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WTCC 2013 – The Entry List

The provisional entry for the first round of the 2013 World Touring Car Championship at Monza;

FIA World Touring Car Championship – Monza 2013 Entry List

No – Driver – Nat – Team – Car

1 – Rob Huff – GBR – Münnich Motorsport – SEAT León WTCC

3 – Gabriele Tarquini – ITA – Honda Racing Team JAS – Honda Civic Super 2000 TC

5 – Norbert Michelisz – HUN – Zengõ Motorsport – Honda Civic Super 2000 TC

6 – Franz Engstler* – GER – Liqui Moly Team Engstler – BMW 320 TC

7 – Charles Ng* – HKG – Liqui Moly Team Engstler – BMW 320 TC

9 – Alex MacDowall* – GBR – bamboo-engineering – Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T

10 – James Thompson – GBR – LADA Sport Lukoil – Lada Granta

11 – Aleksei Dudukalo – RUS –  LADA Sport Lukoil – Lada Granta

12 – Yvan Muller – FRA – RML – Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T

13 – Jean-Philippe Dayraut* – FRA – ANOME – BMW 320 TC

14 – James Nash* – GBR – bamboo-engineering – Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T

15 – Tom Coronel – NED – ROAL Motorsport – BMW 320 TC

17 – Michel Nykjaer* – DEN – Nika Racing – Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T

18 – Tiago Monteiro – POR – Honda Racing Team JAS – Honda Civic Super 2000 TC

19 – Fernando Monje* – ESP – Campos Racing – SEAT León WTCC

20 – Hugo Valente* – ESP – Campos Racing – SEAT León WTCC

22 – Tom Boardman* – GBR – Special Tuning Racing – SEAT León WTCC

23 – Tom Chilton – GBR – RML – Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T

25 – Mehdi Bennani* – MOR – Proteam Racing – BMW 320 TC

26 – Stefano D’Aste* – ITA – PB Racing – BMW 320 TC

37 – Rene Münnich* – GER – Münnich Motorsport – SEAT León WTCC

38 – Marc Basseng – GER – Münnich Motorsport – SEAT León WTCC

55 – Darryl O’Young* – HKG – ROAL Motorsport – BMW 320 TC

73 – Fredy Barth* – SUI – Wiechers-Sport – BMW 320 TC

74 – Pepe Oriola – ESP – Tuenti Racing Team – SEAT León WTCC

* = Eligible for the Yokohama Independents’ Trophy

(Information from TouringCarTimes)

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F1: How Good is Pastor Maldonado?

If there was one thing that left Formula 1 fans scratching their heads at the end of the 2012 season, it was the dilemma surrounding 27 year old Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado. No one seems to be quite sure on how talented he actually is.

The fact that he took the 2010 GP2 title on nothing other than skill (everyone has the same car, so no advantage to be had there), winning an impressive six wins in the process, should answer that question. But, for some at least, there is still a question mark over whether or not he deserves his seat at the highest level. Not even the fact that he held off a multiple world (on his home soil, I might add) to take his maiden win in an inferior car is enough to silence his critics, of which there are many.

Spanish+F1+Grand+Prix+Fernando Alonso, Pastor Maldonado Pic: Maldonado holding off Fernando Alonso to take his maiden F1 victory in Spain

The main reason for having such a large number of doubters is his clumsiness’. He has made a bit of a name for himself as a crash magnet, someone who just cannot stop hitting things. It’s a shame this, because the guy has clear talent. He can be mega quick in qualifying, with a pole in Spain and second on the grid in Singapore showing that. The problem is as long as he continues to throw that speed out of the window by knocking into everybody, nobody will be able to see him for the top driver he evidently can be.

As a result, 2013 will be a big year for Pastor. If he can utilise his speed, use his head wisely and put together a consistent string of good results, maybe he will finally get a break from his critics.

BTCC 2013 Rookies – Jack Goff

There are a number of drivers who will be lining up on the grid at Brands Hatch who will be making their BTCC debuts. I’ll be doing a rundown on those who have already been confirmed. We start with… Jack Goff.

Goff, 21, first joined the BTCC-supporting TOCA package in 2010, when he drove in the Renault Clio Cup for Team Pyro. He received the seat after comparing well to eventual 2010 champion Dave Newsham in pre-season testing. He finished the season strongly, taking his best result of the season, 4th, in the final round of the season at Brands Hatch, on his way to 8th in the overall standings. He continued with the team in 2011, taking his first Clio Cup win at Oulton Park. He later went to take both race wins at Rockingham, and finished 5th in the standings. 2012 was Goff’s year, taking the Clio Cup title. He may have only won 2 races all season, but consistency, as it so often proves, was the key. He finished in the top 5 in all but 2 races all season.

So, for 2013, Jack will go a step up from the Clio’s, and will line up on the BTCC grid in a NGTC-spec Vauxhall Insignia, run by former Porsche racer Tony Gilham’s Team HARD. The team doesn’t have a lot of racing experience with the car, but there’s plenty to suggest that Goff will be one to watch as the season goes on. History is on his his side too, because other former Clio Cup champions & winners, like Tom Onslow-Cole, Dave Newsham and Aron Smith, have all gone on to stand on the top step of a BTCC podium.

Watch this space…