JHS18

European Touring Car Championships

122 posts in this topic

So, as Craig suggested, a thread for WTCC and DTM. On the basis Eric hates both, I'll try and make it fun.

Firstly, WTCC

Last year's WTCC wasn't great. Low grid numbers and...well, Chevrolet dominated most the season with Yvan Muller (good guy most the time), Rob Huff (EUROBRIT and good guy) and Alain Menu (Swiss). Muller and Huff went to the final round at Macau (one of the best street tracks in the world) and even with Huff's best efforts, Muller won and equalled Andy Priaulx's record of three WTCC titles.

This year, on paper, looks as if it'll be a bit better. There's a lot more British interest even if there isn't a British round, which is a shame. But anyway, here's a run down of who is who and what they're driving this year.

1. Yvan Muller - Chevrolet - Chevrolet Cruze (He's French and once got Anthony Reid by the throat after a BTCC race, but he owns a donkey. No, seriously)

2. Rob Huff - Chevrolet - Chevrolet Cruze (Go watch his first BTCC win - it's the stuff of legends)

3. Gabriele Tarquini - Lukoil Racing Team - Seat Leon (Basically the Italian version of Jason Plato)

4. Aleksei Dudukalo - Lukoil Racing Team - Seat Leon

5. Norbert Michelisz - Zengo Motorsport - BMW 320 TC (Over 100,000 people turned up to watch him at his home race in Hungary last year)

6. Franz Engstler - Liqui Moly Team Engstler - BMW 320 TC (Old. Best known for

)

7. Charles Kaki Ng - Liqui Moly Team Engstler - BMW 320 TC

8. Alain Menu - Chevrolet - Chevrolet Cruze (Swiss)

9. Rickard Rydell - Chevrolet Motorsport Sweden - Chevrolet Cruze (Last year's STCC champion. Good guy)

11. Alex MacDowall - Bamboo Engineering - Chevrolet Cruze (Crashes. A lot)

12. Pasquale di Sabatino - Bamboo Engineering - Chevrolet Cruze

14. James Nash - Team AON - Ford Focus (Last year's BTCC independent champion)

15. Tom Coronel - ROAL Motorsports - BMW 320 TC (Good guy, best of non-Chevrolet drivers last year)

16. Alberto Cerqui - ROAL Motorsports - BMW 320 TC (Been racing in Italian Superstars series recently)

18. Tiago Monteiro - Tuenti Racing Team - Seat Leon (I'll give you £10 if you can follow this guy on Twitter for longer than two weeks)

20. Darryl O'Young - Special Tuning Racing - Seat Leon

22. Tom Boardman - Special Tuning Racing - Seat Leon (BTCC for past two years with one win. Annoying)

23. TUMN CHILTONEINEN - Team AON - FROD FOCUS (inside joke for Eric should he ever read this)

24. Isaac Tutumlu - Proteam Racing - BMW 320 TC

25. Mehdi Bennani - Proteam Racing - BMW 320 TC

26. Stefano D'Aste - Wiechers Sport - BMW 320 TC

27. Gabor Weber - Zengo Motorsport - BMW 320 TC

28. Javier Villa - Proteam Racing - BMW 320 TC

40. Andrea Barlesi - Sunred Engineering - Seat Leon

74. Pepe Oriola - Tuenti Racing Team - Seat Leon

88. Fernando Monje - Sunred Engineering - Seat Leon

And for two rounds only...

?. James Thompson - TMS Sport - Lada Granta (I kid you not. Thompson is a really cool. Lada is not)

There's been too many calendar changes the chances of me finding the correct one are slim to nill.

Still, looking like a positive season. Lots of good guys, some youngsters and some unknowns too, so hopefully it doesn't turn into the Chevrolet Touring Car Championship again this year. I may add some photos I took at Donington here to make it a bit more friendly later.

I'll do DTM soon.

Edited by JHS18

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So, DTM. One of the biggest touring car championships in the world, yet in recent years the racing has left a lot to be desired.

