FIA WTCC https://www.fiawtcc.com Real cars, real racing Sat, 01 Oct 2016 10:00:22 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Familiar face returns to the WTCC https://www.fiawtcc.com/familiar-face-returns-to-the-wtcc/ Sat, 01 Oct 2016 10:00:22 +0000 https://www.fiawtcc.com/?p=247713

MA Qing Hua made a welcome return to the FIA World Touring Car Championship paddock in China last weekend.

ctlst6ouaaep89o-jpg-largeThe Shanghai resident was an ever-present in the WTCC in 2015 having tackled selected races in 2014, which included a debut victory in Russia.

However, he was unable to secure a WTCC campaign for 2016 and has looked to other FIA categories, including the Formula E Championship, to further his career.

MA used his visit to spend time with his old team Citroën Total WTCC, which celebrated a third Manufacturers’ championship during the Shanghai weekend.

Photo: Citroën Racing]]>

MA Qing Hua made a welcome return to the FIA World Touring Car Championship paddock in China last weekend.

ctlst6ouaaep89o-jpg-largeThe Shanghai resident was an ever-present in the WTCC in 2015 having tackled selected races in 2014, which included a debut victory in Russia.

However, he was unable to secure a WTCC campaign for 2016 and has looked to other FIA categories, including the Formula E Championship, to further his career.

MA used his visit to spend time with his old team Citroën Total WTCC, which celebrated a third Manufacturers’ championship during the Shanghai weekend.

Photo: Citroën Racing]]>
Björk joins the WTCC’s 36 Club https://www.fiawtcc.com/bjoerk-joins-the-wtccs-36-club/ Fri, 30 Sep 2016 16:00:57 +0000 https://www.fiawtcc.com/?p=247700

Thed Björk joined an exclusive group of drivers when he claimed the Opening Race honours at FIA WTCC Race of China.

AUTO - WTCC SHANGHAI 2016By taking his maiden World Touring Car Championship victory in Shanghai on Sunday, which was also the first for Volvo and Polestar Cyan Racing in the series, Björk became one of only 36 drivers to win a round of the WTCC.

Following his standout triumph, Björk said: “It’s absolutely amazing for the team to get the first win here in China, in front of all the people and all the guests. It was completely the right place and the last lap was really, really nice. I decided if he was going to the inside I was going to get him on the outside and it worked. It was so nice feeling. It’s the first victory in the WTCC and it feels very special. I am so happy.”

However, Björk isn’t the first Swede to win in the world championship with that honour going to his countryman Rickard Rydell, who claimed the first of his five WTCC victories in 2005.]]>

Thed Björk joined an exclusive group of drivers when he claimed the Opening Race honours at FIA WTCC Race of China.

AUTO - WTCC SHANGHAI 2016By taking his maiden World Touring Car Championship victory in Shanghai on Sunday, which was also the first for Volvo and Polestar Cyan Racing in the series, Björk became one of only 36 drivers to win a round of the WTCC.

Following his standout triumph, Björk said: “It’s absolutely amazing for the team to get the first win here in China, in front of all the people and all the guests. It was completely the right place and the last lap was really, really nice. I decided if he was going to the inside I was going to get him on the outside and it worked. It was so nice feeling. It’s the first victory in the WTCC and it feels very special. I am so happy.”

However, Björk isn’t the first Swede to win in the world championship with that honour going to his countryman Rickard Rydell, who claimed the first of his five WTCC victories in 2005.]]>
ETCC aces all square for Imola finale as WTCC prize drive beckons https://www.fiawtcc.com/etcc-aces-all-square-for-imola-finale-as-wtcc-prize-drive-beckons/ Fri, 30 Sep 2016 04:00:11 +0000 https://www.fiawtcc.com/?p=247766

Petr Fulín and Kris Richard will face off for one of the biggest prizes in international motorsport when Imola hosts the FIA European Touring Car Cup season finale this weekend.

FULIN Petr (cze) Seat Leon 2000 team Krenek motorsport ambiance portrait RICHARD Kris (che) Honda Civic team Rikli motorsport ambiance portrait during the 2016 ETCC European Touring Car Championship race at Magny-Cours, France from July 8 to 10 - Photo Jean Michel Le Meur / DPPIIn a winner-takes-all battle for the prize drive at an FIA World Touring Car Championship race weekend in 2017, Czech Fulín and Swiss Richard are equal on 92 points following an exhilarating campaign, which has included visits to the legendary Nürburgring Nordschleife and Vila Real street circuit, plus Paul Ricard, Slovakia Ring and Magny-Cours.

