FIA WTCC https://www.fiawtcc.com Real cars, real racing Fri, 26 Aug 2016 20:23:02 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Lap of the WTCC track with Rob Huff https://www.fiawtcc.com/lap-of-the-wtcc-track-with-rob-huff/ Fri, 26 Aug 2016 12:00:44 +0000 https://www.fiawtcc.com/?p=242567

Rob Huff delivered an overtaking masterclass when Twin Ring Motegi hosted the FIA World Touring Car Championship for the first time last season. This is the factory Honda driver’s guide to getting the 4.801-kilometre lap just right.

07 VALENTE Hugo (fra) Chevrolet Cruze team Campos racing action 10 CATSBURG Nicky (nld) Lada Vesta team Lada Sport Rosneft action 18 MONTEIRO Tiago (por) Honda Civic team Honda racing Jas action     during the 2015 FIA WTCC World Touring Car Championship race at Motegi from September 11 to 13th 2015, Japan. Photo Frederic Le Floc'h  / DPPI.“We go across the line in fourth gear, up to fifth before Turn 1, which along with Turn 2, is treated as one corner effectively. You tend to barrel quite fast into Turn 1, trying to carry the speed through to get as late as possible on the power out of Turn 2 because if you get on the power too early you tend to get understeer and you have to lift on the exit.

“The run between Turn 2 and Turn 3 is really quite important so you’re taking plenty of speed into Turn 1 to really focus on the exit of Turn 2. Into Turn 3 is quite a good overtaking opportunity, especially if you put the pressure onto somebody in Turn 1 and Turn 2. You’re really slowing the car down a lot in to Turn 3, down to second gear.

“Turn 3 is really setting up Turn 4 and the run down to Turn 5. We saw quite a lot of overtaking last year into Turn 3 but also on the exit of Turn 4 and up to Turn 5, one of the slowest corners on the circuit and one of the hardest corners because it’s very flat and very slippery, down to second gear with a lot of understeer.

“A lot of people dummy into Turn 5 to make people defend in order to get a better exit out of Turn 5 and overlap through Turn 6 and into Turn 7. Getting on the power out of Turn 5 is critical because Turn 6 is flat and if you get a poor exit from Turn 5 you are allowing people the overtaking opportunity into Turn 7 and 8.

“Turn 7 is really about setting the car up for Turn 8, carrying as much speed through 7 as possible, being on the power as late as possible because if you get on the power too early into 8, you set the car up into understeer and that causes you a problem on the exit of Turn 8, which opens the door for people into Turn 9.

“Turn 9 is a very slow corner. When you’re driving it really feels like a 180-degree hairpin. And from Turn 9 to the next three to four corners are really quite slow so again it’s about focusing on the exit as both Turn 10 and 11 provide really good overtaking opportunities. Turns 9 to 11 are all second gear so all traction-limited on the exit and if you can push someone into defending or a small mistake into any of these corners, then you’ve got a good overtaking possibility.

“Because of the very steep downhill braking Turn 11 is very unique. Later in the race you will see a lot of people locking up and making mistakes going deep into 11. Although that is probably one of the corners that collects the most mistakes from people, it’s very difficult to overtake into Turns 11-14 because there really is only one line and because it goes from a right to a left, to a left to a right, it’s very difficult to line your car up into a position to give yourself that opportunity.

“Coming out of 11 you’re downhill and there is a lot of wheelspin on the exit. Last year we had a lot of people getting laps taken away for track limits on the entry to Turn 12 from running all four wheels off the track on the entry to get more speed and less of an angle through 12 and 13.

“Turns 13 and 14 probably present the hardest braking zones of any track we go to because you’re turning tight left still from Turn 12. The car is fully pitched over and very unbalanced. We saw a lot of drifting going on into Turn 13 last year and again in Turn 14 where there is a little trick that not many people picked up on last year. That really sets up the speed down the start/finish straight and makes Turn 1 a potential overtaking opportunity as well but I’m keeping that secret to myself!”]]>

Rob Huff delivered an overtaking masterclass when Twin Ring Motegi hosted the FIA World Touring Car Championship for the first time last season. This is the factory Honda driver’s guide to getting the 4.801-kilometre lap just right.

07 VALENTE Hugo (fra) Chevrolet Cruze team Campos racing action 10 CATSBURG Nicky (nld) Lada Vesta team Lada Sport Rosneft action 18 MONTEIRO Tiago (por) Honda Civic team Honda racing Jas action     during the 2015 FIA WTCC World Touring Car Championship race at Motegi from September 11 to 13th 2015, Japan. Photo Frederic Le Floc'h  / DPPI.“We go across the line in fourth gear, up to fifth before Turn 1, which along with Turn 2, is treated as one corner effectively. You tend to barrel quite fast into Turn 1, trying to carry the speed through to get as late as possible on the power out of Turn 2 because if you get on the power too early you tend to get understeer and you have to lift on the exit.

“The run between Turn 2 and Turn 3 is really quite important so you’re taking plenty of speed into Turn 1 to really focus on the exit of Turn 2. Into Turn 3 is quite a good overtaking opportunity, especially if you put the pressure onto somebody in Turn 1 and Turn 2. You’re really slowing the car down a lot in to Turn 3, down to second gear.

“Turn 3 is really setting up Turn 4 and the run down to Turn 5. We saw quite a lot of overtaking last year into Turn 3 but also on the exit of Turn 4 and up to Turn 5, one of the slowest corners on the circuit and one of the hardest corners because it’s very flat and very slippery, down to second gear with a lot of understeer.

“A lot of people dummy into Turn 5 to make people defend in order to get a better exit out of Turn 5 and overlap through Turn 6 and into Turn 7. Getting on the power out of Turn 5 is critical because Turn 6 is flat and if you get a poor exit from Turn 5 you are allowing people the overtaking opportunity into Turn 7 and 8.

