The seventeenth and eighteenth races of the 2010 World Touring Car Championship season will take place at Valencia’s Circuit Ricardo Tormo this weekend, and we’ll be bringing you the latest news and highlights from the world’s best touring car championship this weekend.
The Spanish circuit has been a traditional venue on the WTCC calendar, and will again be well-attended by patriotic fans eager to see both their national representatives and the SEAT cars do well this weekend.
The four-kilometre circuit seems to suit all cars particularly well, and the main manufacturers have generally shared the race-winning honours in preceding years, as is shown by BMW (3 wins), Alfa Romeo (3), Chevrolet (2) and SEAT (2) sharing pretty even honours.
Yvan Muller (SEAT) and Augusto Farfus (BMW) took wins at last year’s round. The twisting and undulating nature of the circuit – which features a mix of long straights, elevation changes, high- and low-speed corners will play to the differing strengths of each of the three manufacturers again, and we should see a close contest through the field.
For the Spanish fans, the ultimate moment in national fervour came when Jordi Gené won in 2005, starting from pole and going on to give the SEAT León its first-ever race victory. Gené has had a horrible run this season and is mired well down the order in the Drivers’ Championship standings, so he will remain hopeful of a solid result this weekend.
Another Spaniard who could feature prominently this weekend is Sergio Hernández – born in Valencia – who has also delivered some strong results here. In 2007, driving for the factory BMW Italia-Spain squad, he achieved his first championship point finish, and also took the outright Independents’ Trophy race win in 2008.
The circuit also welcomes the return of local driver Mark Carol, who will have a guest outing in a petrol-powered SEAT León as part of his success in Spain’s local SEAT touring car championship.
Yvan Muller currently holds a slender lead over Andy Priaulx in the championship race, and the pair are closely followed by Gabriele Tarquini, who will be hoping to continue his title defence after a poor round at Oschersleben a fortnight ago.
The all-important compensation weights won’t change from the previous round at Oschersleben, with all of the manufacturer cars carrying the maximum 40kg of additional ballast, while the older-spec BMWs in the Independents’ Trophy will carry just an additional 10kg. The others – those being the Chevrolet Lacettis, petrol-powered SEAT Leóns, and Andrei Romanov’s sequential-gearbox BMW – will run with 20kg less ballast than the minimum usually required.
It all looks set to be another exciting event at Valencia, which prove pivotal in the race to the championship.
[Original images via the FIA World Touring Car Championship site]
If you’re planning on travelling to the event, be sure to check out the Track Reviewers site for more information.