The historic Monza circuit again plays host to the opening round of the 2013 FIA World Touring Car Championship this coming weekend.
With Yvan Muller and Gabriele Tarquini looking like the men to beat, here is an informative numbers and statistics form guide of who has been the most successful at this daunting race track....
*Autodromo Monza has played host to every Italian WTCC race, with the exception of 2009, when Monza was substituted for Imola due to a clash with the F1 calendar that year;
*Yvan Muller goes to Monza knowing that he has taken the most race victories not just in the championship but also at this prestigious circuit - five, including a double, last season;
*Reigning champion, Rob Huff, has also taken two race victories, again a double in 2011. He should have won race two in 2010 as well, but whilst dicing for the lead with Gabriele Tarquini he and the Italian dramatically suffered punctures on the last lap just three corners from the chequered flag, handing a surprise victory to Andy Priaulx. Huff holds the fastest race lap, posting a 1m 59.0s lap last season;
*Gabriele is the only Italian to have secured victory at his home track, taking the winners honours in race 2 in a SEAT in 2008;
*Double BTCC champ and WTCC returnee, James Thomspon has the honour of scoring the first WTCC victory in its current guise, which also means that the Brit scored Alfa-Romeo their first WTCC race win, way back in 2005, when Monza hosted the very first round of the WTCC.
*Other race winners include triple WTCC champion Andy Priaulx, who has two wins to his name at Monza, as well as Jordi Gene, Augusto Farfus and Dirk Muller, who have each won once.
*The most successful WTCC manufacturer at Monza is Chevrolet, which has won five races. SEAT has taken four wins and BMW has three wins under its belt at the Italian circuit. Former participants, Alfa-Romeo, have two wins to its name.
by Dexter Fielding