Japanese racer Yukinori Taniguchi will replace Harry Vaulkhard at bamboo-engineering in the next three WTCC events at Oschersleben this week, Valencia and Okayama.
Team principal Richard Coleman commented: "While it’s sad to see Harry go it’s a great opportunity for us to work with Yukinori, his experience at the Okayama circuit will no doubt help us as a team when we get there."
Taniguchi made a brief appearance in the World Championship two years ago, when he raced at Monza and Okayama at the wheel of a JAS Motorsport Honda Accord car. Now he will be driving a bamboo-run Chevrolet Lacetti alongside Hong Kong’s Darryl O’Young.
"I have been looking to drive in WTCC since 2008 and now I have this opportunity in a great team and car. Bamboo showed they are one of the fastest independent teams this season and I can’t wait to get back behind the wheel," Taniguchi said.
Being sidelined because one of his sponsors pulled out, Vaulkhard commented, "I’m gutted, but my goal is to be back in WTCC for 2011 and I’m also working on other things for the remainder of the current season."
Yukinori Taniguchi takes over Vaulkhard’s Chevrolet from Oschersleben
THE CHAMPIONSHIP RESUMES AFTER SUMMER BREAK
The FIA WTCC resumes at Oschersleben after the traditional summer break and the title fights are on for the final four events of the season.
Chevrolet’s Yvan Muller continues to lead the standings on 199 points after scoring three victories this year. However, last time out in Brno, Muller endured his worst weekend of the season scoring no points and allowing his rivals to close the gap. Reigning champion Gabriele Tarquini remains second just 5 points adrift after being consistently up the front in his SEAT León TDI with seven visits to the podium.
Andy Priaulx lies third, only 16 points behind the leader. The BMW ace has put in some fantastic drives to claim five victories, the most of any competitor this season, to keep in contention for the title yet again.
Britain’s Rob Huff is fourth and reduced his gap to Muller to 32 points after claiming his first victory of the season for Chevrolet in Brno.
In the Manufacturers‘ championship Chevrolet currently lead on 445 from SEAT Customers Technology on 405.
The battle in the Independents is also raging with Proteam’s Segio Hernández leading his team-mate Stefano D’Aste by 18 points. Darryl O’Young is just 28 points adrift.
In the Rookie Challenge, Fredy Barth and Norbert Michelisz have mostly shared the spoils this year. Barth took over the lead in the standings after Brno with 104 points, Michelisz is now 5 points behind and Michel Nykjær is third with a 31-point gap.
With just four events remaining – Germany, Spain, Japan and Macau – all titles are still firmly up for grabs in what looks set to be a thrilling end to the 2010 season.
The FIA WTCC resumes in Oschersleben for the final part of the season
YVAN MULLER TO MAKE WRC DEBUT
Chevrolet WTCC ace Yvan Muller will make his first World Rally Championship appearance on the occasion of the Rallye de France that will take place on October 1st to 3rd.
The 2008 WTCC champion will be at the wheel of Petter Solberg’s former Citroën Xsara, run by the Automeca team, his co-driver will be Gilles Mondésir.
"In the latest seasons I have been focusing on Touring Car racing. However I competed in different specialities during my career, including rally raid, ice racing and rally. And I am always in favour of new experiences. Long since I wanted to try rally at a top level and I am very happy that this plan for the Rallye de France is being fulfilled. It is also a good occasion for me to discover the roads of my native region the Alsace," Muller commented.