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Apr 11, 2014 - 08:39 PM
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FIA WTCC Newsletter 15
Posted by: newsla on Apr 11, 2014 - 08:36 PM
Sports Cars
FIA WTCC Newsletter 15

The Citroën Total WTCC team gave an impressive proof of the shape they are in during the first test session at Marrakech today.

From the very beginning the French team’s drivers topped the time sheet, improving their pace lap after lap. The rest of the field was left behind, with a number of competitors being very cautious while they are still trying to get used to the new cars.


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Eventually reigning champion Yvan Muller set the fastest lap of 1:44.513, followed by team-mates Jose María López (1:44.945) and Sébastien Loeb (1:45.161).

Campos Racing’s Hugo Valente emerged as best of the rest in his Chevrolet RML car, however his best time of 1:46.470 remained nearly two seconds off Muller’s.

Tiago Monteiro ranked fifth in the fastest Honda Civic (1:46.503) ahead of Rob Huff’s LADA Granta (1:46.798).
Tom Coronel, Mehdi Bennani, Tom Chilton and Gabriele Tarquini rounded off the top-ten.

In the TC2T class, Franz Engstler’s BMW posted the fastest lap of 1:50.549, from Peter Fulín’s SEAT (1:52.196).

In Short...

Members of the Citroën Total WTCC team are confident but not over-optimistic after their three cars ranked on top of today’s test session at Marrakech.

“It was a good result, but it’s only the first step. It’s difficult to know what the other teams were doing in the session. For sure we put all we had because we wanted to know where we are. And it was important for the whole team to have a good feeling and be confident for the rest of the weekend,” team principal Yves Matton said.

Yvan Muller added: “We are working hard and driving flat out to check about our potential, but we will only see the real performance tomorrow in the qualifying.”

Lap times were not as fast as expected compared to previous years - 2013 pole was 1:44.358, one-and-a-half tenth faster than Muller’s fastest lap today.

“Maybe today’s times will be improved in tomorrow’s sessions. However the track is a bit different from last year, but the biggest difference is that with the new TC1 cars we cannot cut the chicanes as much as we did before. And that cutting was worth two or three seconds per lap. The cars are definitely much faster than last year, but this is compensated by the fact that the track is much slower,” Muller explained.

The WTCC Race of Morocco that will open the 2014 FIA World Touring Car Championship on Sunday was officially launched today.

The event that takes place on Marrakech’s Circuit Moulay El Hassan, was presented during a press conference at the Four Seasons Hotel that was attended by large representative of the local media.

Four WTCC drivers sat at the conference table: the reigning World Champion Yvan Muller of Citroën Total WTCC, Tiago Monteiro of Honda Castrol Team, Rob Huff of LADA Sport Lukoil and local hero Mehdi Bennani of Proteam Racing.

They were joined by Abderrahman Zahid President of Marrakech Grand Prix and Ménara Holding, Mohamed Zahid General Director of Ménara Holding, and François Ribeiro Motorsport Director of Eurosport Events.

2013 FIA European Touring Car Cup winner Petr Fulín is driving for Campos Racing in this weekend’s WTCC opener at Marrakech.
The 37-year old from Czech Republic is sitting at the wheel of one of the team’s SEAT León cars in the TC2T class, alongside French teenager John Filippi.

Fulín made himself a solid reputation in international touring car racing by successfully competing in the ETCC. In 2013 the Czech classified third in the Super 2000 class, driving a Krenek Motorsport BMW 320si; last year – with the same car and team – he scored five race victories out of the series’ ten rounds and claimed the Super 2000 title.

For the rest of the season, Fulín already announced his plans to defend the ETCC crown.

Not less than thirty competitors lodged full season entries in the 2014 FIA European Touring Car Cup that will kick off on April 20 at Le Castellet’s Circuit Paul Ricard.

The largest contingent of 16 cars will compete in the Super 2000 category that from this year has been split in two classes for TC2T (1.6-litre turbo) and TC2 cars (2-litre normally aspirated).

Five drivers will fight for the TC2T title, including Nikolay Karamyshev in a Chevrolet Cruze and Franz Engstler in a BMW 320 TC; eleven have entered in the TC2 class and among them is the 2013 champion Petr Fulín, again at the wheel of a BMW 320si.

The other two classes – Super 1600 and Single-Make Trophy – may count on six and eight entries respectively, of two different models: Ford Fiesta in S1600 and SEAT León in SMT.

The Ladies’ Trophy will see again the same three girls who were fighting last year: the reigning champion Andrina Gugger (S2000 TC2), Ulrike Krafft and Kseniya Niks (both S1600).

The field will be made even larger by a number of race-by-race entries that have been already confirmed.

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