WTCC race winner and 2009 British Touring Car champion Colin Turkington will rejoin the Wiechers-Sport team for the next two events at Suzuka, Japan and Shanghai, China.
The 29-year old Northern Irish has spent the current season in the Scandinavian Touring Car Cup, where he ranked fifth in a BMW 320si. However, he also took part in WTCC’s British event at Donington Park, in a Wiechers-Sport BMW 320 TC. After qualifying fifth, Turkington was involved in incidents at the start of both races; in spite of this he managed to finished twice tenth.
Turkington’s car will be supported by Aviva-Cofco, Simon Machell, Chief Executive of Aviva Asia Pacific, commented: "The World Touring Car Championship is a prestigious global motorsports event and the races in Japan and Shanghai China serve as a great platform for us to enhance the awareness of the Aviva brand in Asia. We will be inviting over 300 customers and partners to the event in Shanghai. This allows us to connect with them via our shared passion for teamwork, innovation and performance. We look forward to treating them to a unique experience."
Turkington added: "I’m delighted to be racing for Aviva-Cofco Wiechers-Sport. I’ve had successful races for Aviva in Macau and Okayama and I can’t wait to get back in the car and drive for them again, especially because when I raced for Wiechers-Sport earlier this season at Donington we were the fastest BMW and fastest in the Yokohama Trophy."
Dominik Greiner, Team Manager of Wiechers-Sport, said: "It’s great to be working with both Colin and WSR and we are pleased to be representing such a leading global brand in Aviva-Cofco. Colin is a fantastic driver and one of his strengths is to be able to get accustomed to new circuits very quickly. As Suzuka and Shanghai are new track for all the drivers, we are confident that he can put this skill to good use to secure good results."
Colin Turkington returns to WTCC with Aviva-Cofco Wiechers-Sport
YOSHIMOTO JOINS SUNRED AT SUZUKA
Former GP2 driver Hiroki Yoshimoto will make his first appearance in the FIA World Touring Car Championship at his home event in Suzuka on October 23.
The 31-year old Yoshimoto will be at the wheel of a seventh SUNRED León 1.6T car run by the Spanish outfit SUNRED Engineering, alongside regular drivers Gabriele Tarquini, Aleksei Dudukalo, Michel Nykjær, Tiago Monteiro, Fredy Barth and Pepe Oriola.
"I’m really excited to join such a successful team as SUNRED in such a competitive championship as WTCC. I have to thank my sponsors SDI and Dechau for giving me this opportunity and I will do my best to be up to the task for the races at Suzuka," said Yoshimoto who built himself a solid reputation racing in Formula 3, GP2 (with two podium results between 2005 and 2006) and, most recently, in the Japanese Super GT.
MASAKI KANO RETURNS FOR HIS HOME RACE
Masaki Kano will make his comeback to the World Touring Car Championship for his home race meeting at Suzuka on October 23.
The 35-year old Japanese racer will take the wheel of the BMW 320 TC run by the German outfit Engstler Motorsport and entered under the DeTeam KK Motorsport banner. A car that was previously driven by Marchy Lee in Brazil, Belgium and Italy, and by Russian driver David Sigacev in Valencia.
Kano has become a regular competitor in WTCC Asian events, making occasional appearances with Engstler Motorsport in 2008, 2009 and 2010.
Once again Masaki Kano will drive a BMW car run by Engstler Motorsport
CHARLES NG IN ENGSTLER MOTORSPORT BMW
German outfit Engstler Motorsport will expand to four BMW cars for the WTCC events in Asia.
Besides the two Liqui Moly-sponsored 320 TC cars of team principal Franz Engstler and Kristian Poulsen, and the KK Motorsport 320 TC that will be driven by Masaki Kano at Suzuka, a BMW 320si with the 2.0L normally aspirated engine will be entrusted to Hong Kong driver Charles Ng on his maiden WTCC participation.
After building himself a solid reputation in drifting, the 27-year old Ng began his racing career in the States where he won the 2009 Skip Barber Mazda Challenge; last year he claimed the Asian Touring Car Series title in a Honda Integra. After Suzuka he will also race at Shanghai and Macau.
CHEVROLET DRIVERS CONFIRMED FOR 2012
After securing the 2011 WTCC Drivers‘ and Manufacturers‘ titles with three race meetings still to be held, the Chevrolet team have confirmed their three-driver line up for the next season: Yvan Muller, Rob Huff and Alain Menu who are currently first, second and third in the championship’s standings.
2012 will be Muller’s third season with the American brand, while it will be the eighth for Huff and Menu who are racing for Chevrolet since the WTCC kicked off, back in 2005.
Chevrolet Europe Motorsport Manager Eric Nève commented: "I am happy we can announce our 2012 driver line up ahead of the last, decisive rounds of this season. It makes perfect sense for us to keep them onboard. Rob, Alain and Yvan are not only three top class drivers, committed and professional, they are also excellent ambassadors of our brand. They can now travel to Asia with even clearer minds."