“Turn 7 is really about setting the car up for Turn 8, carrying as much speed through 7 as possible, being on the power as late as possible because if you get on the power too early into 8, you set the car up into understeer and that causes you a problem on the exit of Turn 8, which opens the door for people into Turn 9.

“Turn 9 is a very slow corner. When you’re driving it really feels like a 180-degree hairpin. And from Turn 9 to the next three to four corners are really quite slow so again it’s about focusing on the exit as both Turn 10 and 11 provide really good overtaking opportunities. Turns 9 to 11 are all second gear so all traction-limited on the exit and if you can push someone into defending or a small mistake into any of these corners, then you’ve got a good overtaking possibility.

“Because of the very steep downhill braking Turn 11 is very unique. Later in the race you will see a lot of people locking up and making mistakes going deep into 11. Although that is probably one of the corners that collects the most mistakes from people, it’s very difficult to overtake into Turns 11-14 because there really is only one line and because it goes from a right to a left, to a left to a right, it’s very difficult to line your car up into a position to give yourself that opportunity.

“Coming out of 11 you’re downhill and there is a lot of wheelspin on the exit. Last year we had a lot of people getting laps taken away for track limits on the entry to Turn 12 from running all four wheels off the track on the entry to get more speed and less of an angle through 12 and 13.

“Turns 13 and 14 probably present the hardest braking zones of any track we go to because you’re turning tight left still from Turn 12. The car is fully pitched over and very unbalanced. We saw a lot of drifting going on into Turn 13 last year and again in Turn 14 where there is a little trick that not many people picked up on last year. That really sets up the speed down the start/finish straight and makes Turn 1 a potential overtaking opportunity as well but I’m keeping that secret to myself!”]]>
They said what? Drivers look ahead to WTCC Race of Japan https://www.fiawtcc.com/they-said-what-drivers-look-ahead-to-wtcc-race-of-japan/ Fri, 26 Aug 2016 10:00:48 +0000 https://www.fiawtcc.com/?p=242539

The FIA World Touring Car Championship drivers will be heading to Twin Ring Motegi for WTCC JVCKENWOOD Race of Japan next week (2-4 September). This is what five of them have had to say.

AUTO - WTCC ARGENTINA 2016Néstor Girolami (Polestar Cyan Racing): “It’s wonderful to be part of the WTCC again and I am very grateful to Polestar Cyan Racing for this opportunity to race in Japan when I will give all my best to have a great weekend. I shared the Argentina race weekend with the team and I learned a lot about the car before the test. I felt very comfortable during the test, the team worked hard to improve the performance and develop the car, which has great potential. The test was very, very good for me and a good opportunity to show what I can do. I did 30 laps and the conclusions were very good. My goal for Japan is to take this one step further and, above all, demonstrate that I have the speed, engineering skills and race craft to become a part of the team in the future.”

Ryo Michigami (Honda Racing Team JAS): “I had a chance to test the Civic WTCC at Barcelona and was hoping for an opportunity to race it, so I’m very excited that I’ll be able to do this so soon. I was involved in the development of the Civic Type R, which was released last year, and had been watching the Civic WTCC closely as well. I will be racing with my heart and soul at Motegi and putting all my experience to best use. Honda and JAS Motorsport have given me a wonderful opportunity; the car felt consistently fast in Spain and I’ll definitely be well-prepared for the races in Japan.”

Yvan Muller (Citroën Total WTCC): “The fight for the second place of the championship could be interesting, but I don’t really care about it, I’m only interested with first position! My target will be to bring a lot of points to Citroën for the Manufacturers’ championship. I feel that our potential is growing since the last two or three meetings, but I need three perfect sectors in qualifying to catch pole. Motegi is not a very fast track, there are a lot of corners but there are real overtaking opportunities. The search for traction is quite important and the track is hard for tyres. We can expect rain so it won’t be easy but it’s always good to go to Japan because fans are very passionate. This year I will arrive a few days earlier to take some time for visiting with my family.”

Hugo Valente (LADA Sport Rosneft): “I love Japan and I was happy to get on the podium last year because the previous year I was second but I lost the position two laps from the end. Funnily enough Japan last year was my worst weekend in terms of performance but I was making my best result because we were more consistent. Argentina was a frustrating weekend for me with two DNFs. Being the quickest LADA in qualifying was only a very small consolation so I am hoping for a better weekend in Japan when I am confident our pace will improve compared to what we saw in Argentina.”

Tom Coronel (ROAL Motorsport, WTCC Trophy, pictured): “I lived in Japan for five years so it’s a kind of coming back home for me. I was the Formula 3 champion, winning my title at Twin Ring Motegi, the Formula Nippon champion and in GT I won two times the All-Star race and was the only Honda driver who won in 2003 at Motegi. It’s the best circuit we have for overtaking and I know we will put on a good show. I said before Morocco, Portugal and Japan would be good for me this year and so far I have come away happy from Morocco and Portugal. I always feel power from coming to Japan and it’s easy when you have the same passion from the fans.”

 ]]>

The FIA World Touring Car Championship drivers will be heading to Twin Ring Motegi for WTCC JVCKENWOOD Race of Japan next week (2-4 September). This is what five of them have had to say.

AUTO - WTCC ARGENTINA 2016Néstor Girolami (Polestar Cyan Racing): “It’s wonderful to be part of the WTCC again and I am very grateful to Polestar Cyan Racing for this opportunity to race in Japan when I will give all my best to have a great weekend. I shared the Argentina race weekend with the team and I learned a lot about the car before the test. I felt very comfortable during the test, the team worked hard to improve the performance and develop the car, which has great potential. The test was very, very good for me and a good opportunity to show what I can do. I did 30 laps and the conclusions were very good. My goal for Japan is to take this one step further and, above all, demonstrate that I have the speed, engineering skills and race craft to become a part of the team in the future.”

