Category Archives: World Touring Car Championship

WTCC: Vila Real was a great addition to the calendar

New street circuits aren’t usually that exciting but the World Tour Car Championship has found a beauty in Portugal. This weekend the WTCC visited Vila Real for the first time which was rightly described by one driver as a cross between Macau and the Nordschleife. The circuit has been used in different configurations since 1931 and incorporates plenty of picturesque residential streets, long sweeping corners, and fairly significant elevation changes. It looked spectacular.

Although the FIA demanded an extra chicane, and also stipulated that armco barriers must replace the stone walls that previously lined the circuit, it didn’t lose much of it’s old-school character. The race attracted huge crowds, proved to be a hit with drivers, and was undoubtedly a great addition to the WTCC calendar.

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WTCC: The WTCC compares well against GT3 machinery


They might not always look it, but the small Honda Civics and Citroens that race in the World Touring Car Championship are properly quick. Whilst supporting the Nurburgring 24 Hour race last weekend, laptimes set by the WTCC leaders were only 4% behind the fastest GT3 sportscar times. That’s pretty good when you consider the winning GT3 car had a massive 5.2 litre V10 engine.

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WTCC: TV coverage at the Nurburgring has come a long way

This video is quite amusing. If you watch the World Touring Car Championship on the 24km Nurburgring Nordschleife circuit this weekend, spare a thought for how far TV coverage has advanced since the 1960s. Back then TV producers didn’t have enough cameras to cover the whole track, so when drivers disappeared from view during the 1963 German Grand Prix, they simply used a man pointing at a map of the circuit with a stick to show how cars were progressing. Fantastic!

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WTCC: Norbert Michelisz scored a very special victory in Budapest

It’s great when a driver wins in front of their home crowd, and it’s even better when that crowd doesn’t get much opportunity to celebrate local success. That’s exactly what happened yesterday when Hungarian driver, Norbert Michelisz, won the WTCC race in Budapest – and this video shows the grandstands went wild. An underdog victory in front of 35,000 passionate fans. What’s not to love?

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World RX: Petter Solberg is fighting Sebastien Loeb for a piece of history


No driver has ever won two different FIA sanctioned World Championships. As discussed in an earlier post, Sebastien Loeb could be the first to achieve this distinction in 2014 with his competitive showings in the WTCC.

However, Petter Solberg (2003 World Rally Champion) might beat Loeb to it. Solberg scored a decisive victory in the first World Rallycross event of the year in Portugal and has marked himself out as a championship contender. The competition between Loeb and Solberg to become the first ‘cross-category’ champion will add an extra twist to their racing.

Sebastien Loeb lies second in the WTCC title race but despite his impressive raw pace he will find it hard to beat his more consistent teammate, Jose Maria Lopez. Petter Solberg was a little bit lucky in Portugal (his main rival was baulked during the semis and therefore missed the final) but probably has a better chance of winning the World RX title than Loeb does of winning the WTCC. It will be interesting to see if either can make history in 2014.

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WTCC: Sebastien Loeb has the chance to do something truly amazing


Sebastien Loeb’s performance in the third race of the WTCC season was quite spectacular. After taking pole position he was sent to the back of the grid for a technical infringement, but in wet conditions Loeb stormed from 17th to 3rd in just seven laps and ended up with the championship lead. He is a genuine contender for the 2014 title and if Loeb is successful it will be something incredible that all motorsport fans can celebrate.

Loeb is best known for winning nine WRC titles in a row (a mind-blowing achievement that is put into context here on but he has also won Carrera Cup races, FIA GT races, the X Games, the Pikes Peak Hillclimb, and also finished second outright at Le Mans. If he can add the WTCC title to that list it will give him the very unusual distinction of being a World Champion in two different disciplines – something that hasn’t been achieved in this modern era of global motorsport.

That would be an amazing piece of racing history and, given his current speed and racecraft, it’s not totally out of the question.

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