Too much aero has meant DTM hasn't been that exciting, but this year that could change. BMW returns to the series to battle against Audi and Mercedes. I'm really hoping DTM has a great year, there's a lot of good guys in it and I'm interested to see how the Audi/Merc/BMW battle goes.

All three manufacturers use new cars for this season after a couple seasons of no rule changes to keep costs down.

Here is confirmed so far:

Team BMW:

Martin Tomczyk (last year's champion - switches from Audi to BMW)

Bruno Spengler (regular front runner, switches from Mercedes to BMW)

Andy Priaulx (really cool guy - three times WTCC champion)

Augusto Farfus (also former WTCC racer - very quick)

Dirk Werner (believe he has done some ALMS in recent years)

Joey Hand (same applies to him as well)

Team Audi:

Mattias Ekstrom (former champion)

Timo Scheider (former champion)

Miguel Molina (quite quick)

Mike Rockenfeller (fairly decent)

Filipe Albuqurque (cool guy - won Roc in 2010)

Edoardo Mortara (very quick in F3, wasn't in GP2, never made it to F1)

Rahel Frey (the less said the better)

Adrien Tambay

Team Mercedes:

David Coulthard (I met him!!!!)

Susie Wolff

Jamie Green

Gary Paffett

Ralf Schumacher

Christian Vietoris

Roberto Mehri

Robert Wickens.

Some pictures from testing:

dtm12022701.jpg

dtm12021001-b.jpg

dtm12021001.jpg

dtm12030201.jpg

dtm12021001-e.jpg

y_b5d31fd2.jpg

Edited by JHS18

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Yeah, Joey Hand, just "some ALMS" driver. :P

Single-handedly (see it?) won the Rolex 24 for Ganassi in 2011 after his teammates Pruett, Rojas, and Rahal worked really hard to lose the race.

Won the American Le Mans championship with BMW last year, pretty sure Dirk Werner was his teammate. Hand was the lead driver, though, not Werner. Unlike the other classes, ALMS GT is and was ridiculously strong. He beat Patrick Long and Jörg Bergmeister, for example, both Porsche factory guys in a well-funded Flying Lizard team, the two works Corvettes with guys like Magnussen/Gavin/Beretta driving, Risi Ferrari, etc.

Everyone who knows about the corrupt Red Bull Ambassador Search knows that had it been the Red Bull Driver Search, Scott Speed never would have even been invited, and Hand would have fought Long, Allmendinger, and Hunter-Reay to be the next American F1 driver. No idea who I'd back in that fight talent-wise, obviously I only like one of them (Long), but any of the first three would have done well better than Speed ever would have. But Red Bull had their big ideas...and I've discussed that to death...

And this is coming from someone who really doesn't like the guy. :lol:

I hope Robert Wickens lands with Mercedes. Damn good guy, truly. He's done it his way. Red Bull dropped him, he had no money at all, and earned his way through GP3 to beat Red Bull's Vergne, his teammate, for the WSR title. Maybe Vergne has "it" even if Wickens had the results, but the guy really digs deep and works hard. It is not easy to do this without money, and Wickens does not have money, no backers to just carry him along the ladder. I wouldn't say there's a bias against Northern North American drivers (Canada and U.S.), though there probably is to some extent with the U.S. but quite honestly I don't care, but I do think it's hard for them. Not only do you have to be so far away from your families and all that stuff, you're only visible in Europe, so brands back home aren't going to get behind you, and European partners are more apt to support guys from their country just as Canadian partners or U.S. American partners would.

Having ties with Mercedes could really go a long way for Bobby. I want to see him make it, because he's one of those guys that isn't supposed to make it. He's not as polished as Vergne and Red Bull and Marussia both dropped him despite success and he's not European and he came from Champ Car Atlantics and F2 and GP3 and WSR and now DTM and that's not how it's supposed to go everyone knows GP2 is the best series in the world producing all these wonderful future champions and blah blah blah. :P

I'm assuming his being in Berlin means something.

