BTCC PODIUM BOOSTS JAS' HOPES FOR EURO STC's 2nd MEETING
JAS Motorsport celebrated Easter Monday by clinching a podium position in the BTCC feature race at Donington Park. Thanks to a superb strategy, the Italian team propelled Gabriele Tarquini's Honda Accord to a 2nd place that broke Ford supremacy. The result proved a dramatic boost for JAS' hopes, in view of the European Super Touring Cup's rounds 3 and 4, to be raced on sunday at Pergusa, in Sicily. JAS will defend the series leadership, obtained by Peter Kox with back-to-back wins at Mugello, one month ago. The Dutchman is determined to repeat, even to forget his unlucky BTCC debut at Donington; called to replace the injured James Thompson at the wheel of a WSR Honda Accord, Kox was pushed off the track by Jason Plato in race-one and finished 9th in race-two, despite a stop-and-go penalty for jump start.
But it won't be easy for Kox to repeat, as Alfa Romeo and BMW drivers are anxiously waiting the double race in Pergusa. Fabrizio Giovanardi (the man who has won all the latest six Super Touring races on the Sicilian track) and Nordauto team-mate Nicola Larini, are confident the Alfa 156's powerful engine might be their "ace in the hole" on the long and fast straights of Pergusa. Emanuele Naspetti and Gianni Morbidelli, will rather play the tactics card. If it will be hot as expected, their rear-wheel-drive BMW 320is will prove much more gentle with the tyres than all the front-wheel-drive Honda and Alfas. Other men to look at are Roberto Colciago and Gianluca De Lorenzi. Colciago, who drives an AGS Motorsport Audi A4 Quattro, is ready to hit the track in anger, to make up for his ill-fated weekend at Mugello; normally the four-wheel-drive it's not competitive at Pergusa, but don't count him out. As for De Lorenzi, he wishes to confirm the brilliant performance in the opening round, when he claimed an outstanding 5th in race-two. The Euro STC's 2nd round will be televised by Eurosport on sunday night.
EURO STC, ROUNDS 3 and 4 - FACTS Date: April 29/30, 2000; Venue: Autodromo di Pergusa, 94010 Pergusa (EN), Italy; tel. +39 935 541069, fax 543126; Track: 4,950 m; Super Touring qualifying record: 1:42.152, Fabrizio Giovanardi (Alfa Romeo 156), June 5, 1999; Super Touring lap record: 1:43.254, Fabrizio Giovanardi (Alfa Romeo 155), August 31, 1997;
Timetable: saturday 09.45-10.00 warm-up 11.45-12.30 practice 14.00-14.20 qualifying sunday 10.30-10.45 warm-up 14.00 start of race-one (10 laps) 10 minute pause start of race-two (10 laps)
Supporting races: Alfa Romeo GTV Cup; Formula Junior, Mini Car TV coverage: sunday night on Eurosport, 23.15 Central European Time
PERGUSA ENTRY LIST
team driver car 1 Alfa Romeo Team Nordauto Fabrizio Giovanardi (I) Alfa Romeo 156 Twin Spark 2 Alfa Romeo Team Nordauto Nicola Larini (I) Alfa Romeo 156 Twin Spark 3 BMW Team CiBiEmme Emanuele Naspetti (I) BMW 320i E36 4 BMW Team CiBiEmme 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 15 P.S.G.R. Guido Lucchetti Cigarini (I) Audi A4 Quattro 16 National Team Slovakia Andrej Studenic (SK) Audi A4 Quattro 18 Alda Motorsport Andrzej Dzjurka (PL) Audi A4 Quattro
EURO STC PROVISIONAL POINTS - AFTER 2 ROUNDS
Drivers 1. Peter Kox 40 pts Teams 1. Alfa Romeo Nordauto 52 pts 2. Nicola Larini 30 2. JAS Engineering 40 3. Gianni Morbidelli 22 3. BMW Team CiBiEmme 28 3. Fabrizio Giovanardi 22 4. Christy's Team 11 5. Andrej Studenic 9 5. National Team Slovakia 9