The WTCC will have it’s first outing in North America this weekend at the Sonoma Raceway in California. Surprisingly, they’re actually using a the Full Course which is 0.3 miles longer than the IndyCar configuration! I don’t know when the WTCC will learn that shorter tracks and more laps are better?
There are two new drivers for this race, Italian Felice Tedeschi was going to drive the second Proteam BMW until he totalled it the first test session, he won’t take any further part in the weekend. Fresh from the BTCC, Robb Holland will be in for Pasquale di Sabatino at Bamboo Engineering.
Alex MacDowall topped the first test session yesterday by doing a 1:48.2, too long a lap?
This race will be available in HD, I still don’t know why Brazil wasn’t which was disappointing.
@robk23 Thanks for posting this! I was thinking of doing a small preview myself :) It’s good to see the WTCC in the USA. I’m planning to watch both races tomorrow. The championship will obviously be decided between the three Chevrolet drivers again but the races should be exciting anyway.
Here’s a preview by Tom Coronel, you can clearly see the elevation changes and how demanding the circuit is:
Well after watching GP2, DTM, BTCC, F1 and WTCC yesterday I’m finding myself confused with the regulations for each series!
Anyway, it looks like Huffy has clawed his way back into the joint championship lead (courtesy of a drive through penalty for Muller) which will help spice up the battle a bit. I can’t see Menu being in contention much longer, especially after his power steering failure in race one. It was also a great weekend for Norbert Michelisz with 3rd and 2nd!
Yeah, it looks like now it’s between Huffy and Muller although I have never really believed that Menu could win the title anyway.
Both races were pretty good, the 2nd one was particularly crazy. D’Aste, Bennani and Engstler spun off from the lead one by one (Engstler was ‘helped’ by Muller).
Some tweets after the second race:
Nothing good to say about this weekend in USA .. Still very unlucky @FIA_WTCC
— Pepe Oriola (@OriolaPepe74) September 24, 2012
And here is Tom Coronel’s race review:
The second race was very interesting, we all knew that a Chevrolet would win as those BMWs would never hold on. Michelisz put pressure on Huffy towards the end of the race and with a few more laps I reckon he would’ve had a semi-decent chance of a pass. The BMW doesn’t reach peak performance before the end of the races it seems, not just at Sonoma but at most venues.
Unfortunately I couldn’t watch the races, but I always got to the Zengő teams site to watch their reviews. I was gutted that I missed Norbi’s most productive weekend. (Seems like his two test sessions in Slovakia, and the new track helped him) I am a proud supporter of Norbi, and I realy hope that this 25 points lead over Oriola can get him the title.
The BMW doesn’t reach peak performance before the end of the races
Yes it does, but its using its tyres better than the FWD cars. So after 10-12 lap around a 5Km circuit the FWDs chew up their front tyres causing them understeer and worse acceleration, but by that time the BMWs still have grip, so they start to catch them. A perfect example is this years Saltzburgring race two, where most of the FWD cars had front left punctures, while the BMWs had no problem with the tyres.
The problem at Salzburgring was the cambers were too aggressive on most of the front wheel drive cars (notably the Chevies) and the result was left front punctures galore. The only FWD car that got away was the Ford because they used the cambers recommended by Yokohama.
Allright then that was a bad example, but there are common thoughts in WTCC and this is one of them. Just as RWDs are better at the standing start, FWDs are better in the chicanes.
Stefano D’Aste said at the weekend that the BMW isn’t as quick in the first few laps. The problem is however in those first few laps the Chevrolets will probably have passed them, when the BMWs do come good after a few laps they will end up being stuck behind due to the Cruze being so good through the corners.
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