GABRIELE TARQUINI/No.3 Lukoil Racing Team SEAT Leon WTCC was the fastest driver in the second of two World Touring Car Championship World Series sessions Saturday noon at Sonoma. His lap of 1:46.457 was slower than the earlier fast times set by YVAN MULLER/No.1 Chevrolet and TOM CHILTON/no.23 Team Aon Ford.
Second through fifth in Practice Two were Muller; TIAGO MONTEIRO/No.18 Tuenti Racing Team SUNRED Leon 1.6T; TOM BOARDMAN/No.22 Special Tune Racing SEAT Leon WTCC; and ROBERT HUFF/No.2 Chevrolet.
The ROAL Motorsport BMW teammates, ALBERTO CERQUI and TOM CORONEL, continued to struggle with the 2.5-mile long Sonoma course. They took turns spinning off and on the track. They weren’t alone in dealing with difficulties. FRANZ ENGSTLER/No.6 Liqui Moly Team Engstler BMW 320 TC also spun out in Turn Two, which seemed to be the place to overdrive the course. STEFANO D’ASTE/No.26 Wiechers-Sport BMW drove off Turn Seven at speed – and kind of short cut the course.
The WTCC Series, run by General Manager, MARCELLO LOTTI, is eight years old, and for the last seven years Yokohama has been its official tire. The tire contract was recently extended for another three years. The custom-made WTCC tires are 17-inch and medium compound. Two types are run – slicks and wets. All teams run the same tire, regardless if they have a front-wheel or rear-wheel drive car. This puts a lot on the teams and drivers to adapt to a wide range of conditions, and Yokohama works with the teams toward this end – optimization.
At each race, Yokohama brings 800-900 tires, and 300-400 tires are fitted. Each car is allowed 12 new tires and can bring eight used tires from prior events. The tires are sold, not leased, so the teams retain the tires after the race meeting. FIA keeps track of all the tires by the use of Bar Codes, so there is no mistaking the number or condition of tires.