The three-time world champion was impressive at Monza, opening the season with a couple of dominant victories. And on the long straights of Morocco’s street circuit, Muller will try to encore his Italian performance.
The event marks the series’ fourth visit to Morocco’s street circuit named after His Highness the Heir to the Throne, Moulay el Hassan.
Among the current WTCC drivers only Muller, Gabriele Tarquini and Rob Huff have managed to win a race at Marrakech.
Located just outside the walls of the ancient Red City, in the middle of the modern Agdal hotel district, the 4.5km circuit comprises two parallel straight lines, disrupted by fast and tricky chicanes and connected by a long left-handed corner and a slow hairpin.
The keys to be competitive here are top speed and avoiding contacts with the concrete walls that encircle the racetrack.
Muller may be threatened by the other Chevrolet drivers: Tom Chilton in RML’s sister car, the bamboo-engineering duo of Alex MacDowall and James Nash (leader of the Yokohama Trophy) and Nika Racing’s Michel Nykjær.
As for the rest of the field, the SEAT León cars are expected to be competitive, especially those of Huff, Marc Basseng (both ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport) and Pepe Oriola (Tuenti Racing Team).
The LADA Granta – that was forced to miss the Italian races – remains a question mark, while the lap times at Monza said that the Honda Civic and BMW 320 TC machineries still need to improve in terms of pure performance.
However, at Marrakech braking and handling in the chicanes are as important as the top speed and drivers like Tarquini and Tom Coronel may make the difference. As well as the 40 extra kilos that make the Chevrolet the heaviest cars.
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- Gabriele Tarquini