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After SEAT's withdrawal, it's time for BMW and Chevrolet to lead the way.
The 2010 World Touring Car Championship gets underway at Curitiba on 7 March. Here is a team-by-team preview.

SR-Sport
SEAT Sport has withdrawn, leaving Sunred to run a team of diesel Leons for champion Gabriele Tarquini, Tiago Monteiro, Jordi Gene and Independents Trophy champion Tom Coronel. Expect race wins for Tarquini and Coronel, with Tarquini able to challenge for the title. Monteiro and Gene will be regular point scorers and should challenge for podium finishes.

Zengo-Dension Team
Hungarian Leon Eurocup squad steps up to the big time running a diesel Leon for promising Eurocup champion Norbert Michelisz. He should challenge for the Independents Trophy and will score some regular overall points.

Chevrolet
Introduced the Cruze model last year, and after a year of development will be looking to win the title, particularly after the witdrawal of SEAT. Yvan Muller has replaced Nicola Larini, and is partnered by Rob Huff and Alain Menu. Muller and Huff start the season amongst the favourites, while Menu will take race wins.

BMW Team RBM
BMW have reduced their squad to one two-car team, with Racing Bart Mampaey responsible for the two cars. Andy Priaulx stays on and is joined by Augusto Farfus who moves across from Schnitzer. With the SEAT threat reduced, Priaulx will be looking to be amongst those challenging for the title, while for Farfus it will be his best chance to take the title, and will be looking to banish the disappointment of last year.

Liqui Moly Team Engstler
Franz Engstler
returns for another season, and has brought Andrei Romanov back to the team after a year out. Engstler will be looking to win the Independent's Trophy this year after some bad luck in 2009, and use reverse grids to challenge for overall podiums. Romanov must improve from a fairly poor 2008 season.

SUNRED Engineering
Sunred will run two diesel Leons for Danish and  ex-European champion Michel Nykjaer and Swiss driver Fredy Barth. Expect Nykjaer to challenge for the Independents Trophy and be on the pace with the cars run under the SR-Sport banner, although he will need to learn the tracks. Barth will be further to the back of the field.

bamboo-engineering
British Touring Car team moves to the world stage, taking its Chevrolet Lacettis and young driver Harry Vaulkhard with them. He will be partnered by Hong Kong Porsche driver Darryl O'Young. Vaulkhard showed promise in the European Touring Car Cup in 2009, but it will be a steep learning curve for both.

Wiechers-Sport
Wiechers have signed Moroccan Mehdi Bennani, probably the discovery of 2009 after making his debut at his home race for Exagon. He will need to adapt to the rear-wheel drive BMW 320si from the SEAT Leon, but will challenge the Independent establishment.

Colak Racing
Croatian Marin Colak impressed in his debut season last year, starting second on the grid in Germany. He is the only Leon driver with a petrol engine, putting him at a disadvantage against drivers like Barth. Will be looking for Independent podiums where possible.

Poulsen Motorsport
Kristian Poulsen
has split from Team Engstler for this year and will go it alone. He disappointed in 2009, his results not on the same standard as Engstler. He is still new to touring cars though, having moved from rallying in 2007. He will be looking for the occasional overall point, thanks to the new points system where points will be scored for a top 10 finish.

Scuderia Proteam Motorsport
Proteam brings back the line-up it had in 2008, with Stefano D'Aste being paired with Sergio Hernandez, back from a year with BMW Team Italy-Spain. Both will be looking to regain the Independents Trophy that they won in 2007 and 2008 respectively.

Predicted Order
1. Rob Huff
2. Augusto Farfus
3. Yvan Muller
4. Andy Priaulx
5. Gabriele Tarquini
6. Tom Coronel
7. Alain Menu
8. Jordi Gene
9. Tiago Monteiro
10. Sergio Hernandez
11. Michel Nykjaer
12. Stefano D'Aste
13. Franz Engstler
14. Norbert Michelisz
15. Mehdi Bennani
16. Harry Vaulkhard
17. Marin Colak
18. Darryl O'Young
19. Fredy Barth
20. Andrei Romanov
21. Kristian Poulsen

Calendar
1. Race of Brazil - Curitba - March 7
2. Race of Mexico - Puebla - April 11
3. Race of Morocco - Marrakech - May 2
4. Race of Italy - Monza - May 23
5. Race of Belgium - Zolder - June 20
6. Race of Portugal - Algarve - July 4
7. Race of UK - Brands Hatch - July 18
8. Race of the Czech Republic - Brno - August 1
9. Race of Germany - Oschersleben - September 5
10. Race of Spain - Valencia - September 19
11. Race of Japan - Okayama - October 31
12. Race of Macau - Macau - November 21

Who do you think will win the WTCC in 2010? Tell me by leaving a comment below. Recieve WTCC news by following @Frontofthegrid on Twitter.

Photo Credit: Baptiste
 


Comments

Matt
28/02/2010 12:54pm

I agree, Huffy for the title :)

Reply

Do not, for one repulse, give up the purpose that you resolved to effect.

Reply
21/03/2011 7:22am

They say nothing lasts forever
We're only here today
Love is now or never
Bring me far away
Take me to your heart take me to your soul
Give me your hand and hold me
Show me what love is - be my guiding star
It's easy take me to your heart

Take me to your heart take me to your soul
Give me your hand and hold me
Show me what love is - be my guiding star
It's easy take me to your heart

Reply



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