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Anyway, DTM is boring as hell, WTCC is boring as hell. DTM has some guys I like (Wickens, Spengler, Priaulx). WTCC has Monteiro who is a great guy. But none of that's enough to convince me to care beyond looking at the results and seeing how Wickens is doing. They show the races on SPEED in the winter, but I just can't bring myself to watch them. :P

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Entry list for WTCC at Monza has been released. 25 cars is very healthy for a series opener, and tradition says that number will only grow throughout the year.

As I say: looking like a positive season for WTCC. I wouldn't call it "boring" by any means. The racing is the same as BTCC, and if you like watching the BTCC, I can't see how you can claim WTCC is boring.

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I've never seen a single pass for the lead in a WTCC race, and admittedly, I don't watch every single race, but...to me, when the same guys always win and they don't even battle amongst each other, it's not much fun.

Though to be fair, SPEED shows the three BTCC races, just edits out the safety car periods. The WTCC and DTM highlights don't show the full races, and I have no idea what it is they edit out, but it seems to me if they don't show the right stuff since half the program is a British narrator who sounds like he's 80-years-old and falling asleep summarizing qualifying and, a few minutes of race highlights narrated by the same guy, and then the rest is interviews. It's not exactly the most compelling format to show a race, so I guess if the entire hour was race highlights with no qualifying and no interviews, I might get to see that I'm missing something.

Plus, Darryl O'Young frustrates me because he uses two nationalities depending on which is convenient to him. When it serves him well to race as a Canadian (i.e. in Grand-Am, when he landed with an all-Canadian GT team), he's Johnny Canuck. But when he's trying to stand out (i.e. in his ARCA test, when there was a big push about international drivers with Piquet and Duno there) or needs Chinese sponsorship, he's got the Hong Kong license. Clever and all, but man, pick your nationality and be proud of it! :P;)

Anyway, people don't come into my threads to take a p*** so I shouldn't come into yours and do that (though I do p*** in my own threads, too :lol:), either...so you'll be hearing from me again when Bobby Wickens gets his season going. Enjoy the races.

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Two pretty entertaining races today as the season kicked off at Monza. Yvan Muller won both races - but what was particularly impressive was his fantastic car control to rebound from a punt in race two to win. He's a fantastic driver.

Highlights from both races - unless you're fluent in German, I'd mute the sound. Couldn't find the English version, sorry.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O9sOo4dIoDs&feature=g-all-u&context=G2b2f568FAAAAAAAACAA

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vt2oWX3w5cs&feature=g-all-u&context=G2196010FAAAAAAAABAA

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Schnein - das ist not good enurf!

Ve haf no spracken deuschland!

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Alles klar, Herr Kommissar? Du bist die Königin von Eschnapur, und du trägst zumeist nur die Armbanduhr! Junge Römer tanzen anders als die andern.

NEIN! NEIN! NEIN!

funny-dog-pictures-i-have-no-idea-what-im-doing.jpg

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Car control that shouldn't be overlooked there was Alain Menu (I typed Prost at first), when Johnny Muller pushed Robert Huff into him in the first turn. Johnny himself? Eh, not hitting things when you spin is overrated these days, isn't it? I know Monza doesn't have miles of runoff room but he still had space. Not knocking it, good drive by him to recover anyway.

What I really came in here looking for, heard anything about Bobby Wickens? He was in Berlin, and nothing's been announced yet obviously. I just think this would be the kind of opportunity he really would benefit from. I think it's clear Mercedes have F1 intentions with him if they sign him, since they've taken a few up this way and have offered others (i.e. Spengler, who couldn't close the deal). You don't sign a young, formula car champion to your fold without having the option there of, win, and we'll get you something on Fridays or a race seat or whatever. At least I hope not, you know I support him a lot, but I figure if he's turning down his GP2 offer to do this, they have to be talking about F1 options for the future.

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Interesting question. I think it's highly likely he'll get the drive.