Ryo Michigami (Honda Racing Team JAS): “I had a chance to test the Civic WTCC at Barcelona and was hoping for an opportunity to race it, so I’m very excited that I’ll be able to do this so soon. I was involved in the development of the Civic Type R, which was released last year, and had been watching the Civic WTCC closely as well. I will be racing with my heart and soul at Motegi and putting all my experience to best use. Honda and JAS Motorsport have given me a wonderful opportunity; the car felt consistently fast in Spain and I’ll definitely be well-prepared for the races in Japan.”

Yvan Muller (Citroën Total WTCC): “The fight for the second place of the championship could be interesting, but I don’t really care about it, I’m only interested with first position! My target will be to bring a lot of points to Citroën for the Manufacturers’ championship. I feel that our potential is growing since the last two or three meetings, but I need three perfect sectors in qualifying to catch pole. Motegi is not a very fast track, there are a lot of corners but there are real overtaking opportunities. The search for traction is quite important and the track is hard for tyres. We can expect rain so it won’t be easy but it’s always good to go to Japan because fans are very passionate. This year I will arrive a few days earlier to take some time for visiting with my family.”

Hugo Valente (LADA Sport Rosneft): “I love Japan and I was happy to get on the podium last year because the previous year I was second but I lost the position two laps from the end. Funnily enough Japan last year was my worst weekend in terms of performance but I was making my best result because we were more consistent. Argentina was a frustrating weekend for me with two DNFs. Being the quickest LADA in qualifying was only a very small consolation so I am hoping for a better weekend in Japan when I am confident our pace will improve compared to what we saw in Argentina.”

Tom Coronel (ROAL Motorsport, WTCC Trophy, pictured): “I lived in Japan for five years so it’s a kind of coming back home for me. I was the Formula 3 champion, winning my title at Twin Ring Motegi, the Formula Nippon champion and in GT I won two times the All-Star race and was the only Honda driver who won in 2003 at Motegi. It’s the best circuit we have for overtaking and I know we will put on a good show. I said before Morocco, Portugal and Japan would be good for me this year and so far I have come away happy from Morocco and Portugal. I always feel power from coming to Japan and it’s easy when you have the same passion from the fans.”

 ]]>
Race preview: Who will be the WTCC pass-master in Japan? https://www.fiawtcc.com/race-preview-who-will-be-the-wtcc-pass-master-in-japan/ Fri, 26 Aug 2016 08:00:20 +0000 https://www.fiawtcc.com/?p=242533

Points won’t be the only incentive on offer when the all-action FIA World Touring Car Championship season powers back on track at WTCC JVCKENWOOD Race of Japan next week (2-4 September).

AUTO - WTCC MOTEGI 2015

*Drivers target multiple overtakes at ‘great racing’ venue
*Home hero Michigami joins expanded factory Honda line-up
*Champion elect López watch out! Former nemesis Girolami is back


With overtaking opportunities aplenty at Twin Ring Motegi, the unofficial title of WTCC ‘pass-master’ will be up for grabs at the exciting venue north of capital city Tokyo.

New to the WTCC schedule in 2015, the 4.801-kilometre layout’s tight turns and long straights promote passing in abundance, as 2012 world champion Rob Huff can testify. “It’s not just a fantastic circuit but the best track we go to throughout the year for the racing,” said the Castrol Honda World Touring Car Team driver. “It’s a real racing track with lots of overtaking.”

After making up three positions in the first race at Twin Ring Motegi last season, Huff gained 10 places in the second race to climb from P13 to the final step of the podium in dramatic fashion. And Huff wasn’t alone in pulling off multiple overtakes. Works Honda star Tiago Monteiro made up eight places in race one with Tom Coronel and Stefano D’Aste also moving up the same number of positions in the second race. Tom Chilton and John Filippi were also on the rise in race two, overtaking six and five times respectively.

José María López, vying for a third consecutive World Touring Car title with Citroën Total WTCC, also knows a thing or two about overtaking having charged through from P18 to fifth in the Opening Race in his native Argentina last time out. If he leaves Twin Ring Motegi, where he was a race winner in 2015, with a 110-point advantage, then he’ll be provisional champion for 2016.

Four-time champion Yvan Muller, who completes the works Citroën line-up, was also in passing mode in Argentina, starting seventh and finishing third in the Opening Race. Having yet to register a win in 2016, the Frenchman will by vying to pull off as many overtaking moves as possible, although landing the DHL pole position – claimed in spectacular fashion last year by Honda privateer turned official driver Norbert Michelisz – will make his task a lot more straightforward.

Coming up soon:

ROB HUFF'S TRACK GUIDE
WHY JAPAN FEELS LIKE HOME FOR TOM CORONEL
WTCC JVCKENWOOD RACE OF JAPAN ESSENTIALS

Full preview available by clicking here

 ]]>

Points won’t be the only incentive on offer when the all-action FIA World Touring Car Championship season powers back on track at WTCC JVCKENWOOD Race of Japan next week (2-4 September).

AUTO - WTCC MOTEGI 2015

*Drivers target multiple overtakes at ‘great racing’ venue
*Home hero Michigami joins expanded factory Honda line-up
*Champion elect López watch out! Former nemesis Girolami is back


With overtaking opportunities aplenty at Twin Ring Motegi, the unofficial title of WTCC ‘pass-master’ will be up for grabs at the exciting venue north of capital city Tokyo.

New to the WTCC schedule in 2015, the 4.801-kilometre layout’s tight turns and long straights promote passing in abundance, as 2012 world champion Rob Huff can testify. “It’s not just a fantastic circuit but the best track we go to throughout the year for the racing,” said the Castrol Honda World Touring Car Team driver. “It’s a real racing track with lots of overtaking.”

After making up three positions in the first race at Twin Ring Motegi last season, Huff gained 10 places in the second race to climb from P13 to the final step of the podium in dramatic fashion. And Huff wasn’t alone in pulling off multiple overtakes. Works Honda star Tiago Monteiro made up eight places in race one with Tom Coronel and Stefano D’Aste also moving up the same number of positions in the second race. Tom Chilton and John Filippi were also on the rise in race two, overtaking six and five times respectively.

