FIA WTCC https://www.fiawtcc.com Real cars, real racing Tue, 24 May 2016 11:22:31 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Countdown to the Big One: ETCC to provide double Nordschleife touring car fun https://www.fiawtcc.com/countdown-to-the-big-one-etcc-to-provide-double-nordschleife-touring-car-fun/ Tue, 24 May 2016 06:00:57 +0000 https://www.fiawtcc.com/?p=231678

A double treat is in store for touring car fans at the Nürburgring Nordschleife later this week. In addition to the FIA World Touring Car Championship, the FIA European Touring Car Cup will also provide plenty of bumper-to-bumper action, albeit with a twist.

during the 2016 FIA WTCC World Touring Car Championship race of Slovakia at Slovakia Ring, from April 15 to 17 2016 - Photo François Flamand / DPPI.Rather than having their own races, the ETCC drivers will follow their WTCC counterparts over the 25.378-kilometre layout during two three-lap contests. It’s the first time the championships, promoted by Eurosport Events, have joined forces and the spectacle will be eagerly anticipated as the ETCC drivers aim to learn from some of the world’s best touring car racers.

And with Switzerland’s Peter Rikli topping the title table by a single point ahead of Czech Petr Fulín, the spectacle is heightened. However, it’s Rikli’s Honda Civic-mounted team-mate and fellow Swiss Kris Richard (pictured) on a high following his win double last time out in Slovakia. “We will give all we have,” said the 21-year-old Richard in preparation for his trip to Germany. “I have done many hours on the simulator to try to learn the Nürburgring Nordschleife and I have big support from my team and from JAS Motorsport, so I will have a big push for these races.”

YOUNG GUNS CHALLENGE EXPERIENCED ETCC RACERS: This year’s ETCC driver line-up blends youth and experience. German promise Niklas Mackschin (21) will defend his ETCC S1600 title in a Fiesta, which is also the car of choice for his compatriot Daniel Niermann (25). Mackschin, who tops the S1600 division by 10 points after four races, is a big fan of the Nordschleife. “It’s the absolutely perfect circuit, so exciting and so tricky,” he said. “It’s going to be a hard weekend because it’s a difficult track and we’ll also have the WTCC cars in the same races. But I am really excited to be racing there in the ETCC.”

Hungary’s Norbert Nagy (21) is a contender for Super 2000 honours driving a Zengő Motorsport SEAT, while Mladen Lalušić, 20 from Serbia, has signed up for a full-season with Lein Racing after making selected ETCC appearances for the team in 2015. Swiss Christjohannes Schreiber, 27, and Portugal’s Fábio Mota (28) are ETCC rookies for 2016. Germans Andreas Rinke (30) and Ulrike Krafft (31) will also be in action along with Czech Petr Fulín, a favourite for the S2000 crown in a Křenek Motorsport SEAT.

Lema Racing’s FIA Hill Climb champion Igor Stefanovski, from Macedonia, and swift Swiss Peter Rikli complete the full-season entry, which will be bolstered by several wildcards for the Nürburgring Nordschleife, including Ukrainians Sergii Kravets and Pavlo Kopylets, who will pilot a brace of Fiestas for Master KR Racing, and 21-year-old Austrian David Greissner (ETH Tuning Peugeot 207 Sport).

SÉBASTIEN LOEB RACING ETCC CHANCE FOR PEUGEOT PAIR: French racers Teddy Clairet and David Pouget will give the Peugeot 308 Racing Cup its FIA ETCC debut at the Nürburgring Nordschleife. Sébastien Loeb Racing, the team co-founded by the multiple WRC champion and WTCC race winner, has been entrusted by Peugeot Sport to run the all-new car in selected international races, including Germany’s ETCC double-header. Clairet, 22, is a graduate of the French Renault Clio Cup, while Pouget, who turns 38 on 26 May, has raced in one-make Peugeot categories for several seasons.

BIG YEAR FOR ETCC: It’s a big year for the ETCC with a new two-tiered structure in place to streamline the competition. The headlining Super 2000 Cup is for the FIA’s new TCN2 category, plus the TC2T, TC2 and Single Make Trophy class, while the Super 1600 Cup caters for cars such as Ford’s Fiesta and Peugeot’s 207. And there are two big prizes at stake with the S2000 champion winning a WTCC race weekend in 2017, while the S1600 champion gets a test in a new-generation TCN2 car.

ETCC RULES REFRESHER: While the results of Qualifying will determine the grid order for Race 1, the results of the first race will decide the starting grid for Race 2, albeit with the top eight finishers lining up in reverse order. For both the Super 2000 Cup and the Super 1600 Cup, the fastest three drivers in qualifying will score: 3-2-1. The top eight finishers in each class in each race will score: 10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1. To avoid confusion, all ETCC cars will be numbered 100 upwards for the Nürburgring Nordschleife. A race-by-race prize fund of €25,000, jointly awarded by tyre partner Yokohama, will be split between the Super 2000 and Super 1600 competitors.

WEEKEND OVERVIEW: Eighteen drivers will contest the two ETCC races at the Nürburgring Nordschleife. Thursday’s itinerary includes a 60-minute test and Free Practice 1. Friday’s track activity is made up of Free Practice 2 and Qualifying with the two three-lap races held on Saturday (at 11h20 and 12h45) prior to the ADAC 24h-Rennen.]]>

A double treat is in store for touring car fans at the Nürburgring Nordschleife later this week. In addition to the FIA World Touring Car Championship, the FIA European Touring Car Cup will also provide plenty of bumper-to-bumper action, albeit with a twist.

during the 2016 FIA WTCC World Touring Car Championship race of Slovakia at Slovakia Ring, from April 15 to 17 2016 - Photo François Flamand / DPPI.Rather than having their own races, the ETCC drivers will follow their WTCC counterparts over the 25.378-kilometre layout during two three-lap contests. It’s the first time the championships, promoted by Eurosport Events, have joined forces and the spectacle will be eagerly anticipated as the ETCC drivers aim to learn from some of the world’s best touring car racers.

And with Switzerland’s Peter Rikli topping the title table by a single point ahead of Czech Petr Fulín, the spectacle is heightened. However, it’s Rikli’s Honda Civic-mounted team-mate and fellow Swiss Kris Richard (pictured) on a high following his win double last time out in Slovakia. “We will give all we have,” said the 21-year-old Richard in preparation for his trip to Germany. “I have done many hours on the simulator to try to learn the Nürburgring Nordschleife and I have big support from my team and from JAS Motorsport, so I will have a big push for these races.”

YOUNG GUNS CHALLENGE EXPERIENCED ETCC RACERS: This year’s ETCC driver line-up blends youth and experience. German promise Niklas Mackschin (21) will defend his ETCC S1600 title in a Fiesta, which is also the car of choice for his compatriot Daniel Niermann (25). Mackschin, who tops the S1600 division by 10 points after four races, is a big fan of the Nordschleife. “It’s the absolutely perfect circuit, so exciting and so tricky,” he said. “It’s going to be a hard weekend because it’s a difficult track and we’ll also have the WTCC cars in the same races. But I am really excited to be racing there in the ETCC.”

