Gabriele Tarquini tops the pack after 27 all-action races in his BRC Racing Group Hyundai i30 N TCR. However with 79 factors masking the highest seven and 87 up for grabs from the three counters that make up the Suncity Group Guia Race, the order is more likely to be shuffled on a monitor that has supplied the final word street-racing problem for 65 years.
Macau’s 6.120-kilometre Circuito da Guia blends twisty turns and slender blasts with lengthy, wide-open straights and sweeping corners – plus gradient adjustments – to create probably the most demanding and spectacular avenue circuits on the planet.
Touring automobile racing has been held on this Particular Administrative Area of the Folks’s Republic of China for greater than half a century, with the well-known Guia Race first run in 1972. Having welcomed the WTCC again to its streets final November for the penultimate occasion of the 2017 marketing campaign when Rob Huff bagged a file ninth win, Macau hosts the WTCR OSCARO season finale with a season-high 31 drivers – representing seven buyer racing manufacturers – participating.
Seven up for #SeasonShowdown
Whereas Gabriele Tarquini is within the title ascendancy with a 39-point benefit over fellow Hyundai racer Yvan Muller, the skilled Italian has no plans to again off, with 5 different rivals all holding a mathematical likelihood of changing into the inaugural WTCR OSCARO champion.
“I’ve been main this championship for the reason that first race,” stated the 56-year-old, who can be chasing a primary win in Macau. “I’m the oldest man with everyone behind me. I’ll combat very arduous to win this title however Macau is a lottery and we all know it’s very tough.”
Frenchman Muller, probably the most profitable driver in World Touring Automotive historical past with 4 FIA titles, stated: “Perhaps we misplaced the championship however every little thing is feasible. Till it’s not mathematically potential you by no means quit. Macau is Macau and there are numerous factors [available].”
Sweden’s Thed Björk, the 2017 FIA World Touring Automotive champion, is 14 factors behind his YMR team-mate Muller with Spanish Cupra driver Pepe Oriola 11 factors additional again for Group OSCARO by Campos Racing.
Jean-Karl Vernay (Audi Sport Leopard Lukoil Group) is fifth within the desk, 11 factors down on Oriola and 75 adrift of Tarquini. Esteban Guerrieri (ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda) and Norbert Michelisz (BRC Racing Group) full the seven title contenders, 78 and 79 factors behind Tarquini respectively.
Though all seven championship chasers have raced on the Circuito da Guia earlier than, solely Muller and Michelisz have gained in Macau with Michelisz taking the Guia Race laurels in 2010. Together with his title probabilities slim, the Hungarian shall be utilizing that triumph as a optimistic. “I’m not in the very best place however in Macau every little thing can occur,” he stated.
The Magnificent Seven at a look:
Gabriele Tarquini (Italy, BRC Racing Group): First place, 291 factors
Yvan Muller (France, YMR): Second, 252 factors
Thed Björk (Sweden, YMR): Third, 238 factors
Pepe Oriola (Spain, Group OSCARO by Campos Racing): Fourth, 227 factors
Jean-Karl Vernay (France, Audi Sport Leopard Lukoil Group): Fifth, 216 factors
Esteban Guerrieri (Argentina, ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport): Sixth, 213 factors
Norbert Michelisz (BRC Racing Group): Seventh, 212 factors
Factors are allotted as follows:
Key: SQ = Second Qualifying; R1 = Race 1; R2 = Race 2; R3 = Race 3
Hyundai-powered entrants battle for Groups’ title
It’s a two-squad race for the battle to win the WTCR – FIA World Touring Automotive Cup introduced by OSCARO for Groups with eight factors separating the highest two. BRC Racing Group is in entrance due to the mixed efforts of its Hyundai-powered drivers Norbert Michelisz and Gabriele Tarquini with Yvan Muller’s YMR outfit simply behind. Muller got here out of retirement to drive one in all his two Hyundai i30 N TCRs alongside Thed Björk. YMR has gained seven races to BRC’s six.
