– New father Tom Chilton targeting top results on first visit to the track
– Yvan Muller looking to emulate Chevrolet’s previous success in downtown Boavista
– The final round of the European season reaches its climax this weekend, next stop Argentina
PORTO [Portugal] – Thursday 27 June: The FIA World Touring Car Championship resumes this weekend in the beautiful coastal setting of Porto, Portugal’s second largest city.
A firm favourite on the calendar, the Race of Portugal has been hosted by various venues since 2005, including Portimao and Estoril, but this year marks the return to the World Heritage Site – one of the oldest European centres – since 2011.
History makes for promising reading for the RML-run works entries over recent years – it was in Porto, in fact, in 2007 that RML and Chevrolet took their first 1-2-3 result with Rob Huff, Alain Menu and Nicola Larini at the helm of the Lacetti.
As Yvan Muller heads into the European season finale some 113 points clear of nearest rival Gabriele Tarquini, the triple-champion continues to target maximum points and will surely be looking to take his maiden victory on the streets of Portugal – a win that has so far evaded him with a best finish of 2nd in previous outings.
Muller: “Porto is a fascinating track, in a very scenic area, and the WTCC is always well received by the local fans. This is the final race before the long-haul season kicks in so I aim to close this chapter on a high and further add to my win tally. We’ve had such a good year so far, probably beyond our earlier expectations but I am not relaxing yet – we have a long fight still ahead and I will continue to push for the maximum.”
Equally as focussed for top step podium views, new father Tom Chilton arrives in the paddock with a keen eye for victory in celebration of the birth of his first child. Porto will provide yet further challenges for the Briton, who has visited only once and in a very different championship. Chilton explains, “I’ve been to Porto once before but with Pro Drift in a Nissan S15. That was a fantastic experience, very good fun, but having never been around the street circuit before, this will be a very different event for me. I’ll be studying Yvan’s data closely as he knows his way around here.”
And on his approach to street circuit racing, he adds: “They are very challenging – there’s minimal room for inaccuracy so every lap, every second counts. But in equal measures, they’re incredibly rewarding. A good result on a street circuit is very satisfying. Given the narrower nature of the track and the removal of added safety by way of run-off areas, the winner will have kept it quick, clean and calculated.
“And if I can manage the win, that’ll be for my new boy, Freddie.”
FIA WTCC on TV:
Saturday 29 June
16:40-17:30 Qualifying (delayed)
Sunday 30 June
08:30-09:00 Qualifying (replay)
09:00-09:30 Live warm up
11:00-12:00 Live Race 1
16:45-17:45 Live Race 2