José María López, vying for a third consecutive World Touring Car title with Citroën Total WTCC, also knows a thing or two about overtaking having charged through from P18 to fifth in the Opening Race in his native Argentina last time out. If he leaves Twin Ring Motegi, where he was a race winner in 2015, with a 110-point advantage, then he’ll be provisional champion for 2016.

Four-time champion Yvan Muller, who completes the works Citroën line-up, was also in passing mode in Argentina, starting seventh and finishing third in the Opening Race. Having yet to register a win in 2016, the Frenchman will by vying to pull off as many overtaking moves as possible, although landing the DHL pole position – claimed in spectacular fashion last year by Honda privateer turned official driver Norbert Michelisz – will make his task a lot more straightforward.

Coming up soon:

ROB HUFF'S TRACK GUIDE
WHY JAPAN FEELS LIKE HOME FOR TOM CORONEL
WTCC JVCKENWOOD RACE OF JAPAN ESSENTIALS

Full preview available by clicking here

 ]]>
Dahlgren guns for STCC title and WTCC future https://www.fiawtcc.com/dahlgren-guns-for-stcc-title-and-wtcc-future/ Thu, 25 Aug 2016 10:00:42 +0000 https://www.fiawtcc.com/?p=242506

Robert Dahlgren wants a full season in next year’s FIA World Touring Car Championship and could return to the global series as a regional champion.

AUTO - WTCC ARGENTINA 2016Dahlgren made his WTCC comeback in Portugal in late June, taking over Fredrik Ekblom’s Volvo S60, and was also in action for Polestar Cyan Racing in Argentina earlier this month.

However, by missing the upcoming WTCC races in Japan and China, which clash with the final two Scandinavian Touring Car Championship rounds, Dahlgren gets an unexpected shot at his first STCC crown with team-mate and fellow Swede Richard Göransson just 11 points ahead in the title tussle.

“I want to drive both STCC and in Japan,” Dahlgren told Norran.se. “But as that isn’t possible, I want to try to win the STCC.

“I hope to drive full season [in the WTCC] next year as well. The team is going to run three cars and I hope to get the chance. But the mission I have now is to bring home the STCC title and that has always been my goal.”

Argentine Néstor Girolami has been recruited to replace Dahlgren as Thed Björk’s team-mate at Twin Ring Motegi from 2-4 September. Solvalla, west of Stockholm, hosts the next STCC event during the same weekend.

Additional reporting: Touringcartimes.com]]>

Robert Dahlgren wants a full season in next year’s FIA World Touring Car Championship and could return to the global series as a regional champion.

AUTO - WTCC ARGENTINA 2016Dahlgren made his WTCC comeback in Portugal in late June, taking over Fredrik Ekblom’s Volvo S60, and was also in action for Polestar Cyan Racing in Argentina earlier this month.

However, by missing the upcoming WTCC races in Japan and China, which clash with the final two Scandinavian Touring Car Championship rounds, Dahlgren gets an unexpected shot at his first STCC crown with team-mate and fellow Swede Richard Göransson just 11 points ahead in the title tussle.

“I want to drive both STCC and in Japan,” Dahlgren told Norran.se. “But as that isn’t possible, I want to try to win the STCC.

“I hope to drive full season [in the WTCC] next year as well. The team is going to run three cars and I hope to get the chance. But the mission I have now is to bring home the STCC title and that has always been my goal.”

Argentine Néstor Girolami has been recruited to replace Dahlgren as Thed Björk’s team-mate at Twin Ring Motegi from 2-4 September. Solvalla, west of Stockholm, hosts the next STCC event during the same weekend.

Additional reporting: Touringcartimes.com]]>
WTCC Fast Five with Rob Huff https://www.fiawtcc.com/wtcc-fast-five-with-rob-huff/ Wed, 24 Aug 2016 10:00:21 +0000 https://www.fiawtcc.com/?p=242485

With more starts than any of his FIA World Touring Car Championship rivals, the 2012 WTCC champion and works Honda driver talks racing at ‘home’, Japanese fans, food, extreme weather and helping home heroes.

AUTO - WTCC MOSCOW 2016Huff on… racing in Japan
“The level of importance is very equal throughout the season but of course there’s a bit of added intensity for us, it’s our home circuit and last year was a fantastic result for Honda with pole for Norbi [Michelisz] and a race win for Tiago [Monteiro]. Motegi was the real racing track of the WTCC last year with so much overtaking. It brings an added excitement and there’s going to be thousands of Honda fans cheering us on.”

Huff on… Japanese fans
“The Japanese fans are so blissfully peaceful, so humble, it almost makes you want to cry than smile when you are signing autographs because you are just in amazement, almost in awe of how simply beautiful the whole culture is. It’s definitely a special event.”

Huff on… new Honda team-mate Michigami
“I had the pleasure of meeting Ryo when he was testing in Barcelona recently and helping him a little bit. He got on very well in the test, he’s got some raw speed and will be absolutely fine when he makes his WTCC debut. He just needs to get stuck in, get involved and not be scared.”

Huff on… local cuisine
“I’m not the smallest chap in the championship mainly because I love my food and I’m very excited about being hosted by the Japanese people. The food I have had there as a visitor before has been truly amazing. Now going back there as a Honda driver I’m very excited to see what’s going to greet us.”

Huff on… extreme weather
“It was at Motegi last year where I experienced some really extreme weather with a big storm and all sorts. It’s nature but it’s always something that’s fascinated me.”]]>

With more starts than any of his FIA World Touring Car Championship rivals, the 2012 WTCC champion and works Honda driver talks racing at ‘home’, Japanese fans, food, extreme weather and helping home heroes.