I say that because Renger van der Zande who had been driving for Mercedes for the past season, has been dropped.

See here. Two particular interesting quotes.

"It's the way things are in car racing right now," said van der Zande, who added that he believed he was the preferred choice of Mercedes' sporting arm, but lost out because the manufacturer wants to sign a North American driver for commercial reasons.

AUTOSPORT understands that Canadian Robert Wickens, the reigning Formula Renault 3.5 champion, has been in talks with Mercedes over the winter.

Hmm...a North American driver...wonder who that is? :P

On a DTM related note Susie Wolff has been signed for Mercedes and Adrien Tambay will drive for Audi.

Meanwhile, Spengler's livery has been revealed. It's not particularly inspiring. Much like BMW, then. ;)

1331299794.jpg

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Man, van der Zande, tell us how you really feel about the organization that made your unimpressive career possible. Waaah waaah waaah waaah. Robert Wickens only beat both of Toro Rosso's new drivers (one being his teammate) last year in the same series that gave us guys like Vettel and Kubica. I'm sure commercial reasons play into it, I don't question that at all, but not many Canucks or Americans are going to be watching DTM. Some newspaper in Guelph will talk about Bobby, but that's about it, unless he takes the title and TSN picks it up. It's not like Spengler made big headlines for Mercedes in North America, even when he nearly won the championship. I realize this comes from a Wickens fan...it's just big time sour grapes, I think, for a driver to say stuff like that afterward and burn a bridge, when in reality, Wickens has the better résumé than van der Zande, and the better "marketability" to North America. It's one thing if Mercedes were to put me in the car when van der Zande is clearly more qualified, but he really isn't more qualified than Wickens on merit...

...but I'm glad he has a hater now. I don't like when other people like my guys. :P

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In fact, the full gallery of Audi liveries can be found here. Think my favourite is Rockenfeller's lemon and lime. :P

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Calling it now: quiet, hard-working Canadian kid Robert Wickens' steady talent taking on the brash, outspoken, gritty American Joey Hand's aggressive determination will be the greatest rivalry in all of North American sports.

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So erm, what with BTCC and everything this weekend, I kinda forgot about this thread.

Turns out it was the second round of the WTCC. Chevrolet once again took two wins, Muller winning in the first race with Menu taking the second. Muller has now won three of the four races. Sadly, it looks like it is once again turning in to the Chevrolet Touring Car Championship. Meanwhile, BTCC had three different winners in three different types of car...

Oh, and some DTM news I'm sure Eric will be pleased about. Roberto Mehri confirmed as a Mercedes driver...oh, and some bloke called Wickens as well.

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Mercedes-Benz junior team, eh? Just another Ontario athlete snubbed by the Toronto Maple Leafs...

Wickens, get winning some races, get a reserve role at Force India, take the title, get a race seat in 2014, move to Mercedes in 2015, win the title in 2016, a full decade after I first saw him race.

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I read, in a few places, that Jonathan Summerton will be running DTM this year. Apparently, he will substitute for Joey Hand in four rounds that conflict with ALMS...

...but I thought Summerton was going to run the four ALMS rounds while Hand ran the full DTM series...

Do you know anything about this? I figured Summerton was signed with Rahal, thus would be doing ALMS, but now I've been reading Rahal recommended him to BMW and Hand will do the full ALMS, not the full DTM...

Now I'm just confused. I assumed it was a mistake. However, there are multiple sources that report it each way so...?

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First I've heard of that from anywhere, so your guess is probably as good as mine. I don't see where he'd fit it - it looks like DTM has a full grid of cars anyway and if he was going to do DTM, he'd probably be at the group test that is currently going on.

Times from day one, day two, and day three.

Ominously, drivers are reporting it may be even more difficult to overtake in these new cars than it was in the old ones. If there's any less overtaking than last seasons, DTM fans may as well go and stand by the side of the M25, because you are more likely to see a lot more exciting passes there than in DTM racing...

