ETCC: Estoril Friday test day notes

TEST DAY FOR THE FIA EUROPEAN TOURING CAR CUP TEST 1 RUDOHOLM ON TOP ON A DRYING TRACK Robin Rudholm of West Coast Racing topped the timesheet of the first testing session which lasted an hour on a drying track. The Swede clocked...

TEST DAY FOR THE FIA EUROPEAN TOURING CAR CUP

TEST 1 RUDOHOLM ON TOP ON A DRYING TRACK

Robin Rudholm of West Coast Racing topped the timesheet of the first testing session which lasted an hour on a drying track. The Swede clocked a 1:55.287 on his last lap as did second fastest Felix Porteiro from BMW Team-Italy Spain. Miguel Freitas, one of the two Portuguese drivers in the cup, secured the 3rd best lap with a 1:57.451.

Alessandro Zanardi set the pace from the outset, cutting his time by a matter of seconds on most of his laps under heavy rain. His run was put to a halt, along with the rest of the field, after 9 minutes when Russian driver Timur Sadredinov hit the barrier in his Super Production Volkswagen Golf at turn 8. Sadredinov's car was stranded in the gravel and red flags were issued. The session was resumed 14 minutes later. Two other Russian drivers went off on the wet track, Alexey Dudukalo (Audi A4) and Vladimir Labazov (BMW 320i), but rejoined. Zanardi dominated the field for most of the remainder of the session but as the track dried a number of drivers set their best time in the closing minutes. This left Zanardi in 5th position, behind Carl Rosenblad of Elgh Motorsport.

The top five drivers were all at the wheel of BMW cars. In 6th place was Irishman Emmet O'Brien in a GR Asia SEAT Leon. His quickest lap was 1:59.577.

O'Brien's team-mate, Ryan Sharp posted the 8th best time. The pair were separated by Tomas Engstrom at the wheel of his Honda Accord Euro R. The two Maurer Motorsport Chevrolet Lacetti cars of Vincent Radermecker and Hugo Godinho missed the session due to engine problems.

The best of the SP competitors was Andrey Romanov at the wheel of a BMW 320i. He posted the 14th best time overall. Right behind him were fellow countrymen Sergey Krylov (VW Golf) and Alexander Lvov (Honda Civic), with the Estonian Raimo Kulli (Skoda Octavia) in 4th.

TEST 2 PORTEIRO PIPS TEAM-MATE ZANARDI

Felix Porteiro and Alessandro Zanardi of BMW Team-Italy Spain set the two fastest laps in the second testing period. Just as in the first session, Zanardi's name was featured at the top of the timesheet for the majority, but in the final minute his team-mate set a time of 1:48.789 which demoted the Italian to second spot. A quite oustanding performance for the young Spaniard who is on his first real test in a touring car.

The third best lap was set by Carl Rosenblad at the wheel of his Elgh Motorsport BMW 320si. He was followed by Ryan Sharp of GR Asia with the top five being rounded off by Miguel Freitas at the wheel of his BMW 320i run by Zerocinque Motorsport.

Quickest man of the first session, Robin Rudholm had a spell at the top again. So too did Tomas Engstrom. Rudholm's best time of 1:49.934 eventually placed him 6th overall while Engstrom was 1.912 off the pace and 8th overall. It was GR Asia man Emmet O'Brien who slotted between the Swedes in 7th.

In the Super Production class, Stefano Valli set the best time of 1:57.110 the 16th of the entire field just as the chequered flag was being waved. In doing so the man from San Marino outpaced fellow SP contenders Andrey Romanov and Raimo Kulli to 17th and 18th.

Due to a dry track, the top time in the second session was a considerable 8 seconds faster than the best lap in the earlier session. The only driver who did not take part in the session was Vincent Radermecker, whose Chevrolet Lacetti suffered again from engine problems.

LAST MINUTE CHANGES TO THE ENTRY LIST

Portuguese driver Miguel Freitas, 22 year old from Lisbon, was the last addition to the entry list of the Super 2000 Cup. Freitas, who has emerged as one of the fastest Portuguese touring car racers in recent years, joined Italian squad Zerocinque Motorsport in a BMW 320i.

Two teams defaulted at the last minute: SEAT Sport UK and Engstler Motorsport.

LVOV AND LVOV ARE NOT RELATED

Funny homonymy between two Russian drivers who take part in the Super Production Cup. Alexander Lvov, who drives the #54 Golden Motors Honda Civic Type-R, and... Alexander Lvov Jr, in the #61 Sport-Garage Volkswagen Golf, are both from St. Petersburg but they are not related.

The second Lvov added "Jr" to his name only to be recognizable from his namesake.

-credit: fia

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Series General
Drivers Carl Rosenblad , Robin Rudholm , Felix Porteiro , Ryan Sharp , Tomas Engstrom , Stefano Valli , Miguel Freitas , Emmet O'Brien , Vincent Radermecker , Andrey Romanov , Alexander Lvov , Aleksey Dudukalo