2011 FIA WTCC Race of Japan

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Japan  2011 FIA WTCC Race of Japan
Round details
Suzuka circuit map--2005.svg
Round 10 of 12 in the 2011 World Touring Car Championship season at Suzuka Circuit in Suzuka City, Japan.
Date 23 October, 2011
Location Suzuka City, Japan
Course Suzuka Circuit
2.243 km
Race One
Laps 25
Pole position
Driver Switzerland Alain Menu Chevrolet RML
Time 53.443
Podium
First Switzerland Alain Menu Chevrolet RML
Second United Kingdom Robert Huff Chevrolet RML
Third Denmark Michel Nykjær SUNRED Engineering
Fastest Lap
Driver Switzerland Alain Menu Chevrolet RML
Time 54.521
Race Two
Laps 23
Podium
First Netherlands Tom Coronel ROAL Motorsport
Second France Yvan Muller Chevrolet RML
Third United Kingdom Robert Huff Chevrolet RML
Fastest Lap
Driver Sweden Robert Dahlgren Polestar Racing
Time 54.116

The 2011 FIA WTCC Race of Japan was the tenth round of the 2011 World Touring Car Championship season and the fourth running of the FIA WTCC Race of Japan. It was held on 23 October 2011 at the Suzuka Circuit in Suzuka City, Japan.

The first race was won by Alain Menu of Chevrolet RML while Michel Nykjær finished on the podium for the first time in World Touring Car Championship. The second race was won by Tom Coronel of ROAL Motorsport.

Background[edit]

Coming into the first Asian round of the season, Yvan Muller was leading the world drivers' championship. Kristian Poulsen was leading the Yokohama Independents' Trophy.

Chevrolet RML added a fourth Chevrolet Cruze for the local rally driver Toshi Arai.[1] Formula D driver Charles Ng joined Liqui Moly Team Engstler in a BMW 320si[2] while Hiroki Yoshimoto joined SUNRED Engineering to drive on of their SUNRED SR León 1.6Ts.[3] Colin Turkington returned to Wiechers-Sport having last raced for them at the Race of UK.[4] Masaki Kano drove for DeTeam KK Motorsport in their BMW 320 TC.[5]

Report[edit]

Testing and free practice[edit]

Menu led Friday's test session having displaced Polestar Racing's Robert Dahlgren late on. Robert Huff, who had lost his championship lead at the last round was third with Tiago Monteiro separating him from championship leader Muller. Darryl O'Young in the bamboo-engineering Chevrolet was the quickest independent driver when he ended the session ninth. The session had been stopped five minutes in when Norbert Michelisz went off the circuit.[6]

Huff topped the wet first practice session on Saturday morning. Fabio Fabiani and Kano were black flagged for not having their headlights switched on.[7]

The track was drying in free practice two as Menu set the fastest time, he led a Chevrolet 1–2–3 with Muller second and Huff third. Fredy Barth was the top independent driver in fourth.[8]

Qualifying[edit]

Qualifying had started with a threat of rain as Menu took pole position in qualifying with championship leading team–mate Muller second. The first session was stopped twice, firstly when Proteam Racing's Mehdi Bennani got stuck in the gravel at the final corner and then again when Pepe Oriola also went off at the final corner and crashed into the wall. O'Young finished the first session tenth and therefore took the reversed grid pole position for race two where he would be joined on the front row by Coronel. Yukinori Taniguchi was 12th at the end of the session and was the quickest local driver.

All the drivers taking part in the second session set their best times in their early runs. At the end of Q2 Menu was ahead of Muller and Dahlgren. Nykjær was the best placed independent driver in seventh.[9]

Fabiani had again failed to get within 107% of the fastest Q1 time but was not allowed to start the races after an altercation with the stewards as well as having incurred a number of other penalties already. Oriola required an engine change and would therefore take a five–place grid drop in race one while Arai failed to report to scrutineering during Q1 so his qualifying times were removed.[10]

Warm-Up[edit]

Pole sitter Menu led the warm–up session before the first race, the session came to a close early when Yoshimoto ended up in the gravel.[11]

Race One[edit]

