The FIA World Touring Car Championship has a strong presence at the Essen Motorshow this year. The show is one of the most popular motor sport exhibitions in Europe and opened on November 27th, continuing until December 5th.
The WTCC stand that is located close to those of its major partners in Germany, Motorsport Arena Oschersleben and the ADAC Procar series, exhibits two racng cars: the 2010 world champion Chevrolet Cruze of Yvan Muller and Andy Priaulx’s BMW 320si.
Animation for the fans is provided by the "Race" simulator that awards WTCC merchandising and items signed by the drivers, such as Chevrolet shirts by Muller and BMW gloves and shirts by Augusto Farfus.
Chevrolet and BMW racing cars exhibited in the WTCC stand at the Essen Motorshow
NEW KIDS ON THE WTCC BLOCK
The 2010 FIA World Touring Car Championship has launched some new faces in the stardom of international tin-top racing.
A bunch of young drivers – some of them having already achieved impressive results in the national series – attracted attention with remarkable performances, showing the speed and skill to compete against the established top-guns of the category.
Two of them, Colin Turkington (28 years old from Northern Ireland) and Norbert Michelisz (26 from Hungary), even claimed their maiden WTCC victories during the season.
Michelisz, the winner of the 2009 SEAT Eurocup, drove a SEAT León TDI run by the Zengö Dension Team. His rise was fast and consistent, leading him to an unexpected 9th position in the Drivers‘ championship and to a well deserved win in Macau’s Race 2.
Even more impressive was Colin Turkington’s path. The 2009 British Touring Car champion took part in only five events – Portimão, Brands Hatch, Brno, Okayama and Macau – in a West Surrey Racing BMW 320si. Right from the beginning he found his place among the best and claimed three podium results out of his first six races: third and second in Brands Hatch, second in Brno.
He shone again in the soaked Japanese event, finishing second in Race 2 behind fellow BMW driver Augusto Farfus; when Farfus was excluded by the International Court of Appeal, Turkington inherited a victory that he clearly had the potential to claim on the track. He also managed to make the top-ten in the Drivers‘ Championship despite taklng part in only ten races out of 22.
Colin Turkington and Norbert Michelisz claimed maiden WTCC victories in 2010
WTCC STATISTICS AND FIGURES
They say figures speak for themselves. Well, let’s check the most important figures that resulted from the 2010 FIA WTCC season.
46 drivers took part in at least one event, coming from 20 different countries and four continents. The most represented nations were Great Britain, Japan and Macau with five drivers apiece, while Italy, Morocco and Spain had three each.
For the first time the championship welcomed drivers from Argentina (Leonel Pernía at Monza) and Taipei (Kevin Chen at Okayama and Macau).
Competitors were at the wheel of cars built by five manufacturers: BMW, Chevrolet, Honda, SEAT and Volvo. The average participation was 22.6 cars per event with a peak of 29 in Macau.
148 drivers have started in at least one WTCC race since the championship was launched in 2005, from Ao Chi Hong (Macau) to Evgeny Zelenov (Russia) in alphabetical order.
Andy Priaulx is the only driver who has taken the start in all the 132 races held so far.
Andy Priaulx claimed six victories in 2010, matching Augusto Farfus‘ record from last year. Gabriele Tarquini won five races, Yvan Muller and Rob Huff three each, Tiago Monteiro two. One single win was achieved by Alain Menu, Norbert Michelisz and Colin Turkington.
Priaulx is also on top of the all-time statistics, with 18 victories. Three more than Farfus and Tarquini, five more than Muller. Three other drivers are in double-digit: Menu (12), Huff and Jörg Müller (10).
A total of 23 drivers have won at least one race from 2005 to 2010; this year the winners‘ circle has welcomed two new members: Colin Turkington and Norbert Michelisz.
With three pole positions and six fastest laps during the season, Gabriele Tarquini emerged as the fastest of the field. Rob Huff, Yvan Muller and Augusto Farfus with two poles and Andy Priaulx with five fastest laps, ranked behind him in the year’s statistics.
Thanks to these results, Tarquini jumped on top of both the all-time lists. With 13 pole positions the 2009 World Champion leads from Augusto Farfus by two. They left everybody else well behind as Alain Menu and Yvan Muller are joint in third with seven poles each.
Speaking of fastest laps, Tarquini shares the lead at 16 with Jörg Müller and Andy Priaulx. Farfus is fourth with 14.
Andy Priaulx led nearly one out of four of the 283 laps that formed the championship over the 22 races. Priaulx led 68 laps, 11 and 23 more than Gabriele Tarquini and Rob Huff respectively.
With a tally of three world titles won between 2005 and 2007, is not surprising to see Priaulx on top of the all-time list with 240 laps in the lead. Augusto Farfus is the only other driver who has led more than 200 laps: 211.
Gabriele Tarquini completes the ideal podium with 172 leading laps, while Yvan Muller made the most of his 161 laps in the lead, grabbing two world titles.
Alain Menu (141), Jörg Müller (140) and Rob Huff (134) are the other drivers who have led for more than 100 laps.
Freshly crowned world champion for the second time, Yvan Muller tops the list of the all-time scorers with 711 points. He is followed by Andy Priaulx and Gabriele Tarquini who collected 677 and 665 points respectively.
Muller’s consistency is proved by the 6.46 points he scored on average in the 110 races he has started in. Tarquini (5.15 pts over 129 races) and Priaulx (5.13 pts over 132 races) have been less effective.
The best average is Colin Turkington’s 9.7 points per race, counting only the ten races he attended this year, as he was not eligible to score when he took part in the occasional races in 2007. However these results are influenced by the change of the point system occurred in 2010.
51 drivers have scored at least one point over the championship’s six seasons, but only two of them have been able to do it on their only appearance: Eric Cayrolle at Pau in 2009 and Leonel Pernía at Monza this year.