EURO STC QUALIFYING - weather: sunny, track: dry, temperature 33°C.
KOX WINS ANOTHER POLE IN A GRID TOPPED BY FOUR DIFFERENT CARS
Peter Kox claimed another pole position, the 5th for him so far, in the Euro STC race meeting at Misano. As in Imola, the Dutchman stole the front position to Nicola Larini in the very last minute of the session; this time by a mere 6 hundredths of a second. "I'm obviuosly pleased, but I'd like more to collect wins with the same ease", said Kox, who's trailing Fabrizio Giovanardi by 12 points in the series classification. Larini tried a desperate attempt to break the Kox-Giovanardi (5-2) egemony in qualifying, but he almost lost his Alfa in a spectacular skid at the final chicane. "The tyres degraded and suddenly my car started to understeer. I didn't want to abort my attempt, so I remained flat out and I risked spinning. I'm really disappointed, because without that problem I'm sure I could take the pole back."
Roberto Colciago and Gianni Morbidelli obtained 3rd and 4th times respectively and that resulted in the two front rows of the grid filled by four cars representing as many manufacturers: Honda, Alfa Romeo, Audi and BMW. Series leader Giovanardi and BMW second man Emanuele Naspetti, faced technical problems that prevented them to set better times. "My car was slowed down all the session long by some electrical problems. I hope we can solve it out in time for the races", Giovanardi declared. "I faced a serious set-up problem on the right front wheel. We think the damper might be broken, so we're going to change the whole damper-spring group," Naspetti revealed.
Home boy Stefano Gabellini, claimed a very good 7th time, at the wheel of his Christy's team BMW, just 3 tenths from Morbidelli's quickest Bavarian machine. "I'm so happy, because this is my home track and I really wanted to be competitive. It's a shame I missed 6th place for one tenth, but I'm looking forward to the races. The more will be hot; the better will be for me." It's the worth to say that the six cars qualified between 3rd and 8th positions, were covered by just half a second.
Gianluca Roda stopped his ex-Opel Motorsport Vectra along the track after completing his first qualifying lap. "I felt something was breaking in the engine and indeed we later discovered the drive shaft had collapsed," the Greyhound Motorsport driver said. Changing the engine, he had his times disallowed, that means he lost only one grid position, dropping from 14th to 15th and last.
<pre> Sunday timetable: 09.00-09.15 warm-up 14.00 start of race-one (12 laps) 10-minute pause start of race-two (12 laps)
</pre> Supporting races: Italian F360 and F355 Ferrari Challenges, Alfa Romeo GTV Cup TV coverage: highlights, Sunday night at 08.00 PM on Eurosport.
<pre> QUALIFYING RESULTS
1. Peter Kox (NL) JAS Engineering Honda Accord 1:35.621 152.85 kmh 2. Nicola Larini (I) Nordauto Engineering Alfa Romeo 156 1:35.681 + 0.060 3. Roberto Colciago (I) AGS Motorsport Audi A4 Quattro 1:36.353 + 0.732 4. Gianni Morbidelli CiBiEmme Engineering BMW 320i E36 1:36.449 + 0.828 5. Fabrizio Giovanardi (I) Nordauto Engineering Alfa Romeo 156 1:36.608 + 0.987 6. Gianluca De Lorenzi (I) Nordauto Engineering Alfa Romeo 156 1:36.636 + 1.015 7. Stefano Gabellini (I) Christy's Team BMW 320i E36 1:36.745 + 1.124 8. Emanuele Naspetti (I) CiBiEmme Engineering BMW 320i E36 1:36.788 + 1.167 9. Sandro Sardelli (I) Team Isert BMW 320i E36 1:37.814 + 2.193 10. Massimo Pigoli (I) Christy's Team BMW 320i E36 1:37.997 + 2.376 11. Moreno Soli (I) Soli Racing Team Alfa Romeo 156 1:38.118 + 2.497 12. Stefano Bonello (I) AGS Motorsport Audi A4 Quattro 1:38.503 + 2.882 13. Romana Bernardoni (I) Nordauto Engineering Alfa Romeo 156 1:38.642 + 3.021 14. Guido Lucchetti (I) Nath Racing Audi A4 Quattro 1:39.639 + 4.018 15. Gianluca Roda (I) Greyhound Motorsport Opel Vectra 16V no time
* Roda: times disallowed for engine change