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MUNDIAL - WTCR NO JAPÃO ESTE FIM DE SEMANA

Sábado, 20 Outubro 2018 09:53 | Actualizado em Terça, 07 Julho 2020 11:10


 
Event preview: FIA WTCR JVCKENWOOD Race of Japan
WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup presented by OSCARO

Rounds 25-27 of 30, Suzuka Circuit, 26-28 October
 
WTCR TAKE TWO: RACERS ALL SET FOR SUPER SUZUKA ONLINE AND ON-TRACK
*Esports WTCR OSCARO Multiplayer Championship signals start of Suzuka week
*Famous Japanese venue then hosts penultimate event of real life WTCR OSCARO season
*Hero Monteiro prepares for comeback from serious injury 415 days after testing crash
*Top 10 WTCR OSCARO drivers split by 79 points with a maximum of 87 on offer in Japan
 
Suzuka will be the epicentre of World Touring Car racing in the coming days with a unique double-header in store at the famous Japanese track – both virtual and real.
 
On Sunday (21 October), the fifth event of the Esports WTCR OSCARO Multiplayer Championship takes place on an online version of the classic 5.807-kilometre circuit. That will serve as an exciting prelude to WTCR JVCKENWOOD Race of Japan, the penultimate weekend of the inaugural WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup presented by OSCARO season, from 26-28 October.
 
Twenty-four races run, 13 different winning drivers and six victorious customer racing brands are some of the key numbers in WTCR OSCARO. But the most significant number of all is 415. That’s because on 26 October, it will be 415 days since Tiago Monteiro began his fight-back from serious head and neck injuries sustained in a testing accident in Spain, a courageous battle that will culminate in him making his long-awaited and emotionally-charged return to racing.
 
“There were times when the situation looked pretty bleak, but I never lost hope that this day would come and that has kept me determined to push harder than ever to get back to where I want to be,” said Monteiro, who will finally get to climb aboard his #18 Boutsen Ginion Racing Honda Civic Type R TCR during a race weekend. “Coming to races all year and watching other people do what I should be doing has been tearing me up inside. The fact that I’ll be returning at Honda’s home circuit – the same place I made my first WTCC start with them in 2012 – is also very special and a great way to repay the faith and support they’ve shown me throughout my recovery period.”
 
No targets, Monteiro’s just happy to be back
Tiago Monteiro is not setting any targets as he prepares for his first racing weekend since WTCC Race of Argentina in July 2017. “I cannot even begin to tell you how good it feels to be back,” said the Portuguese. “I just want to have fun, get comfortable and play myself in at my own pace before I come back full time in 2019. I am so grateful to the professionals that have helped me in my recovery, my family, friends and supporters; you’ve all been amazing throughout this tough time.”
 
Fast Friday awaits WTCR drivers
Friday 26 October at WTCR JVCKENWOOD Race of Japan will be about going as fast as possible with not one but two qualifying sessions on the agenda. At 13h00 local time, 25 World Touring Car drivers will attempt to secure their places on the grid for Race 1 on Saturday. Then at 15h30, the three-phase qualifying shootout for the DHL Pole Position for Race 3 on Sunday begins with the driver who places P10 at the end of Qualifying Q2 lining up at the front for Race 2.

Wide-open WTCR title battle continues
Gabriele Tarquini will return to Suzuka, where finished P11 in the 1991 Japanese Grand Prix and won the second of two FIA World Touring Car Championship races in 2014, leading the Drivers’ standings. However, his advantage over joint-second-place drivers Thed Björk – a Suzuka novice – and Yvan Muller is just seven points, such is the wide-open nature of the title fight in 2018. Indeed, after 24 races, the top 10 drivers are split by 79 points with a maximum of 87 on offer in Japan. Pepe Oriola (Cupra) heads the pursuit of the leading Hyundai trio with Jean-Karl Vernay (Audi), Esteban Guerrieri (Honda), Norbert Michelisz (Hyundai), Frédéric Vervisch (Audi), Yann Ehrlacher (Honda) and Rob Huff (Volkswagen) in close attention.
 
