ETCC: Jarama preview

Eurosport Super Racing Weekend of Jarama - Rd 9 - September 28th - 30th, After the autumnal weather at the Nürburgring, the Eurosport Super Racing Weekends are moving south for the final two events. Round nine will be held at the Spanish track...

Eurosport Super Racing Weekend of Jarama - Rd 9 - September 28th - 30th,

After the autumnal weather at the Nürburgring, the Eurosport Super Racing Weekends are moving south for the final two events. Round nine will be held at the Spanish track of Jarama, 28 km north of Madrid. The arid countryside surrounding the 3.858 km track will be a total contrast to the forests and hills of the previous round, and hopefully some warmer weather will be awaiting the teams and drivers.

This will be the first time either the FIA GT Championship or any recent major touring car Championships has visited Jarama. A host to series such as the Formula Nissan and the Spanish GT Championship, the track is tight and twisty, with evocative corner names such as Nuovolari and Ascari. A popular circuit for winter testing, the Spanish Grand Prix was often held at the track, the last time being in 1981.

The FIA GT Championship last visited Spain in 2000, when the first round of the season was held in Valencia. Spanish driver Antonio Garcia, who won the N-GT class in the Proximus 24 Hours of Spa with RWS Motorsport, knows the track well, having won there in the Formula Nissan Championship last season. He will be back at the wheel of the nr 76 RWS Motorsport Porsche 996 GT3-R for this race. "It’s a nice track, uphill and downhill, but it will be the first time I’ve raced a sportscar there. It should be good."

ETCC driver Luis Villamil was born in the Asturias region of Spain but lives in Madrid, and knows the track well. Currently ninth in the Super Production Championship, he drives an Alfa Romeo 156 for Scuderia Bigazzi. "Jarama is a difficult track that demands a lot of drivability and requires a perfect set-up. As I know the circuit very well, I have a little advantage because I can start to work on the set-up from the first laps of Saturday’s free practice, while the others will have to spend time learning the track."

FIA EUROPEAN TOURING CAR CHAMPIONSHIP

Championship Rundown
The results of the Nürburgring races closed the gaps between the teams and drivers fighting for the FIA European Touring Car Championship titles.

Twenty-three cars will take part in the 17th and 18th rounds of the Super Touring Championship - the biggest field of the season. Championship leader Fabrizio Giovanardi had a difficult weekend in Germany, and his lead over his Nordauto team-mate Nicola Larini has been cut to only seven points. JAS Motorsport’s Gabriele Tarquini finished second in both races, and is now only 29 points behind Giovanardi. The three drivers, who between them have scored 136 touring car race wins in their careers, are ready for the final race for the title. "I have to change my strategy," Alfa Romeo driver Giovanardi explained. "In recent rounds I raced to maintain my points lead, but now I have to put my claws out again." His team-mate Larini is happy with the current situation. "I had some tough times in the middle of the season, but I never gave up, and the situation is now easier for me." Honda driver Tarquini hopes to benefit from the fight between the Nordauto drivers. "From the fourth meeting onwards I raced with the goal of reducing my gap to the leaders to an acceptable level. I did it– 29 points are no great handicap. Obviously, now I can’t afford to make any mistakes, or to have a breakdown, but maybe I will benefit from the situation, as I don’t think Giovanardi and Larini will help each other."

In the previous round of the Super Production Championship, the Ravaglia Motorsport BMW 320i of Peter Kox finished in second place behind the Nissan Primera of Tommy Rustad. Championship leader Duncan Huisman now has a narrow lead of seven points over Kox, while Rustad is chasing Norman Simon for third place. Seventeen cars will be taking part in the Jarama Super Production race.

SUPER TOURING CHAMPIONSHIP

Alfa Romeo Team Nordauto (1st, 1017 pts) : a fourth car for Felipe Massa The Italian team is intensifying its efforts to secure the FIA European Touring Car Championship title. For the final two meetings of the season, in Jarama and Estoril, Nordauto will enter a fourth Alfa 156. Regular drivers Fabrizio Giovanardi, Nicola Larini and Romana Bernardoni will be joined by Felipe Massa, who claimed the Euro Formula 3000 title at the Nürburgring last weekend. The 20-year old Brazilian from Sao Paulo claimed both the European and Italian Formula Renault titles in 2000. Earlier this year he joined Giovanardi, Larini and Alfa test driver Giorgio Francia to drive a 147 Super Production in the 24 Hours of Sicily at Pergusa, finishing second overall and winning their class. In his first touring car race, Massa equalled the times set by Giovanardi and Larini, and shortly afterwards Nordauto invited him to test the Super Touring Alfa 156 at Varano.

JAS Engineering Italia IP (2nd, 866 pts) : Thompson to help Tarquini British Touring Car regular James Thompson will drive a third JAS Motorsport Honda Accord in the two final meetings of the FIA European Championship, alongside Honda regular drivers Gabriele Tarquini and Fabrice Walfisch. Thompson is expected to help Tarquini in his fight to catch Giovanardi and Larini in the Drivers classification. The 27-year old British driver knows the Super Touring Accord very well, having successfully raced it in the British Touring Car Championship. He started racing in the category in 1994, when he claimed the BTCC Independents Trophy. This led to a contract as a Vauxhall works driver, for whom he drove in 1995 and 1996, scoring two wins. In 1997 he switched to Honda, and took ten wins in the Accord over four seasons. This year he is driving a Team Egg Sport Vauxhall Vectra in the BTCC, and is currently third in the Championship, with five wins, behind Vauxhall Motorsport drivers Jason Plato and Yvan Muller.

