The WTCC Race of France get underway today with an autograph session that took place in the central Place Clemenceau from 17.00.
The traditional drivers‘ parade through the streets of the city’s historical centre that was due to take place on Thursday afternoon was cancelled because of the pouring rain.
Track activities will start tomorrow morning, with the two 30-minute practice sessions at 9.00 and 11.15. The 45-minute extended qualifying session will take place in the afternoon: Q1 from 15.00 to 15.30 and Q2 from 15.35 to 15.50.
WTCC drivers met the fans in Pau’s central Place Clemenceau
PROMOTER’S COMMENTS ON THE EVE OF PAU
On the eve of the fourth event of the season in Pau, WTCC promoter Marcello Lotti answered a few questions.
After Marrakech the exclusion of Tiago Monteiro, due to a technical infringement, seemed to have disturbed the usual friendly atmosphere in the paddock.
"I would not put it this way. Relationships between competitors remain friendly and it is important to understand that what happened was not caused by an intentional act of cheating, but by a wrong gear shifting. This resulted in a peak of the supercharger pressure of only 7 thousandths of a bar, which is too small to give a technical advantage, but enough to force the Stewards to exclude the car taking into consideration the technical report."
Is it difficult to manage the coexistence between normally aspirated and turbo engines?
"WTCC provides close links between the racing cars and the production models they come from. This also means we have to be prepared to open the door to new technologies, which is why we accept the turbodiesel cars. And when you have to deal with new technologies sometimes you find yourself in situations that are not fully clarified. However, I am confident that with the cooperation of the manufacturers and the FIA technical department, we can sort all the problems out. I am confident that this will be easier to manage with the adoption of a new generation of engines from 2011, as the manufacturers are due to agree on using 1.6 litre turbo petrol-powered units."
Coming back to the sporting matters, how do you see this weekend’s in Pau?
"Wet! I have just been told that Pau means ‚pot‘ in French. So this explains why we find the rain every time we come here. When you add this to the perils of a street circuit, you have good reasons to hope that the weather will improve."
TANEV AND POSTIGLIONE TO SKIP PAU
Proteam Motorsport’s George Tanev and Vito Postiglione will be forced to skip this weekend’s race meeting at Pau, France.
Both the Bulgarian’s and the Italian’s BMW 320si cars suffered from extensive damage during the second race in Marrakech and, due to the short gap between the WTCC third and fourth events, the Italian outfit could not repair them in time to be transported to Pau, where only Félix Porteiro will represent the team.
Tanev and Postiglione are due to rejoin from the next meeting at Valencia, on May 31st.
WTCC GARAGES WELCOME PAU’S STUDENTS
Auto Mechanics students from three different technical schools in Pau have been invited to visit the WTCC teams.
The initiative, agreed between the municipality of Pau and KSO, was met with enthusiastic support of the WTCC manufacturers who will welcome the students in their own garages offering them a unique experience for their future careers as mechanics and technicians.
Three groups of five students and one teacher each, coming from LEP de Jurançon, Lycée Saint Cricq and Centre de Formation Professionnelle pour les Adultes de Pau, will visit SEAT Sport, Chevrolet and LADA.
In addition to this, Chevrolet invited Bill Stewart – a student in Mechanics and Industrial Automated Equipments – to spend the Saturday working as a member of their team.
KW BECOMES WTCC OFFICIAL PARTNER
Eurosport Events is proud to welcome leading suspension and shock absorber company KW as Official Series Partner for the 2009 FIA WTCC season. This partnership will be promoted on the cars‘ race number plates, at the venues, on posters, souvenir programmes and flyers.