José María López has gone all Arnold Schwarzenegger by admitting he wants to be back in the FIA World Touring Car Championship one day.
The three-time world champion will sign off from his dominant stint as a factory Citroën driver when the 2016 season concludes in Qatar later this month to focus on trying to win the FIA Formula E Championship with DS Virgin Racing, his next motorsport challenge. Schwarzenegger used the iconic “I’ll be back” catchphrase in the hit movie, The Terminator.
And while López wasn’t quite so insistent when quizzed on the subject, he nevertheless harbours ambitions to return to the WTCC in the future. “It’s not a goodbye but a ‘see you later’,” said the ace Argentine. “I am still young and I can be back if I have still the doorsopen, which I think I will have. I think one day if I have the opportunity I will be back.” López’s final World Touring Car Championship race – for now at least – is WTCC DHL Race of Qatar at the Losail International Circuit from 24-25 November.
Hayden wishes Honda drivers good luck
Nicky Hayden used Qatar’s round of the World Superbike Championship last month to wish Honda’s factory WTCC drivers good luck when they head to the Losail International Circuit for WTCC DHL Race of Qatar. Hayden, who rides for Honda in WSBK, said: “I just want to wish my Honda team-mates good luck when they come here. I’ll be watching.”
Polestar to announce second driver soon
The identity of Polestar Cyan Racing’s number two driver for WTCC DHL Race of Qatar should become known towards the end of next week. The Swedish make has alternated the driver of its second Volvo S60 Polestar TC1 this season with Robert Dahlgren, Fredrik Ekblom and Néstor Girolami all getting the chance to partner established team leader Thed Björk. Polestar will choose from this trio with an announcement expected soon.
Milestones up for grabs at season finale
Two wins for Yvan Muller at WTCC DHL Race of Qatar will bring the Frenchman’s total in the FIA World Touring Car Championship to 50 as he prepares to call time on his distinguished WTCCcareer. Muller, who will retire from the WTCC as a four-time champion, is currently on 48 victories and claimed a win at the Losail International Circuit last season. Meanwhile, Muller’s Citroën team needs just won more win to move onto 50 triumphs. And by lining up on the grid for the Opening Race in Qatar, Muller will make it 250 WTCC starts.
Thompson to complete WTCC season in Qatar
James Thompson will see out the 2016 FIA World Touring Car Championship season when he contests the WTCC Race of Qatar finale in an ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Chevrolet. Thompson has performed a super-sub role this year, deputising for Münnich team owner and racer René Münnich for the lion’s share of the campaign. And the arrangement will be extended to include the Middle East night race at the Losail International Circuit. ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Team Manager Dominik Greiner explained: “James has done a very good job all season and with René not including WTCC Race of Qatar on his competitive schedule, it made perfect sense for James to continue for the final rounds.” Briton Thompson will head to Qatar in a battle with John Filippi and Grégoire Demoustier for fourth spot in the final WTCC Trophy points.
DHL confirmed as WTCC Race of Qatar Event Presenting Partner
DHL, the leading global brand in the logistics industry, is confirmed as the Event Presenting Partner of the season-closing night racing spectacular in Qatar. Taking place at the Losail International Circuit, WTCC DHL Race of Qatar will bring the curtain down on an all-action eight months of world championship touring car racing, which has featured turbocharged thrills and spills in Africa, Asia, Europe and South America. DHL manages all air and sea freight and ground transportation of cars and equipment for the WTCC races outside Europe, a pivotal function it has performed since 2010.
Uniquely, WTCC DHL Race of Qatar takes place on a Friday to coincide with the Arabic weekend when television audiences in Europe, Central and South America will be at their peak. It’s the championship’s second ever night race and follows on from the hugely successful inaugural edition in 2015.
Thursday 24 November
16h00-16h30: Free Practice 1
21h00-21h30: Free Practice 2
Friday 25 November:
14h30-14h50: Qualifying Q1
14h55-15h05: Qualifying Q2
From 15h10: Qualifying Q3
16h00-16h30: WTCC MAC3
21h20-21h50: Opening Race (12 laps)
22h35-23h05: Main Race (13 laps)
All the spectators have FREE entrance to the main Grandstand. VIP ticket (Thursday & Friday) is QR1200 and can be purchased throughout the circuit website www.lcsc.qa
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