After a long season starting 8th March in Brazil – and in which SEAT Sport has been the major player – the World Touring Car Championship will host the last race in Macau on 22nd November. The SEAT team and its five drivers are leading the field in the run-up to the last race in what has been one of the most exciting seasons on WTCC record. Gabriele Tarquini, Yvan Muller and Augusto Farfus are fighting the Drivers’ championship out between themselves, with a13-point gap between them and 20 points left to race for. SEAT is 3 points clear of BMW, 36 points being the maximum score possible.
Figures show that SEAT has never had a win at Macau, though it was there that the Spanish brand and driver Yvan Muller proclaimed themselves World Champions last year. The team’s overarching aim is to buck the trend, and not only to win the race but carry off world titles as happened in 2008. The initial aim at the start of the season was to win one of the championships, but all team members’ sights are now firmly set on winning both.
The race setting itself adds to the difficulty of the challenge. The Macau urban circuit combines high-speed straights with slow bends and very tight corners. Overtaking is very difficult and the crash barriers allow the drivers no room for error. That is why classification will be paramount, something that the team has been adamant about in the final races of the season. The three consecutive pole positions at Oschersleben, Imola and Okayama were the result of this sports strategy, enabling the five drivers to get in the Q2 for the last two races – crucial to go on to the first race with a guarantee of success. And this will be the starting point for the final WTCC race. Following tradition at Macau, the qualifying rounds will be held on Friday, and the races on Sunday.
SEAT Sport Director Jaime Puig: ‘We have never won at Macau, so this is the best opportunity to do so for the first time. In such a close-run championship as this one, with ten cars all within a second of each other, winning one title is a great achievement in itself. But the full team will put go all out to win the two, and in view of the rule changes brought in during the year, that would be an absolutely outstanding result. I am convinced that teamwork will enable Gabriele Tarquini and Yvan Muller to strengthen their positions against Augusto Farfus in order to carry off the drivers’ title.’
In the Independents’ Trophy, Tom Coronel reaches this final races leading the standings with 30 points ahead of Felix Porteiro in second place. Due to Macau Trophy races score twice, Coronel will have to ensure a good result to win a title that he also won in 2006 with the SEAT León WTCC.
Race schedule (- 7 hours CET)
Thursday 19th November
12.20 – 12.50: Testing (5.20 – 5.50 CET)
Friday 20th November
8.45 – 9.15: Free Practice 1 (1.45 – 2.15 CET)
12.15 – 12.45: Free Practice 2 (5.15 – 5.45 CET)
15.50 – 16.40: Qualifying Practice (8.50 – 9.40 CET)
Sunday 22nd November
7.50 – 8.05: Warm Up (00.50 – 01.05 CET)
12.05: First race. Nine laps with rolling start. (5.05 CET)
13.25: Second race. Nine laps with standing start. (6.25 CET)
Minimum weights and compensation for participating cars.
SEAT León TDI: 1,170kg + 40kg ballast = 1,210kg.
SEAT gasoline: 1,170 kg – 20 kg ballast = 1,150kg.
BMW: 1,155kg. + 40kg ballast = 1,195kg.
Chevrolet Cruze: 1170kg + 10kg ballast = 1.180kg.
BMW (private): 1180kg.
Lada Priora: 1,170 Kg. – 20kg ballast = 1,150kg.
(The BMWs have been given a special dispensation by the FIA to compete carrying 15kg less weight than the SEAT León TDI.)
- SEAT Sport