AUTO - WTCC MOSCOW 2016Huff on… racing in Japan
“The level of importance is very equal throughout the season but of course there’s a bit of added intensity for us, it’s our home circuit and last year was a fantastic result for Honda with pole for Norbi [Michelisz] and a race win for Tiago [Monteiro]. Motegi was the real racing track of the WTCC last year with so much overtaking. It brings an added excitement and there’s going to be thousands of Honda fans cheering us on.”

Huff on… Japanese fans
“The Japanese fans are so blissfully peaceful, so humble, it almost makes you want to cry than smile when you are signing autographs because you are just in amazement, almost in awe of how simply beautiful the whole culture is. It’s definitely a special event.”

Huff on… new Honda team-mate Michigami
“I had the pleasure of meeting Ryo when he was testing in Barcelona recently and helping him a little bit. He got on very well in the test, he’s got some raw speed and will be absolutely fine when he makes his WTCC debut. He just needs to get stuck in, get involved and not be scared.”

Huff on… local cuisine
“I’m not the smallest chap in the championship mainly because I love my food and I’m very excited about being hosted by the Japanese people. The food I have had there as a visitor before has been truly amazing. Now going back there as a Honda driver I’m very excited to see what’s going to greet us.”

Huff on… extreme weather
“It was at Motegi last year where I experienced some really extreme weather with a big storm and all sorts. It’s nature but it’s always something that’s fascinated me.”]]>
WTCC Race of Japan: who’s in it to win it? https://www.fiawtcc.com/wtcc-race-of-japan-whos-in-it-to-win-it/ Tue, 23 Aug 2016 10:00:21 +0000 https://www.fiawtcc.com/?p=242469

With FIA WTCC JVCKENWOOD Race of Japan less than 10 days away, here’s a reminder of the World Touring Car chargers chasing success at Twin Ring Motegi from 2-4 September.

START main race  05 MICHELISZ Norbert (hun) Honda Civic team Honda racing Jas action 37 LOPEZ Jose Maria (arg) Citroen C Elysee team Citroen TOTAL WTCC action during the 2016 FIA WTCC World Touring Car Race of Argentina at Termas de Rio Hondo, Argentina on August 6 to 7 - Photo Jean Michel Le Meur / DPPIMehdi Bennani: While the WTCC Drivers’ Trophy is his priority, the Moroccan has won outright in 2016 and has the pace to do so again in Japan.

Thed Björk: With a reputation as a pass-master, the Swede will relish Twin Ring Motegi, a track renowned for its ample overtaking opportunities.

Nicky Catsburg: LADA’s star performer in 2016 has what it takes to impress at one of the few WTCC venues he’s raced at previously.

Tom Chilton: Argentina victory has set up the Sébastien Loeb Racing driver for an end-of-season points push.

Tom Coronel: WTCC’s Mr Charisma has enjoyed significant success in Japan, winning its World Touring Car Championship race three times and taking the prestigious Formula Nippon and All-Japan F3 titles in the past.

Grégoire Demoustier: Scored his best qualifying result of the season in Argentina on the back of a successful mid-season test.

Ferenc Ficza: Anxious to make up for lost time after illness kept him out of WTCC Race of Argentina.

John Filippi: Corsican privateer heads to Japan on the back of his best showing of the season, having scored in both races in Argentina.

Néstor Girolami: The back-to-back Súper TC2000 champion from Argentina gets his big chance: a factory Volvo S60 Polestar TC1.

Rob Huff: Didn’t stop overtaking at Twin Ring Motegi last season to score a memorable podium finish. Unsurprisingly, the works Honda driver is a massive fan of the venue.

José María López: Points will be the priority for Citroën’s World Touring Car king with a third WTCC title getting closer and closer.

Norbert Michelisz: After taking a sensational DHL pole position at Twin Ring Motegi last season, the factory Honda driver has what it takes to be super-quick at his second ‘home’ track.

Ryo Michigami: While the WTCC is unknown territory for the accomplished Japanese, he has knowledge the track and car (he tested in Barcelona last month).

Tiago Monteiro: A winner at Twin Ring Motegi in 2015, Monteiro has refused to give up hope of his first WTCC title.

Yvan Muller: Still without a win in 2016, the four-time WTCC champion deserves a change of fortune.

Dániel Nagy: The WTCC Race of Japan weekend provides more opportunity to learn and build his limited know-how.

Gabriele Tarquini: Adamant a non-scoring Argentina weekend was a temporary blip, the 2009 champion will be vying to add to LADA’s 2016 podium tally in Japan.

James Thompson: Twin Ring Motegi is all-new for the Briton but ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport’s racer has the experience to get to grips with untried circuits quickly.

Hugo Valente: Independent racer turned LADA factory driver was a podium finisher in Japan last season.]]>

With FIA WTCC JVCKENWOOD Race of Japan less than 10 days away, here’s a reminder of the World Touring Car chargers chasing success at Twin Ring Motegi from 2-4 September.

START main race  05 MICHELISZ Norbert (hun) Honda Civic team Honda racing Jas action 37 LOPEZ Jose Maria (arg) Citroen C Elysee team Citroen TOTAL WTCC action during the 2016 FIA WTCC World Touring Car Race of Argentina at Termas de Rio Hondo, Argentina on August 6 to 7 - Photo Jean Michel Le Meur / DPPIMehdi Bennani: While the WTCC Drivers’ Trophy is his priority, the Moroccan has won outright in 2016 and has the pace to do so again in Japan.

Thed Björk: With a reputation as a pass-master, the Swede will relish Twin Ring Motegi, a track renowned for its ample overtaking opportunities.

Nicky Catsburg: LADA’s star performer in 2016 has what it takes to impress at one of the few WTCC venues he’s raced at previously.

Tom Chilton: Argentina victory has set up the Sébastien Loeb Racing driver for an end-of-season points push.