Fulín, a seasoned ETCC competitor, has triumphed four times so far in his Křenek Motorsport SEAT, while touring car rookie Richard is a five-time victor in 2016 for Honda-backed Rikli Motorsport. However, there can be only one outright winner of the ETCC’s premier Super 2000 Cup and the accompanying prize drive. It means the results of qualifying, which awards points on a 3-2-1 scale to the fastest three will be decisive in the final reckoning, should Fulín and Richard cancel each other out in terms of their race results at Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari.

“It’s a very nice fight for the title with Kris Richard and we’re equal on points,” said Fulín. “There is pressure but we will do our best and our team will do too. The break has been long since the last race and there can only be one winner.”

Richard added: “t’s very important to win this title. I am totally a newcomer in this sport and it will help a lot for me to go forward in this sport, to find the sponsors again for next year and to go further in touring cars.”]]>

Petr Fulín and Kris Richard will face off for one of the biggest prizes in international motorsport when Imola hosts the FIA European Touring Car Cup season finale this weekend.

FULIN Petr (cze) Seat Leon 2000 team Krenek motorsport ambiance portrait RICHARD Kris (che) Honda Civic team Rikli motorsport ambiance portrait during the 2016 ETCC European Touring Car Championship race at Magny-Cours, France from July 8 to 10 - Photo Jean Michel Le Meur / DPPIIn a winner-takes-all battle for the prize drive at an FIA World Touring Car Championship race weekend in 2017, Czech Fulín and Swiss Richard are equal on 92 points following an exhilarating campaign, which has included visits to the legendary Nürburgring Nordschleife and Vila Real street circuit, plus Paul Ricard, Slovakia Ring and Magny-Cours.

Fulín, a seasoned ETCC competitor, has triumphed four times so far in his Křenek Motorsport SEAT, while touring car rookie Richard is a five-time victor in 2016 for Honda-backed Rikli Motorsport. However, there can be only one outright winner of the ETCC’s premier Super 2000 Cup and the accompanying prize drive. It means the results of qualifying, which awards points on a 3-2-1 scale to the fastest three will be decisive in the final reckoning, should Fulín and Richard cancel each other out in terms of their race results at Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari.

“It’s a very nice fight for the title with Kris Richard and we’re equal on points,” said Fulín. “There is pressure but we will do our best and our team will do too. The break has been long since the last race and there can only be one winner.”

Richard added: “t’s very important to win this title. I am totally a newcomer in this sport and it will help a lot for me to go forward in this sport, to find the sponsors again for next year and to go further in touring cars.”]]>
When Filippi’s WTCC hopes took a knock https://www.fiawtcc.com/when-filippis-wtcc-hopes-took-a-knock/ Thu, 29 Sep 2016 16:00:30 +0000 https://www.fiawtcc.com/?p=247711

John Filippi’s hopes of converting his Opening Race pole into a significant result at FIA WTCC Race of China last weekend were ended prematurely after contact put him out on lap three at the Shanghai International Circuit.

AUTO - WTCC SHANGHAI 2016Fillipi was involved in a three-car tangle, which left his Campos Racing Chevrolet Cruze with damaged front suspension. And with his car stranded on track, the Volvo V60 Polestar safety car had to be deployed to enable its recovery.

“I was in front, I tried to keep my position but someone pushed me and it was finished,” said Filippi.

Despite sustaining sizeable damage, Filippi’s Campos team had his car repaired in time for the Main Race, which the Corsican finished P15, claiming fifth in the WTCC Trophy in the process.]]>

John Filippi’s hopes of converting his Opening Race pole into a significant result at FIA WTCC Race of China last weekend were ended prematurely after contact put him out on lap three at the Shanghai International Circuit.

AUTO - WTCC SHANGHAI 2016Fillipi was involved in a three-car tangle, which left his Campos Racing Chevrolet Cruze with damaged front suspension. And with his car stranded on track, the Volvo V60 Polestar safety car had to be deployed to enable its recovery.

“I was in front, I tried to keep my position but someone pushed me and it was finished,” said Filippi.

