The 7th and 8th rounds of the 2010 FIA WTCC will take place at Zolder next week.
This event marks the championship’s first visit to the 4-km racetrack, that was home to the Formula One Belgian Grand Prix between 1973 and 1982. It will also be the WTCC’s return to Belgium after its only visit, in 2005 at Spa-Francorchamps.
Back in 2001, Zolder hosted one meeting of the reborn FIA European Touring Car Championship that was split in two separate categories.
Gabriele Tarquini (Honda Accord) and Fabrizio Giovanardi (Alfa Romeo 156) shared victories in the Super Touring championship, while Duncan Huisman (BMW 320i) won the Super Production race.
The FIA touring cars return to Zolder nine years after the 2001 ETCC
40 KG OF EXTRA WEIGHT FOR CRUZE AND LEÓN
The Chevrolet Cruze and the SEAT León TDI remain the heaviest cars of the field. Like in the previous event at Monza, in Zolder they will again carry the maximum compensation weight of 40 kilos.
The compensation weight has been determined by the lap times set in Brazil, Morocco and Italy. According to this calculation, the León TDI emerged as the fastest car, one tenth faster than the Cruze and half-a-second faster than the BMW 320si. The German cars, that ran in Monza with no compensation weight on board, have been imposed 20 extra kilos for the Belgian event.
The Chevrolet Lacetti and Kristian Poulsen’s BMW (an old model) will have 20kg deducted from their minimum weight, while Pierre-Yves Corthals‘ petrol-powered SEAT León TFSI will also run on the maximum compensation weight because Zolder marks the first appearance of this model car during the current season.
Compensation weight Zolder
+ 40 kg SEAT León TDI, Chevrolet Cruze LT, SEAT León TFSI
+ 20 kg BMW 320si
– 20 kg Chevrolet Lacetti, BMW 320si (old model)
SEAT León TDI and Chevrolet Cruze remain the heaviest cars in Zolder
ENDURANCE FEVER FOR TOURING CAR DRIVERS
WTCC drivers are used to sprint races. However, sometimes they take also part in long distance competitions.
Last week Chevrolet’s racers Rob Huff and Vincent Radermecker claimed an outstanding result in the 12 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, part of the Belgian Touring Car Series. Sharing a Volvo S60 car with Eric van de Poele, they finished in a brilliant second place, losing a comfortable lead after a late safety car intervention.
This weekend Augusto Farfus, Andy Priaulx and Tom Coronel will compete in the GT2 class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. While the Dutchman joined the Spyker Squadron to share a Spyker C8 with Jeroen Bleekemolen and Peter Dumbreck, Farfus and Priaulx are at the wheel of BMW M3 works cars. The Brazilian is teaming up with Jörg Müller and Uwe Alzen, the Briton joins Dirk Müller and Dirk Werner.
TARQUINI TO RACE IN BUENOS AIRES 200KM
Reigning World Champion Gabriele Tarquini has signed for Argentine top team Equipo Petrobras to take part in the Buenos Aires 200KM, the 11th round of the TC2000 championship that will take place on November 7th.
Tarquini will share a Honda Civic car with Argentine raising star José María López, winner of two back to back TC2000 titles in 2008 and 2009.
"I’m really happy for this opportunity. I had positive comments about the race from my European colleagues who took part in previous years. And I am flattered at having received a proposal from the champion team to share the car with Péchito López. I know he is very fast and I followed sympathetically his failed attempt to join F1. That matter made us united someway, as I also signed an F1 contract with a team – First Racing – that never raced." said Tarquini.
Team principal Victor Rosso commented: "It is a great honour for us to have such an experienced and competitive driver joining our team. We are extremely happy to enter a team formed by the reigning champions in the world and the Argentine touring cars."