2012 FIA WTCC Race of Japan

The 2012 FIA WTCC Race of Japan was the tenth round of the 2012 World Touring Car Championship season and the fifth running of the FIA WTCC Race of Japan. It was held on 21 October 2012 at the Suzuka Circuit in Suzuka City, Japan. The first race was won by Alain Menu for Chevrolet and the second race was won by Stefano D'Aste for Wiechers-Sport.

Japan 2012 Race of Japan
Race details
Suzuka circuit map--2005.svg
Round 10 of 12 in the 2012 World Touring Car Championship at Suzuka Circuit (East Circuit) in Suzuka City, Japan.
Date21 October, 2012
LocationSuzuka City, Japan
CourseSuzuka Circuit (East Circuit)
2.243 kilometres (1.394 mi)
Race One
Laps 26
Pole position
Driver Switzerland Alain Menu Chevrolet
Time 52.885
Podium
First Switzerland Alain Menu Chevrolet
Second France Yvan Muller Chevrolet
Third United Kingdom Robert Huff Chevrolet
Fastest Lap
Driver Switzerland Alain Menu Chevrolet
Time 53.885
Race Two
Laps 26
Podium
First Italy Stefano D'Aste Wiechers-Sport
Second Spain Pepe Oriola Tuenti Racing
Third Italy Gabriele Tarquini Lukoil Racing Team
Fastest Lap
Driver Spain Pepe Oriola Tuenti Racing
Time 54.239

BackgroundEdit

After the previous round in the United States at Sonoma Raceway, the championship was being led jointly by Yvan Muller and Robert Huff on 315 points. Norbert Michelisz was leading the Yokohama Independents' Trophy. Chevrolet had the opportunity to secure the manufacturers championship.

There were a number of driver changes prior to the event, Darryl O'Young left Special Tuning Racing and later returned to bamboo-engineering.[1] His replacement at STR was German racing driver and former FIA GT1 World Championship team owner René Münnich.[2] Masaki Kano joined Liqui Moly Team Engstler for his home event, driving a naturally aspirated BMW 320si.[3] Fellow Japanese racer Hiroki Yoshimoto joined Tuenti Racing Team for the event, driving the SUNRED SR León 1.6T raced up until the last event by Tiago Monteiro.[4]

Monteiro switched to Honda Racing Team JAS for the final three rounds of the championship to debut the works Honda Civic S2000 TC in order to develop the car in preparation for a full programme in 2013.[5]

ReportEdit

Free PracticeEdit

Muller set the pace in the Friday test session which was interrupted by a trio of red flags, leading a Chevrolet 1–2–3 with Pepe Oriola the leading SEAT in fourth.[6]

Chevrolet continued to set the pace on Saturday in FP1, this time courtesy of Alain Menu at the head of another Chevrolet 1–2–3. Monteiro set the fourth fastest time in his new Honda Civic and Oriola was the quickest independent driver. Local driver Yoshimoto was seventh.[7]

Menu topped the times once again in FP2, although surprisingly the Chevrolet 1–2–3 from earlier on was not repeated as Fernando Monje set the third fastest time in his Tuenti Racing Team SEAT León.[8]

QualifyingEdit

After setting the pace throughout free practice, Menu went on to take pole position ahead of Muller and Huff while Chevrolet wrapped up the manufacturers title. Much of the attention was on the Honda of Monteiro, who at one point looked likely to drop out in Q1 until a last minute quick lap got him through to the second session. He finished Q2 eleventh behind Stefano D'Aste who would take his third reversed grid pole position of the year in race two. Independents' Trophy leader Michelisz could only manage fourteenth, five places behind trophy rival Oriola.[9] The Team Aon duo of James Nash and Tom Chilton qualified in 19th and 21st respectively but would both start the first race at the back of the grid due to them both requiring a new engine for the event.[10]

Warm-UpEdit

Race two pole sitter D'Aste was the quickest driver in Sunday mornings warm up session, Michelisz was a close second. An engine change for Masaki Kano overnight would send him to the back of the race one grid.[11]