AGS Motorsport (4th, 603 points) : Colciago wins Swedish Championship AGS Motorsport’s leading driver Roberto Colciago claimed the Swedish Touring Car Championship during the previous round at Mantorp Park, after his first full season in the Championship, and despite missing a round due to a clash with the FIA European Touring Car Championship. Colciago, the first-ever non-Scandinavian driver to clinch the Swedish Touring Car crown, is now back for the final two rounds of the FIA European Super Touring Championship. He is currently sixth in the drivers classification, having won two races, and he is hoping to take fifth place from the Nissan Primera of PRO Motorsport’s Sandro Sardelli.

Crawford Nissan Team joins the Super Touring Championship Team principal Eje Elgh recently confirmed the participation of the Crawford Nissan Team in the two final meetings of the FIA European Championship. The team will make its European debut at Jarama with two Nissan Primeras, to be driven by Swedish drivers Carl Rosenblad and Marcus Gustaffson. Elgh’s team has represented Nissan in Sweden for the past four years, scoring 16 wins and claiming the Manufacturers championship twice, in 1999 and 2000, as well as winning the 2000 drivers championship with Tommy Rustad. 32-year old Rosenblad joined the team in 1998, and was leading the Swedish Championship mid-season. "I think it’s a really nice way to end the Super Touring year with some international races," he said. "I’m not really sure what we will be able to achieve ; our aim is not to stir up the Championship fight, but to show what we can do." His team-mate Marcus Gustafsson is 22 ; this is his first Touring Car season. After karting, he competed in the German Formula Junior and Swedish GTs, before switching to the Swedish Touring Car Championship at the wheel of a Euroracing Alfa Romeo 156, with a best result of ninth. This will be his first race with the Crawford Nissan team. "He had a shakedown session with the car this week, which was his first time in a right-hand drive car," Carl said. "That went quite well, and it will be interesting to see how he gets on in Jarama."

SUPER PRODUCTION CHAMPIONSHIP

Ravaglia Motorsport (1st, 186 pts) : Simon wins the Under 25 Trophy While leading driver Peter Kox is still fighting to claim the FIA European Super Production Championship title, Roberto Ravaglia’s new team has already achieved its first goal, with Norman Simon winning the "Under 25" Trophy. Finishing the eighth round of the championship at the Nürburgring in the fourth position overall, Simon scored his sixth win in the trophy, which is open to drivers under 25. The German therefore stretched his lead in the trophy’s classification to 58 points ahead of Fulvio Cavicchi, with only 40 points still to be awarded in the two final rounds of the championship. Tom Ferrier, Tobia Masini and James Hanson are now chasing Cavicchi for second place, lying respectively two, ten and fifteen points behind him.

Conrero (8th, 16 pts) : Tavano replaces Cavicchi 21 year-old Salvatore Tavano will drive a Conrero Alfa Romeo 147 in the FIA European Touring Car Championship, replacing Fulvio Cavicchi The team's other driver, Ettore Bonaldi, will also return to the championship for the Jarama round, having missed the Nürburgring race due to work commitments. Tavano, from Sicily, is a regular rival of Brazilian raising star Felipe Massa, who will be driving in the Super Touring Championship at Jarama. Tavano is currently third in the Euro Formula 3000 Championship, having won the Zolder round and finished 2nd at Donington Park. He previously took part in the Italian Formula Campus and Federal F3 Championships. Earlier this year he made his Touring Car debut at the wheel of a RJN Motorsport Nissan Maxima in the 24 Hours of Sicily at Pergusa, setting faster lap times than his team-mates Sandro Sardelli and Tommy Rustad, who are also regulars in the FIA European Touring Car Championship.

Circuit Length : 3.858 km/ 2.393 miles

On air on Eurosport : Saturday, 29th September 2001
17:30– 19:00 : Qualifying - delayed
Sunday 30th September 2001
13:30– 16:30 : Races– LIVE
Monday 1st October 2001
08:30– 10:00 : Relive Sunday’s races
Wednesday 3rd October 2001
22:00– 22:30 : Special show highlights
(repeated 4th October from 10:30– 11:00 and
5th October from 12:30 to 13:00)

Other races
Renault Formula 2000 Eurocup ; FC Euro Series ; FFSA Formula France European Trophy

Websites :
http://www.fia.com
http://www.gtracing.net
http://www.eurostc.com

-etcc/estc-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series General
Drivers Fabrizio Giovanardi , Antonio Garcia , Norman Simon , Carl Rosenblad , Felipe Massa , Peter Kox , Yvan Muller , James Thompson , Jason Plato , Bonaldi Ettore , Duncan Huisman , Gabriele Tarquini , Salvatore Tavano , Nicola Larini , Roberto Colciago , Roberto Ravaglia , Tom Ferrier , Tommy Rustad