Hungary’s Norbert Nagy (21) is a contender for Super 2000 honours driving a Zengő Motorsport SEAT, while Mladen Lalušić, 20 from Serbia, has signed up for a full-season with Lein Racing after making selected ETCC appearances for the team in 2015. Swiss Christjohannes Schreiber, 27, and Portugal’s Fábio Mota (28) are ETCC rookies for 2016. Germans Andreas Rinke (30) and Ulrike Krafft (31) will also be in action along with Czech Petr Fulín, a favourite for the S2000 crown in a Křenek Motorsport SEAT.

Lema Racing’s FIA Hill Climb champion Igor Stefanovski, from Macedonia, and swift Swiss Peter Rikli complete the full-season entry, which will be bolstered by several wildcards for the Nürburgring Nordschleife, including Ukrainians Sergii Kravets and Pavlo Kopylets, who will pilot a brace of Fiestas for Master KR Racing, and 21-year-old Austrian David Greissner (ETH Tuning Peugeot 207 Sport).

SÉBASTIEN LOEB RACING ETCC CHANCE FOR PEUGEOT PAIR: French racers Teddy Clairet and David Pouget will give the Peugeot 308 Racing Cup its FIA ETCC debut at the Nürburgring Nordschleife. Sébastien Loeb Racing, the team co-founded by the multiple WRC champion and WTCC race winner, has been entrusted by Peugeot Sport to run the all-new car in selected international races, including Germany’s ETCC double-header. Clairet, 22, is a graduate of the French Renault Clio Cup, while Pouget, who turns 38 on 26 May, has raced in one-make Peugeot categories for several seasons.

BIG YEAR FOR ETCC: It’s a big year for the ETCC with a new two-tiered structure in place to streamline the competition. The headlining Super 2000 Cup is for the FIA’s new TCN2 category, plus the TC2T, TC2 and Single Make Trophy class, while the Super 1600 Cup caters for cars such as Ford’s Fiesta and Peugeot’s 207. And there are two big prizes at stake with the S2000 champion winning a WTCC race weekend in 2017, while the S1600 champion gets a test in a new-generation TCN2 car.

ETCC RULES REFRESHER: While the results of Qualifying will determine the grid order for Race 1, the results of the first race will decide the starting grid for Race 2, albeit with the top eight finishers lining up in reverse order. For both the Super 2000 Cup and the Super 1600 Cup, the fastest three drivers in qualifying will score: 3-2-1. The top eight finishers in each class in each race will score: 10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1. To avoid confusion, all ETCC cars will be numbered 100 upwards for the Nürburgring Nordschleife. A race-by-race prize fund of €25,000, jointly awarded by tyre partner Yokohama, will be split between the Super 2000 and Super 1600 competitors.

WEEKEND OVERVIEW: Eighteen drivers will contest the two ETCC races at the Nürburgring Nordschleife. Thursday’s itinerary includes a 60-minute test and Free Practice 1. Friday’s track activity is made up of Free Practice 2 and Qualifying with the two three-lap races held on Saturday (at 11h20 and 12h45) prior to the ADAC 24h-Rennen.]]>
Countdown to the Big One: Why Filippi is focusing in the WTCC https://www.fiawtcc.com/countdown-to-the-big-one-why-filippi-is-focusing-in-the-wtcc/ Mon, 23 May 2016 18:00:10 +0000 https://www.fiawtcc.com/?p=231675

John Filippi says keeping focused will mean everything when the legendary Nürburgring Nordschleife hosts the FIA World Touring Car Championship from 26-28 May.

AUTO - WTCC MARRAKECH 2016Like a number of his WTCC rivals, Campos Racing driver Filippi is making his second start at the German venue, which measures 25.378 kilometres in length and consists of 64 corners.

He said: “Last year was my first time. In the last race in Marrakech the track was 2.9 kilometres, the Nürburgring it’s more than 25 kilometres, a big difference. The track is totally different and it’s difficult to learn all the turns so you have to keep your focus so much. The corners are very fast and there are many things that we must be careful on. It’s very difficult and we see the really good drivers coming through at this kind of track.”

Filippi, a contender for WTCC Trophy honours, drove his OSCARO-backed Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1 to P12 and P10 in the two races last season and has fond memories of his trip to Germany.

“It was a good race last year,” said the 21-year-old Corsican. “I went forward every time I drove on the track and scored some points in race two. In race one I was not far away. I enjoyed the weekend but with the 24 hours there are many people who have more experience than me.”]]>

John Filippi says keeping focused will mean everything when the legendary Nürburgring Nordschleife hosts the FIA World Touring Car Championship from 26-28 May.

AUTO - WTCC MARRAKECH 2016Like a number of his WTCC rivals, Campos Racing driver Filippi is making his second start at the German venue, which measures 25.378 kilometres in length and consists of 64 corners.

He said: “Last year was my first time. In the last race in Marrakech the track was 2.9 kilometres, the Nürburgring it’s more than 25 kilometres, a big difference. The track is totally different and it’s difficult to learn all the turns so you have to keep your focus so much. The corners are very fast and there are many things that we must be careful on. It’s very difficult and we see the really good drivers coming through at this kind of track.”

Filippi, a contender for WTCC Trophy honours, drove his OSCARO-backed Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1 to P12 and P10 in the two races last season and has fond memories of his trip to Germany.

“It was a good race last year,” said the 21-year-old Corsican. “I went forward every time I drove on the track and scored some points in race two. In race one I was not far away. I enjoyed the weekend but with the 24 hours there are many people who have more experience than me.”]]>
Countdown to the Big One: WTCC winner Monteiro ready for the “world’s hardest track” https://www.fiawtcc.com/countdown-to-the-big-one-wtcc-winner-monteiro-ready-for-the-worlds-hardest-track/ Mon, 23 May 2016 12:00:15 +0000 https://www.fiawtcc.com/?p=231622

Tiago Monteiro reckons the Nürburgring Nordschleife, venue for FIA WTCC Race of Germany later this week, is the “hardest track in the world to learn”.

18 MONTEIRO Tiago (por) 02 TARQUINI Gabriele (ita) Honda Civic team Honda racing Jas actionduring the 2015 FIA WTCC World Touring Car Race of Nurburgring, Germany from May 15th to 17th 2015. Photo Florent Gooden / DPPI.With the 25.378-kilometre lack consisting of 64 heart-stopping turns, the Nordschleife represents a huge challenge for car and driver, as Honda ace Monteiro is quick to point out.

“It’s the biggest challenge,” said the Portuguese. “It’s definitely the hardest track in the world to learn, to be fast on and to be able to attack. I wanted to race there for ages but I never had the opportunity, so when they announced it I took the opportunity to go and test as much as possible. I went there three or four times and it was just amazing. Like Macau, the Nordschleife is a top challenge and that’s why we race there.”

Monteiro is currently second in the race for this year’s FIA World Touring Car Championship, 14 points behind Citroën’s defending champion José María López.]]>

Tiago Monteiro reckons the Nürburgring Nordschleife, venue for FIA WTCC Race of Germany later this week, is the “hardest track in the world to learn”.