Race OneEdit

Menu led from start to finish leading a comfortable Chevrolet 1–2–3 in the opening Suzuka race. The lack of action near the front was representative of much of field, although Gabriele Tarquini jumped up from sixth to fourth at the start to lead home independent race winner Alex MacDowall. Having overtaken James Nash, Alberto Cerqui then quickly ended his race in the gravel at turn one. Mehdi Bennani collided with Aleksei Dudukalo while attempting a pass, Dudukalo held the car and continued while Bennani was forced to pit. Monteiro finished tenth to score a point in the debut race for the Honda Civic.[12] After the race, Dudukalo received a 30-second penalty for colliding with Bennani and he dropped to 18th in the classification, while Nash and Cerqui both received 30-second penalties for start infringements dropping Nash to 19th.[13]

Race TwoEdit

D'Aste started on pole position for the reverse grid race, he established a comfortable lead over second placed Oriola to take his second win of the season. Tarquini had jumped up to third place to complete the podium. Behind them, the Chevrolet trio found passing difficult and the Proteam Racing BMW of Bennani held them back for much of the race. Huff and Menu passed on the penultimate lap, while Muller passed Bennani on the final lap.[14] Independent trophy contender Michelisz spun out of the race on the first lap, allowing trophy rival Oriola to close the points gap to 12. The overall championship was once again a tie between Huff and Muller.

ResultsEdit

QualifyingEdit

Pos. No. Name Team Car C Q1 Q2 Points
1 8   Alain Menu Chevrolet Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T 52.984 52.885 5
2 1   Yvan Muller Chevrolet Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T 52.940 52.950 4
3 2   Robert Huff Chevrolet Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T 53.077 53.054 3
4 11   Alex MacDowall bamboo-engineering Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T Y 53.357 53.206 2
5 25   Mehdi Bennani Proteam Racing BMW 320 TC Y 53.652 53.224 1
6 3   Gabriele Tarquini Lukoil Racing SEAT León WTCC 53.488 53.259
7 15   Tom Coronel ROAL Motorsport BMW 320 TC 53.420 53.400
8 4   Aleksei Dudukalo Lukoil Racing SEAT León WTCC Y 53.431 53.513
9 74   Pepe Oriola Tuenti Racing SEAT León WTCC Y 53.740 53.516
10 26   Stefano D'Aste Wiechers-Sport BMW 320 TC Y 53.696 53.729
11 18   Tiago Monteiro Honda Racing Team JAS Honda Civic S2000 TC 53.443 53.886
12 20   Darryl O'Young bamboo-engineering Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T Y 53.608 54.491
13 6   Franz Engstler Liqui Moly Team Engstler BMW 320 TC Y 53.742
14 5   Norbert Michelisz Zengő Motorsport BMW 320 TC Y 53.746
15 22   Tom Boardman Special Tuning Racing SEAT León WTCC Y 53.847
16 88   Fernando Monje Tuenti Racing SEAT León WTCC Y 53.978
17 80   Hiroki Yoshimoto Tuenti Racing SR León 1.6T Y 54.002
18 7   Charles Ng Liqui Moly Team Engstler BMW 320 TC Y 54.030
19 14   James Nash Team Aon Ford Focus S2000 TC 54.082
20 16   Alberto Cerqui ROAL Motorsport BMW 320 TC Y 54.100
21 23   Tom Chilton Team Aon Ford Focus S2000 TC 54.330
22 38   René Münnich Special Tuning Racing SEAT León WTCC Y 54.690
23 75   Masaki Kano Liqui Moly Team Engstler BMW 320si Y 55.013
  • Bold denotes Pole position for second race.

