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Preview: WTCR drivers ready to battle behind the walls of Saudi Arabia

The race for the drivers’ and teams’ titles in the WTCR − FIA World Touring Car Cup concludes this weekend in Saudi Arabia (November 25-27) as the curtain falls on the series after 108 races.

With a 60-point lead in the WTCR title race,Mikel Azconachampionship leader Goodyear #FollowTheLeader, prepares to head to Jeddah’s Corniche circuit knowing he has a title to secure after a fantastic campaign at the wheel of his Hyundai N Squadra Corse Elantra N TCR du BRC.

In fact, the third time in qualifying will be enough to make him the first Spaniard and the third BRC driver to win the title, regardless of performanceNestor Girolami– his closest rival – drives his Honda Civic Type R TCR ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport.

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

Girolami, double winner in 2022, said:“The title looks very elusive now but it’s not over so we will be on maximum attack for Jeddah and we will see where that puts us.”

With 26-year-old Azcona dominating proceedings after 16 rounds, the race for second and third in the final WTCR standings remains open. Of those preparing for battle on the new short course at the spectacular Red Sea venue, four could still finish second, while third place is up for grabs between five drivers.

The inauguration of the WTCR Race of Saudi Arabia, which marks the first world-class touring car race to take place in the country, represents uncharted territory for all drivers, as the 3,450 kilometer short track Jeddah Corniche Circuit n has never been used in competition.

Short Track basically takes riders from the exit of Turn 3 to the left turn of Turn 4. However, instead of continuing to Turn 5 on the Full Track, riders dive right and enter a twisty hairpin before accelerating towards Turn 6 , then to the left at turn 7.

Norbert MicheliszKing of WTCR 2019 and winner of Race 2 at the WTCR Race of Bahrain last weekend, said:“I haven’t the faintest idea about the circuit. I watched a couple of Formula 1 races [sur la Full Track] and usually city trips are good for us. I really appreciate them, but Jeddah will be a whole new challenge.”

Esteban Guerrieriwho starts the WTCR Race of Saudi Arabia as a 10-time series winner, which is still a record, said:“It’s a short circuit and we’ll see how hot it gets, how dirty the track is at the start and how it develops over the weekend. To be honest, I’ll learn along the way, but we’ll get there and we will give everything.”

After qualifying, which takes place from 18:30 local time on Saturday 26 November, the start of Race 1 will be given at 19:45 on Sunday 27 November for 30 minutes and one lap. Race 2 starts at 22:15 and the drivers will be in action for 25 minutes and one lap. The event will be broadcast live on the Eurosport platform, including Eurosport Player, and on other networks around the world.

RACE ESSENTIALS WTCR SAUDI ARABIA SA

Sleeves:17 and 18 of 18
Date:From 25 to 27 November
Meeting point:Jeddah Corniche Tour
Location :Jeddah Corniche, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Length:3,450 kilometers
Run 1 distance:30 minutes + 1 round
Race 2 distance:25 minutes + 1 round
WTCR lap record (qualifying):
To establish
WTCR lap record (race):
To establish

Shortly said:The first visit of the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup to Saudi Arabia is the opportunity to see international touring car racing in the country for the first time for two night races promoted by the Saudi Motorsport Company. WTCR will be the first series to use the alternative 3,450 km Jeddah Corniche Circuit, which was chosen because its design is tailored for FIA Touring Car racing, bumper to bumper, door to door, and specially approved for the occasion. Saudi Arabia is increasingly establishing itself as a motorsport destination, with FIA Formula 1, Formula E and the World Rally Raid Championship also taking place in the country.

Schedules:
Friday, November 25
19.30-20.30: Practice

Saturday 26 November
13.00-13.45: Free training 1
16.00-16.30: Free training 2
18:30-19:00: 1st quarter qualification (live on Eurosport Player, Eurosport 1 and other broadcasters worldwide)
19:05-19:20: Qualification 2nd quarter (Live on Eurosport Player, Eurosport 1 and other TV companies worldwide)
19:30-19:45: Q3 qualification (live on Eurosport Player, Eurosport 1 and other broadcasters worldwide)

Sunday, November 27
19:45: Race 1 (30 minutes + 1 lap) (Live on Eurosport Player, Eurosport 1 and other broadcasters worldwide)
20:30 (approx): Run 1 podium
22:15: Race 2 (25 minutes + 1 lap) (Live on Eurosport Player, Eurosport 2 and other broadcasters worldwide)
22:50 (approx): Race 2 podium

Provisional admission list
#5 Norbert Michelisz (HUN) BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse, Hyundai Elantra N TCR
#9 Attila Tasi (FUN) LIQUI MOLY Team Engstler, Honda Civic Type R TCR
#16 Gilles Magnus (BEL) Comtoyou Team Audi Sport, Audi RS 3 LMS
#17 Nathanaël Berthon (FRA) Comtoyou DHL Team Audi Sport, Audi RS 3 LMS
#18 Tiago Monteiro (PRT) LIQUI MOLY Team Engstler, Honda Civic Type R TCR
#24 Ahmed Bin Khanen (SAU), Comtoyou Racing, Audi RS 3 LMS
#29 Néstor Girolami (ARG) ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport, Honda Civic Type R TCR
#33 Tom Coronel (NLD) Comtoyou DHL Team Audi Sport, Audi RS 3 LMS
#72 Franco Girolami (ARG) Comtoyou Racing, Audi RS 3 LMS
#79 Rob Huff (GBR) Zengo Motorsport, CUPRA Leon Competition
#86 Esteban Guerrieri (ARG) ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport, Honda Civic Type R TCR
#88 Nicky Catsburg (NLD) BRC Hyundai N Racing Team, Hyundai Elantra N TCR*.
#96 Mikel Azcona (ESP) BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse, Hyundai Elantra N TCR
#99 Daniel Nagy (HUN) Zengő Motorsport, CUPRA Leon Competición
#110 Viktor Davidovski (MKD) Comtoyou Racing, Audi RS 3 LMS*.
*Registration race by race

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