Despite sustaining sizeable damage, Filippi’s Campos team had his car repaired in time for the Main Race, which the Corsican finished P15, claiming fifth in the WTCC Trophy in the process.]]>
Unwelcome guest triggers a China crisis for WTCC racer Catsburg https://www.fiawtcc.com/unwelcome-guest-triggers-a-china-crisis-for-wtcc-racer-catsburg/ Thu, 29 Sep 2016 04:00:48 +0000 https://www.fiawtcc.com/?p=247702

Nicky Catsburg came close to losing out on his front-row start for the Main Race at FIA WTCC Race of China last weekend following a bizarre chain of events at the Shanghai International Circuit.

catsburg-bumperAfter the dislodged rear bumper from Norbert Michelisz’s Honda Civic flew into the LADA driver’s path and latched onto the front grille (see yellow car at rear), Catsburg’s factory Vesta began to overheat and lose performance. As a result, he was unable to hold off José María López for fourth place in the Opening Race.

And it would get worse for Catsburg on the slowing down lap when his car ground to a halt before mistakes by circuit staff during the recovery process resulted in a delay in the Vesta being returned to the LADA Sport Rosneft mechanics ahead of the OSCARO.com Repair Time getting underway prior to the Main Race. However, he eventually made it onto the grid but dropped back to fourth at the finish.

“Starting P2 I had the pace to win or at least be P2 but losing positions again off the line cost me,” said Catsburg. “In the end P5 and P4 are good for points but I think it could have been so much better.”

Photo: Polestar Cyan Racing]]>

Nicky Catsburg came close to losing out on his front-row start for the Main Race at FIA WTCC Race of China last weekend following a bizarre chain of events at the Shanghai International Circuit.

catsburg-bumperAfter the dislodged rear bumper from Norbert Michelisz’s Honda Civic flew into the LADA driver’s path and latched onto the front grille (see yellow car at rear), Catsburg’s factory Vesta began to overheat and lose performance. As a result, he was unable to hold off José María López for fourth place in the Opening Race.

And it would get worse for Catsburg on the slowing down lap when his car ground to a halt before mistakes by circuit staff during the recovery process resulted in a delay in the Vesta being returned to the LADA Sport Rosneft mechanics ahead of the OSCARO.com Repair Time getting underway prior to the Main Race. However, he eventually made it onto the grid but dropped back to fourth at the finish.

“Starting P2 I had the pace to win or at least be P2 but losing positions again off the line cost me,” said Catsburg. “In the end P5 and P4 are good for points but I think it could have been so much better.”

Photo: Polestar Cyan Racing]]>
Qatar next for WTCC racers https://www.fiawtcc.com/qatar-next-for-wtcc-racers/ Wed, 28 Sep 2016 16:00:48 +0000 https://www.fiawtcc.com/?p=247751

It’s Qatar next for the FIA World Touring Car Championship following confirmation that WTCC Race of Thailand, originally scheduled from 4-6 November, won’t go ahead.

AUTO - WTCC LOSAIL 2015At its meeting in Paris today, the FIA World Motor Sport Council approved the cancellation of WTCC Race of Thailand due to unresolved issues between the WTCC promoter, Eurosport Events, and the WTCC Race of Thailand Promoter, the Royal Automobile Association of Thailand.

It means the 2016 WTCC schedule will total 22 races over 11 events with WTCC Race of Qatar next up from 25-26 November.

Taking place under floodlights at the Losail International Circuit near Doha, WTCC Race of Qatar will mark the world championship’s second visit in the Middle East and only the second WTCC race to take place at night.

The coveted runner-up spot in the overall Drivers’ standings is up for grabs in Qatar, while four-time champion Yvan Muller will make his final appearance in the series as he prepares to spend more time with his family and building his eponymous racing team in future.]]>

It’s Qatar next for the FIA World Touring Car Championship following confirmation that WTCC Race of Thailand, originally scheduled from 4-6 November, won’t go ahead.

AUTO - WTCC LOSAIL 2015At its meeting in Paris today, the FIA World Motor Sport Council approved the cancellation of WTCC Race of Thailand due to unresolved issues between the WTCC promoter, Eurosport Events, and the WTCC Race of Thailand Promoter, the Royal Automobile Association of Thailand.

It means the 2016 WTCC schedule will total 22 races over 11 events with WTCC Race of Qatar next up from 25-26 November.

Taking place under floodlights at the Losail International Circuit near Doha, WTCC Race of Qatar will mark the world championship’s second visit in the Middle East and only the second WTCC race to take place at night.