King of Macau Huff bids to increase profitable file
Rob Huff, who drives a Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR for Sébastien Loeb Racing, is probably the most profitable racer in Macau historical past with 9 wins to his identify. Though he’s slipped out of title rivalry after a tricky mid-season, the Briton shall be chasing a record-extending win quantity 10 on the Circuito da Guia. The 2012 FIA World Touring Automotive champion has given a quick perception into why he’s so good on Macau’s streets. “I do know the monitor as a result of I pay numerous consideration to it. I perceive the bumps and I perceive the contours. Folks say the Nürburgring Nordschleife is the toughest monitor on this planet. I imagine Macau is the toughest monitor on this planet as a result of yearly you go there one thing’s moved, there are new bumps, new issues to study. I don’t need to say I push greater than anybody else however I appear to discover a pure stability that permits me to be quick however not over the restrict. A mixture of the arrogance I’ve there with how I set the automobile up and the best way I drive permits me to be fast.” Click on right here for a Q&A with Rob Huff.
Historical past-maker Ma again in motion
After changing into the primary driver from China to attain WTCR OSCARO factors when Wuhan hosted the motion final month, Ma Qinghua returns to Boutsen Ginion Racing within the Honda Civic Sort R TCR Tiago Monteiro used to make his heroic comeback from damage at WTCR JVCKENWOOD Race of Japan just lately. However with Monteiro now targeted on getting ready for a full-time return in 2019, the speedy Ma has been known as as much as associate Macau stalwart Tom Coronel on the Belgian group. Click on right here to search out out extra.
Macau GP winner Couto heads the wildcards
Native racer André Couto, who famously gained the Macau Components Three Grand Prix in 2000, is one in all six wildcard entrants in motion at WTCR Race of Macau. A former World Touring Automotive driver, Couto has been nominated by the TCR China promoter – on the invitation of WTCR promoter Eurosport Occasions – for the road spectacular because the consultant of title-winning entrant MacPro Racing Group. In the meantime, Filipe de Souza, Lo Kai Fung, Lam Kam San, Kevin Wing Kin Tse and Rui Valente had been amongst a variety of drivers to use to the Macanese ASN, the AAMC, to participate within the three WTCR OSCARO races, which make up the legendary Suncity Group Macau Guia Race. Following a rigorous evaluation course of, they had been chosen and their inclusion on the entry record, together with Couto, has been accredited by the FIA. Click on right here to search out out extra.
On-line racers set for Macau Esports WTCR OSCARO finale
In addition to internet hosting the closing rounds of the WTCR – FIA World Touring Automotive Cup introduced by OSCARO, Macau is the venue of the Esports WTCR OSCARO Multiplayer Championship season finale this Sunday (11 November). Slovakia’s Bence Bánki heads to a digital Macau because the inaugural champion and has underlined his dominance by going quickest in pre-qualifying, 0.7s up on Kevin Siggy Rebernak with Gergo Baldi only a tenth behind in third. Jaroslav Honzik and Attila Dencs rounded out the highest 5. Tim Jarschel, second within the RaceRoom standings however a mere two factors up on Rebernak, was down in P13. Florian Hasse and Jan Stange, who’re additionally in rivalry to complete second total behind Bánki had been ninth and P11 respectively. The Esports WTCR OSCARO finale shall be broadcast dwell from 19h00 on Sunday with James Kirk and Robert Wiesenmüller offering skilled commentary. Watch on Fb or YouTube.
New period goes from power to power
With a rulebook designed to advertise nice racing, a packed grid of star drivers and 7 buyer manufacturers, the stage is about for an exciting Macau season showdown with the FIA Components Three World Cup and FIA GT World Cup additionally on the schedule. In an intriguing twist, WTCR – the brand new identify for the FIA World Touring Automotive Championship from 2018 – will get three races per weekend, plus a second shot on the DHL Pole Place Award as a result of scheduling of not one however two qualifying periods. There’s additionally the ground-breaking TAG Heuer Most Priceless Driver award, which fits to the racer scoring probably the most factors throughout a weekend, plus the TAG Heuer Greatest Lap Trophy. Along with dwell world tv protection, Race 1 shall be proven dwell in chosen territories on Fb and at wtcr.oscaro.com – web site of the WTCR Collection Presenting Companion associate and the world’s main on-line retailer of authentic automotive spare elements.
