The fastest cars will stay on the maximum compensation weight for the last but one event of the season in Japan. Like in Oschersleben and Imola before, the BMW 320si and the SEAT León TDI will carry 40 kg of ballast at Okayama. According to the calculation that took into account the lap times set in the three previous events (Brands Hatch, Oschersleben and Imola) these two models share the "honour" of being the reference car.
The Chevrolet Cruze remains on +30kg, while Alessandro Zanardi’s BMW 320si (equipped with a sequential gearbox) and the LADA Priora will have again 20kg deducted from the minimum weight. On the contrary, because of the excellent performances recently posted by Coronel, Boardman, Bennani and Colak, the petrol-powered SEAT León cars have lost the right to deduct 20 kilos and will be forced to run on the minimum weight.

Compensation weights Okayama
+ 40 kg BMW 320si, SEAT León TDI
+ 30 kg Chevrolet Cruze LT
± 0 kg SEAT León TFSI
– 20 kg BMW 320si Zanardi, LADA Priora

While the WTCC cars are traveling to Asia by sea for the final two events of the 2009 season, the Chevrolet team continued their test and development programme of the Cruze. Following the tests in Zolder with Nicola Larini and Magny-Cours with Robert Huff earlier this summer, the Cruze ran this week at Portimão’s Autodromo do Algarve for a three-day session, with Alain Menu at the wheel.
The work in Portimão was focused on testing different set-up and suspension solutions. The test went well with no hiccups at all, except for some rain showers that reduced activity on Tuesday. This test was also very useful for the team to build a first set of data about the demanding new circuit, which will host WTCC’s Portuguese event next year.

Alain Menu’s Chevrolet Cruze during the test in Portimão

The Liqui Moly Team Engstler completed a test in Hockenheim with three Asian drivers. Alongside their regular WTCC entries – team principal Franz Engstler and Kristian Poulsen – the German team will field two additional cars in Japan and three in Macau.
Masaki Kano from Japan and Henry Ho from Macau will race at Okayama, while Ho will be joined by his fellow countrymen Lic Ka Liu and Jo Rosa Merszei in Macau.
Kano, Ho and Lic had the opportunity to test the BMW car in Hockenheim, taking advantage of Engstler’s advice. Kano, who had raced for the team in last year’s WTCC events at Okayama and Macau, knew the racetrack already and clocked good lap times. Ho and Lic started testing at the wheel of BMW 320i E46 cars, before switching to the new E90 models.
The Asian programme means a huge effort for the team that shipped five cars to Japan and will fly a crew of 25 people.

Franz Engstler with Lic Ka Liu (left) and Henry Ho (right)

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