The clock is ticking for the 2009 FIA World Touring Car Championship. In less than two weeks the competitors will hit the track for the last two races of the season.
For the fifth consecutive year the final and deciding act will be staged on Macau’s infamous 6.1-km Guia street circuit. On Sunday 22nd November two 9 lap races will consecrate the 2009 World Champion.
Three men are still in contention for the Drivers‘ crown: Gabriele Tarquini, Yvan Muller and Augusto Farfus. SEAT Sport’s Tarquini leads the classification with a two-point margin ahead of his team-mate Muller, the reigning champion. As for Farfus of BMW Team Germany, he lies third, 13 points behind Tarquini.
The Manufacturers‘ Championship is also at stake with SEAT – the 2008 winner – leading BMW by three points only.
In the previous five appearances of Super 2000 cars at Macau, including the 2004 Guia Race, BMW has won six races out of ten against Chevrolet’s three victories (including Huff’s and Menu’s in 2008) and Alfa Romeo’s one. SEAT still has to break its duck on the Guia circuit.
Jörg Müller, the only man to have won both the Macau Formula 3 Grand Prix and the Guia Race, claimed three of BMW’s six victories.
For the fifth consecutive year the title fight will be decided in the streets of Macau
COUTO WITH SUNRED AT MACAU
Macau motorsport hero André Couto will join the SUNRED Engineering team for the WTCC final on his home racetrack. He will be at the wheel of the team’s third SEAT León car, alongside regulars Tom Coronel and Tom Boardman.
Couto, who won the 2000 F3 Macau Grand Prix and took pole position in the 2003 Macau Guia race with an N.technology Alfa Romeo 147, has become a regular competitor in the WTCC final at Macau. He took part in the 2005 and 2007 events with N.technology Alfa Romeo 156 cars; in 2006 he drove for SEAT Sport and last year again for N.technology at the wheel of a Honda Accord.
His best result so far has been a seventh position in 2006 Race 2 with a SEAT León.
Couto tested the SUNRED car in Okayama at the beginning of this week.
Couto’s best WTCC result was 7th in 2006 Race 2 at the wheel of a SEAT León
CORONEL VS PORTEIRO FOR INDEPENDENTS‘ TITLE
The fight for the Independents‘ Trophy title seems restricted to Tom Coronel of SUNRED Engineering and Félix Porteiro of Proteam Motorsport. By winning pole position and the first race in Okayama and being classified third in the second race, Coronel stretched his lead by one point only, as the young Spaniard collected two second places in Japan.
The Dutchman’s advantage before the final meeting in Macau totals to 30 points, but with double points and possible bonuses for scoring in the overall classification to be awarded, anything is still possible.
Stefano D’Aste (Wiechers-Sport) and Franz Engstler (Liqui Moly Team) are out of contention and will focus on the battle for the third position, as they are split by five points only.