The start of the 2010 FIA World Touring Car Championship is just one week away.
The series‘ sixth season will get underway once again at the Autódromo Internacional de Curitiba, Brazil.
This will be the fifth time the 3.7 km circuit has hosted the WTCC. The championship visited Curitiba for the first time in July 2006; a crowd of 34,000 attended the races that were won by Jordi Gené (SEAT León) and Andy Priaulx (BMW 320si).
From 2007 the Brazilian event was moved to March and given the honour of opening the season. BMW Team Germany fellow drivers Jörg Müller and local boy Augusto Farfus shared victories and the attendance was even larger, with 45,000 spectators. In 2008 SEAT won both races with Yvan Muller and Gabriele Tarquini.
Lat year SEAT’s Muller and Tarquini managed to replicate the previous year’s good results.
Brazilian fans flock every year to Curitiba for the FIA WTCC races
FIA WTCC TO ADOPT NEW POINTS SYSTEM
Following a fax vote by the competitors in the FIA World Touring Car Championship and subject to the fax vote confirmation by the members of the World Motor Sport Council, an amendment will be made to the points system to align with the FIA Formula One World and World Rally Championships. This will take place with immediate effect.
Points will be awarded at each event according to the following scale:
1st: 25 points; 2nd: 18 pts; 3rd: 15 pts; 4th: 12 pts: 5th: 10 pts; 6th: 8pts; 7th: 6 pts; 8th: 4 pts; 9th: 2 pts; 10th: 1 point
Although points will be awarded to the first ten drivers classified in each of the twenty-four championship rounds, this will not affect the top-eight reverse grid for the second race of each event.
COMPENSATION WEIGHT – HOW IT WORKS
The Compensation Weight system (art. 79 of the Sporting Regulations) that was introduced in 2009 will determine the running weight of the WTCC cars again, on the basis of lap time calculation.
The best lap times of the two fastest cars of each model in qualifying and the two best lap times of the two fastest cars of each model in both races are averaged. The calculation is based on a three event rolling average, except it is applied for the first time after the first two events. For example, the results of Events 2, 3 and 4 determines the compensation weight for Event 5.
All the cars run in the first two events of the season on the minimum weight fixed by Appendix 1 of the Sporting Regulations:
BMW 320si: 1155kg
Chevrolet Cruze: 1150kg
Chevrolet Lacetti: 1140kg (as per the -10kg waiver granted by the Touring Car Committee)
SEAT León TDI: 1170kg
SEAT León TFSI: 1150kg
The maximum compensation weight is 60 kg and is applied between a maximum of +40 kg to a minimum of -20 kg. When a model’s average is within the 0.3-second threshold in relation to the fastest model, no action is taken.
If a model is slower than the fastest model by more than 0.3s, 10 kg are deducted from the maximum compensation weight for every complete 0.1s more than the +0.3s threshold, up to a maximum of 60 kg.
When a model with less than 60 kg of compensation weight is within 0.3s of the fastest (reference) model, 10 kg are added to the current compensation weight per complete 0.1s within the 0.3s threshold.
The fastest (reference) model always carries the maximum compensation weight on board.
WTCC FOR CHARITY IN CURITIBA
For the fourth consecutive year the WTCC Race of Brazil will give an aid to the starving people of Brazil. Together KSO (championship promoter), HSBC (partner of the event), and the City Hall of Curitiba, repeated the initiative of offering free tickets to the public in exchange for two kilograms of food.
Fans wishing to attend the races on Sunday may collect their tickets by delivering the food to 13 different collection points scattered over the city, or at the racetrack on Sunday morning.
The food collected will be donated to the charity society Instituto Pró-Cidadania de Curitiba, which will distribute it to those in need.
In 2007 this humanitarian initiative resulted in the collection of 24 tonnes of food, that became 52 in 2008 and 43 last year.
FIA ETCC JOINS FIA WTCC AT OSCHERSLEBEN
The German event of the 2010 FIA European Touring Car Cup that was due to be held at the Oschersleben Motorsport Arena on April 18th, has been post-poned to September 5th on the same racetrack.
Meaning that the FIA ETCC rounds 5 and 6 will take place within the FIA World Touring Car Championship race meeting.
The FIA ETCC competitors will take part on Sunday in two separate races from the FIA WTCC’s. A detailed timetable will be unveiled soon.
The dates of the three other FIA ETCC events remain unchanged: 28th March at Braga, Portugal; 25th July at Salzburgring, Austria; 17th October at Franciacorta, Italy.
TRW SPONSOR OF THE WTCC SAFETY CAR
TRW, one of the world’s leading providers of automotive safety and partner to the leading car manufacturers has entered into a multi-year partnership to become the first ever sponsor of the FIA WTCC Safety Car.
"We are very excited about the agreement of the safety car sponsorship for the WTCC," said Mr Søren Kristensen, European Marketing Manager of TRW. "It fits our brand position ’safety where it matters the most‘ perfectly and we are confident that the sponsorship will help us convey the message of automotive safety in the aftermarket segment. The safety car sponsorship as well as the surrounding activities will play a key role in our marketing activities this year."
‚We are extremely happy to welcome a new addition to the WTCC commercial family and believe that the sponsorship of the Safety Car will help communicate TRW’s values of safety across their distribution channels throughout Europe and beyond," commented Jacques Raynaud, Vice-Chairman of Eurosport Group and Eurosport Events.
HUNGARIAN AMBITIONS IN THE WTCC
Zengö-Dension Team and Norbert Michelisz are the first team and driver from Hungary to committ full season to an FIA World Championship.
Michelisz, who won the 2009 SEAT León Eurocup, will be at the wheel of a SEAT León TDI, a car he already drove successfully in the FIA European Touring Car Cup last year at Braga, when he was classified third after winning the first race.
"It is a dream come true! It feels great that everything we worked on together becomes reality. I expect tough fights as there are many great drivers in the series, but I think that with our car and experience we can be competitive," said Nortbert Michelisz who recently received the 2009 Talent of the Year award from FIA President Jean Todt.
"It makes me proud that we are going to be the first Hungarian team in the WTCC thanks to our partners, especially Dension Ltd. who is the main sponsor. It is a huge challenge for us, however we have proven already that we are capable to be competitive," team principal Zoltán Zengö commented.
FREDY BARTH TO RACE FOR SUNRED
Swiss driver Fredy Barth lodged a last minute entry and will make his maiden appearance in the FIA WTCC at the Race of Brazil that will take place next week in Curitiba.
Barth, a 31-year old from Lucerne, will drive a SUNRED Engineering SEAT León TDI car.
After taking his first motorsport steps in single seater series including Formula Campus and Formel Volkswagen Deutschland, Barth switched to saloon cars becoming a successful driver in the SEAT León cups.
Last year he was classified third in the SEAT Eurocup, claiming one victory at Porto.