18 MONTEIRO Tiago (por) 02 TARQUINI Gabriele (ita) Honda Civic team Honda racing Jas actionduring the 2015 FIA WTCC World Touring Car Race of Nurburgring, Germany from May 15th to 17th 2015. Photo Florent Gooden / DPPI.With the 25.378-kilometre lack consisting of 64 heart-stopping turns, the Nordschleife represents a huge challenge for car and driver, as Honda ace Monteiro is quick to point out.

“It’s the biggest challenge,” said the Portuguese. “It’s definitely the hardest track in the world to learn, to be fast on and to be able to attack. I wanted to race there for ages but I never had the opportunity, so when they announced it I took the opportunity to go and test as much as possible. I went there three or four times and it was just amazing. Like Macau, the Nordschleife is a top challenge and that’s why we race there.”

Monteiro is currently second in the race for this year’s FIA World Touring Car Championship, 14 points behind Citroën’s defending champion José María López.]]>
Countdown to the Big One: It’s full throttle (for 68% of the Nordschleife) in the WTCC https://www.fiawtcc.com/countdown-to-the-big-one-its-full-throttle-for-68-in-the-wtcc/ Mon, 23 May 2016 06:00:36 +0000 https://www.fiawtcc.com/?p=231614

It’s all about high speed when the FIA World Touring Car Championship hits the Nürburgring Nordschleife this week.

68 MULLER Yvan (fra) Citroen C Elysee team Citroen racing action during the 2015 FIA WTCC World Touring Car Race of Nurburgring, Germany from May 15th to 17th 2015. Photo Florent Gooden / DPPI.The factory Citroën team has done some calculations ahead of the WTCC’s Big One and the findings make for interesting – and rapid – reading.

Works stars José María López and Yvan Muller, who have six FIA World Touring Car Championship crowns between them – will be at full throttle for 68% of the 25.378-kilometre lap and reach a top speed of 260kph.

And when they’re not driving flat out, they’ll be changing gear in their C-Elysée WTCCs a staggering 79 times.

Muller, who won the second of two WTCC races at the Nordschleife last season, said: “For what it’s worth, the long straight at the Nürburgring is the same length as the entire Marrakech circuit we raced on two weeks ago. You need to strike the right balance between risk taking and the time you can gain. In particular, you need to focus on the big curves leading into the long straights. If you take your foot off the gas slightly when you should be going at full tilt, you can lose entire seconds.”

WTCC Race of Germany takes place from 26-28 May.]]>

It’s all about high speed when the FIA World Touring Car Championship hits the Nürburgring Nordschleife this week.

68 MULLER Yvan (fra) Citroen C Elysee team Citroen racing action during the 2015 FIA WTCC World Touring Car Race of Nurburgring, Germany from May 15th to 17th 2015. Photo Florent Gooden / DPPI.The factory Citroën team has done some calculations ahead of the WTCC’s Big One and the findings make for interesting – and rapid – reading.

Works stars José María López and Yvan Muller, who have six FIA World Touring Car Championship crowns between them – will be at full throttle for 68% of the 25.378-kilometre lap and reach a top speed of 260kph.

And when they’re not driving flat out, they’ll be changing gear in their C-Elysée WTCCs a staggering 79 times.

Muller, who won the second of two WTCC races at the Nordschleife last season, said: “For what it’s worth, the long straight at the Nürburgring is the same length as the entire Marrakech circuit we raced on two weeks ago. You need to strike the right balance between risk taking and the time you can gain. In particular, you need to focus on the big curves leading into the long straights. If you take your foot off the gas slightly when you should be going at full tilt, you can lose entire seconds.”

WTCC Race of Germany takes place from 26-28 May.]]>
Countdown to the Big One: The key WTCC timings https://www.fiawtcc.com/countdown-to-the-big-one-the-key-wtcc-timings/ Sun, 22 May 2016 10:00:34 +0000 https://www.fiawtcc.com/?p=231606

It’s a busy week in the FIA World Touring Car Championship with the Nürburgring Nordschleife hosting the thrilling action from 26-28 May.

MICHELISZ Norbert (hun) Honda Civic team Zengo motorsport portrait ambiance DRIVERS PARADE and AUTOGRAPH SESSION  during the 2015 FIA WTCC World Touring Car Race of Nurburgring, Germany from May 15th to 17th 2015. Photo Jean Michel Le Meur / DPPI.Here are all the key timings:

Wednesday 25 May
16h00-17h00: Autograph session (Adenauer Racing Day, Adenauer Village)

Thursday 26 May
11h30-12h30: Testing
18h45-19h45: Free Practice 1

Friday 27 May
08h15-09h15: Free Practice 2
10h45-11h15: Autograph session (WTCC Fan Village, WTCC paddock)
11h15-11h30: Driver Q&A with Nicky Catsburg, Tom Coronel, Norbert Michelisz
12h45-13h45: Qualifying
14h10-14h50: WTCC MAC3
15h45-16h00: Selfie Session (WTCC Fan Village)
16h15-16h30: Driver Q&A with José María López and Tiago Monteiro (WTCC Fan Village)

Saturday 28 May
11h20: WTCC Opening Race (3 laps)
12h45: WTCC Main Race (3 laps)
15h00-15h15: Driver Q&A with John Filippi and Gabriele Tarquini (WTCC Fan Village)]]>

It’s a busy week in the FIA World Touring Car Championship with the Nürburgring Nordschleife hosting the thrilling action from 26-28 May.

MICHELISZ Norbert (hun) Honda Civic team Zengo motorsport portrait ambiance DRIVERS PARADE and AUTOGRAPH SESSION  during the 2015 FIA WTCC World Touring Car Race of Nurburgring, Germany from May 15th to 17th 2015. Photo Jean Michel Le Meur / DPPI.Here are all the key timings:

Wednesday 25 May
16h00-17h00: Autograph session (Adenauer Racing Day, Adenauer Village)

Thursday 26 May
11h30-12h30: Testing
18h45-19h45: Free Practice 1

Friday 27 May
08h15-09h15: Free Practice 2
10h45-11h15: Autograph session (WTCC Fan Village, WTCC paddock)
11h15-11h30: Driver Q&A with Nicky Catsburg, Tom Coronel, Norbert Michelisz
12h45-13h45: Qualifying
14h10-14h50: WTCC MAC3
15h45-16h00: Selfie Session (WTCC Fan Village)
16h15-16h30: Driver Q&A with José María López and Tiago Monteiro (WTCC Fan Village)

Saturday 28 May
11h20: WTCC Opening Race (3 laps)
12h45: WTCC Main Race (3 laps)
15h00-15h15: Driver Q&A with John Filippi and Gabriele Tarquini (WTCC Fan Village)]]>
Countdown to the Big One: Top 10 Nürburgring Nordschleife facts https://www.fiawtcc.com/wtcc-top-10-facts-nuerburgring-nordschleife/ Sat, 21 May 2016 10:00:22 +0000 https://www.fiawtcc.com/?p=231563

The FIA World Touring Car Championship returns to the toughest track of them all, the legendary Nürburgring Nordschleife, from 26-28 May. Here are 10 facts to whet the appetite.

Ambiance during the 2015 FIA WTCC World Touring Car Race of Nurburgring, Germany from May 15th to 17th 2015. Photo Florent Gooden / DPPI.1: Inspired by Italy’s Targa Florio road course, construction work on the original Nürburgring, near the village of Nürburg in Germany’s Eifel mountain region, began on 27 September 1925 and was completed in the spring of 1927. It cost around 15 million Reichsmark and needed 3000 workers.

