With the manufacturers’ title firmly in the hands of Chevrolet, the attention has shifted to the chase for the drivers’ crown, which mathematically can only be won by one of the three Chevrolet works drivers.
The Race of China, Round 11 of the 2012 WTCC season, sees Yvan Muller and Rob Huff tied on 345 points, with the Frenchman leading by virtue of more wins (8 to 4).
Team-mate Alain Menu, 38 points behind the top two on 307, is still very much in the running having significantly reduced the gap on Muller and Huff at the last outing in Japan. However, he will need to close the gap further in Shanghai to keep his hopes alive for the final round in Macau.
Shanghai is the second stop in the WTCC Asian tour. The vibrant Chinese metropolis played host to the series last year but on a different track. This year, the WTCC is moving to the International Circuit, the main motorsports facility in the area that also hosts F1.
The world’s elite touring car racing championship will use a modified 4.603 km version of the circuit, skipping turns 5 to 7 of the F1 track. Each of the two races will be run over 13 laps. The RML-run Cruzes are expected to keep the level of competitiveness consistently shown during the season even though this is a new track for WTCC racing.
World champions Chevrolet lead the manufacturers’ race on 835 points followed by BMW on 543 and SEAT on 532.
There will be two additional Cruzes entered in Shanghai alongside three works cars and the two cars of Bamboo Engineering.
West Surrey Racing will be present with an Aviva-livered car for Colin Turkington, who has already shone in the WTCC in the recent past, while Hong Kong driver Eric Kwong will be at the wheel of the 2-litre normally aspirated Look Fong Racing Team Cruze with which he recently won the Hong Kong Touring Car Championship. China Dragon Racing have entered a similar Cruze for Ng Kin Veng from Macau as well as an older Chevrolet Lacetti for Felipe C. De Souza who also hails from Macau, bringing the Chevrolet entry for the event to 9 from the total of 29.
The Shanghai races will take place on November 3-4. The final round will be held two weeks later in Macau.
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