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Tom Coronel

Tom Coronel

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26/01/2015 15:46

What Coronel has lacked i

What Coronel has lacked in WTCC results in recent years – albeit not through a lack of trying – he’s more than made up for in self-promotion. The charismatic, ever-popular and enterprising Dutchman has got social media activation down to a fine art in his efforts to raise his profile and keep existing and new partners on board. Part of the WTCC family since the series was revived in 2005, Coronel enjoyed a lengthy stint in Japan, winning the country’s Formula 3 and Formula Nippon titles. He’s also raced at Le Mans 10 times and has started the Dakar on three occasions.

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Gabriele Tarquini

Gabriele Tarquini

26/01/2015 15:39

Ex-Formula One driver wit

Ex-Formula One driver with 37 grand prix starts to his name, Tarquini has been a touring car titan for more than two decades. Despite turning 54 on the eve of the 2016 season, he’s still going strong to the extent LADA chose him to lead its factory team following his release by Honda at the end of 2015. Tarquini’s touring car highs include winning the British title for Alfa Romeo in 1994, taking the European crown for the make in 2003 and adding the world championship driving for SEAT in 2009. Technical prowess and no-nonsense driving style are key attributes.

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Tiago Monteiro

Tiago Monteiro

26/01/2015 15:34

Monteiro enjoyed a fruitf

Monteiro enjoyed a fruitful single-seater career before switching to touring cars. He was twice runner-up in the French F3 Championship before achieving the same result in the 2004 World Series by Nissan, having sampled life in Champ Cars the year before. Two seasons of Formula One followed, with the best result a standout third for Jordan in the 2005 US GP at Indianapolis. Since 2007 Monteiro has been a frontrunner in the WTCC, achieving four wins for SEAT and three so far as part of the works Honda team.

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Norbert Michelisz

Norbert Michelisz

26/01/2015 15:29

It’s been some transition

It’s been some transition for Michelisz since his online gaming exploits earned him a test at the Hungaroring, which confirmed there was more to the man than a career in economics. Under Zengő Motorsport’s guidance, he initially raced Suzukis and SEATs and won the SEAT León Eurocup in 2009. His WTCC debut followed in 2010, also in a León, and he scored a landmark win in the Macau finale and lifted the Rookie Challenge. His long-term association with Honda began as a privateer in 2013 but he’ll be a fully-fledged factory driver in 2016 having twice won the independent title.

 

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Mehdi Bennani

Mehdi Bennani

23/01/2015 18:11

Bennani sampled European

Bennani sampled European karting and the World Series by Renault before winning back-to-back Moroccan circuit titles between 2008-09. After making his WTCC debut in ’09, he established himself as an ever-present and his persistence paid off when he became the first Arabic driver to win an FIA world championship race in Shanghai in 2014. He swapped Honda Civic for Citroën C-Elysée power to drive for newcomer Sébastien Loeb Racing for the 2015 season. Despite encountering a few set-up issues along the way, Bennani just missed out on the Yokohama Drivers’ Trophy in a final-round showdown in Qatar against Norbert Michelisz.

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James Thompson

James Thompson

23/01/2015 18:01

‘Thommo’ raced for 10 con

‘Thommo’ raced for 10 consecutive seasons in the British Touring Car Championship, winning the Privateers’ Trophy in his first year in 1994. He steadily amassed race wins before claiming the title in 2002 at the wheel of a Vauxhall Astra. The Briton secured a second crown in 2004, before making his WTCC switch and scoring a win with Alfa Romeo in 2005. Thompson, a double winner of the European Touring Car Cup between 2009 and 2010, starts a fourth season with the works LADA team in 2015.

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Yvan Muller

Yvan Muller

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23/01/2015 17:53

With four titles and more

With four titles and more than 40 race wins to his name, Muller is one of the WTCC’s most experienced and successful drivers. Following his elder sister Cathy into the sport, Muller started in single-seaters and won the 1992 British F2 crown before making his move to touring cars. He was British championship runner-up four times before taking the title in 2003. He made his WTCC debut in 2006 and success quickly followed, making him an ideal choice for Citroën when it entered the WTCC in 2014. He has also starred on ice, winning a record 10 Trophée Andros titles.

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Rob Huff

Rob Huff

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22/01/2015 17:32

Not convinced that a thir

Not convinced that a third season with LADA’s emerging team would net the second world title he craved, Huff got on the phone and convinced Honda he’d be ideal for its vacant Civic. With a background in karting and Britain’s junior formula, Huff earned a factory British Touring Car Championship ride for 2004 and won twice. He moved to the WTCC the following year and scored his first win in 2006. After winning the title in 2012, he joined LADA for 2014 and gave the firm its breakthrough podium and win before signing off with a podium brace in 2015.