News and views on motorsports

Friday, May 13, 2005

WTCC: FWD Cars Lose Kilos

Round 3 of the FIA WTCC this weekend at Silverstone. The good news for fans is that we'll see a lot more competitive front wheel drive cars this weekend. That is to say, all the rest of the grid not running a BMW. The organisers have decided that from this round onwards the front wheelers will enjoy a 20 kg weight advantage to the rear drive cars.

Added to this fact is that all the top BMW drivers are facing some massive weight handicaps as a result of their previous domination of Magny Cours. Andy Priaulx, Jorg Muller and Dirk Muller all facing 50kg weight handicaps on top of the new 20 kg disadvantage. Antonio Garcia of Team BMW Italy Spain will carry 35kg of additional weight.

James Thompson in the Alfa carries only 15kg, Augusto Farfus Jr and Gabriele Tarquini both with 5kg handicaps. This means that James Thompson will enjoy a net 55 kg advantage over the likes of Andy Priaulx, Jorg Muller and Dirk Muller. Farfus and Tarquini get an even bigger advantage of about 65 kg over the mighty BMWs.

The weight advantages are absolutely massive and will likely cause discomfort with Herr Thiessen and co. But remember of course that the BMWs with rear drive layouts have a huge handling and grip advantage over the front drivers. It'll be interesting to see how it all works out.

The cars will be running on the Silverstone South circuit and not the full grand prix circuit. But the WTCC should be more competitive than ever this weekend. Catch it on Eurosport if you get the coverage. Else like me, you'd have to catch the live webcast on Eurosport's website. But it should be good.

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