles on this week. Only days ago RML finished building the first two cars in TC1 specs and my chassis will probably not be ready before the end of next week. Beginning of April I will drive in a shake-down on the Adria track. After that the car will be transported to Morocco for the season’s opener. It’s a tight schedule, but there is no other option. I'm happy that I will at least compete in the WTCC this year, again with ROAL Motorsport and with the successor of the car that won the championship in the last four years. TC1 specs mean an increased output to 380 bhp, new technology, a better look and more aerodynamics. I would really like to thank my new sponsors for their support in making this happen!” said the Dutchman.

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