Tom Coronel: WTCC’s Mr Charisma has enjoyed significant success in Japan, winning its World Touring Car Championship race three times and taking the prestigious Formula Nippon and All-Japan F3 titles in the past.

Grégoire Demoustier: Scored his best qualifying result of the season in Argentina on the back of a successful mid-season test.

Ferenc Ficza: Anxious to make up for lost time after illness kept him out of WTCC Race of Argentina.

John Filippi: Corsican privateer heads to Japan on the back of his best showing of the season, having scored in both races in Argentina.

Néstor Girolami: The back-to-back Súper TC2000 champion from Argentina gets his big chance: a factory Volvo S60 Polestar TC1.

Rob Huff: Didn’t stop overtaking at Twin Ring Motegi last season to score a memorable podium finish. Unsurprisingly, the works Honda driver is a massive fan of the venue.

José María López: Points will be the priority for Citroën’s World Touring Car king with a third WTCC title getting closer and closer.

Norbert Michelisz: After taking a sensational DHL pole position at Twin Ring Motegi last season, the factory Honda driver has what it takes to be super-quick at his second ‘home’ track.

Ryo Michigami: While the WTCC is unknown territory for the accomplished Japanese, he has knowledge the track and car (he tested in Barcelona last month).

Tiago Monteiro: A winner at Twin Ring Motegi in 2015, Monteiro has refused to give up hope of his first WTCC title.

Yvan Muller: Still without a win in 2016, the four-time WTCC champion deserves a change of fortune.

Dániel Nagy: The WTCC Race of Japan weekend provides more opportunity to learn and build his limited know-how.

Gabriele Tarquini: Adamant a non-scoring Argentina weekend was a temporary blip, the 2009 champion will be vying to add to LADA’s 2016 podium tally in Japan.

James Thompson: Twin Ring Motegi is all-new for the Briton but ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport’s racer has the experience to get to grips with untried circuits quickly.

Hugo Valente: Independent racer turned LADA factory driver was a podium finisher in Japan last season.]]>
Remembering when… Girolami made his point on WTCC debut https://www.fiawtcc.com/remembering-when-girolami-made-his-point-on-wtcc-debut/ Mon, 22 Aug 2016 13:00:18 +0000 https://www.fiawtcc.com/?p=242441

Néstor Girolami, whose FIA World Touring Car Championship comeback in Japan from 2-4 September was confirmed earlier today, made his point on his WTCC debut – quite literally.

29 GIROLAMI Nestor (arg) Nika racing Honda Civic action during the 2015 FIA WTCC World Touring Car Championship race of Slovakia at Slovakia Ring, from June 19 to 21st 2015. Photo Florent Gooden / DPPI.Driving a Nika International Honda Civic WTCC, the Argentine finished P10 in the opening WTCC Race of Slovakia on 21 June 2015 to score one championship point.

While P11 in the second counter meant he was unable to add to his scoring tally, the race was equally eventful after a dramatic start when Girolami narrowly avoided ploughing into the back of Ma Qing Hua’s stranded Citroën, after the Chinese driver stalled leaving the grid.

“It’s my first race and to get one point is good,” Girolami said at the time. “In the second race I was position 11 and this is important to finish the races and learn lap by lap. In the second race I made a good start but I found Ma stopped on the grid. I was very, very close to crash but it was lucky I could pass but it was very, very close. Thank you to everyone for their support.”]]>

Néstor Girolami, whose FIA World Touring Car Championship comeback in Japan from 2-4 September was confirmed earlier today, made his point on his WTCC debut – quite literally.

29 GIROLAMI Nestor (arg) Nika racing Honda Civic action during the 2015 FIA WTCC World Touring Car Championship race of Slovakia at Slovakia Ring, from June 19 to 21st 2015. Photo Florent Gooden / DPPI.Driving a Nika International Honda Civic WTCC, the Argentine finished P10 in the opening WTCC Race of Slovakia on 21 June 2015 to score one championship point.

While P11 in the second counter meant he was unable to add to his scoring tally, the race was equally eventful after a dramatic start when Girolami narrowly avoided ploughing into the back of Ma Qing Hua’s stranded Citroën, after the Chinese driver stalled leaving the grid.

“It’s my first race and to get one point is good,” Girolami said at the time. “In the second race I was position 11 and this is important to finish the races and learn lap by lap. In the second race I made a good start but I found Ma stopped on the grid. I was very, very close to crash but it was lucky I could pass but it was very, very close. Thank you to everyone for their support.”]]>
WTCC who’s who: Néstor Girolami https://www.fiawtcc.com/wtcc-whos-who-nestor-girolami/ Mon, 22 Aug 2016 12:00:26 +0000 https://www.fiawtcc.com/?p=242431

Argentine ace Néstor Girolami will return to the FIA World Touring Car Championship in Japan next month. Here’s everything you need to know about the new Polestar Cyan Racing signing.

during the 2016 FIA WTCC World Touring Car Race of Argentina at Termas de Rio Hondo, Argentina on August 6 to 7 - Photo Francois Flamand / DPPI.Born: 22 May 1989 in Isla Verde, a small town in southern Córdoba province

Lives: His country’s capital Buenos Aires has been home for Girolami for several years although he’s currently based over the border in Brazil, São Paulo to be precise

Nickname: Bebu (baby) due to the fact he’s one of the youngest drivers in his field

Early days: Like many Argentine youngsters, Girolami started out in regional dirt track karting events in a 50cc go-kart.

Encouraging signs: By the time he was 10 Néstor was runner-up in the Stihl class of the Argentine karting championship. And between 2000 and 2005 he would achieve considerable success in categories such as Pre-Junior 125cc

From karts to cars: Girolami made his Formula Renault 1.6 debut aged 16 and scored a podium at Buenos Aires in his first season of car racing

Monza magic: In 2006, Néstor was invited to take part in an Italian Formula Renault 2.0 round at Monza. He didn’t disappoint by finishing sixth for the Jenzer Motorsport team. He was also runner-up in both the Argentine Formula Renault and regional Formula Renault Plus championships before becoming the youngest works TC2000 driver with Renault

Next stop Honda: Girolami signed for Honda for the 2010 TC2000 season and also gained experience in the Top Race and Turismo Carretera series, in which he still competes.

