FIA ETCC Is To Kick Off At Le Castellet

- 16. 4. 2014, Prague, CZE -

This season's first two races of the European Touring Car Cup - FIA ETCC take place on a French racing track called Paul Ricard as early as this weekend. The circuit close to a French city, Marseille, hosts the European Cup for the first time, likewise the FIA WTCC championship. Therefore, there, on the Paul Ricard circuit, it will be a rookie race for the Křenek Motorsport and the team's drivers Petr Fulín and Michal Matějovský, so will be for the Citroën factory team and their drivers Sébastien Loeb, Yvan Muller and José María López. The racing weekend on the Paul Ricard circuit is expected to attract large crowds of spectators, and will be broadcast by the TV channel Eurosport.

The Křenek Motorsport team's racing drivers had taken part in pre-season tests in SPA, and on the Salzburgring, and the results indicated that both drivers would be on the top of the field. What is more, Petr Fulín enjoyed the atmosphere of the FIA WTCC weekend in Marrakesh, Morocco, last weekend, where he drove the Campos team's Seat TC2 on Friday and Saturday. However, the true season for the drivers is just about to start, therefore we have asked them about their feelings they have before they are at the wheels of their BMW 320sis, and the aims they want to achieve in the first two races:

The racing circuit Paul Ricard is the great unknown for most of the drivers, how much are you looking forward to that track?

Michal Matějovský: "I admit that Le Castellet's Paul Ricard is the great unknown for me, although I've tried to get familiar with the track on a simulator. Naturally, the computer simulation differs from what it is like in reality and any real race. Nevertheless, I figure it's a fast track and it'll fit me."

Petr Fulín: "It's just not a new track but the opening of the season, in particular. Winter was long, so I'm really bursting to my first ride."

Both of you were among the top drivers last year, how much do you find the last year's results binding?

Michal Matějovský: "I finished in the fifth place last year, but I don't think it'll do me this year. I'm definitely gonna do my best to get overall 3rd place at worst."

Petr Fulín: "Binding, yeah it is, but perhaps for journalists or a few people. Me and the team will give our best to feel fine about doing a good job. I wanna feel satisfied with my performance on the track, and enjoying all weekends. Purely and simply, I don't have neither want any room for feelings as to if dozens of people feel satisfied with result, competition or difficulty."

What results will you be satisfied with on Sunday evening?

Michal Matějovský "It's the first race after the winter break, anything may happen, however, I'll only be satisfied with a podium finish."

Petr Fulín: "I'll be satisfied providing I enjoy all weekend, and the car suffers no damage, so will be "complete" on Sunday. Since the 1.6-litre-turbo cars will newly appear in the championship, which are supposed to be some three to four seconds faster, some interesting situations are likely to occur, especially in the second race."

Facts on the weekend: one lap on the Paul Ricard circuit is 3.841m in length; 31 racing drivers have been entered in the register, out of whom six will drive BMW 320si cars; this season's newcomer is the TC2T category - 1.6-litre turbo cars; Le Castellet racing weekend schedule: Friday, 18th April, 10.45 a.m. - Test Session 1 - 60 min.; 3.00 p.m. - Test Session 2 - 60 min.; Saturday, 19th April, 9.45 a.m. - Free Practice Session - 30 min.; 1.00 p.m. - Qualifying Session - 30 min.; Sunday, 20th April, 9.00 a.m. - Warm-Up - 15 min.; 10.05 - Race 1 - 14 laps; 11.15 a.m. - Race 2 - 14 laps. The most important moments from the FIA ETCC weekend at Le Castellet are on on TV Eurosport 2, on Tuesday 22nd April at 7 p.m.

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