ETCC: Brno preview

LADY AND GENTLEMEN, RE-START YOUR ENGINES! EURO STC IS READY FOR THE FINAL RUSH After the summer break, Romana Bernardoni and her Euro STC colleagues are ready to re-start their engines. On Sunday, the European Super Touring Cup will...

LADY AND GENTLEMEN, RE-START YOUR ENGINES! EURO STC IS READY FOR THE FINAL RUSH

After the summer break, Romana Bernardoni and her Euro STC colleagues are ready to re-start their engines. On Sunday, the European Super Touring Cup will resume at Brno, Czech Republic, to begin a breath-taking rush to the end of the season Indeed, in less then three weeks, the international series for Touring Cars, will run all the remaining events, with Vallelunga taking place just seven days after Brno and Ljubljana picked to host the finale on October 8.

The circuit, named after the first president of Czechoslovakia Tomas Masaryk, is located 10 km northeast of Brno, that is the second lagest city of Czech Republic (400,000 inhabitants) and the capital of Moravia. This venue is one of the best and most selective in Eastern Europe; the actual 5.403-km track has been built in 1987 but, as a matter of fact, in 2000 the Masaryk Circuit is celebrating its 70th anniversay, because motor racing activities there started in the Thirties, with some great fights between Alfa Romeo, Auto Union, Maserati and Mercedes, driven by aces like Caracciola, Varzi, Rosemeyer and Nuvolari.

Brno remained a regular date in European motor racing, even after WWII, being the only track beyond the Iron Curtain to be included in the international calendar. In the Sixties and Seventies, the road course, reduced to 13.9 km, but still windings its way among the houses, was regularly visited by the Motorcycling World Championship and the European Touring Car Championship.

That's why Czech fans are still crazy about tin-tops. Indeed, just after the new track was opened, Brno hosted its last international Touring Car races up today: a round of the only FIA World Championship. For the archives, Klaus Ludwig and Klaus Niedzwiedz won that race at the wheel of the powerful Touring Car ever, the Ford RS500.

13 years after, the Euro STC brings back international Touring Car competitions to Brno. The meeting promises to be thrilling and will surely attract a lot of spectators.

On Sunday. the FIA GT World Championship will light up the fire, with its 500-km race. Then, in the late afternoon, the Euro STC double-header will offer a great show.

Alfa Romeo's Fabrizio Giovanardi, Honda's Peter Kox and BMW's Gianni Morbidelli will be leading singers, as they are closely fighting for the championship crown. Nicola Larini and Emanuele Naspetti, Giovanardi's and Morbidelli's teammates respectively, will be in the pace, as well as AGS Motorsport's Roberto Colciago.

The latest is in a great shape, because, while his rivals were relaxing on holidays, Colciago didn't stop racing in summertime, taking part in the two final rounds of the Swedish Touring Car Championship.

Another driver to watch at is Slovak Andrej Studenic. He's the one who knows the track better, because at the wheel of his Audi A4 Quattro, he has raced many times there; the latest on April 24, when he won the Spring Prix counting for the Czech Touring Car Championship.

At Brno a new driver will join the Euro STC circus: Heinrich Symanzick, from Germany. He will drive the very same Raceline Opel Vectra he regularly raced in the 1999 German STW Championship. As a newcomer to the series, he has to carry a 30-kg handicap and can't score championship points.

<pre> EURO STC, ROUNDS 15 and 16 - FACTS & FIGURES Date: September 16/17, 2000 Venue: Masaryk Circuit Websitee: www.automotodrombrno.cz Track: 5.403 km Super Touring qualifying record: 2:09.64, Josef Venc (Audi A4 Quattro), May 2, 1998 Super Touring lap record: 2:09.50, Josef Venc (Audi A4 Quattro), June 27, 1998

TIMETABLE Saturday 16 08.30-08.45 Euro STC warm-up 09.00-09.45 FIA GT 1st qualifying session 10.45-11.30 Euro STC free practice 14.00-14.20 Euro STC qualifying session 14.35-15.20 FIA GT 2nd qualifying session

Sunday 17 08.00-08.20 FIA GT warm-up 10.50-11.05 Euro STC warm-up 13.40 Start of FIA GT 500-km race 17.10 Start of Euro STC race-one (9 laps) 18.10 Start of Euro STC race-two (9 laps)

Supporting races: Skoda Octavia Cup, Ferrari Challenges of Central and Western Europe TV coverage: highlights on Eurosport

BRNO 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
15 Nath Racing                  Guido Lucchetti Cigarini (I)    Audi A4 Quattro
16 National Team Slovakia       Andrej Studenic (SK)            Audi A4 Quattro
20 Greyhound Motorsport         Gianluca Roda (I)               Opel Vectra 16V
23 Raceline Racing Team         Heinrich Symanzick (D)          Opel Vectra 16V

EURO STC PROVISIONAL POINTS - AFTER 14 ROUNDS OUT OF 20 Drivers

1. Fabrizio Giovanardi 186 pts; 2. Peter Kox 181; 3. Gianni Morbidelli 159; 4. Emanuele Naspetti 134; 5. Nicola Larini 120; 6. Roberto Colciago 90; 7. Gianluca De Lorenzi 79; 8. Stefano Gabellini 44; 9. Massimo Pigoli 42; 10. Andrej Studenic 20.

Teams

1. Nordauto Engineering 319 pts; 2. CiBiEmme Engineering 293; 3. JAS Engineering 181; 4. AGS Motorsport 103; 5. Christy's Team 86.

WEIGHT HANDICAPS AT BRNO 40 kg # 4 Gianni Morbidelli CiBiEmme Engineering 30 kg # 3 Emanuele Naspetti CiBiEmme Engineering 30 kg #23 Heinrich Symanzick Raceline Racing Team 20 kg #11 Peter Kox JAS Engineering 10 kg # 1 Fabrizio Giovanardi Nordauto Engineering

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Series General
Drivers Fabrizio Giovanardi , Klaus Ludwig , Peter Kox , Emanuele Naspetti , Gianni Morbidelli , Nicola Larini , Josef Venc , Roberto Colciago , Klaus Niedzwiedz , Stefano Gabellini , Gianluca Roda