Menu started from pole position while Dahlgren behind was tagged by Nykjær which saw the Volvo driver spin and come back across the track at the first corner as the rest of the field passed. Coronel and Tarquini then came together which caught out Tiago Monteiro, Javier Villa, Barth and Yoshimoto; Tarquini and Villa were able to continue. The safety car was brought out while the stranded cars were removed, when the race resumed on lap seven it was Muller leading from Menu and Huff. The following lap Menu was able to make a successful pass for the lead, two laps later Muller then made a mistake and dropped behind Huff and Nykjær. Aleksei Dudukalo had a narrow escape when he spun on the exit of the final corner and came close to hitting the pit wall while team–mate Tarquini had recovered to ninth place after his first lap collision. At the end of the race, Menu led a Chevrolet 1–2 with Huff while Nykjær claimed his first outright podium result in third and the independents' victory with it. Muller was fourth while Taniguchi claimed his best result in the championship by finishing seventh behind Turkington. Bennani in eighth resisted a late charge from Tarquini.[12]

Race Two[edit]

Rain had started to fall before the start of the race. O'Young started on pole position but he was passed straight away by Coronel as O'Young was tapped by Tarquini and spun. Dahlgren had got through to fourth at the expense of Menu while Muller and Huff were closing in on Coronel. Tarquini was served with a drive–through penalty on lap five for the collision with O'Young, he went into the pits for his penalty before retiring on lap twelve. Having previously attempted a pass on Huff for third, Dahlgren was re–passed by Menu as his Volvo C30 Drive was plagued by a misfiring engine. Coronel beat Muller to the line by inches, Huff was third and Menu was fourth. Dahlgren ended up fifth while Nykjær in sixth was the Yokohama Trophy victor once again.[12]

Results[edit]

Qualifying[edit]

Pos. No. Name Team Car C Q1 Q2
1 8 Switzerland Alain Menu Chevrolet RML Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T 53.748 53.443
2 1 France Yvan Muller Chevrolet RML Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T 53.893 53.492
3 30 Sweden Robert Dahlgren Polestar Racing Volvo C30 Drive 53.760 53.512
4 2 United Kingdom Robert Huff Chevrolet RML Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T 53.937 53.520
5 15 Netherlands Tom Coronel ROAL Motorsport BMW 320 TC 53.943 53.601
6 18 Portugal Tiago Monteiro SUNRED Engineering SUNRED SR León 1.6T 53.871 53.798
7 17 Denmark Michel Nykjær SUNRED Engineering SUNRED SR León 1.6T Y 53.725 53.811
8 3 Italy Gabriele Tarquini Lukoil-SUNRED SUNRED SR León 1.6T 53.734 53.824
9 9 Hong Kong Darryl O'Young bamboo-engineering Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T Y 53.956 53.902
10 29 United Kingdom Colin Turkington Wiechers-Sport BMW 320 TC Y 53.672 54.339
11 20 Spain Javier Villa Proteam Racing BMW 320 TC Y 54.006
12 10 Japan Yukinori Taniguchi bamboo-engineering Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T Y 54.070
13 5 Hungary Norbert Michelisz Zengő-Dension Team BMW 320 TC Y 54.073
14 11 Denmark Kristian Poulsen Liqui Moly Team Engstler BMW 320 TC Y 54.126
15 4 Russia Aleksei Dudukalo Lukoil-SUNRED SUNRED SR León 1.6T Y 54.127
16 12 Germany Franz Engstler Liqui Moly Team Engstler BMW 320 TC Y 54.219
17 7 Switzerland Fredy Barth SEAT Swiss Racing by SUNRED SUNRED SR León 1.6T Y 54.411
18 88 Japan Hiroki Yoshimoto SEAT Swiss Racing by SUNRED SUNRED SR León 1.6T Y 54.466
19 74 Spain Pepe Oriola SUNRED Engineering SUNRED SR León 1.6T Y 54.730
20 25 Morocco Mehdi Bennani Proteam Racing BMW 320 TC Y 55.002
21 51 Hong Kong Charles Ng Liqui Moly Team Engstler BMW 320si Y 55.356
22 68 Japan Masaki Kano DeTeam KK Motorsport BMW 320 TC Y 55.551
EX1 31 Japan Toshi Arai Chevrolet RML Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T Excluded
107% time: 57.429
21 Italy Fabio Fabiani Proteam Racing BMW 320si Y 58.023
  • Bold denotes Pole position for second race.
^1 — Arai failed to report to the weighbridge during qualifying and so his times from the session were deleted.[10]