Shedden has that winning feeling in WTCR
Gordon Shedden has no plans to settle for winning once in the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup presented by OSCARO. Shedden ended his victory drought with a standout first place finish in Race 3 at WTCR Race of China-Wuhan earlier this month, where he also became the TAG Heuer Most Valuable Driver (MVD) for the first time. Now the Audi Sport Leopard Lukoil Team driver wants to do it all again at Suzuka. “Wuhan was a brilliant weekend for me and for the team,” said the three-time British Touring Car champion from Scotland. “My first podium, pole and race win, thanks to Audi Sport, Leopard and Lukoil and WRT, hopefully this is just the start of a great run to the end of the season."
 
Could Suzuka GT run give Vervisch the edge?
Frédéric Vervisch is already in front in the battle to win at WTCR JVCKENWOOD Race of Japan. Vervisch took part in the track’s Intercontinental GT Challenge round in August and partnered Christopher Mies and Dries Vanthoor to fourth overall in an Audi Sport Team WRT RS 8 LMS, only missing out on a possible podium due to a puncture. While some of Vervisch’s WTCR OSCARO rivals have experience of the Japanese Grand Prix venue from their time competing in the FIA World Touring Car Championship, it’s new to several and Vervisch will almost certainly have the most up-to-date knowledge of the track and the challenge it poses when action begins on 26 October. “I learned a lot but it’s a very difficult track,” said Vervisch, who drives an Audi Sport Team Comtoyou RS 3 LMS in WTCR. “The asphalt is, how can I say it, very strange, not what I’m used to, and maybe at the end of the races we will see some tyre degradation.” Asked what fans watching trackside and live on television can expect in terms of the racing, Vervisch said: “It’s a high-speed track with two places where you can definitely overtake.”
 
Why Suzuka is a second homecoming for Coronel
Not all WTCR drivers get one home race but Tom Coronel actually gets two. The Dutchman lived in Japan for five years and claimed some of his biggest motorsport successes in the country, including the Formula 3 and Formula Nippon titles, making WTCR JVCKENWOOD Race of Japan a second home event for the Honda-powered Boutsen Ginion Racing driver. “The change of my career happened in Japan because I came from Europe where I had not budget to continue but the Japanese supported me very well. And Suzuka is designed by a Dutchman, John Hugenholtz, the same designer behind Zandvoort in my country. Mr Honda liked Zandvoort so much with the uphill and downhill so he asked Mr Hugenholtz to do the same for him when creating Suzuka. It’s one of my personal favourites because of the combination of corners. When you arrive and you see the track you start to become happy. You have a little twinkle in your eyes.”
 
Bánki back in command and on top in Esports WTCR OSCARO
Bence Bánki is back in the lead of the Esports WTCR OSCARO Multiplayer Championship – despite not driving in anger since the last event at a virtual Slovakia Ring in September.  Volkswagen driver Florian Hasse had topped the table but a retrospective penalty for an incident with Attila Dencs during the Slovakia Ring event, plus a P16 best in pre-qualifying, means a difficult round is in store. It’s a different story for Bánki (Oscaro eSports by SDL / Honda), however, with the Slovak topping the Suzuka leaderboard ahead of Nikodem Wisniewski and Redoine Messaoud. Kevin Siggy Rebernak has moved up into second in the championship, and the Slovenian goes into the Suzuka Esports WTCR OSCARO race with a lot of confidence, having just won another simracing tournament, the Mercedes-AMG eRacing Competition. Rebernak used the Audi RS 3 LMS in qualifying but will be back in his more familiar Hyundai i30 N TCR for race night on Sunday. Several real-life WTCR drivers made an appearance on the leaderboard as part of their preparations for the upcoming WTCR JVCKENWOOD Race of Japan. Mato Homola was fastest, almost a second quicker than Yann Ehrlacher, although they both had to give best to former WTCC racer Ferenc Ficza, who drove for Zengő Motorsport during the 2016 season. He finished P34, albeit right in the middle of some of the fastest simracers in the world. James Kirk and Robert Wiesenmüller will provide expert commentary on the live broadcast, which starts at 19h00 CET on 21 October. Click here to watch the action on Facebook or here for YouTube.
 