The coveted runner-up spot in the overall Drivers’ standings is up for grabs in Qatar, while four-time champion Yvan Muller will make his final appearance in the series as he prepares to spend more time with his family and building his eponymous racing team in future.]]>
Not bad for an old guy: Muller edges Monteiro in WTCC runner-up battle https://www.fiawtcc.com/not-bad-for-an-old-guy-muller-edges-monteiro-in-wtcc-runner-up-battle/ Wed, 28 Sep 2016 04:00:06 +0000 https://www.fiawtcc.com/?p=247697

Yvan Muller went arriving in China equal on points with Tiago Monteiro in the chase for the FIA World Touring Car Championship’s unofficial silver medal to heading home 31 points ahead of his rival.

AUTO - WTCC SHANGHAI 2016A podium brace for Citroën’s Muller and a frustrating weekend for Honda driver Monteiro means it’s advantage France over Portugal heading to the final rounds of the season.

“For me it was not a bad day, two podium in a row,” said Muller, 47. “Of course it’s not a victory but I guess for my age to be twice on the podium is not bad and the good thing is I take some points advantage from Tiago in second place in the championship and that is another important target for Citroën so it looks good in the next round but let’s see what happens.”

Monteiro said: “We’ve struggled with straightline speed and with 60kg of compensation weight. On that basis, to score two top-10 finishes isn’t bad, but in reality our performance just wasn’t there.”]]>

Yvan Muller went arriving in China equal on points with Tiago Monteiro in the chase for the FIA World Touring Car Championship’s unofficial silver medal to heading home 31 points ahead of his rival.

AUTO - WTCC SHANGHAI 2016A podium brace for Citroën’s Muller and a frustrating weekend for Honda driver Monteiro means it’s advantage France over Portugal heading to the final rounds of the season.

“For me it was not a bad day, two podium in a row,” said Muller, 47. “Of course it’s not a victory but I guess for my age to be twice on the podium is not bad and the good thing is I take some points advantage from Tiago in second place in the championship and that is another important target for Citroën so it looks good in the next round but let’s see what happens.”

Monteiro said: “We’ve struggled with straightline speed and with 60kg of compensation weight. On that basis, to score two top-10 finishes isn’t bad, but in reality our performance just wasn’t there.”]]>
Why two per cent more would have done nicely for Michelisz in the WTCC https://www.fiawtcc.com/why-two-per-cent-more-would-have-done-nicely-for-michelisz-in-the-wtcc/ Tue, 27 Sep 2016 16:00:30 +0000 https://www.fiawtcc.com/?p=247675

Norbert Michelisz came within two corners of making it two Opening Race wins in succession in the FIA World Touring Car Championship, only for a last-ditch passing move from Thed Björk to relegate him to second place.

AUTO - WTCC SHANGHAI 2016Michelisz had led from the start in his factory Honda but was unable to fend off Björk’s works Volvo Polestar in the closing stages.

“On the one hand I’m very pleased to finish second; it’s not something I was expecting after Free Practice, and after Qualifying I thought that a podium finish would be a great result,” said the Hungarian. “But of course, when you lead for 98 per cent of a race, it’s hugely disappointing not to win. I lost a good lead when the safety car came out and with 60kg of compensation weight, I had to ask a lot of the front tyres when I tried to re-establish a gap. This is what compromised my pace for the past few laps. I defended well from Thed, but it wasn’t quite enough.”

Despite losing out on a sixth WTCC career win, Michelisz moved ahead of Honda team-mate Rob Huff in the championship standings, climbing from fifth to fourth. He will start the next round 14 points behind third-placed fellow Honda driver Tiago Monteiro.]]>

Norbert Michelisz came within two corners of making it two Opening Race wins in succession in the FIA World Touring Car Championship, only for a last-ditch passing move from Thed Björk to relegate him to second place.

AUTO - WTCC SHANGHAI 2016Michelisz had led from the start in his factory Honda but was unable to fend off Björk’s works Volvo Polestar in the closing stages.

“On the one hand I’m very pleased to finish second; it’s not something I was expecting after Free Practice, and after Qualifying I thought that a podium finish would be a great result,” said the Hungarian. “But of course, when you lead for 98 per cent of a race, it’s hugely disappointing not to win. I lost a good lead when the safety car came out and with 60kg of compensation weight, I had to ask a lot of the front tyres when I tried to re-establish a gap. This is what compromised my pace for the past few laps. I defended well from Thed, but it wasn’t quite enough.”

