Latest from the world of Touring Car racing
Priaulx seeks to rewrite Touring Car history
March 10, 2pm. The new FIA World Touring Car Championship season starts this weekend with Britain’s back-to-back WTCC champion, Andy Priaulx, looking to rewrite motorsport history.
The 32-year-old racer, who was crowned European Touring Car Champion in 2004 and World Touring Car Champion in 2005 and 2006, is hoping to become the first ever British racing driver to win three consecutive FIA world titles.
The WTCC sits alongside Formula 1 and the World Rally Championship as one of only three world titles awarded by the FIA, the governing body of world motorsport.
This year’s WTCC season begins at the 3.69km Curitiba circuit in Brazil where Priaulx will race the latest version of the BMW 320si prepared by Team RBM under the management of Bart Mampaey.
He will have to contend with a change in race regulations including the introduction of a rolling start for Race 1 and a reduction of the maximum ballast weights from 80kg to 60kg this season.
"To win a third world title would be incredible," said Priaulx.
"The team has been working incredibly hard ahead of the season opener and the car feels fantastic. I’m really looking forward to going out and competing again.
"It’s great to see the introduction of two extra races and some new circuits this season. I’ve always performed well on the streets of Macau so I’m especially excited about the added street circuits in Pau (France) and Porto (Portugal).’’
The 2007 WTCC season takes in four new circuits this year with Zandvoort ( Netherlands) and Anderstorp (Sweden) joining the Pau and Porto street circuits.
The championship comprises 11 rounds (22 races) and is a four brand contest with the BMW 320Si challenge headed by Priaulx, Jorg Muller (Germany), Augusto Farfus (Brazil) and Alex Zanardi (Italy).
Spanish manufacturer SEAT fields a multi-car Leon challenge with leading drivers Jordi Gene (Spain) ,Gabriele Tarquini (Italy), Yvan Muller (France) , Michel Jourdain (Mexico) and recent Jordan and Midland F1 driver Tiago Monteiro (Portugal).
Chevrolet runs three of its Lacetti models for Robert Huff (GB), Nicola Larini (Italy) and Alain Menu (Switzerland) and the N-Techology Alfa Romeo 156s are raced by James Thompson (GB) and Olivier Tielemans (Netherlands).
The series finale is the Macau Guia street race on November 18.
TKR and Hamilton join forces
March 10, 2007, 2pm. Team Kiwi Racing’s Ford Falcon V8 Supercar will carry the Hamilton logo on its bonnet during this year’s championship.
Hamilton will host the NZ round of the V8 Supercar championship for seven years on a new street circuit.
Team Kiwi Racing owner David John says details of the sponsorship are confidential because of their commercial nature, but it will deliver “huge promotional benefits to the city of Hamilton.”
“As well as having the Hamilton logo on the bonnet of our new car, we’ll also be able to promote Hamilton through many of the other arrangements we have in place.
“Our sponsorship with Ford means there will be more than 20 Ford Falcons, looking identical to the TKR race car, that will be driving around the cities and towns of New Zealand. All of these vehicles will feature the Hamilton logo.”