Race 1Edit

Pos. No. Name Team Car C Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 8   Alain Menu Chevrolet Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T 26 23:44.880 1 25
2 1   Yvan Muller Chevrolet Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T 26 +0.812 2 18
3 2   Robert Huff Chevrolet Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T 26 +1.419 3 15
4 3   Gabriele Tarquini Lukoil Racing SEAT León WTCC 26 +13.828 6 12
5 11   Alex MacDowall bamboo-engineering Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T Y 26 +14.273 4 10
6 15   Tom Coronel ROAL Motorsport BMW 320 TC 26 +19.870 7 8
7 74   Pepe Oriola Tuenti Racing SEAT León WTCC Y 26 +20.415 9 6
8 26   Stefano D'Aste Wiechers-Sport BMW 320 TC Y 26 +20.677 10 4
9 18   Tiago Monteiro Honda Racing Team JAS Honda Civic S2000 TC 26 +21.284 11 2
10 6   Franz Engstler Liqui Moly Team Engstler BMW 320 TC Y 26 +21.490 13 1
11 20   Darryl O'Young bamboo-engineering Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T Y 26 +23.724 12
12 22   Tom Boardman Special Tuning Racing SEAT León WTCC Y 26 +32.605 15
13 5   Norbert Michelisz Zengő Motorsport BMW 320 TC Y 26 +32.767 14
14 88   Fernando Monje Tuenti Racing SEAT León WTCC Y 26 +34.151 16
15 23   Tom Chilton Team Aon Ford Focus S2000 TC 26 +34.615 22
16 80   Hiroki Yoshimoto Tuenti Racing SR León 1.6T Y 26 +40.965 17
17 38   René Münnich Special Tuning Racing SEAT León WTCC Y 26 +48.733 20
18 4   Aleksei Dudukalo Lukoil Racing SEAT León WTCC Y 26 +49.644 8
19 14   James Nash Team Aon Ford Focus S2000 TC 26 +1:03.894 21
20 75   Masaki Kano Liqui Moly Team Engstler BMW 320si Y 25 +1 Lap 23
21 25   Mehdi Bennani Proteam Racing BMW 320 TC Y 25 +1 Lap 5
22 7   Charles Ng Liqui Moly Team Engstler BMW 320 TC Y 23 +3 Laps 18
Ret 16   Alberto Cerqui ROAL Motorsport BMW 320 TC Y 14 Race incident 19
  • Bold denotes Fastest lap.

Race 2Edit

Pos. No. Name Team Car C Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 26   Stefano D'Aste Wiechers-Sport BMW 320 TC Y 26 23:54.717 1 25
2 74   Pepe Oriola Tuenti Racing SEAT León WTCC Y 26 +2.562 2 18
3 3   Gabriele Tarquini Lukoil Racing SEAT León WTCC 26 +2.845 5 15
4 2   Robert Huff Chevrolet Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T 26 +3.774 8 12
5 8   Alain Menu Chevrolet Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T 26 +4.220 10 10
6 1   Yvan Muller Chevrolet Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T 26 +4.568 9 8
7 25   Mehdi Bennani Proteam Racing BMW 320 TC Y 26 +4.879 6 6
8 4   Aleksei Dudukalo Lukoil Racing SEAT León WTCC Y 26 +7.174 3 4
9 11   Alex MacDowall bamboo-engineering Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T Y 26 +7.707 7 2
10 18   Tiago Monteiro Honda Racing Team JAS Honda Civic S2000 TC 26 +10.583 11 1
11 6   Franz Engstler Liqui Moly Team Engstler BMW 320 TC Y 26 +11.997 13
12 22   Tom Boardman Special Tuning Racing SEAT León WTCC Y 26 +18.156 15
13 20   Darryl O'Young bamboo-engineering Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T Y 26 +18.945 12
14 16   Alberto Cerqui ROAL Motorsport BMW 320 TC Y 26 +19.154 20
15 15   Tom Coronel ROAL Motorsport BMW 320 TC 26 +19.492 4
16 14   James Nash Team Aon Ford Focus S2000 TC 26 +25.856 19
17 7   Charles Ng Liqui Moly Team Engstler BMW 320 TC Y 26 +25.857 18
18 23   Tom Chilton Team Aon Ford Focus S2000 TC 26 +26.142 21
19 80   Hiroki Yoshimoto Tuenti Racing SR León 1.6T Y 26 +34.762 17
20 38   René Münnich Special Tuning Racing SEAT León WTCC Y 26 +35.074 22
21 75   Masaki Kano Liqui Moly Team Engstler BMW 320si Y 26 +40.576 23
Ret 88   Fernando Monje Tuenti Racing SEAT León WTCC Y 18 Mechanical 16
Ret 5   Norbert Michelisz Zengő Motorsport BMW 320 TC Y 0 Race incident 14
  • Bold denotes Fastest lap.