Race 1[edit]

Pos. No. Name Team Car C Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 8 Switzerland Alain Menu Chevrolet RML Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T 14 25:50.919 1 25
2 2 United Kingdom Robert Huff Chevrolet RML Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T 25 +3.133 4 18
3 17 Denmark Michel Nykjær SUNRED Engineering SUNRED SR León 1.6T Y 25 +3.766 7 15
4 1 France Yvan Muller Chevrolet RML Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T 25 +4.441 2 12
5 11 Denmark Kristian Poulsen Liqui Moly Team Engstler BMW 320 TC Y 25 +4.851 14 10
6 29 United Kingdom Colin Turkington Wiechers-Sport BMW 320 TC Y 25 +8.601 10 8
7 10 Japan Yukinori Taniguchi bamboo-engineering Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T Y 25 +13.472 12 6
8 25 Morocco Mehdi Bennani Proteam Racing BMW 320 TC Y 25 +13.730 19 4
9 3 Italy Gabriele Tarquini Lukoil-SUNRED SUNRED SR León 1.6T 25 +14.045 8 2
10 12 Germany Franz Engstler Liqui Moly Team Engstler BMW 320 TC Y 25 +15.950 16 1
11 9 Hong Kong Darryl O'Young bamboo-engineering Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T Y 25 +20.833 9
12 68 Japan Masaki Kano DeTeam KK Motorsport BMW 320 TC Y 25 +25.889 20
13 31 Japan Toshi Arai Chevrolet RML Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T 25 +26.767 21
14 51 Hong Kong Charles Ng Liqui Moly Team Engstler BMW 320si Y 25 +39.298 23
15 5 Hungary Norbert Michelisz Zengő-Dension Team BMW 320 TC Y 25 +44.478 13
16 20 Spain Javier Villa Proteam Racing BMW 320 TC Y 25 +50.554 11
17 4 Russia Aleksei Dudukalo Lukoil-SUNRED SUNRED SR León 1.6T Y 25 +1:16.031 15
18 74 Spain Pepe Oriola SUNRED Engineering SUNRED SR León 1.6T Y 20 +5 Laps 22
Ret 88 Japan Hiroki Yoshimoto SEAT Swiss Racing by SUNRED SUNRED SR León 1.6T Y 11 Race incident 18
NC 15 Netherlands Tom Coronel ROAL Motorsport BMW 320 TC 5 +20 Laps 5
Ret 7 Switzerland Fredy Barth SEAT Swiss Racing by SUNRED SUNRED SR León 1.6T Y 2 Race incident 17
Ret 30 Sweden Robert Dahlgren Polestar Racing Volvo C30 Drive 0 Race incident 3
Ret 18 Portugal Tiago Monteiro SUNRED Engineering SUNRED SR León 1.6T 0 Race incident 6
  • Bold denotes Fastest lap.

Race 2[edit]

