Round 6 - PauWeatherPre-Qualifying Qualifying:
DryFriday Morning ReportHeat 1 Pre-Qualifying QualifyingHeat 2 Pre-Qualifying QualifyingFriday Afternoon ReportHeat 1 Pre-QualifyingHeat 2 Pre-QualifyingSaturday Morning ReportQualifying ResultsSaturday Afternoon ReportFeature Race ResultsSunday Report:Sprint Race ResultsChampionship StandingsBudgets (not updated yet)
Autosport, 1992 wrote:David Leslie slams Audi drivers for poor driving standards
David Leslie came out of Pau an angry man. The Union Saver Developments driver, fresh of taking his first win of the season in this years World Touring Car Championship, was hopeful of carrying the form into the sprint race. His hopes of repeating his feat from saturday afternoon on sunday were ended on lap 15, when his Toyota Carina met with the wall at Buisson while trying an overtake on the Audi of Andrea Geisler.
"I saw Andrea loose control of the car coming through the chicane [Foch] and there was a gap for my car. I put it there and she turned in on me at the last possible moment. I took evasive action, hit the kerb, broke the suspension and hit the wall. That was it.", said David Leslie a few hours after the race. Geisler's version, on the other hand, is quite different. "David was way behind when we came to the corner. He did almost get beside coming out of the chicane when I lost the rear, but into the braking area, he was behind. There was no way he would make the corner without crashing."
Leslie also did not save words in critizising the behaviour of the Audi drivers on track during the season. "It's not the first time they've done it. Their car is so big they can do whatever they want with it and the stewards will let them get scot free. I like to trade paint myself but this is getting ridicolous.", mentioned the multiple time race winner in WTCM.
With 11 races run thus far and 11 different winners, the 1992 World Touring Car Masters is being one of the most competitive touring car seasons of all time. The series continues next week, as the championship moves to the Masaryk Circuit, in Brno, for the Czechoslovakia round of the championship, with Johnny Cecotto and BMW as championship leaders.
Autosport, 1992 wrote:Renault to join World Touring Car Masters in 1993
It was one of the biggest announcements of the weekend in the visit for the World Touring Car Masters to the king of street circuits in the city of Pau. Renault, the french manufacturer, has announced they are joining the championship for the 1993 season with a Super Touring version of their small family car, the Renault 19.
Renault is the first new manufacturer to commit themselves for the next season of the World Touring Car Masters. They haven't announced the team to be responsible for building the racecar, but the rumour points to either a new partnership with Voeckler or a team-up with 1991 WTCM Drivers Champion, Tauber Motorsport, who are rumoured to be wanting Bachot to return to the team for 1991.
"We are still looking for partners in 1992. Of course we have discussed things with Voeckler, we can not hide that. They have been our partners for so long, but our relationship with them hasn't been the best since Jérémy was fired by Frank Williams. The rest, for now, we can't comment, but are we excited to join such a competitive championship", claimed Renault's CEO Louis Schweitzer on the rumours.
If the team-up is indeed with Voeckler, former F1 champion Jérémy-Étienne Voeckler is the biggest candidate for one of the seats, even if the relationship with the manufacturer has turned sorrow after last year's firing of the frenchman by Frank Williams. Despite not offering commentary on the rumour, it seems JEV might be the #1 candidate for one of the possible Renault seats.
If the relationship with Tauber comes alive, the return of Silvio Bachot seems highly likely, possibly to join current driver and former F1 champion Guillaume Gauthier. "We wanna a champion driving the car. Of course, Silvio is an excellent driver, but he isn't the only one available. We are looking into other options and we would love to have someone with pedigree drive one of ours cars", commented Louis Schweitzer.
Autosport, 1992 wrote:Peugeot to leave World Touring Car Masters?
Peugeot came to Pau with high hopes of improving their fortunes. Home race, lots of fans of the manufacturer, and two hungry drivers wanting to impress around the streets of the town. The qualifying session for pre-qualifying didn't go too horribly for the french manufacturer, as both Yannick Dalmas and Philippe Alliot qualifying 14th and 13th, respectively, just one tenth shy of the two Nissan's.
A few hours later, the day would go from rather average to absolute disaster, as rain hit the circuit and none of the Peugeot's qualified for the feature and sprint race. While Alliot retired from 11th place with a few laps to spare, Yannick Dalmas's struggle with balance of the car in the wet and came home in 14th place, last of the classified finishers. To rub salt into the wound, the french manufacturer saw the two Lada's, powered by 1991 spec Peugeot engines, make it to the show. It was embarassing and they knew it - as soon as we saw Peugeot unpack their stuff, they were gone before sundown from Pau.
The lack of performance of the Peugeot team has been a question mark since they joined the WTCM championship last year, as their first evolution of the 405 struggled in the first half of the year. A lot of development, mostly done by legendary driver-engineer Jean-Pierre Jabouille, saw the team's fortunes improve in the later third of the season, as Alliot scored points in three races, with a best result of an 8th place. Testing restrictions for the 1992 WTCM season, however, seem to be hitting Peugeot pretty hard compared to its rivals.
"Last year, we took the car every weekend and did about 1000 laps between races to find out how to improve the car. We made small changes, changed every cranny, and finally we started to see improvements. This year, they told us we couldn't do that, and now we are in a situation where we can't find out what other teams are doing we aren't.", claimed Jabouille, the man responsible for much of the car development cycle.
"The car has potential. It's clear other teams have done a better job than us in the off-season, but we are working as hard as ever to improve our fortunes. This car, in the right hands, can win races. We are sure of it!", he added.
But it seems fortunes are hard to come by for Peugeot and the team behind the entry. Rumours are the manufacturer has stopped inject money for the WTCM project and will abandon the series at the end of the year. While the rumours were quietly shut down by its drivers, the question remains: how long does a manufacturer throw money at something with no return? According to the team's principal, Jean Todt, probably not very long. "It is not our decision to continue. We are doing the best we can with what was given. We have two very good drivers and some fantastic engineers. We just need some luck to turn around the tide."