They stated what? WTCR drivers stay up for Macau
Thed Björk (YMR, Hyundai i30 N TCR): “Macau is completely nice, probably the greatest tracks on this planet. Once I gained the World Touring Automotive Championship final 12 months, one of many key factors of profitable the title was not dropping too many factors in Macau the place I used to be racing for the primary time. Now I do know the monitor and I do know the issues that may occur I come again with out the strain I had final 12 months. It’s a cool place to be and really good when you’re quick. I’m actually motivated for Macau.”
Kevin Ceccon (Group Mulsanne, Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR by Romeo Ferraris): “At Suzuka the Giulietta was becoming very properly. Hopefully it’ll match properly in Macau as properly. However I haven’t been [to Macau] in my life so I have to have this expertise and attempt to observe the King of Macau that’s Rob [Huff] and study from him. I like avenue circuits and I’m so excited to be doing Macau. I would like the time to fly so I’m in Macau already even when it’s the final race of the season.”
Tom Coronel (Boutsen Ginion Racing, Honda Civic Sort R TCR): “Macau is the subsequent stage. The slightest mistake, 0.00001 per cent and also you create a handicap for your self for the remainder of the weekend. It’s all about discovering the arrogance and the respect of the monitor. For those who don’t respect it you’ll by no means rating, by no means. To drive a touring automobile within the streets by the blind corners is particular – you recognize it’s important to put full throttle for the exit however you don’t see the exit. You want monitor information and other people driving there for the fist time have to make as many laps as potential – in your desires, in a taxi, strolling, on a motorcycle, no matter – as a result of each lap gives you a plus level.”
Timo Scheider (ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport, Honda Civic Sort R TCR): “It’s loopy, I’m turning 40 quickly and I haven’t performed Macau. I like metropolis occasions and racetracks the place you aren’t allowed to make any errors. The historical past of Macau is huge. Sadly, in my Components Three instances we haven’t performed something there, I used to be at all times fairly near going there however one way or the other the groups determined otherwise up to now. Proper now Macau is getting extra well-liked once more and [this] is an effective likelihood to study the monitor, you by no means know what comes subsequent.”
Gordon Shedden (Audi Sport Leopard Lukoil Group, Audi RS Three LMS): “Macau is a circuit like no different however jogs my memory of numerous completely different circuits. It has a bit little bit of Bathurst in it, a bit little bit of the Manufacturers Hatch Grand Prix Circuit, a bit little bit of the Nürburgring Nordschleife but it surely’s a avenue circuit so it is advisable add the partitions and that makes it an unbelievable problem. It’s super-fast, tight and twisty like Monaco. It’s simply an iconic circuit world-wide with the casinos, the lights, the razzmatazz. It’s the right venue to finish the season in excessive drama.”
Gabriele Tarquini (BRC Racing Group, Hyundai i30 N TCR): “I’ve not raced in Macau since 2014, however I keep in mind properly the corners. Macau is a particular race for everyone. Other than Rob [Huff], who’s the King of Macau, it is rather powerful. Main the championship is the very best place to method the ultimate race and I shall be concentrating on the title. But it surely’s a lottery and every little thing can occur in Macau. You may have bother, an accident, you will need to survive the beginning particularly the primary nook. However I’ll go there with a smile enthusiastic about my title dream.”
Kevin Tse (Teamwork Motorsport, Audi RS Three LMS): “It is going to be a really powerful problem. There is a discipline of world-class drivers and groups, who’ve been racing for the entire 12 months and subsequently have tons of information and set-up reference for his or her automobiles and the Yokohama tyres. We can have a number of days to hopefully achieve as a lot set-up information earlier than heading to Macau. Making the 105 per cent qualifying minimize is our first goal, then hopefully we are going to end properly within the three races.”
Frédéric Vervisch (Audi Sport Group Comtoyou, Audi RS Three LMS): “I’m 32 and I’ve at all times needed to race in Macau, now lastly this dream is coming true. I’ve been racing on a variety of avenue circuits: Beijing, Baku, Monaco, Trois-Rivières, and naturally this season in Morocco, Vila Actual and Wuhan. I believe that on any avenue circuit, it’s extra vital to have earlier expertise than on a everlasting monitor, fairly just because you may’t go to the bounds right away. Any mistake means your weekend might be over already in a apply session. Avenue circuits don’t forgive something. Clearly, we’ve all seen the well-known slipstream overtaking manoeuvres, incidents and odd conditions of the previous, like Laurens Vanthoor flipping his GT3 automobile, large pile-ups, but in addition the truth that utilizing the handbrake within the Melco hairpin could be an choice in a touring automobile!”
