– The inaugural FIA World Touring Car Championship Race of Russia takes place this weekend at the Moscow Raceway
– RML is well prepared for its first visit to the track, with high hopes of a strong performance on home soil for partner, Lukoil
– Time in the simulator has proven fruitful for Tom Chilton as he approaches the weekend with optimism and intrigue
MOSCOW [Russia] – Wednesday 5 June: Located 97km West of Moscow in the Volokolamsky District, the newly-built Moscow Raceway welcomes rounds 11 & 12 of the FIA World Touring Car Championship for the first time in its second year of top-level international motor racing.
Designed by Hermann Tilke, the circuit has already hosted high profile events in the FIA GT championships, DTM and World Superbikes, so as the team settles into the impressive infrastructure of the modern facility, thoughts turn to the weekend.
Project Manager, Ron Hartvelt explains how the team approach a new circuit, where knowledge and data is limited: “A lot of work has gone into this event, not only from a technical side but also operationally. A new venue usually conjures up new challenges, but it is an exciting and very welcome addition to the calendar. We have good help from our friends at Lukoil and are looking forward to putting on a good show for them, together with our other partners – Aon, Auto Windscreens and Hastings Direct.
“Technically we have done work on the simulation and as a result our confidence for starting set up is high – helped by all the experience we have with this car.
“Tom has also managed to get some time in the simulator and he’s ultra motivated going into this weekend. He had a difficult Sunday at Salzburg, not of his own doing, so it’s time for him to capitalise on the great pace he has clearly demonstrated at each event. Yvan has had a great set of results so his focus is to continue this momentum and his championship lead.
“We’re all very much looking forward to this weekend and to showing Moscow what the WTCC is all about!”
Current championship-leader, Yvan Muller echoes the team’s interest in viewing a new track: “Moscow is a new circuit in the championship and I am looking forward to it. I enjoy discovering new tracks, even more so when nobody has raced there before in these touring cars so we are constantly learning and trying to extract the best from the car, whilst closely watching what the opposition are doing – we’re all learning so it’ll be interesting to see who does what. This is going to be an enjoyable challenge and of course, I will be looking to extend my lead in the championship. It is a huge event for Lukoil, and being the inaugural WTCC event, many fans are expected so it is important we do well here and put on a good show for them.”
Tom Chilton, poised for a strong outing in Russia adds: “I really want to focus on grabbing more points this weekend and the challenge of learning a new circuit quickly is one I relish. Since Salzburg I’ve been really working on my fitness and have spent some invaluable time in the simulator so I am now very keen to get back in the car and on the pace. I need to some strong points finishes here so I head to the event ready to give it my all. Plus Russia is a new experience for me so it’ll be fun to visit a new location and I hope the local supporters will enjoy our series.”
TV Schedule (British Eurosport):
Sunday 9th June
06:30 Qualifying highlights British Eurosport 2
10:00 Race 1 British Eurosport
11:00 Race 2 British Eurosport