Press release – While it’s still 17 days until the Opening Race at Circuit Paul Ricard gets underway, plenty has been going on in the FIA World Touring Car Championship. Here are 10 things learned so far in 2016.
1: Fans come first in the WTCC
WTCC Premium TV will bring the WTCC’s video content to fans through mobile apps (iOS and Android) and online. Visitors to races can enjoy the WTCC Fan Village, while the live TV coverage will include team radio for the first time.
2: A winter break is no barrier to speed for the WTCC champion
José María López (pictured) underlined his WTCC title credentials by setting the pace in official testing at Vallelunga in Italy recently.
3: Volvo pair can be (Pole) stars of the WTCC
Strong testing pace from Polestar Cyan Racing pair Thed Björk and Fredrik Ekblom at Vallelunga suggests the Volvo S60s will fly in 2016.
4: WTCC LADAs should be fast starters
Work to improve the starting mechanism on the factory LADA Vestas should lead to rapid getaways according to works driver Nicky Catsburg.
5: The Hungarian driver, Michelisz has long-held WTCC title ambitions
While it’s no surprise that Norbert Michelisz wants to be WTCC champion one day, it’s a target that dates back to 2010 when he took his maiden championship win in Macau.
6: Absent Loeb has left a WTCC hole
Yvan Muller reckons Sébastien Loeb’s absence from the WTCC grid will be keenly felt. Loeb is trying World RX for size with new employer Peugeot and Muller isn’t best pleased: “It’s a disadvantage for us because Seb is a super high-level driver, he helps us a lot with a lot of things. He push us up but it’s like this, he’s not here any more.”
7: WTCC number 101 won’t be pictured for Rydell
Rydell’s 100th WTCC start (at Paul Ricard in 2015) will be his last after the Swede revealed he’s hung up his driving gloves for the final time.
8: For white read red at Citroën in the WTCC
Citroën will chase a third WTCC Manufacturers’ Championship title in 2016 armed with a new red colour scheme on its factory C-Elysée WTCCs, which also feature some modified aerodynamics.
9: Münnich a permanent WTCC fixture
Although team boss and driver René Münnich can’t commit to all of this season’s WTCC races due to clashing commitment, his squad’s Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1 will be in action at all events, albeit with a replacement driver behind the wheel at certain race weekends.
10: Marrakech will be ready for WTCC action
With new venues not on the WTCC agenda for 2016, it’s heartening to know the only revised track layout to feature on the calendar will be ready with the overhaul of the Circuit Moulay El Hassan in Marrakech well underway.
– press release –