The European Super Touring Cup will join the FIA GT Championship at Budapest's Hungaroring, home of the Hungarian F1 Grand Prix. For the first time, then, the two major European series for covered-wheel cars, will combine their forces for offering the excitement of a "Super Racing Weekend" to motorsport fans.
The FIA GT Championship will perform on Sunday morning, with a 32-car grid to take part in the 3-Hour race, which is counting as the fifth round of the continental series.
In the afternoon, Euro STC will take over, to race rounds 9th and 10th of its maiden season.
This marriage between GTs and Super Tourers it's an interesting and yet unseen experiment, that could hopefully turns into a shape of things to come, as St-Ephane Ratel Organisation and International Sport Communication (organisers of the FIA GT and Euro STC respectively) are talking to share Eurosport supported race-meetings in 2001.
At Budapest, Honda and JAS "Flying Dutchman" Peter Kox, will defend the series' leadership he claimed three weeks ago by winning Euro STC 8th round at Monza. He's now topping the drivers classification, by a mere one-point margin to Alfa Romeo and Nordauto Fabrizio Giovanardi, who suffered a haunted weekend on Alfa's home track.
But the two best placed title contenders, will face serious opposition at the Hungaroring.
The twisty F1 track is believed to fit better to BMW's rear-wheel-drive than Honda's and Alfa's front-wheel-drive. If it will be very hot, as it often happens in this period of the year, the Accord and the 156s might suffer handling and tyres problems.
Thus, CiBiEmme drivers Emanuele Naspetti and Gianni Morbidelli, are very confident and are looking forward to score BMW's first win in the series.
Another driver with great ambitions is Roberto Colciago, who has won round 7 at Monza in his AGS Audi A4 Quattro. After he faced a very bad luck in the first part of the season, the driver from Saronno is willing to relaunch his hopes to become champion.
Euro STC will exhibit a 16-car field at Budapest.=20
Gianluca Roda and Guido Lucchetti Cigarini will be forced to miss the meeting, owing to previous business engagements. That is particularly annoying Lucchetti, who finished an outstanding third in race-one at Monza. They both will hit the track again at Imola.
To make up for their absences, Studenic and new-comer Stanco will join the series.
Slovak driver Andrej Studenic and his Audi A4 Quattro, will be back after they missed Monza because of a clash with a round of their national championship, that they are actually leading.
Polish Maciej Stanco, will make his Euro STC debut at the wheel of an Alda Motorsport Alfa Romeo 155; it's the very same car team owner and regular Euro STC competitor Andrzej Dziurka drove successfully in the past seasons, clinching two consecutive Polish Super Touring championships in 1998 and 1999.
<pre> EURO STC, ROUNDS 9 and 10 - FACTS & FIGURES Date: July 1/2, 2000; Venue: Hungaroring, 2146 Mogyord PF10, 1136 Budapest, Hungary; Website: www.hungaroring.hu Track: 3,972 m; Super Touring qualifying record: 1:46.100, Josef Kopeck=FD (Ford Mondeo Ghia), May 3, 1997; Super Touring lap record: 1:47.890, Josef Venc (Audi A4 Quattro), May 4, 1997;
Saturday 08.30-08.45 Euro STC warm-up 09.00-09.45 FIA GT 1st qualifying 10.45-11.30 Euro STC practice 14.00-14.20 Euro STC qualifying 14.30-15.15 FIA GT 2nd qualifying
Sunday 08.30-08.45 Euro STC warm-up 09.00-09.20 FIA GT warm-up 12.00 start of FIA GT race (126 laps) 15.30 start of Euro STC race-one (13 laps) 10-minute pause start of Euro STC race-two (13 laps)
Supporting races: French FFSA GT and Formule France championships, Czech Skoda Octavia Cup
TV coverage: highlights Tuesday afternoon on Eurosport, 18.00 Central European Time
BUDAPEST ENTRY LIST
team driver car 1 Nordauto Engineering Fabrizio Giovanardi (I) Alfa Romeo 156 Twin Spark 2 Nordauto Engineering Nicola Larini (I) Alfa Romeo 156 Twin Spark 3 CiBiEmme Engineering Emanuele Naspetti (I) BMW 320i E36 4 CiBiEmme Engineering Gianni Morbidelli (I) BMW 320i E36 5 AGS Motorsport Roberto Colciago (I) Audi A4 Quattro 6 AGS Motorsport Stefano Bonello (I) Audi A4 Quattro 7 Nordauto Engineering Romana Bernardoni (I) Alfa Romeo 156 Twin Spark 8 Nordauto Engineering Gianluca De Lorenzi (I) Alfa Romeo 156 Twin Spark 9 Christy's Team Massimo Pigoli (I) BMW 320i E36 10 Christy's Team Stefano Gabellini (I) BMW 320i E36 11 JAS Engineering Peter Kox (NL) Honda Accord 12 Team Isert Sandro Sardelli (I) BMW 320i E36 14 Soli Racing Team Moreno Soli (I) Alfa Romeo 156 Twin Spark 16 National Team Slovakia Andrej Studenic (SK) Audi A4 Quattro 18 Alda Motorsport Andrzej Dzjurka (PL) Audi A4 Quattro 21 Alda Motorsport Maciej Stanco (PL) Alfa Romeo 155 Ts
EURO STC PROVISIONAL POINTS - AFTER 8 ROUNDS OUT OF 20
Drivers Teams 1. Peter Kox 110 pts 1. Alfa Romeo Nordauto 192 pts 2. Fabrizio Giovanardi 109 2. BMW Team CiBiEmme 137 3. Nicola Larini 70 3. JAS Engineering 110 4. Emanuele Naspetti 70 4. AGS Motorsport 50 5. Gianni Morbidelli 67 5. Christy's Team 47
WEIGHT HANDICAPS AT BUDAPEST 40 kg Kox 30 kg Naspetti 20 kg Colciago 10 kg Morbidelli