New era goes from strength to strength
With a rulebook designed to promote corner-by-corner overtaking, a packed grid featuring four world champions and a host of national and international touring car title-winners, an abundance of young stars, ex-Formula One drivers and seven customer racing brands, the stage is set for a thrilling Suzuka extravaganza, which also features the Super Formula season finale. In an intriguing twist, WTCR – the new name for the FIA World Touring Car Championship from 2018 – gets three races per weekend, plus a second shot at the DHL Pole Position Award due to the scheduling of not one but two qualifying sessions. There’s also the ground-breaking TAG Heuer Most Valuable Driver award, which goes to the racer scoring the most points during a weekend, plus the TAG Heuer Best Lap Trophy. In addition to live global television coverage, Race 1 will be shown live in selected territories on Facebook and at wtcr.oscaro.com – website of the WTCR Series Presenting Partner partner and the world’s leading online retailer of original automotive spare parts.
 
They said what? WTCR drivers look ahead to Japan
 
Thed Björk (YMR, Hyundai i30 N TCR): “I’ve never raced at Suzuka but it’s one of the big tracks you want to do in your life. There’s so much history, so many races. A couple of weeks ago when I put my on-board on to start the programme to learn the track, I put it onto Suzuka and thought ‘hey, I know this track’ but I’ve never been there, I only played it on video games from 1997 when they started coming with the first Formula One games for the computer. For me, mostly it’s one of the tracks in the world you will want to have driven on and I’m really happy to be going there. It’s one of those races you really want to do. I have memories of many actions and many battles but the first memory that got me was I have been here before when I was Michael Schumacher in the Formula One game around there, that hit me first and that’s why I’m really excited.”
 
Tom Coronel (Boutsen Ginion Racing, Honda Civic Type R TCR): “The first corner is very challenging on the entry. You carry a lot more speed than you think, it’s a bit downhill, a cambered corner so you can overtake on the outside. Then you have the Esses and you have to feel the swing of the car up the hill to Dunlop, then it’s Degner 1 and 2, then under the bridge because this is one of those circuits where there is a cross-over, which is quite unique. Then you are on route to Spoon 1 and Spoon 2. Spoon 2 is very important on the exit because of the long straight, especially because you are going uphill. Then you have 130R, a corner like Eau Rouge at Spa where you hold your breath and think it’s a relief when you reach the exit. In Formula 3 and Formula Nippon it was only flat with you tyres and normally only one lap, but maybe two but only sometimes. It’s very exciting! Then it’s the chicane and the run to the finish.”
 
Esteban Guerrieri (ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport, Honda Civic Type R TCR): “The first memories I have of motorsport were of the world championships being decided in Suzuka with my hero; Ayrton Senna, in 1989 and 1990. Suzuka has always meant ‘decisive moments’. In my early memories of racing, being there always playing video games. It looks a very nice, challenging track, difficult to drive. Every driver in F1 says Suzuka is one of their favourites. It should be a good track for the Honda because there are a lot of corners that flow one into another and the big strength of the Civic Type R TCR is it’s medium-to-high-speed cornering. The Japanese fans are very much into motorsport and very patriotic. They follow their flag a lot and always welcome us with a lot of kindness. The atmosphere was very nice from the fans. I always used to see them on TV putting a lot of passion into their drivers. When I arrived at the airport last year I got the news I was driving for Honda. It was a every warm welcome and then we had a great weekend so it was a good start to my time with Honda. I wish I could gave stayed longer and seen more.”
 
Gabriele Tarquini (BRC Racing Team, Hyundai i30 N TCR): “Suzuka for me is one of the best tracks in the world especially because it was built on the same year I was born, 1962, and it never changed! The layout of the track is still the same, most of the kerbs and the run-off areas are still the same. For me it’s very good for the kind of corners you have, you have a hairpin, change of direction, fast chicane, very fast corners, it’s a complete track and very difficult to interpret the full length of the track because it’s very long. I won once in WTCC but I don’t know very well the long version and you need to know it very well. I was at Suzuka for the Japanese Grand Prix in 1990. I remember the action at the chicane between Senna and Prost, I was there when it happened so I obviously was not on the grid for that race!”
 
