WTCC Race of Qatar - 24-25/11/2016
Opened in 2004, the Losail International Circuit can operate 24 hours a day thanks to a state-of-the-art floodlighting system, which meant the WTCC’s first visit to the Middle East took place under the cover of darkness for a memorable season finale. Like Thailand before it, Qatar also had the honour of hosting a WTCC event for the first time. Losail has staged MotoGP races from the outset with Sete Gibernau winning the inaugural race for Honda. The track, a 30-minute drive from the capital Doha, also hosted the 2006 Grand Prix Masters of Qatar, which was won by Nigel Mansell.
1: Located north of the capital Doha, the Losail circuit was built by 1000 workers at a cost of $US58 million.
2: The track’s electrical system generates 5.4 million watts of power, enough illumination to light a residential street from Doha to Moscow.
3: In 2009 the track hosted a round of the GP2 Asia Series, with Davide Rigon setting the lap record in a time of 1m38.699s.
4: Bordered by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the west and the Persian Gulf to the east, the State of Qatar’s most famous motorsport personality is arguably double Dakar winner and WRC2 champion Nasser Al-Attiyah, who guest-drove a Chevrolet Cruze in WTCC Race of Qatar, finishing on each occasion.
5: Arabic is the national language of Qatar but, due to a large expatriate population, English, French, Malayalam, Tagalog and Urdu are also widely spoken.
FLASHBACK 2015 (26-27 NOVEMBER)
Yvan Muller beat Citroën team-mate Sébastien Loeb to the coveted runner-up spot in the FIA World Touring Car Championship by a single point as the all-action 2015 season concluded with a floodlit spectacular at the Losail International Circuit, venue of the WTCC’s maiden night race and the first in the Middle East. And there were celebrations too for Norbert Michelisz at the finish of WTCC DHL Race of Qatar with the Hungarian Honda driver capturing his second Yokohama Drivers’ Trophy by four points ahead of Mehdi Bennani, who finished second overall in race one. José María López equalled his own record of 10 wins in one season by triumphing in the opening counter before Muller claimed race two honours after John Filippi had led away from the reverse-grid pole. Hugo Valente joined López and Bennani on the race one podium, while Ma Qing Hua and Michelisz completed the podium for race two. Elsewhere, ROAL Motorsport, the team co-owned by touring car legend Roberto Ravaglia, secured the Yokohama Teams’ Trophy thanks to drivers Toms Chilton and Coronel. Local hero Nasser Al-Attiyah finished both races on his WTCC debut.Official Website
Name: Losail International Circuit
Location: Al Wusail, North Relief Road
Website: www.circuitlosail.com, www.qmmf.com
Length: 5.380 kilometres
Lap record (qualifying): José María López (Citroën C-Elysée), 2m00.947s (160.1kph), 27/11/15
Lap record (race): José María López (Citroën C-Elysée), 2m01.628s (159.2kph), 27/11/15
WTCC RACE OF QATAR WINNERS
2015: Race 1: José María López (Citroën C-Elysée); Race 2: Yvan Muller (Citroën C-Elysée)
WTCC RACE OF QATAR VENUES
2015-Present: Losail International Circuit