ROUTE TO: BRNO, CZECH REPUBLIC
The 11h and 12h rounds of the FIA WTCC will take place next week in the Czech Republic, at Brno’s Masaryk Circuit.
This is a traditional meeting for the championship, as Brno hosted the European Touring Car Championship from 2002 to 2004, and then the World Touring Car Championship from 2006.
BMW notched up eight victories out of the twelve races; only Alfa Romeo (Fabrizio Giovanardi’s double win in 2002), Chevrolet (Robert Huff won Race 2 in 2006) and SEAT last year have managed to break the German cars‘ supremacy.
The 2008 meeting saw BMW Team Italy-Spain’s Alessandro Zanardi claiming pole position and dominating the first race from lights to flag. The second race was one of the most exciting ever in WTCC; Gabriele Tarquini was able to resist Zanardì’s attempt to achieve double victory by a very narrow margin at the wheel of his SEAT León TDI.
Their breathtaking fight was one of the highlights of WTCC’s past season.
The fight between Tarquini and Zanardi in last year’s Race 2 at Brno
24 HOURS FOR MONTEIRO AND CORONEL
Tiago Monteiro and Tom Coronel face a busy weekend as they will take part in the Le Mans 24 Hours.
Monteiro will share an Oreca 01 AIM prototype with Brazilian youngster Bruno Senna and Stéphane Ortelli from Monaco; the car, run by the Team Oreca Matmut AIM, competes in the top LMP1 category against the likes of Audi, Peugeot and Aston Martin.
Immediately before heading to Le Mans the team spent three days of testing at the Paul Ricard circuit: "It was useful to gain confidence. Driving at 300 kmh at night is not easy and requires specific practice. It is demanding but gives you a unique feeling. We know we won’t be on par with the diesel cars and our aim is to take the chequered flag with both cars. It is a realistic aim on my come back to Le Mans," Monteiro commented.
Coronel will compete for the LMGT2 category at the wheel of a Spyker C8 car run by the Snoras Spyker Squadron. His team mates will be his fellow Dutchman Jeroen Bleekemolen and Járek Jánis from the Czech Republic.
During the current season Coronel has already raced the Spyker at the Spa 1000 Km where he and Peter Dumbreck achieved a brilliant fourth position in the LMGT2 class.
After Thursday’s last qualifying sessions, the Oreca 01 of Monteiro-Senna-Ortelli achieved the 15th position on the starting grid, while Coronel-Bleekemolen-Jánis placed their Spyker 11th in class.
Monteiro between Senna and Ortelli during scrutineering in place des Jacobins