2: The first races were held around the full 28.265-kilometre circuit on 18/19 June 1927. That first race for motorcycles was won by Germany’s Toni Ulmen (350cc Velocette), with the following day’s car race won by Rudolf Caracciola in the over 5000cc class in a Mercedes Compressor.

3: The original Nürburgring, or Gesamtstrecke, featured 172 corners, sweeping gradient changes and averaged eight to nine metres in width. Louis Chiron set the lap record in his Bugatti Type 35C in the 1929 grand prix in a time of 15m06.1s (112.31km/h).

4: That same year the full circuit was used for the last time in major racing events, with future grands prix to be run on the 22.8-kilometre Nordschleife, and motorcycle and minor races taking place on the smaller 7.7-kilometre Südschleife.

5: It was in 1960 that Sir Jackie Stewart dubbed the Nordschleife ‘The Green Hell’ – a nickname that has stuck to this day – with Jochen Rindt declaring it: “Difficult to drive, easy to die.” It remains a popular proving ground for car manufacturers and is open to the public to drive at select times of the week.

6: Niki Lauda was the first driver to achieve a sub-seven-minute lap of the Nordschleife when he qualified his Ferrari for the 1975 German Grand Prix in 6m58.60s. In the race his team-mate Clay Regazzoni set a fastest lap record of 7m06.40s.

7: Ironically, the following year it was Lauda who made calls to boycott the grand prix on safety grounds. The race went ahead and the Austrian reigning world champion suffered life-threatening injuries after crashing his Ferrari coming out of the left-hand kink before Bergwerk. The badly burned Lauda famously returned to action just six weeks later at the Italian Grand Prix.

8: That accident, which helped to inspire the making of the hit movie Rush, meant the 1976 Grand Prix was the last to be held on the Nordschleife. The track is now best known for hosting the Nürburgring 24 Hours (ADAC Zurich 24h-Rennen), which was first run in 1970. The event uses the Nordschleife and adjoining modern grand prix circuit, attracting up to 800 professional and amateur drivers in around 200 cars. This year’s event takes place shortly after the WTCC aces have completed their two three-lap races.

9: In its current 20.81km form, the late Stefan Bellof still holds the honour of setting the fastest lap ever at the Nordschleife – pole position for the 1983 World Endurance Championship 1000km Nürburgring race aboard a Rothmans-backed Porsche 956C in a time of 6m11.13s. Bellof also set the fastest lap during the race (6m25.91s) before flipping the car at Pflanzgarten.

10: Almost every turn on the Nordschleife tells a story, but a few of the more interesting ones include: Tiergarten (1km) – a former burial ground for animals that died in combat; Schwedenkreuz (5km) – Hans Friedrich Datenberg, a former mayor of Kehlberg and tax collector for Adenau, was hijacked and slain at this point by Swedish soldiers in 1638. A 2.90m cross still stands in his honour; Klostertal (13km) – an Order of the Knights of St John of Jerusalem were base here in the 14th century; Pflanzgarten (17km) – former site of the gardens and crop growing fields of the Earls of Nürburg.]]>

The FIA World Touring Car Championship returns to the toughest track of them all, the legendary Nürburgring Nordschleife, from 26-28 May. Here are 10 facts to whet the appetite.

Ambiance during the 2015 FIA WTCC World Touring Car Race of Nurburgring, Germany from May 15th to 17th 2015. Photo Florent Gooden / DPPI.1: Inspired by Italy’s Targa Florio road course, construction work on the original Nürburgring, near the village of Nürburg in Germany’s Eifel mountain region, began on 27 September 1925 and was completed in the spring of 1927. It cost around 15 million Reichsmark and needed 3000 workers.

2: The first races were held around the full 28.265-kilometre circuit on 18/19 June 1927. That first race for motorcycles was won by Germany’s Toni Ulmen (350cc Velocette), with the following day’s car race won by Rudolf Caracciola in the over 5000cc class in a Mercedes Compressor.

3: The original Nürburgring, or Gesamtstrecke, featured 172 corners, sweeping gradient changes and averaged eight to nine metres in width. Louis Chiron set the lap record in his Bugatti Type 35C in the 1929 grand prix in a time of 15m06.1s (112.31km/h).

4: That same year the full circuit was used for the last time in major racing events, with future grands prix to be run on the 22.8-kilometre Nordschleife, and motorcycle and minor races taking place on the smaller 7.7-kilometre Südschleife.

5: It was in 1960 that Sir Jackie Stewart dubbed the Nordschleife ‘The Green Hell’ – a nickname that has stuck to this day – with Jochen Rindt declaring it: “Difficult to drive, easy to die.” It remains a popular proving ground for car manufacturers and is open to the public to drive at select times of the week.

6: Niki Lauda was the first driver to achieve a sub-seven-minute lap of the Nordschleife when he qualified his Ferrari for the 1975 German Grand Prix in 6m58.60s. In the race his team-mate Clay Regazzoni set a fastest lap record of 7m06.40s.

7: Ironically, the following year it was Lauda who made calls to boycott the grand prix on safety grounds. The race went ahead and the Austrian reigning world champion suffered life-threatening injuries after crashing his Ferrari coming out of the left-hand kink before Bergwerk. The badly burned Lauda famously returned to action just six weeks later at the Italian Grand Prix.

8: That accident, which helped to inspire the making of the hit movie Rush, meant the 1976 Grand Prix was the last to be held on the Nordschleife. The track is now best known for hosting the Nürburgring 24 Hours (ADAC Zurich 24h-Rennen), which was first run in 1970. The event uses the Nordschleife and adjoining modern grand prix circuit, attracting up to 800 professional and amateur drivers in around 200 cars. This year’s event takes place shortly after the WTCC aces have completed their two three-lap races.

9: In its current 20.81km form, the late Stefan Bellof still holds the honour of setting the fastest lap ever at the Nordschleife – pole position for the 1983 World Endurance Championship 1000km Nürburgring race aboard a Rothmans-backed Porsche 956C in a time of 6m11.13s. Bellof also set the fastest lap during the race (6m25.91s) before flipping the car at Pflanzgarten.

10: Almost every turn on the Nordschleife tells a story, but a few of the more interesting ones include: Tiergarten (1km) – a former burial ground for animals that died in combat; Schwedenkreuz (5km) – Hans Friedrich Datenberg, a former mayor of Kehlberg and tax collector for Adenau, was hijacked and slain at this point by Swedish soldiers in 1638. A 2.90m cross still stands in his honour; Klostertal (13km) – an Order of the Knights of St John of Jerusalem were base here in the 14th century; Pflanzgarten (17km) – former site of the gardens and crop growing fields of the Earls of Nürburg.]]>
WTCC Race of Germany essentials https://www.fiawtcc.com/wtcc-race-of-germany-essentials/ Fri, 20 May 2016 16:00:58 +0000 https://www.fiawtcc.com/?p=231580

The FIA World Touring Car Championship heads to Germany and the legendary Nürburgring Nordschleife next week. Here are some essential stats and facts.

