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WTCC Austria 2013: Revised starting grid

19 May 2013

Michel Nykjaer will start from pole position for the first WTCC race at the Salzburgring in Austria on Sunday, following the swathe of penalties that were handed down to 12 of his fellow drivers after Saturday's chaotic end to qualifying which saw a slow procession to the line thwart drivers' attempts to set a final flying lap time.

"This is what happened; all those drivers were driving around the track at 46kph, it's really too slow!" explained WTCC General Manager Marcello Lotti on Sunday. "There is an article in the International Sporting Code that says it is not permitted to drive too slowly and without any reason - reason means a technical reason or a yellow flag.

"Some journalists have criticised the track and said that in some way the track was at fault," he added. "Absolutely not: the track layout is perfect and is probably the best of the traditional touring car circuits. In any case, the track is fully licenced by the FIA."

In addition, the three Honda Civic cars were all found to have a rear wing that was not in compliance with the S2000 Kit Variant Circuit Homologation Regulations. The qualifying times of Gabriele Tarquini, Tiago Monteiro and Norbert Michelisz were deleted as a result.

"The rear wing exceeded the control gauge by the tiniest amount," sighed Castrol Honda Racing principal Alessandro Mariani. "This was a consequence of a production defect and did not give any technical advantage. It was an error by the supplier that was putting in its best efforts to re-build the cars in a hurry after a number of racing incidents."

After all the penalties were taken in, the new Race 1 starting grid is shown below. Race stewards have since decided that all penalties should refer only to the first race, leaving the provisional grid for Race 2 unaffected: "There will be no changes to the Race 2 reverse grid as all the penalties refer to Race 1," confirmed Lotti.

Revised starting grid - race 1

1. Michel Nykjaer NIKA Racing Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T I
2. James Nash bamboo-engineering Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T I
3. Mehdi Bennani Proteam Racing BMW 320 TC I
4. Mikhail Kozlovskiy LADA Sport Lukoil LADA Granta Sport
5. Fredy Barth Wiechers Sport BMW 320 TC I
6. Franz Engstler Liqui Moly Team Engstler BMW 320 TC I
7. Marc Basseng All-Inkl.com Munnich Motorsport SEAT Leon WTCC
8. James Thompson LADA Sport Lukoil LADA Granta Sport
9. Charles Ng Liqui Moly Team Engstler BMW 320 TC I
10. Rene Munnich All-Inkl.com Munnich Motorsport SEAT Leon WTCC I
11. Fernando Monje Campos Racing SEAT Leon WTCC I
12. Alex MacDowall bamboo-engineering Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T I *
13. Yvan Muller Ray Mallock Ltd Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T *
14. Rob Huff All-Inkl.com Munnich Motorsport SEAT Leon WTCC *
15. Tom Chilton Ray Mallock Ltd Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T *
16. Stefano D'Aste PB Racing BMW 320 TC I *
17. Darryl O'Young ROAL Motorsport BMW 320 TC I *
18. Pepe Oriola Tuenti Racing Team SEAT Leon WTCC *
19. Tom Coronel ROAL Motorsport BMW 320 TC *
20. Hugo Valente Campos Racing SEAT Leon WTCC I *
21. Tiago Monteiro Castrol Honda Racing Team JAS Honda Civic 1.6T §
22. Gabriele Tarquini Castrol Honda Racing Team JAS Honda Civic 1.6T §
23. Norbert Michelisz Zengo Motorsport Honda Civic 1.6T §

Provisional starting grid - race 2

1. James Nash bamboo-engineering Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T I
2. Norbert Michelisz Zengo Motorsport Honda Civic 1.6T
3. Pepe Oriola Tuenti Racing Team SEAT Leon WTCC
4. Tiago Monteiro Castrol Honda Racing Team JAS Honda Civic 1.6T
5. Gabriele Tarquini Castrol Honda Racing Team JAS Honda Civic 1.6T
6. Michel Nykjaer NIKA Racing Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T I
7. Alex MacDowall bamboo-engineering Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T I
8. Rob Huff All-Inkl.com Munnich Motorsport SEAT Leon WTCC
9. Tom Chilton Ray Mallock Ltd Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T
10. Yvan Muller Ray Mallock Ltd Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T
11. Stefano D'Aste PB Racing BMW 320 TC I
12. Tom Coronel ROAL Motorsport BMW 320 TC
13. Mehdi Bennani Proteam Racing BMW 320 TC I
14. Mikhail Kozlovskiy LADA Sport Lukoil LADA Granta Sport
15. Fredy Barth Wiechers Sport BMW 320 TC I
16. Franz Engstler Liqui Moly Team Engstler BMW 320 TC I
17. Marc Basseng All-Inkl.com Munnich Motorsport SEAT Leon WTCC
18. Darryl O'Young ROAL Motorsport BMW 320 TC I
19. James Thompson LADA Sport Lukoil LADA Granta Sport
20. Charles Ng Liqui Moly Team Engstler BMW 320 TC I
21. Rene Munnich All-Inkl.com Munnich Motorsport SEAT Leon WTCC I
22. Fernando Monje Campos Racing SEAT Leon WTCC I
23. Hugo Valente Campos Racing SEAT Leon WTCC I

* denotes penalty for unnecessarily slow driving/unsporting behaviour
§ denotes times deleted for car failing to conform


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