Event preview: WTCR night drivers ready to race between the walls in Saudi Arabia

Event preview: WTCR night drivers ready to race between the walls in Saudi Arabia

21.11.2022: WTCR − Race of Saudi Arabia Jeddah Corniche Circuit 25-27 November 2022 - Jeddah Corniche Circuitís all-new Short Track to host season-deciding WTCR weekend - Last WTCR − FIA World Touring Car Cup Driversí and Teamsí titles up

WTCR − Race of Saudi Arabia
Jeddah Corniche Circuit
25-27 November 2022




- Jeddah Corniche Circuit’s all-new Short Track to host season-deciding WTCR weekend


- Last WTCR − FIA World Touring Car Cup Drivers’ and Teams’ titles up for grabs in Saudi Arabia


- Home hero Ahmed Bin Khanen preparing for WTCR debut in floodlit spectacular


- Final chequered flag to be waved on all-action series after five seasons and 108 races





The race for the 2022 WTCR − FIA World Touring Car Cup Drivers’ and Teams’ titles reaches its climax in Saudi Arabia next week (November 25-27) when the final chequered flag will be waved on the all-action series after five seasons and 108 races.



With a 60-point advantage in his bid to be crowned King of WTCR, Goodyear #FollowTheLeader Mikel Azcona is preparing to head to the Jeddah Corniche Circuit in the knowledge that it’s very much his title to lose following a standout campaign in his BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse Elantra N TCR.



Indeed, the third fastest time in Qualifying will be enough to make him the first Spaniard and the third BRC-run driver to win the coveted title, regardless of how Néstor Girolami − his closest rival – performs aboard his ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda Civic Type R TCR.



“WTCR Race of Bahrain was fantastic, a very good weekend for us,” said Azcona. “This is a very important moment of my career and I know I can achieve a great result. My goal is to win the world title and I will do everything possible to get this.”



Girolami, a two-time winner in 2022, said: “The title looks very hard now but it’s not finished, so we’ll be in maximum attack for Jeddah and see where that leaves us.”



While Azcona, 26, is in the title ascendency after 16 rounds, the chase for second and third in the final WTCR standings remains wide open. Of those preparing for battle on the newly completed Short Track at the spectacular Red Sea venue, four can still finish runner-up, while third place is between five drivers.



The inaugural WTCR Race of Saudi Arabia, which marks the first world-level touring car race to take place in the country, represents unchartered territory for all drivers with the 3.450-kilometre Jeddah Corniche Circuit’s Short Track never previously used in competition.



The Short Track essentially takes drivers from the exit of Turn 3 towards the Turn 4 left-hand corner. But instead of continuing to Turn 5 on the Full Track, drivers dive right and head through to a sweeping hairpin turn, before accelerating towards Turn 6 and then onto the left-hander at Turn 7.



Norbert Michelisz, the 2019 King of WTCR and the winner of Race 2 at WTCR Race of Bahrain last weekend, said: “I don’t have a clue about the circuit. I was watching some Formula One races [on the Full Track] and usually street circuits are good for us. I really like them, but Jeddah will be a completely new challenge.”



Esteban Guerrieri, who starts WTCR Race of Saudi Arabia as a 10-time winner in the series, which remains a record, said: “It’s a short track and let’s see how hot it is, how dirty the track is in the beginning and how it evolves during the weekend. To be honest I have to be learning while going on but we’ll go there and give it everything.”



Following Qualifying from 18h30 local time on Saturday November 26, Race 1 is set to start at 19h45 on Sunday November 27 and is scheduled to thrill fans for 30 minutes plus one lap.


Race 2 is due to begin at 22h15 with drivers in action for 25 minutes plus one lap. The event will be broadcast live on the Eurosport platform, including Eurosport Player, and on other networks around the world.


  - RIchard Rodgers,   photo WTCR DPPI

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/event-preview-wtcr-night-drivers-race-saudi-arabia---245445.html

21.11.2022 / MaP

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