For the first time since the series’ ETCC days, Zolder is back on the calendar, where everyone will be trying their best to catch the runaway championship leader Yvan Muller.
After a dissapointing Le Mans 24 Hours, BMW will be looking to bounce back and retain their recent WTCC form, after wins at the last two rounds in Marrakech and Monza.
“We tested [at Zolder] in 2009, which has given us a few clues for the weekend,” said BMW team principal Bart Mampaey. “That’s important, as Zolder is a circuit where the set-up is vitally important. There are many load-cycle changes and the cars must travel well over the kerbs. It is very difficult to predict the balance of power.”
The RBM BMW team may be based in Belgium, but they aren’t the only ones with a home advantage this weekend. Chevrolet has recruited local driver and former works Volvo and Vauxhall BTCC driver Vincent Radermecker for the 4th Cruze, and the team will be hoping his experience at the track will help take points from both Muller and Rob Huff‘s main title rivals.
“I am really very happy of this opportunity to be back in the WTCC and behind the wheel of a Chevrolet, in ideal conditions and in my own country,” said Radermecker.
“I am conscious that the level of professionalism and competitiveness in the series is tremendously high, but I hope that my excellent knowledge of the track will be a plus and I am confident that I can do well and help the Chevrolet team achieving a successful racing event in Belgium.”
Gabriele Tarquini and Andy Priaulx are the other main title contenders so far outside the Chevy camp, and the former has done well here in the past. Along with Fabrizio Giovanardi, he won at the last ETCC meeting here in 2001, back then driving for Honda.
The BMWs are heavily outnumbered, but with 20kg less ballast than the rest of the works Chevys and SEATs, they could well be the team to beat come Sunday.