VAN LAAGEN Jaap (ned) Lada Vesta team Lada Sport Rosneft ambiance portrait during the 2015 FIA WTCC World Touring Car Race of Nurburgring, Germany from May 15th to 17th 2015. Photo Clément Marin / DPPI.Date: 26-28 May
Venue: Nürburgring Nordschleife (www.24h-rennen.de)
Track length: 25.278 kilometres
Opening Race distance: 3 laps
Main Race distance: 3 laps
Lap record (qualifying): José María López (Citroën C-Elysée) 8m37.327s (176.60kph), 15/05/15
Lap record (race): José María López (Citroën C-Elysée), 8m40.688s (175.40kph), 16/05/15
WTCC appearances: Eight
Time zone: GMT +2 hours
Sunrise/sunset: 05h27/21h33 (Saturday 28 May)
Average temperature: 8°C-18°C (May)

WTCC RACE OF GERMANY WINNERS
2015: Race 1: José María López (Citroën C-Elysée); Race 2: Yvan Muller (Citroën C-Elysée)
2011: R1: Yvan Muller (Chevrolet Cruze); R2: Franz Engstler (BMW 320)
2010: R1: Alain Menu (Chevrolet Cruze); R2: Andy Priaulx (BMW 320)
2009: R1: Andy Priaulx (BMW 320); R2: Augusto Farfus (BMW 320)
2008: R1: Augusto Farfus (BMW 320); R2: Félix Porteiro (BMW 320)
2007: R1: Yvan Muller (SEAT León); R2: Augusto Farfus (BMW 320)
2006: R1: Andy Priaulx (BMW 320); R2: Jörg Muller (BMW 320)
2005: R1: Andy Priaulx (BMW 320); R2: Alex Zanardi (BMW 320)

WTCC RACE OF GERMANY VENUES
2015-Present: Nürburgring Nordschleife
2005-2011: Oschersleben

STATISTICS
Race wins in 2016: López 3; Huff 2; Bennani, Coronel and Monteiro 1
Pole positions in 2016: López 2; Huff and Muller 1
Fastest laps in 2016: López 3; Huff 2; Muller, Tarquini and Valente 1
Laps led in 2016: López 39; Huff 38; Bennani 22; Catsburg 7; Valente 6; Monteiro 3

All-time race wins (top 5): Y Muller 47, Huff 29, López 24, Menu 23, Tarquini 20
All-time pole positions (top 5): Y Muller 29, Tarquini 17, López 16, Menu 15, Huff 12
All-time fastest laps (top 5): Y Muller 38, Huff 26, López 24, Tarquini 23, Menu 20
All-time laps led (top 5): Y Muller 565, Huff 344, Menu 297, Tarquini 274, López 262

DID YOU KNOW?
Niki Lauda was the first driver to achieve a sub-seven-minute lap of the Nordschleife when he qualified his Ferrari for the 1975 German Grand Prix in 6m58.60s. Ironically, the following year it was Lauda who made calls to boycott the grand prix on safety grounds. The race went ahead and the Austrian reigning world champion suffered life-threatening injuries after crashing his Ferrari coming out of the left-hand kink before Bergwerk. The badly burned Lauda famously returned to action six weeks later at the Italian Grand Prix. That accident, which partly inspired the making of the hit movie Rush, meant the 1976 Grand Prix was the last to be held on the Nordschleife.

THE BIG WTCC NUMBER: 1925
Construction work on the original Nürburgring, near the village of Nürburg in Germany’s Eifel mountain region, began on 27 September 1925 and was completed in the spring of 1927. It cost around 15 million Reichsmark and needed 3000 workers.

THREE WTCC FIRSTS
1 José María López became the first driver since Jacky Ickx and Jochen Mass in 1983 to win a world championship race on the Nürburgring Nordschleife when the triumphed last season
2 Sabine Schmitz made history in 2015 when she became the first female to score a WTCC point in the championship’s current era by finishing P10 in the first race at the Nordschleife
3 Honda underlined its WTCC credentials with Rob Huff claiming the make’s first Main Race win of 2016 from the DHL pole position]]>

The FIA World Touring Car Championship heads to Germany and the legendary Nürburgring Nordschleife next week. Here are some essential stats and facts.

VAN LAAGEN Jaap (ned) Lada Vesta team Lada Sport Rosneft ambiance portrait during the 2015 FIA WTCC World Touring Car Race of Nurburgring, Germany from May 15th to 17th 2015. Photo Clément Marin / DPPI.Date: 26-28 May
Venue: Nürburgring Nordschleife (www.24h-rennen.de)
Track length: 25.278 kilometres
Opening Race distance: 3 laps
Main Race distance: 3 laps
Lap record (qualifying): José María López (Citroën C-Elysée) 8m37.327s (176.60kph), 15/05/15
Lap record (race): José María López (Citroën C-Elysée), 8m40.688s (175.40kph), 16/05/15
WTCC appearances: Eight
Time zone: GMT +2 hours
Sunrise/sunset: 05h27/21h33 (Saturday 28 May)
Average temperature: 8°C-18°C (May)

WTCC RACE OF GERMANY WINNERS
2015: Race 1: José María López (Citroën C-Elysée); Race 2: Yvan Muller (Citroën C-Elysée)
2011: R1: Yvan Muller (Chevrolet Cruze); R2: Franz Engstler (BMW 320)
2010: R1: Alain Menu (Chevrolet Cruze); R2: Andy Priaulx (BMW 320)
2009: R1: Andy Priaulx (BMW 320); R2: Augusto Farfus (BMW 320)
2008: R1: Augusto Farfus (BMW 320); R2: Félix Porteiro (BMW 320)
2007: R1: Yvan Muller (SEAT León); R2: Augusto Farfus (BMW 320)
2006: R1: Andy Priaulx (BMW 320); R2: Jörg Muller (BMW 320)
2005: R1: Andy Priaulx (BMW 320); R2: Alex Zanardi (BMW 320)

WTCC RACE OF GERMANY VENUES
2015-Present: Nürburgring Nordschleife
2005-2011: Oschersleben

STATISTICS
Race wins in 2016: López 3; Huff 2; Bennani, Coronel and Monteiro 1
Pole positions in 2016: López 2; Huff and Muller 1
Fastest laps in 2016: López 3; Huff 2; Muller, Tarquini and Valente 1
Laps led in 2016: López 39; Huff 38; Bennani 22; Catsburg 7; Valente 6; Monteiro 3

All-time race wins (top 5): Y Muller 47, Huff 29, López 24, Menu 23, Tarquini 20
All-time pole positions (top 5): Y Muller 29, Tarquini 17, López 16, Menu 15, Huff 12
All-time fastest laps (top 5): Y Muller 38, Huff 26, López 24, Tarquini 23, Menu 20
All-time laps led (top 5): Y Muller 565, Huff 344, Menu 297, Tarquini 274, López 262

DID YOU KNOW?
Niki Lauda was the first driver to achieve a sub-seven-minute lap of the Nordschleife when he qualified his Ferrari for the 1975 German Grand Prix in 6m58.60s. Ironically, the following year it was Lauda who made calls to boycott the grand prix on safety grounds. The race went ahead and the Austrian reigning world champion suffered life-threatening injuries after crashing his Ferrari coming out of the left-hand kink before Bergwerk. The badly burned Lauda famously returned to action six weeks later at the Italian Grand Prix. That accident, which partly inspired the making of the hit movie Rush, meant the 1976 Grand Prix was the last to be held on the Nordschleife.

