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FIA WTCC Newsletter 13
Posted by: newsla on Mar 28, 2014 - 05:34 PM
Sports Cars
FIA WTCC Newsletter 13

Only fifteen days are left before the tenth anniversary season of the FIA World Touring Car Championship will kick off at Marrakech.


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All teams are giving the finishing touches to their new cars, shaking down and decorating them before leaving to Morocco.

It’s going to be a frantic start, with five events in only six weeks. Le Castellet’s Circuit Paul Ricard will host the second race meeting on the week after Marrakech (20 April), then after a one-week break the championship will resume for back-to-back events at Hungaroring (4 May) and Slovakia Ring (11 May). The fifth event will take place at the Austrian Salzburgring on 25 May.

Not an easy task for the teams that have also to cope with getting used to the newly-adopted TC1 cars.

The 2014 championship will visit twelve different countries in four continents, coming to an end at Macau on 16 November.

In Short...
Pasquale Di Sabatino has joined the Liqui Moly Team Engstler to drive a BMW 320 TC car alongside team principal Franz Engstler.

“We are happy we managed to find a last-minute deal with Pasquale. He has some experience in WTCC and we expect some good results from him. We also thank Liqui Moly for their continuous support that enables us to stay in the WTCC since 2007,” team manager Kurt Treml said.

The 26-year old Italian driver took part in half of the 2012 WTCC season at the wheel of a Chevrolet Cruze car run by bamboo-engineering.

“Coming back to WTCC is a dream come true. I’m very pleased to race alongside an experienced driver like Franz Engstler, I can learn a lot from him. Now I have to get used again to race after a two-year break that lasted since the 2012 WTCC event in Portimão,” Di Sabatino commented.

The fastest driver in the 2014 FIA World Touring Car Championship will be nominated the WTCC Yokohama Performer of the year.

Eurosport Events and Yokohama, WTCC promoter and official tyre supplier respectively, will award the Yokohama Performer to the driver setting the highest number of fastest laps taking into account each of the twelve races of the season.

“The Yokohama Performer logo will be inserted during the races’ live TV coverage each time the fastest lap is improved, and there will be a dedicated section in the website showing the ranking of the faster drivers,” Eurosport Events Motorsport Director François Ribeiro stated.

The WTCC Yokohama Performer of the year will be awarded during the championship’s prize giving ceremony at Macau with a PRGR golf set.

ROAL Motorsport and Tom Chilton had their first test with the Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1 car last week at Valencia.
On Friday the Briton completed 32 laps of the Spanish circuit that equate to more than 120 kilometres.

“It was great to drive the new RML built TC1 Chevy. It really looks and feels like a GT car to drive now. I was very impressed with the feedback I had through my fingertips on the steering wheel. The car straight out of the box was very neutral and easy to drive. I feel we have a great baseline setup to build upon. I just want to say a thank you to RML Group for getting our car ready for this test. Over the two days it was a great chance for ROAL and RML to work together closely and learn more about the car. We had one or two teething problems to start with but nothing out of the ordinary when building a new race car. I'm really looking forward to getting more miles under my belt next week in Italy to prepare ourselves for what is going to be a very exciting year ahead with all the new regulations,” Chilton commented.

ROAL Motorsport principal Roberto Ravaglia added: “I am positive about the test although it did not last as long as we wanted because of minor technical issues. The car seems to be well balanced and, most important of all, the engine is very good. There is still a lot of work to do and time is very short. We will test again with Chilton at Adria, on Sunday and Monday, and on the same days Tom Coronel will shake down his own car.”

Last week’s WTCC test at Valencia was also the occasion for the championship’s safety car driver Bruno Correia to sit at the wheel of his new service vehicle.

The Portuguese driver completed some laps in the Alfa Romeo 4C that will be the official safety car during the 2014 season.
“The 4C has a true sports character that actually belongs to the spirit and tradition of Alfa Romeo. It is a very fast car with a good handling, mostly thanks to the manufacturing precision and the quality of the components that include aluminium and carbon fibre. This also helps to make the 4C a very light car. The sound of the engine is absolutely fantastic and the look is stunning! It will be such a pleasure to drive it during the upcoming season,” Correia commented.

Louis-Carl Vignon, Head of Brand Alfa Romeo EMEA added: "The 4C is the ideal car to play the role of the safety-car in a global championship dedicated to production vehicles like WTCC. This is the perfect union between one of the most popular international motor sports series and Alfa Romeo’s winning spirit that is founded on competition and the Italian style for design. Both, WTCC and Alfa Romeo share the same values: dynamism, appeal and love for the challenge.”

Aleksandar Vukić, first Vice President of the Serbian Government received Dušan Borković in Beograd.

During the meeting that took place in the Government building, Mr Vukić wished Borković good luck and success in the upcoming season of the FIA World Touring Car Championship.

“The visit to the Government and the meeting with Mr. Vucić were very important to me, because my participation in the WTCC is a great opportunity for promoting Serbia. I am proud to represent my country and sport the Serbian flag on my car. We, sportsmen are the best ambassadors of our countries and I will do my best to be worthy of this great honour during my maiden WTCC season,” Borković said.

The opening round of the 2014 FIA WTCC at Marrakech will also mark Citroën’s maiden appearance in the championship. This is the first ever works international racing programme in the long history of the French car maker, after a great deal of triumphs in rallies and rally raids.

It is rather curious to point out that this debut happens in Morocco, a Country where Citroën cars claimed some important victories nearly half-a-century ago.

In 1969 Robert Neyret and Jacques Terramorsi won the Rallye du Maroc in a DS 21 coupe; two other DS cars finished in second and third, which helped Citroën winning the Constructors’ Cup. Neyret and Terramorsi encored the year after, while in 1971 it was the team formed by Jean Deschazeaux and Jean Plossard to win the Rallye du Maroc in a Citroën SM. Citroën’s fourth and final victory in the event came in 1987, with the VISA of Maurice Chomat and Gilles Thimonier.

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