World Touring Car Championship kicks off in Brazil
The new FIA World Touring Car Championship season starts this Sunday with Britain’s back-to-back WTCC champion, Andy Priaulx, looking to rewrite motorsport history. The 32-year-old racer, who was crowned European Touring Car Champion in 2004 and World Touring Car Champion in 2005 and 2006, is hoping to become the first ever British racing driver to win three consecutive FIA world titles.
The WTCC sits alongside Formula One and the World Rally Championship as one of only three world titles awarded by the FIA, the governing body of world motorsport. This year’s WTCC season begins in Curitiba, Brazil, on 11 March with the season now consisting of 22 rounds. Priaulx will race the latest version of the BMW 320si WTCC car prepared by Team RBM under the management of Bart Mampaey. He will have to contend with a change in race regulations including the introduction of a rolling start for Race 1 and a reduction of the maximum ballast weights from 80kg to 60kg this season.
Priaulx said: “To win a third world title would be incredible. The team has been working incredibly hard ahead of the season opener and the car feels fantastic. I’m really looking forward to going out and competing again. It’s great to see the introduction of two extra races and some new circuits this season. I’ve always performed well on the streets of Macau so I’m especially excited about the added street circuits in Pau and Porto.”
The 2007 WTCC season takes in four new circuits to challenge the drivers; Zandvoort, Netherlands; Anderstorp, Sweden; the street circuits of Pau, France, and Porto, Portugal. Brands Hatch will play host to Rounds 17 and 18 on 23 September. The first two rounds of the season at Curitiba will be screened on Eurosport with the first race starting at 15.20GMT and the second at 18.20GMT.