Pos. No. Name Team Car C Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 15 Netherlands Tom Coronel ROAL Motorsport BMW 320 TC 23 21:10.854 2 25
2 1 France Yvan Muller Chevrolet RML Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T 23 +0.558 4 18
3 2 United Kingdom Robert Huff Chevrolet RML Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T 23 +0.840 3 15
4 8 Switzerland Alain Menu Chevrolet RML Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T 23 +1.576 6 12
5 30 Sweden Robert Dahlgren Polestar Racing Volvo C30 Drive 23 +2.057 5 10
6 17 Denmark Michel Nykjær SUNRED Engineering SUNRED SR León 1.6T Y 23 +7.397 8 8
7 29 United Kingdom Colin Turkington Wiechers-Sport BMW 320 TC Y 23 +7.730 9 6
8 20 Spain Javier Villa Proteam Racing BMW 320 TC Y 23 +8.292 10 4
9 5 Hungary Norbert Michelisz Zengő-Dension Team BMW 320 TC Y 23 +8.606 12 2
10 11 Denmark Kristian Poulsen Liqui Moly Team Engstler BMW 320 TC Y 23 +8.901 13 1
11 12 Germany Franz Engstler Liqui Moly Team Engstler BMW 320 TC Y 23 +9.477 15
12 4 Russia Aleksei Dudukalo Lukoil-SUNRED SUNRED SR León 1.6T Y 23 +15.744 14
13 74 Spain Pepe Oriola SUNRED Engineering SUNRED SR León 1.6T Y 23 +22.668 17
14 10 Japan Yukinori Taniguchi bamboo-engineering Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T Y 23 +23.263 11
15 31 Japan Toshi Arai Chevrolet RML Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T 23 +23.541 21
16 68 Japan Masaki Kano DeTeam KK Motorsport BMW 320 TC Y 23 +25.577 20
17 88 Japan Hiroki Yoshimoto SEAT Swiss Racing by SUNRED SUNRED SR León 1.6T Y 23 +26.926 16
18 25 Morocco Mehdi Bennani Proteam Racing BMW 320 TC Y 23 +33.610 18
19 51 Hong Kong Charles Ng Liqui Moly Team Engstler BMW 320si Y 23 +34.092 19
Ret 3 Italy Gabriele Tarquini Lukoil-SUNRED SUNRED SR León 1.6T 11 Withdrew 7
Ret 9 Hong Kong Darryl O'Young bamboo-engineering Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T Y 1 Race incident 1
DNS 18 Portugal Tiago Monteiro SUNRED Engineering SUNRED SR León 1.6T 0 Did not start 22
DNS 7 Switzerland Fredy Barth SEAT Swiss Racing by SUNRED SUNRED SR León 1.6T Y 0 Did not start 23
  • Bold denotes Fastest lap.

Standings after the event[edit]

  • Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of drivers' standings.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Beer, Matt (26 September 2011). "Rally star Toshi Arai to race for Chevrolet in Suzuka World Touring Car event". Autosport (Haymarket Publications). Retrieved 13 March 2013. 
  2. ^ Allen, Peter (5 October 2011). "Charles Ng Joins Engstler For Asian WTCC Rounds". The Checkered Flag (BlackEagleMedia Network). Retrieved 13 March 2013. 
  3. ^ Meissner, Johan (29 September 2011). "Hiroki Yoshimoto to race for SUNRED in Japan". TouringCarTimes (Mediaempire Stockholm AB). Retrieved 13 March 2013. 
  4. ^ Abbott, Andrew (8 October 2011). "Turkington returns for Japan and China". Touring-Cars.net (Andrew Abbott). Retrieved 13 March 2013. 
  5. ^ Hudson, Neil (3 October 2011). "Masaki Kano to drive for Engstler in Japan". TouringCarTimes (Mediaempire Stockholm AB). Retrieved 13 March 2013. 
  6. ^ Allen, Peter (21 October 2011). "Menu Quickest In Testing For WTCC's First Suzuka Visit". The Checkered Flag (BlackEagleMedia Network). Retrieved 13 March 2013. 
  7. ^ Hudson, Neil (22 October 2011). "Rob Huff quickest in Free Practice 1". TouringCarTimes (Mediaempire Stockholm AB). Retrieved 13 March 2013. 
  8. ^ Hudson, Neil (22 October 2011). "Alain Menu on top in final practice in Japan". TouringCarTimes (Mediaempire Stockholm AB). Retrieved 13 March 2013. 
  9. ^ Abbott, Andrew (22 October 2011). "Menu takes Suzuka pole". Touring-Cars.net (Andrew Abbott). Retrieved 13 March 2013. 
  10. ^ a b Hudson, Neil (22 October 2011). "Fabiani not allowed to race as Oriola & Arai drop spots". TouringCarTimes (Mediaempire Stockholm AB). Retrieved 13 March 2013. 
  11. ^ Hudson, Neil (23 October 2011). "Menu on top again in sunny warm-up". TouringCarTimes (Mediaempire Stockholm AB). Retrieved 13 March 2013. 
  12. ^ a b "ROUNDS 19 & 20 – SUZUKA, JAPAN RACE REPORT". World Touring Car Championship (Kigema Sport Organisation). 23 October 2011. Retrieved 13 March 2013. 

External links[edit]

World Touring Car Championship
Previous race:
2011 FIA WTCC Race of Spain
2011 World Touring Car Championship season Next race:
2011 FIA WTCC Race of China
Previous race:
2010 FIA WTCC Race of Japan
FIA WTCC Race of Japan Next race:
2012 FIA WTCC Race of Japan