WTCR title chasers turn street fighters in Macau

WTCR title chasers turn street fighters in Macau

08.11.2019: *Iconic Circuito da Guia hosts latest chapter of action-packed WTCR / OSCARO season *Local wildcard racers join capacity 32-car line-up for famous Guia Race

*Iconic Circuito da Guia hosts latest chapter of action-packed WTCR / OSCARO season

*Local wildcard racers join capacity 32-car line-up for famous Guia Race

*Hero Huff goes for record-extending 10th Macau victory




FIA WTCR Race of Macau
WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup presented by OSCARO 2019
Rounds 25, 26 and 27 of 30, Circuito da Guia, 14-17 November






From Super Suzuka to Mighty Macau, the race to win the 2019 WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup presented by OSCARO continues unabated from 14-17 November with the driver and team title battles wide open and hotly contested.



Esteban Guerrieri leads Norbert Michelisz on the #RoadToMalaysia – venue of the season super-finale next month – by six points. But with a maximum of 85 up for grabs on Macau’s ultra-demanding Circuito da Guia street track, a whole host of drivers are firmly in the title mix.



They include third-placed Thed Björk, the 2017 FIA World Touring Car champion, and his Cyan Racing Lynk & Co team-mate, the two-time Macau Guia Race winner Yvan Muller, regarded as the world’s most successful touring car driver.




Mikel Azcona, the top rookie in fifth overall for CUPRA-powered PWR Racing, and Guerrieri’s ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda-equipped team-mate Néstor Girolami remain firmly in contention for title glory. But while a second consecutive WTCR / OSCARO crown remains mathematically possible for Gabriele Tarquini, the Italian is prioritising helping BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse team-mate Michelisz to finish the season at the top of the table. 



Measuring 6.120-kilometres in length, the Circuito da Guia is loved and feared in equal measure. It blends tight turns and narrow blasts with long, wide-open straights and sweeping corners – plus gradient changes – to create arguably the most challenging and spectacular street circuits in existence.



Rob Huff, whose nine Macau wins are more than any other driver or rider, is braced for the huge challenge that awaits him and the other 31 drivers that will contest the famous Guia Race.



“Macau absolutely terrifies the life out of me,” said Huff, who drives a Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR for Sébastien Loeb Racing. “There is no room for error, but you want a bit more in every corner. But the difference where you are at and where you want a bit more is a trip to hospital! On every corner.



And it’s as simple as that. When you start using the wing mirrors on the walls and you come out of every corner thinking ‘how on earth did I survive that corner’, you’re almost there, not quite, but you’re almost at the point, but then you have to go to another step. You hold your breath for two minutes, 30 seconds every lap.”



Touring car racing has been held in this Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China for more than half a century, with the famous Guia Race first run in 1972. Having welcomed back the WTCC in 2017 when Huff bagged a record ninth win, Macau hosted the thrilling seven-way inaugural WTCR / OSCARO season showdown in November 2018 when Tarquini beat Muller to the title by three points.




WTCR Race of Macau, which counts as the Suncity Group Guia Race, begins with free practice on Thursday 14 November followed by First and Second Qualifying on Friday 15 November. Race 1 takes place over eight laps from 14h55 local time on Saturday 16 November, with Race 2 and Race 3 scheduled for 08h45 and 11h25 on Sunday 17 November. While Race 2 is an eight-lap affair, Race 3 is run over 11 laps.




PROVISIONAL KEY TIMINGS*



Wednesday 13 November
Macau Grand Prix media event: 13h00-16h00 (Institute for Tourism Studies)



Thursday 14 November


Free Practice 1: 09h00-09h45
Free Practice 2: 13h40-14h10



Friday 15 November


First Qualifying: 08h50-09h30
First Qualifying DHL Media Zone (paddock): 09h30-09h40 (estimated)
First Qualifying press conference (Media Centre): 09h45-10h00 (estimated)
Second Qualifying Q1: 13h35-14h05
Second Qualifying Q2: 14h10-14h25
Second Qualifying Q3: 14h35 (first car starts top five DHL Pole Position shootout)
Second Qualifying DHL Media Zone (paddock): 1435-15h00 (estimated)
Second Qualifying press conference (Media Centre): 15h05-15h20 (estimated)



Saturday 16 November


Race 1: 14h55 (8 laps)
Race 1 podium: 15h30 (estimated)
Race 1 press conference (Media Centre): 15h40 (estimated)



Sunday 17 November


Race 2: 08h45 (8 laps)
Race 2 podium: 09h20 (estimated)
Race 2 press conference (Media Centre): 09h30 (estimated)
Race 3: 11h25 (11 laps)
Race 3 podium: 12h05 (estimated)
Race 3 press conference (Media Centre): 12h15 (estimated)


*All timings are local (GMT +8 hours) and subject to change




- Richard Rodgers, photos FIA WTCR

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08.11.2019 / MaP

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