THE BIG WTCC NUMBER: 1925
Construction work on the original Nürburgring, near the village of Nürburg in Germany’s Eifel mountain region, began on 27 September 1925 and was completed in the spring of 1927. It cost around 15 million Reichsmark and needed 3000 workers.

THREE WTCC FIRSTS
1 José María López became the first driver since Jacky Ickx and Jochen Mass in 1983 to win a world championship race on the Nürburgring Nordschleife when the triumphed last season
2 Sabine Schmitz made history in 2015 when she became the first female to score a WTCC point in the championship’s current era by finishing P10 in the first race at the Nordschleife
3 Honda underlined its WTCC credentials with Rob Huff claiming the make’s first Main Race win of 2016 from the DHL pole position]]>
A lap of the WTCC track with Sabine Schmitz https://www.fiawtcc.com/a-lap-of-the-wtcc-track-with-sabine-schmitz/ Fri, 20 May 2016 10:00:52 +0000 https://www.fiawtcc.com/?p=231555

The FIA World Touring Car Championship is returning to the legendary Nürburgring Nordschleife from 26-28 May for WTCC Race of Germany. Queen of the Ring and local resident Sabine Schmitz, who will drive a Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1 for ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport, is your guide to the 25.278-kilometre track, The Green Hell.

SCHMITZ Sabine (ger) Chevrolet Cruze team Munnich motorsport action during the 2015 FIA WTCC World Touring Car Race of Nurburgring, Germany from May 15th to 17th 2015. Photo Florent Gooden / DPPI.“The Grand Prix Circuit part of the track is not too tough on the suspension like the Nordschleife but it’s all about traction for the shorter straights and having a stable car on the brakes so you don’t lose time at the start of the lap.

“Onto the Nordschelife and the first left into the Hatzenbach is really important because you have a very, very quick section and you need to carry the speed. We don’t brake here, just lift off a bit. The balance of the car has to be really easy to handle and you can’t be too quick on the steering wheel. Then we have a couple of tight corners through Hocheichen. The rear tyres will lift off a couple of times and then there will be dust as well to deal with because the WTCC drivers love to cut the first sharp right-hander and they are leaving a big mess, so when I arrive it’s very slippery!

“For Quiddelbacher Hohe we are close to being flat but this is a question of practice because there is a lot of movement in the chassis. Be careful how you correct the wheel because the car can go very light here so you have to make sure it has a good balance.

“Flugplatz is a very quick section and it really helps to have good downforce. You need to be good on the brakes for Aremberg and when you are on the brakes the car must be settled down. The Fuchsrohre is the compression, it’s very tricky when you have a soft set-up so you have to lift off a little bit. Then you have the Adenauer Forst chicane where the chassis is doing big, big movement from right to left, left to right. Metzgesfeld is a very fast left-hander but it’s really flat so not a big deal.

“Then we go down Kallenhard, a very sharp one with a steep braking area as it goes down very much. The weight will be in the front more than in other corners so you have to make sure the car is very well balanced. When you turn in, turn in very gently, which is the same as in Wehrseifen, a heavy downforce section.

“Ex-Mühle is a very big compression. It’s a steep hill and you need traction there because all the weight goes to the rear end and when you accelerate the weight goes even more to the rear end. You need really to keep the tyres on the ground and keep the speed out of Exmuhle because there is a long straight to Bergwerk, which is quite easy, flat with good Tarmac.

“Then we have the long, long uphill section – not so difficult to drive – to the Karusell. It’s very hard for the suspension but you are only doing 80kph because if you jump out you will end up in the barrier very easily, so you are fighting the car a bit. It’s necessary to go gentle out of the Karusell because of the grip at the front.

“Hohe Acht is next and it’s where we have good Tarmac. It’s not a big deal but the Wippermann is a little more tricky because of the kerbs, which you are quite hard on. You need to be very gentle on the steering wheel otherwise you might have a bad time when you go across the kerbs. Then we enter Eschbach, a very steep downhill braking area.

“At Brünnchen you have to wave to the fans and remember not to crash because your fan base will be gone! But it’s good Tarmac here and lots of grip. Next it’s down to down to Pflanzgarten where we have a big jump and because of the soft suspension of the front-wheel-driven Chevrolet you will lift off a little bit, all four wheels. But you have good downforce so maybe after landing we jump up again!

“Then we have a long right-hander but this is full speed over a crest into a left-hander. The car will be very light again so you have to be gentle on the wheel to make sure the balance is in good shape. Schwalbenschwanz is after this. It has good Tarmac, good grip and is very flat. For the little Karusell that follows, again you can’t be too aggressive on the wheel when you exit. Let the front tyres do their job.

“It’s very, very necessary to catch a good line and be gentle on the exit in Galgenkopf because you’ll need every single rev to have good speed for the long, long Döttinger Höhe straight, which is two kilometres long. Hopefully you are on your own with not too many cars around you at this point because the track is getting tighter and tighter as you get closer to the finish line.”]]>

The FIA World Touring Car Championship is returning to the legendary Nürburgring Nordschleife from 26-28 May for WTCC Race of Germany. Queen of the Ring and local resident Sabine Schmitz, who will drive a Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1 for ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport, is your guide to the 25.278-kilometre track, The Green Hell.

SCHMITZ Sabine (ger) Chevrolet Cruze team Munnich motorsport action during the 2015 FIA WTCC World Touring Car Race of Nurburgring, Germany from May 15th to 17th 2015. Photo Florent Gooden / DPPI.“The Grand Prix Circuit part of the track is not too tough on the suspension like the Nordschleife but it’s all about traction for the shorter straights and having a stable car on the brakes so you don’t lose time at the start of the lap.

“Onto the Nordschelife and the first left into the Hatzenbach is really important because you have a very, very quick section and you need to carry the speed. We don’t brake here, just lift off a bit. The balance of the car has to be really easy to handle and you can’t be too quick on the steering wheel. Then we have a couple of tight corners through Hocheichen. The rear tyres will lift off a couple of times and then there will be dust as well to deal with because the WTCC drivers love to cut the first sharp right-hander and they are leaving a big mess, so when I arrive it’s very slippery!

“For Quiddelbacher Hohe we are close to being flat but this is a question of practice because there is a lot of movement in the chassis. Be careful how you correct the wheel because the car can go very light here so you have to make sure it has a good balance.

“Flugplatz is a very quick section and it really helps to have good downforce. You need to be good on the brakes for Aremberg and when you are on the brakes the car must be settled down. The Fuchsrohre is the compression, it’s very tricky when you have a soft set-up so you have to lift off a little bit. Then you have the Adenauer Forst chicane where the chassis is doing big, big movement from right to left, left to right. Metzgesfeld is a very fast left-hander but it’s really flat so not a big deal.

“Then we go down Kallenhard, a very sharp one with a steep braking area as it goes down very much. The weight will be in the front more than in other corners so you have to make sure the car is very well balanced. When you turn in, turn in very gently, which is the same as in Wehrseifen, a heavy downforce section.

