The 17th and 18th rounds of the FIA WTCC will take place in Spain, at Valencia’s Circuit Ricardo Tormo next week. This is the seventh consecutive visit of the FIA World Touring Car Championship to the Spanish stadium-like racetrack and once again the WTCC Race of Spain will mark the end of the European season.
The 4km circuit does not seem to suit any particular car, as Manufacturers shared honours in the previous years. SEAT scored four victories on its home soil, BMW and Alfa Romeo won three times apiece, while Chevrolet claimed two race wins (with the Lacetti car).
Gabriele Tarquini and Tiago Monteiro had won last year’s races with the glorious SEAT León TDi that has now been replaced by the SUNRED León 1.6T. The Spanish car has definitely showed significant progress in the latest events and could benefit from support of the local fans to win its first race.
The same applies to the two young Spaniards who are fighting for the Yokohama Trophy. Both Javier Villa in the Proteam Racing BMW 320 TC and SUNRED’s Pepe Oriola are set to put in strong performance in Valencia.
WTCC races always attract good crowds at Valencia’s Circuit Ricardo Tormo
MULLER BREATHES DOWN HUFF’S NECK
The championship resumes in Valencia after a one month Summer break following the previous race meeting at Oschersleben, where Yvan Muller (Chevrolet) and Franz Engstler (BMW) claimed one victory apiece.
Although restricted to the Chevrolet men, the fight for the Drivers‘ Championship is set to be exciting. Rob Huff leads the standings since the season kicked off in Brazil, however Muller consistently eroded his team-mate’s margin to a slim six-point gap, while Alain Menu still has theoretical chances, lying 69 points behind Huff.
Taking into account the trend of the latest five events that saw Muller cutting Huff’s advantage by 30 points, a change of leadership is not out of the frame.
NO WEIGHT BONUS FOR VOLVO
For the next WTCC event at Valencia, Robert Dahlgren’s Volvo C30 will not benefit from a weight reduction, just like the BMW 320 TC and SUNRED SR León 1.6T cars.
According to the calculation of the compensation weight based on the lap times set in the three previous events (Porto, Donington and Oschersleben), the Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T remains the reference car and will be carrying again 40 kilos in addition to the minimum weight of 1150 kg.
The 0.7-second gap between the Cruze and the other cars equates to a difference of 40 kilos, meaning that BMW 320 TC, SUNRED and Volvo will run on their minimum weight: 1170 kg for the rear-wheel-drive, 1150 for the front-wheel-drive. On the occasion of the previous event at Oschersleben, Volvo benefited from a reduction of 10 kilos, while the only model allowed to a weight reduction in Valencia will be the BMW 320si (- 20kg).
Compensation weight Valencia
+ 40 kg Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T
± 0 kg BMW 320 TC, SUNRED SR León 1.6T, Volvo C30 Drive
– 20 kg BMW 320si
The Volvo C30 will not benefit from weight reduction in Valencia
MULLER COMPLETES 24 HOURS OF CYCLING
Last weekend Yvan Muller and a bunch of his friends took part in the Le Mans 24-hour cycling race.
The Team Yvan Muller completed 186 laps of the Bugatti circuit during the 24 hours, that equated to 778 km and they were classified in 232nd position out of 382 teams.
"We were obviously extremely proud for having finished such a tough trial. It was a great experience and I was happy to share it with some friends of mine who are real amateurs, just like me," said Muller.
PLAY IT AGAIN… GABRIELE
Tomorrow Gabriele Tarquini will be racing again for the Polestar Volvo team in the Scandinavian Touring Car Championship.
After a disappointing maiden appearance at Karskoga, Sweden, where the Italian driver finished the races in 11th and 13th position, Tarquini is keen to do much better on the Danish track of Jyllandsringen.
"I have gained a lot of experience of the C30 that is going to be useful. The Volvo is a strong car and the pace in the race was really competitive," said Tarquini.
Among his competitors, Tarquini will find Fabrizio Giovanardi, his former team-mate in the Alfa Romeo WTCC team. Giovanardi will be racing in a Hartmann Racing Honda Accord, the same car the drove to win the FIA European Tourig Car Cup two months ago at Salzburg.