WTCR - Macau preview
chasing his second world title
The Macau Guia Race
welcomes back the TCR cars that took part in two successful visits of the
former TCR International Series in 2015 and 2016.
This week's event counts as the final round of the inaugural season of
the WTCR - FIA World Touring Car Cup that will crown its first champions.
The battle for the Drivers' titles is wide open, as seven men are
matehmatically still in contention. However, the fight seems restricted
to the top three in the standings, all at the wheel of Hyundai i30 N
cars: Gabriele Tarquini, Yvan Muller and Thed Björk.
When Tarquini clinched the 2009 WTCC title at Macau, he became the oldest
FIA World champion ever at the age of 47. Nine years after, the Italian
has the opportunity to beat his own record and being crowned the first
WTCR champion; in fact he returns to Macau with a comfortable margin of
39 points over Muller, while Björk lies third, 53 points behind.
With 87 points still on offer, the chances of the other four contenders
appear to be purely theoretical: Pepe Oriola (Cupra), Jean-Karl Vernay
(Audi), Esteban Guerrieri (Honda) and Norbert Michelisz (Hyundai) have
large gaps of 64, 75, 78 and 79 points respectively.
The two Hyundai outfits - BRC Racing that runs Tarquini and Michelisz and
M Racing/YMR that runs Muller and Björk - will be fighting for the Teams'
title, as they are currently first and second in the standings, split by
just eight points.
In any case, the battle on the 6.1km Guia street circuit will be fierce,
as every driver will be eager to finish the season on a high note;
especially Rob Huff who will try to add a tenth victory to his record of
the most successful racer in Macau history that includes a win in the
2015 TCR International Series.
For the event, the WTCR's schedule has been adapted to run both the
Qualifying sessions on Friday, Race 1 on Saturday afternoon and Races 2
and 3 on Sunday morning.
Track time at Macau
Thursday, 15 November - 09:05 (02:05 CET), Practice 1 (30 min.)
Thursday, 15 November - 13.30 (06:30 CET), Practice 2 (30 min.)
Friday, 16 November - 08:50 (01:50 CET), Qualifying 1 (30 min.)
Friday, 16 November - 13:35 (06:35 CET), Qualifying 2 (Q1 + Q2 + Q3)
Saturday, 17 November - 14:25 (07:25 CET), Race 1 (8 laps)
Sunday, 18 November - 08:20 (01:20 CET), Race 2 (8 laps)
Sunday, 18 November - 11:00 (04:00 CET), Race 3 (11 laps)
Local time GMT +8
Photos: DPPI; TCR/Photo 4