“Ex-Mühle is a very big compression. It’s a steep hill and you need traction there because all the weight goes to the rear end and when you accelerate the weight goes even more to the rear end. You need really to keep the tyres on the ground and keep the speed out of Exmuhle because there is a long straight to Bergwerk, which is quite easy, flat with good Tarmac.

“Then we have the long, long uphill section – not so difficult to drive – to the Karusell. It’s very hard for the suspension but you are only doing 80kph because if you jump out you will end up in the barrier very easily, so you are fighting the car a bit. It’s necessary to go gentle out of the Karusell because of the grip at the front.

“Hohe Acht is next and it’s where we have good Tarmac. It’s not a big deal but the Wippermann is a little more tricky because of the kerbs, which you are quite hard on. You need to be very gentle on the steering wheel otherwise you might have a bad time when you go across the kerbs. Then we enter Eschbach, a very steep downhill braking area.

“At Brünnchen you have to wave to the fans and remember not to crash because your fan base will be gone! But it’s good Tarmac here and lots of grip. Next it’s down to down to Pflanzgarten where we have a big jump and because of the soft suspension of the front-wheel-driven Chevrolet you will lift off a little bit, all four wheels. But you have good downforce so maybe after landing we jump up again!

“Then we have a long right-hander but this is full speed over a crest into a left-hander. The car will be very light again so you have to be gentle on the wheel to make sure the balance is in good shape. Schwalbenschwanz is after this. It has good Tarmac, good grip and is very flat. For the little Karusell that follows, again you can’t be too aggressive on the wheel when you exit. Let the front tyres do their job.

“It’s very, very necessary to catch a good line and be gentle on the exit in Galgenkopf because you’ll need every single rev to have good speed for the long, long Döttinger Höhe straight, which is two kilometres long. Hopefully you are on your own with not too many cars around you at this point because the track is getting tighter and tighter as you get closer to the finish line.”]]>
Race preview: WTCC racers aim to tame the legendary Nordschleife https://www.fiawtcc.com/race-preview-wtcc-racers-aim-to-tame-the-legendary-nordschleife/ Fri, 20 May 2016 04:00:52 +0000 https://www.fiawtcc.com/?p=231535

The FIA World Touring Car Championship will go from the shortest track in Marrakech to the longest of them all when the legendary Nürburgring Nordschleife hosts WTCC Race of Germany for the second time next week (26-28 May). It’s also the biggest challenge of them all with 64 heart-stopping turns lying in wait over the 25.278-kilometre lap, a combination of the grand prix circuit and the famous Nordschleife loop, which opened for business back in 1927.

18 MONTEIRO Tiago (por) Honda Civic team Honda racing Jas, 37 LOPEZ Jose Maria (arg) Citroen C Elysee  team Citroen racing action during the 2015 FIA WTCC World Touring Car Race of Nurburgring, Germany from May 15th to 17th 2015. Photo Florent Gooden / DPPI.Named the Green Hell by Sir Jackie Stewart due to its demanding and unforgiving layout, the Nürburgring Nordschleife offers the ultimate test for car and driver.

José María López, who leads this season’s WTCC standings in his quest for a third consecutive title, became the first driver since Jacky Ickx and Jochen Mass in 1983 to win a world championship race on the Nürburgring Nordschleife after claiming victory in the opening counter last May. The Citroën-driving Argentine then came within 0.173s of beating team-mate Yvan Muller to victory in the closing race following a thrilling slipstream battle for glory as he charged through from P10 on the grid.

“It was the most amazing race of the year,” said the 33-year-old. “Everything is special about this track, it’s 25 kilometres, it’s called the Green Hell, it’s different from anything you have experienced before. Last year was my first time and I really enjoyed it and to be able to win was something else. It’s something amazing to be flat out on this track. You have jumps, high-speed corners, a long straight, a long lap, it’s amazing.”

The Queen of the Ring returns
While López mastered the demanding Nordschleife in style last year, no driver can count on more experience of the track than local star Sabine Schmitz, who made history in 2015 when she became the first female to score a WTCC point in the championship’s current era. Schmitz, now a presenter on the hugely popular BBC Top Gear television show, will be returning for a one-off outing in the same ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1. However, with her filming commitments keeping her away from Testing and Free Practice 1, Schmitz will be playing catch-up as she reacclimatises to her front-wheel-drive World Touring Car from the Porsche GT car she normally races. “We have a very necessary studio shot to do for Top Gear I can’t miss. I must be crazy to measure myself against these guys without the same amount of time to practice. But they want me in the team so I’m back, no problem, although I will have a better chance if it rains so my hope is more water, more success!”

Double the touring car fun in store
A double treat is in store for touring car fans at the Nürburgring Nordschleife. In addition to the WTCC, the FIA European Touring Car Cup will provide plenty of bumper-to-bumper action, albeit with a twist. Rather than having their own races, the ETCC drivers will follow their WTCC counterparts over the 25.278-kilometre layout during two three-lap contests. It’s the first time the two championships, promoted by Eurosport Events, have joined forces and the spectacle will be eagerly anticipated with several WTCC drivers of the future in action.

More WTCC MAC3 magic for the Nordschleife
The Tour de France-inspired Manufacturers Against the Clock (WTCC MAC3) team time trial takes take centre stage following Qualifying on Friday afternoon and offers more drama and excitement. Citroën, Honda and LADA (Volvo-Polestar will participate when it enters a third car in 2017) nominate three drivers to take part in reverse championship order in three-minute intervals. As soon as a team’s three cars, which can be refuelled and fitted with new tyres prior to the start, leave the grid side by side, the clock starts and then stops once the last car completes one flying lap of the track. Failure to get all three cars over the line – or if the second or third car doesn’t finish within a maximum of 15 seconds after the first car – means no points. After Citroën won the inaugural WTCC MAC3 contest in France by 0.030s, the spectacle was raised even further when it tied on time with Honda in Slovakia, meaning both makes picked up 10 points towards their WTCC Manufacturers’ championship totals. Honda took a narrow win in Hungary after Citroën was penalised following a track limits infringement by Mehdi Bennani as the ethos of team competition came to the fore. With Norbert Michelisz making contact with a wall in Morocco, Citroën won ahead of LADA. WTCC MAC3 is timed by TAG Heuer and encapsulates the essence of the company’s #dontcrackunderpressure campaign with some of the best touring car drivers in the world vying to go as fast as possible but never cracking under pressure by putting in a faultless performance to deliver a winning team result.

TAG Heuer Best Lap Trophy up for grabs
The driver setting the fastest lap of all during both races will win the TAG Heuer Best Lap Trophy and receive a TAG Heuer watch. TAG Heuer is the WTCC’s Official Timing Partner and an Official Series Sponsor.