Time for some lion-taming: A move to Peugeot for 2012 followed. And after narrowly missing out on the 2013 Súper TC2000 title at the final round to current WTCC champion José María López, Néstor came good in 2014 when he beat team-mate Agustín Canapino to become the new number one in Argentina

A Pechito beater in 2015: Girolami took part in a long-distance Brazilian Stock Car event in Goiânia in early 2015 where he was competing for the first time. Partnering Ricardo Mauricio, Girolami took victory with José María ‘Pechito’ López finishing fourth alongside Carlos Bueno

WTCC chance taken: Girolami earned a two-event deal to drive a Honda Racing team Sweden Civic WTCC. And he didn't disappoint with points in Slovakia and Portugal

Doubling up: With a second consecutive Súper TC2000 in the bag, Girolami secured a drive in Stock Car Brasil for 2016

Return to the WTCC: After impressing in testing, Girolami is announced as Polestar Cyan Racing’s second factory driver in WTCC JVCKENWOOD Race of Japan

Additional reporting: Juan Cruz Mathus

 ]]>

Argentine ace Néstor Girolami will return to the FIA World Touring Car Championship in Japan next month. Here’s everything you need to know about the new Polestar Cyan Racing signing.

during the 2016 FIA WTCC World Touring Car Race of Argentina at Termas de Rio Hondo, Argentina on August 6 to 7 - Photo Francois Flamand / DPPI.Born: 22 May 1989 in Isla Verde, a small town in southern Córdoba province

Lives: His country’s capital Buenos Aires has been home for Girolami for several years although he’s currently based over the border in Brazil, São Paulo to be precise

Nickname: Bebu (baby) due to the fact he’s one of the youngest drivers in his field

Early days: Like many Argentine youngsters, Girolami started out in regional dirt track karting events in a 50cc go-kart.

Encouraging signs: By the time he was 10 Néstor was runner-up in the Stihl class of the Argentine karting championship. And between 2000 and 2005 he would achieve considerable success in categories such as Pre-Junior 125cc

From karts to cars: Girolami made his Formula Renault 1.6 debut aged 16 and scored a podium at Buenos Aires in his first season of car racing

Monza magic: In 2006, Néstor was invited to take part in an Italian Formula Renault 2.0 round at Monza. He didn’t disappoint by finishing sixth for the Jenzer Motorsport team. He was also runner-up in both the Argentine Formula Renault and regional Formula Renault Plus championships before becoming the youngest works TC2000 driver with Renault

Next stop Honda: Girolami signed for Honda for the 2010 TC2000 season and also gained experience in the Top Race and Turismo Carretera series, in which he still competes.

Time for some lion-taming: A move to Peugeot for 2012 followed. And after narrowly missing out on the 2013 Súper TC2000 title at the final round to current WTCC champion José María López, Néstor came good in 2014 when he beat team-mate Agustín Canapino to become the new number one in Argentina

A Pechito beater in 2015: Girolami took part in a long-distance Brazilian Stock Car event in Goiânia in early 2015 where he was competing for the first time. Partnering Ricardo Mauricio, Girolami took victory with José María ‘Pechito’ López finishing fourth alongside Carlos Bueno

WTCC chance taken: Girolami earned a two-event deal to drive a Honda Racing team Sweden Civic WTCC. And he didn't disappoint with points in Slovakia and Portugal

Doubling up: With a second consecutive Súper TC2000 in the bag, Girolami secured a drive in Stock Car Brasil for 2016

Return to the WTCC: After impressing in testing, Girolami is announced as Polestar Cyan Racing’s second factory driver in WTCC JVCKENWOOD Race of Japan

Additional reporting: Juan Cruz Mathus

 ]]>
Determined Girolami earns factory WTCC chance in Japan https://www.fiawtcc.com/determined-girolami-earns-factory-wtcc-chance-in-japan/ Mon, 22 Aug 2016 11:00:15 +0000 https://www.fiawtcc.com/?p=242421

Néstor Girolami’s pace and perseverance have been rewarded with a great opportunity to stake his claim for a full-time drive in next year’s FIA World Touring Car Championship.

during the 2016 FIA WTCC World Touring Car Race of Argentina at Termas de Rio Hondo, Argentina on August 6 to 7 - Photo Francois Flamand / DPPI.The back-to-back Súper TC2000 champion from Argentina will pilot a factory Volvo S60 Polestar TC1 at FIA WTCC JVCKENWOOD Race of Japan next month, replacing Robert Dahlgren in representing the Swedish make alongside Thed Björk.

Girolami’s inclusion in the Polestar Cyan Racing line-up at Twin Ring Motegi from 2-4 September comes after he impressed team chiefs during a specially arranged test at Circuito Termas de Río Hondo earlier this month, and in light of his determination to compete in the fastest pan-continental touring car series.

While the agreement is currently for Japan only, the 27-year-old will be eager to impresses sufficiently and secure a long-term WTCC future. “It’s wonderful to be part of the WTCC again and I am very grateful to Polestar Cyan Racing for this opportunity to race in Japan when I will give all my best to have a great weekend,” he said. “I feel very well in this world of World Touring Cars. It’s my objective to be part of the WTCC next year and I will fight for it.”

He continued: “I shared the Argentina race weekend with the team and I learned a lot about the car before the test. I felt very comfortable during the test, the team worked hard to improve the performance and develop the car. The test was very, very good for me and a good opportunity to show what I can do. I did 30 laps and the conclusions were very good. I felt a great potential in the Volvo S60. My goal for Japan is to take this one step further and, above all, demonstrate that I have the speed, engineering skills and race craft to become a part of the team in the future.”