Despite losing out on a sixth WTCC career win, Michelisz moved ahead of Honda team-mate Rob Huff in the championship standings, climbing from fifth to fourth. He will start the next round 14 points behind third-placed fellow Honda driver Tiago Monteiro.]]>
Tarquini: I could have won WTCC Race of China https://www.fiawtcc.com/tarquini-i-could-have-won-wtcc-race-of-china/ Tue, 27 Sep 2016 04:00:46 +0000 https://www.fiawtcc.com/?p=247673

LADA driver Gabriele Tarquini is convinced he could have made FIA World Touring Car Championship victory number 22 in China on Sunday had it not been for contact with Tom Chilton.

AUTO - WTCC SHANGHAI 2016The pair clashed exiting the hairpin at half distance in the Opening Race with both drivers pitting immediately for repairs, and effectively giving Thed Björk a clear run to attack Norbert Michelisz for the lead.

Afterwards Tarquini said: “It was disappointing not to finish the Opening Race after contact with Tom, if I had got past him I could have won I am sure, but making the pass we had some contact, [it] broke my wheel and that was it.”

Fortunes improved for Tarquini in the Main Race when he took fifth place behind team-mate Nicky Catsburg. “I couldn’t really push and held the Volvos behind me for a decent P5 behind Nicky.”]]>

LADA driver Gabriele Tarquini is convinced he could have made FIA World Touring Car Championship victory number 22 in China on Sunday had it not been for contact with Tom Chilton.

AUTO - WTCC SHANGHAI 2016The pair clashed exiting the hairpin at half distance in the Opening Race with both drivers pitting immediately for repairs, and effectively giving Thed Björk a clear run to attack Norbert Michelisz for the lead.

Afterwards Tarquini said: “It was disappointing not to finish the Opening Race after contact with Tom, if I had got past him I could have won I am sure, but making the pass we had some contact, [it] broke my wheel and that was it.”

Fortunes improved for Tarquini in the Main Race when he took fifth place behind team-mate Nicky Catsburg. “I couldn’t really push and held the Volvos behind me for a decent P5 behind Nicky.”]]>
WTCC champion López lands TAG Heuer Best Lap Trophy in China https://www.fiawtcc.com/wtcc-champion-lopez-lands-tag-heuer-best-lap-trophy/ Mon, 26 Sep 2016 16:00:58 +0000 https://www.fiawtcc.com/?p=247660

José María López enjoyed another dream weekend in the FIA World Touring Car Championship, winning the Main Race in China and capturing his fifth TAG Heuer Best Lap Trophy in the process.

MULLER Yvan (fra) Citroen C Elysee team Citroen TOTAL WTCC portrait ambiance LOPEZ José Maria (arg) Citroen C Elysee team Citroen TOTAL WTCC portrait ambiance during the 2016 FIA WTCC World Touring Car Championship at Shanghai, China, September 23 to 25 - Photo Jean Michel Le Meur / DPPILópez took the coveted award – and a TAG Heuer watch – for his flying lap of 1m52.224s around the 4.603-kilometre Shanghai International Circuit.

Thed Björk had staked his claim to the prize for the second event in succession with the fastest lap in the Opening Race, which he won the factory Volvo Polestar team, but his 1m52.578s effort wasn’t quite enough and Citroën driver López was given cause for double celebration.

“I’m happy for this victory,” López said afterwards.]]>

José María López enjoyed another dream weekend in the FIA World Touring Car Championship, winning the Main Race in China and capturing his fifth TAG Heuer Best Lap Trophy in the process.

MULLER Yvan (fra) Citroen C Elysee team Citroen TOTAL WTCC portrait ambiance LOPEZ José Maria (arg) Citroen C Elysee team Citroen TOTAL WTCC portrait ambiance during the 2016 FIA WTCC World Touring Car Championship at Shanghai, China, September 23 to 25 - Photo Jean Michel Le Meur / DPPILópez took the coveted award – and a TAG Heuer watch – for his flying lap of 1m52.224s around the 4.603-kilometre Shanghai International Circuit.

Thed Björk had staked his claim to the prize for the second event in succession with the fastest lap in the Opening Race, which he won the factory Volvo Polestar team, but his 1m52.578s effort wasn’t quite enough and Citroën driver López was given cause for double celebration.

“I’m happy for this victory,” López said afterwards.]]>