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The reports were that he'd be in the #2 car, the one Hand is in, but those were untrue. There was confusion. Hand is running the full DTM schedule. Summerton is running ALMS when Hand cannot.

Speaking of Hand, is he even going to bother to test? You'd think he'd want to, I don't know, drive one of these cars before the season starts (I realize he did one test back in November or something).

Wickens has been showing pretty well, I think, considering he's not with the "good" Mercedes team and has been ahead of the other junior drivers and other Mercedes drivers with the not that good teams.

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Bobby Wickens article. Turned down Carlin in GP2 as well as F1 reserve offers.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-drive/new-cars/motorsports/wickens-turned-down-reserve-f1-roles-to-join-mercedes-dtm-team/article2393300/singlepage/#articlecontent

It's a big gamble he's taking, but obviously it would depend on the teams he was offered reserve with. He said before he would only do a reserve role with a chance for a race seat in 2013, so I guess that kind of deal didn't happen. I just hope Mercedes have a path to get him into F1 and, more importantly, get him a hair stylist. :P

Good for Wickens, glad to see him with a solid deal, getting paid to race. Still hope he'll be in F1 soon.

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Third round from WTCC was today from Morocco. Like last time, I didn't watch it as it clashed with BTCC.

Didn't miss much. Chevrolet once again absolutely and completely dominant that the rest of the field should not even bother. Just give them the championship already. Preferably to Yvan because he's a good guy and I'm not just saying that because he follows me on Twitter, either. ;) Or give it to Rob Huff because he's a good guy. But not Alain Menu.

Noted something quite interesting watching ITV4 for today's BTCC, and at one stage they played a motorsport ident for the stuff they'll be showing this year. Alongside the regular stuff (British Superbikes, Isle of Man TT, Motorsport UK - a random programme featuring highlights of support races from the BTCC) it seems as if they've picked up the rights for DTM.

They've kept that remarkably quiet for what is by all accounts, a major signing. The biggest touring car championship in Europe. No word if it is simply highlights or live broadcasts - I suspect it will probably be the former. No word on any commentary team either. But certainly something to keep an eye on. Thanks to that, it means my viewership of DTM will go from 0% to 100%.It also makes reporting back in here after each race a hell of a lot easier too.

Edited by JHS18

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Did a bit more digging on the DTM to ITV4 thing - turns out as I expected, it is just highlights. Apparently a highlights package will be shown on the Saturday after a race. No word on the length of the programme (possibly half an hour), or any commentators so far.

But still, good news not just for British fans, but DTM in general. I have no idea what DTM was on before, most likely Eurosports. The series draws respectable crowds at Brands, but no doubt this will help the series a lot. As I said before, it'll certainly rise my 0% viewership of DTM currently to 100%.

There's been a bit of interest for the series from the BBC too - interviewing Andy Priaulx and a couple of the other British drivers.

Now we just need some decent race action. ;)

Edited by JHS18

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They will probably use the highlights produced by DTM TV, rather than produced by ITV4. It's much cheaper; they simply pay to air something they didn't make, which means they don't have to pay for commentators, a production staff, etc.

SPEED air highlights in the U.S., but do not produce the highlights. DTM TV sells the highlights, so it will, in all likelihood, be the same exact thing shown on ITV4 as is shown on SPEED as is shown elsewhere (i.e. ESPN in Europe last year). It's just more efficient that way, since DTM TV are already producing highlights, and in fact, I suspect DTM TV may even mandate that ITV4 use their highlights package.

If that is the case, the highlights DTM TV produce for consumption are an hour (with advertisements) and there isn't a commentator; instead, there's a narrator, a very stuffy old British man who is horrible to listen to. I assume that is what ITV4 will be showing rather than hiring all sorts of people to basically create the same thing.

Here is an example of the program, this one was actually aired in Britain on your version of ESPN. It is the same exact presentation we saw in the United States, and what you are probably getting on ITV4 now:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E5aS6Xz8Nlk

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