The fifteenth and sixteenth races of the 2010 World Touring Car Championship season take place at Germany’s Motorsport Arena at Oschersleben, and as usual, we at Richard’s F1 will provide with the latest news and highlights from the world’s premier touring car championship this weekend.
Located in the Bode region some 30 kilometres south of the city of Magdeburg, he Oschersleben circuit has been a mainstay of the World Touring Car Championship ever since it was reformed in 2005, in addition to hosting the European Touring Car Championship between 2001-4.
A favourite among racing fans, the event is always well-attended by fans eager to see plenty of on-track action, which this twisting circuit always provides. Key to a good result is surviving the first and second corners – a tight chicane that turns back on itself – and which plays the scene for a traditional opening-lap accident as the cars funnel into it from the short home straight.
The compact nature of the circuit contains a mix of slow-speed corners and high-speed straights, which will show up the cars with poor traction and balance. Suffer a slow exit onto one of the long straights and you will certainly run the risk of being passed under braking for the next corner. Expect plenty of panel-rubbing among the cars and certainly a few tears along the way.
Irrespective of it being set in its homeland, BMW has had a near-monopoly at this circuit, winning nine of the previous ten races held here. The RBM duo of Augusto Farfus and Andy Priaulx have picked up three wins apiece here over the years, and both took the spoils at the event last year.
Indeed, the only non-BMW win came in 2007 when Yvan Muller took the first win for the turbodiesel SEAT León.
It’s highly likely that we will again see a BMW cakewalk of the event, and with a maximum of 50 points up for grabs, a good result for either driver – and in particular, the better-placed Priaulx – will see them right back in contention for the Drivers’ Championship crown.
The BMWs will need to manage their racecraft carefully, for this weekend they will be without the assumed support of Colin Turkington, whose guest spot in the series (where he has performed very impressively in a privately entered, older-spec 320si) comes to a temporary closely this weekend. Facing a trio of Chevrolets and quintet of SEATs eager to deny them of points, they must keep their noses clean in the opening laps, assuming they can qualify at the front of the pack.
A field of 21 cars will grace the circuit for this weekend’s event, with Turkington’s absence reducing the grid size by a single car. Scuderia Proteam Motorsport will again field a third BMW 320si for Fabio Fabiani, who has done little to impress in his appearances so far in the 2010 Independents’ Trophy category.
[Original images via the FIA World Touring Car Championship site]