WTCC Race of Slovakia - 15-17/04/2016
The Automotodróm Slovakia Ring was the setting for an unfortunate piece of WTCC history in 2014 when organisers were forced to cancel race two due to heavy rain – the first time this had happened since the series was revived in 2005. But there were no such problems last season when warm temperatures and bright sunshine formed the backdrop to two entertaining races. Located 40 kilometres east of the capital Bratislava, the Slovakia Ring was built between 2008-09 and has also hosted FIA GT1, FIA GT3 and FIA GT in the past. The FIA ETCC will be calling again in 2016.
1: The WTCC first visited the Slovakia Ring in 2012 when current drivers Gabriele Tarquini (SEAT) and that year’s champion Rob Huff (Chevrolet) collected their first wins of the season.
2: The following year Tarquini made the top step of the podium again, this time in a Honda Civic, giving the works team its first WTCC victory.
3: The Slovaks enjoy their WTCC racing: 25,000 fans attended the inaugural event in 2012, while 40,000 enjoyed the action in 2015.
4: Tennis champion Martina Hingis, a former world number one and winner of five Grand Slam titles, was born in Slovakia to a Slovak father and Czech mother.
5: The most famous American of Slovak descent is arguably Andy Warhol (1928-87), whose parents emigrated from Miková in north-eastern Slovakia before he was born.
FLASHBACK 2015 (19-21 JUNE)
Yvan Muller narrowed José María López’s advantage at the top of the standings to 30 points with his fourth win of the campaign in the first WTCC Race of Slovakia. However, both WTCC champions had no answer to Citroën team-mate Sébastien Loeb, who bagged his first win since March with a fine drive in the second race at the sun-baked Slovakia Ring where 40,000 fans watched the bumper-to-bumper action over the course of the weekend. Starting from pole, Muller produced a faultless display in his C-Elysée WTCC to win the opening 11-lap contest from López with Loeb third after the latter pair had initially battled for position. Rob Huff finished fourth for LADA with Hugo Valente topping the Yokohama Drivers’ Trophy in his Campos Racing Chevrolet Cruze, one place ahead of Honda driver Gabriele Tarquini. Jaap van Lagen started the reverse grid second race in first place but was unable to keep the chasing pack at bay, first dropping behind Tarquini before losing out to the flying Citroën trio. He finished sixth with Tarquini slipping to fourth and Valente again the top independent racer in fifth. Reigning Argentine Súper TC2000 champion Néstor Girolami scored a point on his WTCC debut by finishing P10 in race one.Official Website
Name: Automotodróm Slovakia Ring
Location: 800 Orechová Potôň 930 02, Slovakia
Length: 5.922 kilometres
Lap record (qualifying): José María López (Citroën C-Elysée), 2m03.736s (172.3kph), 20/06/15
Lap record (race): Gabriele Tarquini (Honda Civic), 2m05.748s (169.5kph), 21/06/15
WTCC RACE OF SLOVAKIA WINNERS
2015: Race 1: Yvan Muller (Citroën C-Elysée); Race 2: Sébastien Loeb (Citroën C-Elysée)
2014: R1: Sébastien Loeb (Citroën C-Elysée); R2: Race cancelled due to heavy rain
2013: R1: Gabriele Tarquini (Honda Civic); R2: Tom Coronel (BMW 320)
2012: R1: Gabriele Tarquini (SEAT León); R2: Rob Huff (Chevrolet Cruze)
WTCC RACE OF SLOVAKIA VENUES
2012-Present: Automotodróm Slovakia Ring