The thirteenth and fourteenth races of the 2010 World Touring Car Championship season will take place this weekend at the Czech Republic’s Brno circuit, and we at Richard’s F1 will provide you with all of the latest news and highlights of the best touring car championship in the world as it takes centre stage this weekend!
Brno’s Masaryk Circuit has very much been a traditional meeting ground for the World Touring Car Championship, with the circuit hosting rounds of the European Touring Car Championship between 2002 and 2004, and it has continued to play host to the WTCC since 2006.
The dramatic amphitheatre surrounds have produced an excellent circuit for motor racing, and its series of high-speed, constant-radius sweeps and frequent direction changes place a premium on good traction, good chassis balance and tyre preservation.
The track has been something of a stomping ground for BMW, with rivals Chevrolet and SEAT picking up a single victory apiece in the event’s history as host of a WTCC round. The rear-wheel-drive 320si should once again prove the car to beat on Brno’s switchback turns, provided they don’t self-destruct under the pressure of a two-car works operation.
And self-destruct they certainly did last year, when front-row starter Augusto Farfus succeeded in cleaning up several cars with a rash move under braking on the opening lap into Turn 1. Not only did he manage to wipe out all three Chevrolets and Jordi Gené’s SEAT, but he also collected his team-mate Andy Priaulx!
Back then, BMW had a four-car operation, and this spectacular own-goal was salvaged when the sister BMW Italia-Spain team went on to win both races, with Alessandro Zanardi taking a popular (and final) WTCC victory in the opening leg, and team-mate Sergio Hernández winning the second heat.
A brace of wins for Andy Priaulx would certainly help the Guernseyman close the gap to current championship leader Yvan Muller, as he sits 51 points in arrears despite achieving more race victories than any other driver this season. But with consistency and teamwork proving the true hallmarks of success in the WTCC, he will have to rely on the strong and continuous support of Farfus to acts as his rear gunner.
This weekend’s 22-car field remains relatively unchanged from previous rounds. There are three drivers to keep an eye on in the Independents’ Trophy standings, of whom one will almost certainly have an impact at the pointy end of the field.
The hugely impressive Colin Turkington is contesting another round of the championship in his eBay-backed BMW, and he could prove a real thorn in the side of the factory drivers and an embarrassment to his fellow Independent runners if he has another outstanding showing in the wake of his impressive Brands Hatch result.
Further down the order, Fabio Fabiani makes his second appearance of the season for Scuderia Proteam, with the outfit fielding a third BMW 320si for the Italian, who made his first outing at Monza earlier this season.
Russian driver Andrei Romanov return after missing the Brands Hatch round due to “personal reasons”, and it is hoped that he may finally discover some of the pace that has so sorely been lacking in his half of the Liqui Moly Team Engstler garage.
There’s certainly plenty to look forward to this weekend! The drivers will have their first outing on the Brno circuit at 8.30am local time on Saturday.