SALZBURG [Austria] – Thursday 16th May 2013: Austria plays host to the next rounds of the FIA World Touring Car Championship, with the series returning to the stunning scenery of the Salzburgring for only its second visit.
Opened in 1968, the relatively simple track set deep within beautiful alpine valley may conjure up images of serene, sleepy countryside but looking beyond the snow-covered mountain backdrop, the Salzburgring is a fearsome track with two long, fast straights linked by the high-speed sweeping Fahrerlagerkurve at the bottom of the hill and the narrow Nockstein-Kehre at the top.
Known simply as a ‘tyre punisher’, the Salzburgring is highly revered in the paddock and provides the challenge that all drivers are ready to accept but as Yvan Muller acknowledges, setup and management will be key, “The circuit has two long straights with very fast turns, which puts a lot of stress on the tyres. We were very fast last year but I picked up a puncture on the last lap which cost me the victory. The objective for this weekend is to stay on top of the championship and to do that, we must be more careful this year with our settings.”
Multiple punctures were the talk of the paddock last year, not least RML’s three Chevrolet-Cruze drivers who were all hit with tyre failures – although whilst Yvan lost the victory, his then team-mate Rob Huff managed to nurse his car across the line in second place having conceded the win to Stefano D’Aste, but narrowly keeping Tom Coronel at bay.
Despite a trying debut here last year, Tom Chilton is very much looking forward to returning to Austria and is determined to put in some more podium appearances – both for his driving and for his fitness! “I’m really looking forward to returning to Austria. It’s one of my favourite countries to visit and the location of the circuit is spectacular. Last year it was hard for me – the Ford was four seconds off the pace. So as in Hungary, I will have a lot to learn very quickly in a car that feels it is in a different category than the one that I competed in last time round here.
“My best result here in fact was during the Yokohama sprint race, in which forty of us ran the track. I finished fifth, which I was happy with – but this year I plan to beat that personal best in the Chevy and will hopefully leave my trainers on the side!”
Notes to Editors
RML is one of the world’s leading high performance automotive engineering companies. In competition RML specialises in delivering Touring Car, GT, Sports Prototype and off-road programmes in major motorsport series for global automotive brands.
RML has won multiple World-Championships for its partners and has a winning pedigree in every series in which it has competed over the past twenty years. RML applies this nimble, innovative and winning mindset to developing high performance road car derivatives and advanced automotive engineering solutions for OEMs.
RML in WTCC
RML has won consecutive Drivers’ and Manufacturers’ titles in 2010, 2011 and 2012 and over the past two seasons has been using a 1.6-litre turbocharged engine, also designed and built by RML. This winning heritage defines RML since its inception in 1984. At Monza, March 2013, RML was very proud to have eclipsed BMW’s all time record of Laps Led in WTCC history.