Standings after the raceEdit

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

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Meissner, Johan (10 October 2012). "Darryl O'Young returns to Bamboo Engineering". TouringCarTimes. Mediaempire Stockholm AB. Archived from the original on 16 December 2012. Retrieved 20 October 2012.
  2. ^ Mills, Peter (11 October 2012). "Special Tuning signs Rene Munnich for WTCC race at Suzuka". Autosport. Haymarket Publications. Retrieved 20 October 2012.
  3. ^ Ferret, Olivier (29 August 2012). "Team Engstler to run 3rd car in Asia". NextGen-Auto.com. NextGen-Auto. Retrieved 20 October 2012.
  4. ^ Meissner, Johan (10 October 2012). "Hiroki Yoshimoto joins SUNRED at Suzuka". TouringCarTimes. Mediaempire Stockholm AB. Archived from the original on 16 December 2012. Retrieved 20 October 2012.
  5. ^ Elizalde, Pablo (18 July 2012). "Honda confirms Tarquini and Monteiro for its first season in the WTCC". Autosport. Haymarket Publications. Retrieved 20 October 2012.
  6. ^ "Muller quickest in Suzuka testing". Yahoo! Eurosport. TF1 Group. 19 October 2012. Retrieved 20 October 2012.
  7. ^ Hudson, Neil (20 October 2012). "Alain Menu leads Chevrolet 1–2–3 in FP1". TouringCarTimes. Mediaempire Stockholm AB. Archived from the original on 4 February 2013. Retrieved 20 October 2012.
  8. ^ Meissner, Johan (20 October 2012). "Alain Menu remains on top in free practice two". TouringCarTimes. Mediaempire Stockholm AB. Archived from the original on 4 February 2013. Retrieved 20 October 2012.
  9. ^ Mills, Peter (20 October 2012). "Alain Menu claims pole as Chevrolet seals title". Autosport. Haymarket Publications. Retrieved 20 October 2012.
  10. ^ Hudson, Neil (20 October 2012). "Engine changes send Arena to the back for race one". TouringCarTimes. Mediaempire Stockholm AB. Archived from the original on 5 January 2013. Retrieved 20 October 2012.
  11. ^ "BMW top two in Suzuka warm up". TouringCarTimes. Mediaempire Stockholm AB. 21 October 2012. Archived from the original on 4 February 2013. Retrieved 21 October 2012.
  12. ^ Abbott, Andrew (21 October 2012). "Menu cruises to Japan victory". Touring-Cars.net. Andrew Abbott. Retrieved 21 October 2012.
  13. ^ Mills, Peter (21 October 2012). "Suzuka WTCC: Aleksei Dudukalo penalised for race one crash". Autosport. Haymarket Publications. Retrieved 22 October 2012.
  14. ^ "D'Aste wins race two at Suzuka". Yahoo! Eurosport. TF1 Group. 21 October 2012. Retrieved 22 October 2012.

External linksEdit

World Touring Car Championship
Previous race:
2012 FIA WTCC Race of the United States
2012 World Touring Car Championship season Next race:
2012 FIA WTCC Race of China
Previous race:
2011 FIA WTCC Race of Japan
FIA WTCC Race of Japan Next race:
2013 FIA WTCC Race of Japan