All you need to know about WTCR Race of Portugal

2019-07-01T07:26:03+02:00July 1st, 2019|2019, WTCR Race of Portugal 2019|

The WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup presented by OSCARO is heading to Vila Real in Portugal later this week (5-7 July). Here’s what you need to know.

THE CHALLENGE
A street circuit oozing history and intrigue, racing has been held on Vila Real’s demanding hillside roads since 1931, when Gaspar Sameiro and Ercilio Barbosa conquered the original 7.150-kilometre course in a Ford Model A. Safety and financial factors meant races were held on an irregular basis until the WTCC’s arrival in 2015 provided stability and Vila Real’s first world championship-level event. The 4.785-kilometre layout now used is a challenging blend of fast turns, climbs and descents. While a handful of chicanes were installed for safety reasons, the spectacle remains unaltered with speeds exceeding 200kph on the final downhill section.

THE ESSENTIALS
Rounds: 16-18
Venue: Circuito Internacional de Vila Real
Date: 5-7 July
Location: Av. Carvalho Araújo 7, 5000-651 Vila Real
Length: 4.785 kilometres
Time zone: GMT +1 hour

Race 1 distance: 11 laps (52.635 kilometres)
Race 2 distance: 11 laps (52.635 kilometres)
Race 3 distance: 13 laps (62.205 kilometres)

WTCR qualifying lap record:
Thed Björk (Hyundai i30 N TCR), 1m59.824s (143.90kph), 24/06/18
WTCR race lap record:
Thed Björk (Hyundai i30 N TCR), 2m02.964s (140.2kph), 24/06/18

FIVE VILA REAL FACTS
1: Vila Real played host to F3 single-seaters in the 1960s before sportscar racing came to the fore. Chris Craft and David Piper won a six-hour event in 1969 driving a Porsche 908.
2: During the 1980s touring car racing thrived at the circuit before a fatal accident in 1991 forced the authorities to intervene due safety concerns. Racing resumed on a shortened layout in 2007, with a revival meeting attended by Sir Stirling Moss, who competed at Vila Real in period.
3: The name Vila Real (Royal Town) comes from King Denis of Portugal founding it in 1289.
4: In order to raise money to cover the cost of running the race during its early years, a tax was placed on every kilogram of meat sold in Vila Real.
5: Originally a 7.150-kilometre layout complete with river crossing via a bridge, the first WTCC event in 2015 used a 4.755-kilometre version of the course. However, modifications to the first chicane to make it faster and up overtaking opportunities increased the track to its current length of 4.785 kilometres.

Provisional key timings:
Friday 5 July:
Free Practice 1: 17h00-17h45
Saturday 6 July:
Free Practice 2: 09h00-09h30
First Qualifying: 11h00-11h40
Race 1 (11 laps): 15h15-15h45
Sunday 7 July:
Second Qualifying Q1: 10h00-10h30
Second Qualifying Q2: 10h35-10h50
Second Qualifying Q3: 11h00 (first car starts top-five shootout)
Race 2 (11 laps): 15h30-16h00
Race 3 (13 laps): 17h00-17h35

ALL-SEASON ENTRY LIST
1 BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse Gabriele Tarquini (ITA) Hyundai i30 N TCR
5 BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse Norbert Michelisz (HUN) Hyundai i30 N TCR
8 BRC Hyundai N LUKOIL Racing Team Augusto Farfus (BRA) Hyundai i30 N TCR
9 KCMG Attila Tassi (HUN) Honda Civic Type R TCR
10 Comtoyou Team Audi Sport Niels Langeveld (NLD) Audi RS 3 LMS
11 Cyan Racing Lynk & Co Thed Björk (SWE) Lynk & Co 03 TCR
12 SLR VW Motorsport Rob Huff (GBR) Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR
14 SLR Volkswagen Johan Kristoffersson (SWE) Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR
18 KCMG Tiago Monteiro (PRT) Honda Civic Type R TCR
21 Comtoyou DHL Team CUPRA Racing Aurélien Panis (FRA) CUPRA TCR
22 Comtoyou Team Audi Sport Frédéric Vervisch (BEL) Audi RS 3 LMS
25 SLR VW Motorsport Mehdi Bennani (MAR) Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR
29 ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Néstor Girolami (ARG) Honda Civic Type R TCR
31 Team Mulsanne Kevin Ceccon (ITA) Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR
33 SLR Volkswagen Benjamin Leuchter (DEU) Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR
37 PWR Racing Daniel Haglöf (SWE) CUPRA TCR
50 Comtoyou DHL Team CUPRA Racing Tom Coronel (NLD) CUPRA TCR
52 Leopard Racing Team Audi Sport Gordon Shedden (GBR) Audi RS 3 LMS
55 Team Mulsanne Ma Qinghua (CHN) Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR
68 Cyan Performance Lynk & Co Yann Ehrlacher (FRA) Lynk & Co 03 TCR
69 Leopard Racing Team Audi Sport Jean-Karl Vernay (FRA) Audi RS 3 LMS
86 ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Esteban Guerrieri (ARG) Honda Civic Type R TCR
88 BRC Hyundai N LUKOIL Racing Team Nicky Catsburg (NLD) Hyundai i30 N TCR
96 PWR Racing Mikel Azcona (ESP) CUPRA TCR
100 Cyan Racing Lynk & Co Yvan Muller (FRA) Lynk & Co 03 TCR
111 Cyan Performance Lynk & Co Andy Priaulx (GBR) Lynk & Co 03 TCR