Essentials: WTCC Race of Italy

Essentials: WTCC Race of Italy

21/04/2017 06:00

It’s FIA WTCC OSCARO Race of Italy time next week (28-30 April). Here’s everything you need to know ahead of Monza’s high-speed spectacular.

Built in 1922, Monza is not only the spiritual home of Italian motor racing but also the WTCC: the inaugural FIA World Touring Car Championship event took place at the track north of Milan in 1987, while the first race of the WTCC’s new era in 2005 was also held on Monza’s high-speed layout. With the legendary parkland venue missing from the World Touring Car schedule since 2013, its return for 2017 will be keenly felt when famous turns like the Curva Grande, Lesmo and Parabolica will resonate to the sound of TC1 World Touring Cars for the first time.

Name: Autodromo Nazionale Monza
Location: Via Vedano, 5, 20900 Monza MB, Italy
Length: 5.793 kilometres
Opening Race distance: 9 laps (52.137km)
Main Race distance: 11 laps (63.723km)
Lap record (qualifying): Yvan Muller (Chevrolet Cruze), 1m56.486s (179.03kph), 23/03/13
Lap record (race): Rob Huff (Chevrolet Cruze), 1m59.000s (175.25kph), 11/03/12
WTCC appearances: Eight (WTCC Race of Italy took place at Imola in 2009)
Time zone: GMT +2 hours
Nearest airport: Milan Linate (26 kilometres)

2013: Race 1: Yvan Muller (Chevrolet Cruze); Race 2: Yvan Muller (Chevrolet Cruze)
2012: R1: Yvan Muller (Chevrolet Cruze); R2: Yvan Muller (Chevrolet Cruze)
2011: R1: Rob Huff (Chevrolet Cruze); R2: Rob Huff (Chevrolet Cruze)
2010: R1: Andy Priaulx (BMW 320si); R2: Yvan Muller (Chevrolet Cruze)
2009: R1: Gabriele Tarquini (SEAT León); R2: Yvan Muller (SEAT León)*
2008: R1: Yvan Muller (SEAT León); R2: Gabriele Tarquini (SEAT León)
2007: R1: Yvan Muller (SEAT León); R2: Jordi Gené (SEAT León)
2006: R1: Andy Priaulx (BMW 320si); R2: Augusto Farfus (Alfa Romeo 156)
2005: R1: Dirk Muller (BMW 320i); R2: James Thompson (Alfa Romeo 156)
*Event took place at Imola

*The inaugural WTCC season began in 1987 with the controversial Monza 500. BMW drivers, including eventual champion Roberto Ravaglia, filled the top six places but were excluded when their M3s were found to be underweight. Allan Moffatt and John Harvey (Holden VL Commodore SS) inherited the outright win but as they were not eligible for WTCC points, Italians Walter Voulaz and Marcello Cipriani top-scored in their Alfa Romeo 75.
*German BMW driver Dirk Müller made history when he won the first WTCC race of the new era at Monza in April 2005, taking the honours in the first of two races. James Thompson won Race 2 for Alfa Romeo, while Andy Priaulx, who would go on to win the championship, came away with a fourth and fifth place.
*Thompson was in the wars when the WTCC visited Monza for the last time in 2013 after his then LADA team-mate Aleksei Dudukalo missed his braking for the first chicane during qualifying and slammed straight into the side of the Briton’s car.
*While Monza’s famous banking hasn’t been used in race mode since 1969, it still gets an airing thanks to the annual Monza Rally Show, won in 2016 by MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi.
*The 1971 Italian Grand Prix is famous for its dramatic finish when the top five were separated by sixth tenths of a second. Peter Gethin beat Ronnie Peterson to victory by 0.01s.

Saturday 29 April
09h00-09h45: Free Practice 1
12h00-12h45: Free Practice 2
14h15-14h35: Qualifying Q1
14h40-14h50: Qualifying Q2
15h00 (pit lane opens): Qualifying Q3
15h25-15h45: WTCC MAC3

Sunday 30 April
12h15-12h40: Opening Race (9 laps)
14h15-14h45: Main Race (11 laps)

Drivers (after 2/20): 1 Monteiro 43; 2 Michelisz 36; 3 Catsburg 28; 4 Bennani 26; 5 Guerrieri 25; etc.
Manufacturers (after 2/20): 1 Honda 96; 2 Volvo Polestar 96
WTCC Trophy (after 2/20): 1 Bennani and Chilton 16; 3 Guerrieri 13; 4 Coronel 11; 5 Huff 6; etc.
WTCC Teams (after 2/20): 1 Sébastien Loeb 18; 2 Campos 14; 3 ROAL 14; 4 Zengő 8; 5 Münnich 6
All-time race wins (top 5): Y Muller 48; López 29; Huff 28; Menu 23; Tarquini 22
All-time pole positions (top 5): Y Muller 29; López 21; Tarquini 17; Menu 15; Farfus and Huff 11
All-time fastest laps (top 5): Y Muller 38; López 29; Huff 27; Tarquini 24; Menu 20
All-time laps led (top 5): Y Muller 571; Huff 344; López 301; Menu 297; Tarquini 295

Click here to download free tickets.

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