World will be watching (thanks to 32 trackside cameras)
The WTCC’s first visit to the Nürburgring Nordschleife captivated television audiences in 188 countries worldwide with a cumulative audience of 37,397 million watching the action. Produced in partnership with _wige, the coverage is made possible through the use of 68 TV signals including 32 trackside cameras, 24 onboard cameras and two helicopter-mounted Cineflex cameras, one of which was flown by a crew who working on the Tour de France each year.]]>

The FIA World Touring Car Championship will go from the shortest track in Marrakech to the longest of them all when the legendary Nürburgring Nordschleife hosts WTCC Race of Germany for the second time next week (26-28 May). It’s also the biggest challenge of them all with 64 heart-stopping turns lying in wait over the 25.278-kilometre lap, a combination of the grand prix circuit and the famous Nordschleife loop, which opened for business back in 1927.

18 MONTEIRO Tiago (por) Honda Civic team Honda racing Jas, 37 LOPEZ Jose Maria (arg) Citroen C Elysee  team Citroen racing action during the 2015 FIA WTCC World Touring Car Race of Nurburgring, Germany from May 15th to 17th 2015. Photo Florent Gooden / DPPI.Named the Green Hell by Sir Jackie Stewart due to its demanding and unforgiving layout, the Nürburgring Nordschleife offers the ultimate test for car and driver.

José María López, who leads this season’s WTCC standings in his quest for a third consecutive title, became the first driver since Jacky Ickx and Jochen Mass in 1983 to win a world championship race on the Nürburgring Nordschleife after claiming victory in the opening counter last May. The Citroën-driving Argentine then came within 0.173s of beating team-mate Yvan Muller to victory in the closing race following a thrilling slipstream battle for glory as he charged through from P10 on the grid.

“It was the most amazing race of the year,” said the 33-year-old. “Everything is special about this track, it’s 25 kilometres, it’s called the Green Hell, it’s different from anything you have experienced before. Last year was my first time and I really enjoyed it and to be able to win was something else. It’s something amazing to be flat out on this track. You have jumps, high-speed corners, a long straight, a long lap, it’s amazing.”

The Queen of the Ring returns
While López mastered the demanding Nordschleife in style last year, no driver can count on more experience of the track than local star Sabine Schmitz, who made history in 2015 when she became the first female to score a WTCC point in the championship’s current era. Schmitz, now a presenter on the hugely popular BBC Top Gear television show, will be returning for a one-off outing in the same ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1. However, with her filming commitments keeping her away from Testing and Free Practice 1, Schmitz will be playing catch-up as she reacclimatises to her front-wheel-drive World Touring Car from the Porsche GT car she normally races. “We have a very necessary studio shot to do for Top Gear I can’t miss. I must be crazy to measure myself against these guys without the same amount of time to practice. But they want me in the team so I’m back, no problem, although I will have a better chance if it rains so my hope is more water, more success!”

Double the touring car fun in store
A double treat is in store for touring car fans at the Nürburgring Nordschleife. In addition to the WTCC, the FIA European Touring Car Cup will provide plenty of bumper-to-bumper action, albeit with a twist. Rather than having their own races, the ETCC drivers will follow their WTCC counterparts over the 25.278-kilometre layout during two three-lap contests. It’s the first time the two championships, promoted by Eurosport Events, have joined forces and the spectacle will be eagerly anticipated with several WTCC drivers of the future in action.

More WTCC MAC3 magic for the Nordschleife
The Tour de France-inspired Manufacturers Against the Clock (WTCC MAC3) team time trial takes take centre stage following Qualifying on Friday afternoon and offers more drama and excitement. Citroën, Honda and LADA (Volvo-Polestar will participate when it enters a third car in 2017) nominate three drivers to take part in reverse championship order in three-minute intervals. As soon as a team’s three cars, which can be refuelled and fitted with new tyres prior to the start, leave the grid side by side, the clock starts and then stops once the last car completes one flying lap of the track. Failure to get all three cars over the line – or if the second or third car doesn’t finish within a maximum of 15 seconds after the first car – means no points. After Citroën won the inaugural WTCC MAC3 contest in France by 0.030s, the spectacle was raised even further when it tied on time with Honda in Slovakia, meaning both makes picked up 10 points towards their WTCC Manufacturers’ championship totals. Honda took a narrow win in Hungary after Citroën was penalised following a track limits infringement by Mehdi Bennani as the ethos of team competition came to the fore. With Norbert Michelisz making contact with a wall in Morocco, Citroën won ahead of LADA. WTCC MAC3 is timed by TAG Heuer and encapsulates the essence of the company’s #dontcrackunderpressure campaign with some of the best touring car drivers in the world vying to go as fast as possible but never cracking under pressure by putting in a faultless performance to deliver a winning team result.

TAG Heuer Best Lap Trophy up for grabs
The driver setting the fastest lap of all during both races will win the TAG Heuer Best Lap Trophy and receive a TAG Heuer watch. TAG Heuer is the WTCC’s Official Timing Partner and an Official Series Sponsor.

World will be watching (thanks to 32 trackside cameras)
The WTCC’s first visit to the Nürburgring Nordschleife captivated television audiences in 188 countries worldwide with a cumulative audience of 37,397 million watching the action. Produced in partnership with _wige, the coverage is made possible through the use of 68 TV signals including 32 trackside cameras, 24 onboard cameras and two helicopter-mounted Cineflex cameras, one of which was flown by a crew who working on the Tour de France each year.]]>
Countdown to the Big One: Fangio memories make Nordschleife special for López https://www.fiawtcc.com/countdown-to-the-big-one-fangio-memories-make-nordschleife-special-for-lopez/ Thu, 19 May 2016 06:00:15 +0000 https://www.fiawtcc.com/?p=231502

Double FIA World Touring Car champion José María López will take a moment to reflect on the achievements of his legendary countryman Juan Manuel Fangio when he returns to the Nürburgring Nordschleife next week.

37 LOPEZ Jose Maria (arg) 09 LOEB Sebastien (fra) Citroen C Elysee team Citroen racing action during the 2015 FIA WTCC World Touring Car Race of Nurburgring, Germany from May 15th to 17th 2015. Photo Florent Gooden / DPPI.Fangio was a three-time winner of the German Grand Prix at the Nordschleife with this final victory coming in 1957.

Citroën driver López achieved WTCC Nordshleife gold from pole in 2015 and is targeting more glory next week as he bids to fending off closest rival Tiago Monteiro in the hunt for the drivers’ title.

“Of course with Fangio winning there and Carlos Reutemann winning there, the track has a strong connection with Argentina, my country, and it’s a very special place for Argentinian people,” said López.]]>

Double FIA World Touring Car champion José María López will take a moment to reflect on the achievements of his legendary countryman Juan Manuel Fangio when he returns to the Nürburgring Nordschleife next week.

37 LOPEZ Jose Maria (arg) 09 LOEB Sebastien (fra) Citroen C Elysee team Citroen racing action during the 2015 FIA WTCC World Touring Car Race of Nurburgring, Germany from May 15th to 17th 2015. Photo Florent Gooden / DPPI.Fangio was a three-time winner of the German Grand Prix at the Nordschleife with this final victory coming in 1957.

Citroën driver López achieved WTCC Nordshleife gold from pole in 2015 and is targeting more glory next week as he bids to fending off closest rival Tiago Monteiro in the hunt for the drivers’ title.

“Of course with Fangio winning there and Carlos Reutemann winning there, the track has a strong connection with Argentina, my country, and it’s a very special place for Argentinian people,” said López.]]>