Great excitement at Honda home fixture

WTCC debut at the Twin Ring Motegi in Japan. The new venue brought plenty of excitement and innovations - both for the drivers and teams on the track, as well as for the logistics technicians behind the scenes. 

In the hunt for the DHL pole position, Gabriele Tarquini showed that he could be expected to produce a fine performance in his team's home race, but the Italian was down a tenth at the crucial moment, enabling Norbert Michelisz to secure the first pole of the season for Honda in a battle with four Citroën drivers. And what's more, he did it at a home fixture for the Japanese. 

However, reigning champion Jose-Maria Lopez won the first race, which really got Michelisz and Tarquini fired up. There was plenty of action too at the start of the second race when Monteiro shot into the lead from third on the grid and emerged victorious from a thrilling battle between Citroën drivers. 

P8 for Coronel in Race 2

The inaugural fixture at the circuit in Japan brought Tom Coronel little luck this year in his yellow-red racing car. Nevertheless, this is still the country where he has achieved most of his WTCC victories. After a good start from grid position 15, things did not look too bad initially, but then brake problems prevented further progress. "I soon felt that there were problems with the brakes," said Coronel. "They got way too hot. Once, the pedal even went all the way down to the floor, and the car didn't slow up at all."

The second round got off to a weak start, which is why Coronel's hopes of a good result were soon dashed. "Once again, the brakes degraded really quickly." However, since he knew about his problem, he cooled his brakes better and benefited from the competition's problems. "Eventually, I was classified seventh, and that's a good result, given the situation," the 43-year-old told us.

From Antwerp to Motegi by sea

The journey of the World Touring Car Championship to the ninth race weekend in Japan was an impressive one. The majority of the equipment for the ninth round of the WTCC set off by sea from Antwerp in Belgium at the end of July. A freighter was used to transport a cargo of around 210 tons which included most of the equipment and the racing cars from Europe to the Land of the Rising Sun 20,500 kilometers away. Ten tons of air freight were also delivered nine days before the racing event in Motegi.
A huge effort in terms of logistics planning which started behind the scenes a year in advance. Tightly organized logistics ensure that the racing cars can line up in twelve different countries on four continents according to the race calendar and that the teams' extensive equipment as well as the infrastructure arrive on time. 
As Official Logistics Partner of WTCC, DHL has the task of transporting the cars, spare parts, track signage, TV gear, timekeeping and scrutineering equipment, as well as about 4,000 liters of fuel and 620 tires per event from race to race. In doing that, a distance of some 90,000 kilometers across four continents is covered by ship, truck and plane. Time management is crucial for the Official Logistics Partner in all of this, because customs clearance, trucking from port to race event and the assembly and dismantling of all materials must always be carried out according to a precise schedule. 

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