Five to watch
1 Tiago Monteiro: The Portuguese is set for a highly-emotional return to racing from serious injury – and at the track where his touring car adventure with Honda began in 2012.
2 Nathanaël Berthon: Comtoyou’s man was on top form last time out China with a maiden WTCR podium. Can he be even closer to the front at Suzuka?
3 Mato Homola: After a tough WTCR Race of China-Wuhan when team-mate Aurélien Comte returned to the podium, Homola will be desperate for a big haul of points Suzuka style.
4 Timo Scheider: Despite his limited experience in a front-wheel-drive touring car, the double DTM champion still has his eye one his first points in WTCR OSCARO.
5 John Filippi: After a tough China, the Team OSCARO by Campos Racing driver will utilise his previous Suzuka experience to chase WTCR points.
 
Essentials
All you need to know about WTCR JVCKENWOOD Race of Japan: Click here for the event guide, timetable and other essential information
Who’s in it to win it? Click here to find out more about the WTCR drivers
WTCR explained? Click here to find out more
Standings: Click here to find out who is in front after the opening three races
For everything else… Go to the online WTCR Media Centre by clicking here
 
Suzuka in 100 words: Japan has hosted world touring car racing since 2008 and 2018 will be no different with the inaugural FIA World Touring Car Cup heading to Suzuka in late October when the country’s Super Formula series finale will also join the bill. Operated by Mobilityland, the same Honda-owned subsidiary behind Twin Ring Motegi – venue of WTCC Race of Japan for three seasons – Suzuka features a unique figure- of-eight layout and presents a considerable challenge for drivers thanks to its huge variety of corners. Opened initially as a Honda test track in 1962, Suzuka staged its first Japanese Grand Prix in 1987.
 
Provisional key timings:
26 October: Free Practice 1: 09h10-09h40; Free Practice 2: 11h25-11h55; First Qualifying: 13h00-13h30; Second Qualifying Q1: 15h30-15h50; Second Qualifying Q2: 15h55-16h05; Second Qualifying Q3: 16h10 (first car starts)
27 October: Race 1: 14h05 (9 laps)
28 October: Race 2: 11h05 (9 laps); Race 3: 12h30 (11 laps)
 
Who’s on the grid?
World Touring Car champions: Thed Björk, Rob Huff, Yvan Muller, Gabriele Tarquini
WTCC Trophy winners: Mehdi Bennani, Tom Coronel, Norbert Michelisz
WTCC race winners: Yann Ehrlacher, Esteban Guerrieri, Tiago Monteiro, Pepe Oriola 
British Touring Car champions: Fabrizio Giovanardi, Muller, Gordon Shedden, Tarquini
DTM champion: Timo Scheider
TCR title winners: Aurélien Comte, Jean-Karl Vernay
Young racing hopefuls: Kevin Ceccon, Denis Dupont, John Filippi, Mato Homola, Norbert Nagy, Aurélien Panis, Zsolt Szabó
International racers: Nathanaël Berthon, Frédéric Vervisch
 
Weekend format explained
In a major change to the previous WTCC race weekend format, each WTCR OSCARO event will consist of three races – an increase from the previous two plus an additional qualifying session. The points allocation has been changed as follows:

 

Race

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

SQ

5

4

3

2

1

0

0

0

0

0

R1

27

20

17

14

12

10

8

6

4

2

R2

25

18

15

12

10

8

6

4

2

1

R3

30

23

19

16

13

10

7

4

2

1

Key: SQ = Second Qualifying; R1 = Race 1; R2 = Race 2; R3 = Race 3
 
WTCR JVCKENWOOD Race of Japan in numbers
1962: Not only was 1962 the year when Suzuka opened for business, it was also the year when WTCR OSCARO points leader Gabriele Tarquini was born.
2014: Tarquini was the last winner of a World Touring Car race at Suzuka, a feat he achieved driving for Honda in 2014.
2m14.894s: Audi RS 3 LMS driver Takuya Shirasaka’s 2m14.894s qualifying best from June 2017 is currently the fastest lap time by a TCR car at Suzuka.
3: Tom Coronel and Norbert Michelisz have won more World Touring Car races in Japan than any other driver with three victories apiece.
4: As well as hosting WTCR JVCKENWOOD Race of Japan, Suzuka is the venue of the Super Formula season finale, which Nick Cassidy will start with a four-point lead over Hiroaki Ishiura.

 

 

FIA WTCR Media Centre


FIA WTCR Media Centre


FIA WTCR Media Centre


 

FIA WTCR Media Centre


FIA WTCR Media Centre


FIA WTCR Media Centre



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