Girolami, who narrowly lost the 2013 Súper TC2000 title to double World Touring Car champion José María López, made two appearances in last year’s WTCC, scoring a point on his debut in Slovakia and finishing eighth in Vila Real. However, he opted for a switch to the Stock Car Brasil series for 2016 when hopes of a season-long world championship campaign diminished.

François Ribeiro, Head of Eurosport Events, the WTCC promoter, welcomed Polestar Cyan Racing’s decision to recruit Girolami for WTCC Race of Japan. “Argentina has so many talented touring car drivers to offer. Néstor ran José María López so close in the Súper TC2000 championship in 2013 before going on to clinch the title in 2014 and 2015. He now has the perfect shop window to deliver on his potential for Polestar Cyan Racing.”

Dahlgren, meanwhile, will now focus on his Scandinavian Touring Car Championship bid. With two events remaining, the Swede is 11 points off the title pace.

Alexander Murdzevski Schedvin, Head of Motorsport at Polestar, said: “We have chosen to let Robert focus his efforts on the STCC as he is in a competitive position for the title and at the same time utilise the unique opportunity to test Néstor during a race weekend, something that will be different next year when our championship title challenge phase begins.”

Polestar Cyan Racing will announce Thed Björk’s team-mate for the season-closing WTCC races in due course.

 ]]>

Néstor Girolami’s pace and perseverance have been rewarded with a great opportunity to stake his claim for a full-time drive in next year’s FIA World Touring Car Championship.

during the 2016 FIA WTCC World Touring Car Race of Argentina at Termas de Rio Hondo, Argentina on August 6 to 7 - Photo Francois Flamand / DPPI.The back-to-back Súper TC2000 champion from Argentina will pilot a factory Volvo S60 Polestar TC1 at FIA WTCC JVCKENWOOD Race of Japan next month, replacing Robert Dahlgren in representing the Swedish make alongside Thed Björk.

Girolami’s inclusion in the Polestar Cyan Racing line-up at Twin Ring Motegi from 2-4 September comes after he impressed team chiefs during a specially arranged test at Circuito Termas de Río Hondo earlier this month, and in light of his determination to compete in the fastest pan-continental touring car series.

While the agreement is currently for Japan only, the 27-year-old will be eager to impresses sufficiently and secure a long-term WTCC future. “It’s wonderful to be part of the WTCC again and I am very grateful to Polestar Cyan Racing for this opportunity to race in Japan when I will give all my best to have a great weekend,” he said. “I feel very well in this world of World Touring Cars. It’s my objective to be part of the WTCC next year and I will fight for it.”

He continued: “I shared the Argentina race weekend with the team and I learned a lot about the car before the test. I felt very comfortable during the test, the team worked hard to improve the performance and develop the car. The test was very, very good for me and a good opportunity to show what I can do. I did 30 laps and the conclusions were very good. I felt a great potential in the Volvo S60. My goal for Japan is to take this one step further and, above all, demonstrate that I have the speed, engineering skills and race craft to become a part of the team in the future.”

Girolami, who narrowly lost the 2013 Súper TC2000 title to double World Touring Car champion José María López, made two appearances in last year’s WTCC, scoring a point on his debut in Slovakia and finishing eighth in Vila Real. However, he opted for a switch to the Stock Car Brasil series for 2016 when hopes of a season-long world championship campaign diminished.

François Ribeiro, Head of Eurosport Events, the WTCC promoter, welcomed Polestar Cyan Racing’s decision to recruit Girolami for WTCC Race of Japan. “Argentina has so many talented touring car drivers to offer. Néstor ran José María López so close in the Súper TC2000 championship in 2013 before going on to clinch the title in 2014 and 2015. He now has the perfect shop window to deliver on his potential for Polestar Cyan Racing.”

Dahlgren, meanwhile, will now focus on his Scandinavian Touring Car Championship bid. With two events remaining, the Swede is 11 points off the title pace.

Alexander Murdzevski Schedvin, Head of Motorsport at Polestar, said: “We have chosen to let Robert focus his efforts on the STCC as he is in a competitive position for the title and at the same time utilise the unique opportunity to test Néstor during a race weekend, something that will be different next year when our championship title challenge phase begins.”

Polestar Cyan Racing will announce Thed Björk’s team-mate for the season-closing WTCC races in due course.

 ]]>
Tarquini: LADA can be faster in the WTCC https://www.fiawtcc.com/tarquini-lada-can-be-faster-in-the-wtcc/ Sun, 21 Aug 2016 18:00:23 +0000 https://www.fiawtcc.com/?p=242417

LADA should be back on top form when the FIA World Touring Car Championship resumes in Japan next month.

AUTO - WTCC ARGENTINA 2016After a tough trip to Argentina at the start of August, factory driver Gabriele Tarquini expects a more potent showing from the Russian make at Twin Ring Motegi from 2-4 September.

“We were better than our results really showed [in Argentina], we had a bad qualifying and that put us to the back and from their it’s always hard,” Tarquini said. “We probably had the pace for the top 10, okay not to fight for a podium this time but better than we showed.”

Former LADA driver Rob Huff scored a podium in Japan last season, taking his Rosneft-backed Vesta to third in the second race of the weekend.]]>

LADA should be back on top form when the FIA World Touring Car Championship resumes in Japan next month.

AUTO - WTCC ARGENTINA 2016After a tough trip to Argentina at the start of August, factory driver Gabriele Tarquini expects a more potent showing from the Russian make at Twin Ring Motegi from 2-4 September.

“We were better than our results really showed [in Argentina], we had a bad qualifying and that put us to the back and from their it’s always hard,” Tarquini said. “We probably had the pace for the top 10, okay not to fight for a podium this time but better than we showed.”

Former LADA driver Rob Huff scored a podium in Japan last season, taking his Rosneft-backed Vesta to third in the second race of the weekend.]]>