FIA WTCC A FULL 2014
THE REDS TAKE A TRIP TO THE DEVILS’ COUNTRY!
SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS (20-22 JUNE 2014) – PREVIEW
WTCC – Spa-Francorchamps – Preview
13 June 2014
– Unanimously considered the most beautiful circuit in the world, Spa-Francorchamps will host the last European leg of the FIA WTCC 2014.
– Of the twelve races held so far this season, Citroën C-Elysée WTCCs have won eleven, thanks to their four drivers: José-María López, Sébastien Loeb, Yvan Muller and Ma Qing Hua.
– In its début season in track racing, the Citroën Total team has a healthy lead at the top of both the Drivers’ and the Manufacturers’ World Championships. It will be looking to continue that forward momentum in Belgium.
The FIA WTCC season, contested over twelve meetings and twenty-four races, enters the second half of its calendar at Spa-Francorchamps. The Belgian meeting will be the last opportunity of the year to see the cars in action on European soil. After a long summer recess, the championship will continue with a tour of Asia and the Americas.
Before setting sail across the oceans, though, the WTCC makes a welcome return to the heart of the Belgian Ardennes. Spa-Francorchamps has only featured on the championship’s itinerary once before, in its inaugural season back in 2005. Only three of the drivers competing in 2014 were involved back then!
Nine years later, the circuit has modernised, while remaining highly selective. Stretching over 7004 metres, the track is full of distinctive features to excite competitors and spectators alike, including the Eau Rouge/Raidillon combination, the Les Combes corner, and the blindingly fast Pouhon, Stavelot and Blanchimont bends. With plenty of overtaking opportunities, the TC1s should serve up a breathtaking show!
FOUR DRIVERS IN THE HUNT FOR VICTORY
At the last meeting, at the Moscow Raceway, the Citroën Total team entered a fourth C-Elysée WTCC for the first time. At the wheel was Ma Qing Hua, who caused a sensation by becoming the first Chinese driver to win an FIA World Championship race! Two weeks later, the man from Shanghai will be keen to continue his rise at the legendary circuit.
His three teammates, meanwhile, will be continuing their fierce battle for the world title. José-María López, who has led the overall standings since the start of the season, registered his first DNF of the year in Russia. With four race wins to his name already, however, the Argentine driver was able to hold on to top spot in the World Championship, with a healthy lead over his Citroën stablemates. The Spa meeting will see Pechito return to a circuit where he won in 2003 on his way to the Eurocup FR V6 title.
Some 41 points adrift of López, Yvan Muller will have to make up for two DNFs and one tenth-place finish to get back in contention. His deficit equates to less than four points per race, so there is still everything to play for.
Seven points behind Muller, Sébastien Loeb is certainly not out of the running either. Just as he did in the WRC, Seb has shown impressive consistency. He is the only driver to have finished in the top 10 in every single race!
With European F3 Championship, ETCC and French GT races also on the agenda, there will be entertainment galore on offer at Spa-Francorchamps! On Friday, the drivers will take to the track for free practice from 12.30 to 1 p.m. Two further sessions are scheduled for 9 a.m. and 12.30 p.m. on Saturday. Qualifying begins at 3 p.m. On Sunday, the races – each lasting nine laps – will get underway at 12.45 and 2 p.m. Football lovers will have plenty of time to prepare before the match between Belgium’s Red Devils and Russia (the match kicks off at 18:00 CET)!
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