5 to observe
1 Kevin Ceccon: Italian Ceccon landed his breakthrough WTCR victory in Suzuka final day trip and is powerful on avenue tracks as his performances in Wuhan – and through his stint in single-seaters racing in Monaco – attest.
2 André Couto: A confirmed winner not simply at Macau but in addition in touring automobiles, native hero Couto might be an out of doors guess for high honours.
Three Denis Dupont: The Belgian motorsport federation-backed teen delivered his season-best performances on the streets of Wuhan so has type in relation to round-the-houses racing.
Four Yann Ehrlahcer: Having endured a torrid time of late, Yvan Muller’s nephew shall be determined to breed the form of type that made him a title contender earlier this season.
5 Filipe Souza: One of many six wildcards, Macanese driver Souza used to marshal on the Circuito da Guia. Now he’s develop into established as a profitable and aggressive touring automobile racer.
All it is advisable learn about WTCR Race of Macau: Click on right here for the occasion information, timetable and different important data together with press convention timings
WTCR Race of Macau knowledge package: Click on right here to obtain
Who’s in it to win it? Click on right here to search out out extra concerning the WTCR drivers
WTCR defined? Click on right here to search out out extra
Standings: Click on right here to search out out who’s in entrance after the opening three races
The place and the way to watch: Click on right here for extra data
For every little thing else… Go to the web WTCR Media Centre by clicking right here
Provisional key timings:
Thursday 15 November: Free Apply 1: 09h05-09h35; Free Apply 2: 13h30-14h00
Friday 16 November: First Qualifying: 08h50-09h30; Second Qualifying Q1: 13h35-14h05; Second Qualifying Q2: 14h10-14h25; Second Qualifying Q3: 14h35-14h50
Saturday 17 November: Race 1: 14h25 (Eight laps)
Saturday 18 November: Race 2: 08h20 (Eight laps); Race 3: 11h00 (11 laps)
Who’s on the grid?
World Touring Automotive 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, Ma Qinghua, Pepe Oriola
British Touring Automotive champions: Muller, Gordon Shedden, Tarquini
DTM champion: Timo Scheider
TCR title winners: Aurélien Comte, Jean-Karl Vernay
Younger racing hopefuls: Kevin Ceccon, Denis Dupont, John Filippi, Mato Homola, Norbert Nagy, Aurélien Panis, Zsolt Szabó
Worldwide racers: Nathanaël Berthon, Luigi Ferrara, Frédéric Vervisch
Wildcards: André Couto, Lam Kam San, Billy Lo, Filipe Souza, Kevin Tse, Rui Valente
Weekend format defined
In a significant change to the earlier WTCC race weekend format, every WTCR OSCARO occasion will encompass three races – a rise from the earlier two plus a further qualifying session. First Qualifying decides the grid for Race 1. The highest 10 after Second Qualifying Q2 will resolve the primary 10 locations on the grid for Race 2 however in reverse order with the mixed Second Qualifying instances deciding the grid for Race 3.
WTCR Race of Macau in numbers
79: The highest seven drivers within the standings begin WTCR Race of Macau coated by 79 factors. With 87 factors up for grabs, the title race stays huge open heading to the inaugural season finale.
9: Rob Huff is probably the most profitable racer in Macau historical past with 9 wins. Of his WTCR OSCARO rivals solely his Sébastien Loeb Racing team-mate Mehdi Bennani (as soon as), Norbert Michelisz (as soon as) and Yvan Muller (twice) have gained the Guia Race beforehand.
2m31.522s: In addition to being Macau’s most-winning driver, Rob Huff can be the quickest on the Circuito da Guia in a TCR automobile. In 2015, Huff lapped the 6.120-kilometree avenue course in 2m31.522s. In the meantime, Huff’s race lap file stands at 2m34.136s.
14: Fourteen drivers have gained races in WTCR OSCARO, whereas all seven buyer racing manufacturers (Alfa Romeo, Audi, Cupra, Honda, Hyundai, PEUGEOT and Volkswagen) have been profitable.
9: Of the all-season WTCR OSCARO racers competing at WTCR Race of Macau this 12 months, 9 haven’t any prior expertise of the Circuito da Guia.