ETCC: Oschersleben: Free practice sessions report

FIA European Touring Car Championship Rounds 11 and 12 Free Practice Sessions RULE CHANGES FOR THE SECOND HALF OF THE SEASON Following the decisions taken by the FIA Motor Sport World Council on June 26th, sporting and technical rule changes...

FIA European Touring Car Championship
Rounds 11 and 12
Free Practice Sessions

RULE CHANGES FOR THE SECOND HALF OF THE SEASON
Following the decisions taken by the FIA Motor Sport World Council on June 26th, sporting and technical rule changes have been adopted in the FIA European Touring Car Championship.

TECHNICAL REGULATIONS

MINIMUM WEIGHT - The weight of the rear-wheel drive cars has been reduced by 15 kg and the weight of the front-wheel drive cars has been increased by 15 kg.

The new minimum weight fixed for all the cars complying with the Super 2000 Technical Regulations is 1155 kg, driver included (previous minimum weights were: 1140 kg for front-wheel drive cars and 1170 kg for rear-wheel drive cars).

ENGINE REVS - The maximum rpm for all cars, previously 8500 rpm, has been amended to: 8500 for 4-cylinder engines (e.g.: Alfa Romeo, Ford, Honda and Nissan) 8750 for 5-cylinder engines (e.g.: Volvo) 9000 for 6-cylinder engines (e.g.: BMW)

SPORTING REGULATIONS

In order to optimise the equality of performances between the cars, ballast weight handicaps will be applied to the drivers finishing in the first three places of each championship meeting, according to the total number of points scored in the two races.

Weight handicaps are being imposed according to the following scale:
1st : 30 kg
2nd : 20 kg
3rd : 10 kg

These weights will not be cumulative from race to race and there will be no weight reductions; at the end of each event, the previous weight handicaps will be scratched and new ones applied. In the case of drivers having scored the same number of points at the end of an event, the highest place in the official qualifying session will be used to separate them.

The weight handicaps specified at the end of an event will be applied at the following event to the minimum weight of the cars as defined in Article 263-5 of Appendix J.

<pre> HANDICAP WEIGHTS FOR OSCHERSLEBEN

Driver                  Points Anderstorp R1    Points Anderstorp R2    Total points Anderstorp Weight
Jorg Muller             3                       10                      13                      30 kg
Nicola Larini           10                      2                       12                      20 kg
Rickard Rydell          4                       6                       10                      10 kg
Fabrizio Giovanardi     6                       3                       9                       0 kg
Fredrik Ekblom          0                       4                       4                       0 kg
Jordi Gene              2                       0                       2                       0 kg
Tom Ferrier             1                       0                       1                       0 kg
Dirk Muller             0                       1                       1                       0 kg

WEATHER : Overcast with a fresh breeze; track dry.

FIRST SESSION: BMW QUARTET AT THE TOP
Benefiting from both the home track advantage and the regulation changes, BMW dominated the first practice session placing four 320i cars at the top of the time sheets.

BMW Team Deutschland's Dirk Muller set the fastest time of the session, with a lap of 1:35.157 preceding his team-mate Jorg Muller by a mere 0.044 seconds. BMW Team Belgium's Fredrik Ekblom was third and Carly Motors' Tom Coronel fourth, having set times of 1:35.475 and 1:35.654 respectively. Rickard Rydell's Volvo S60 was the fastest non-Bavarian car in the session; the Swede's best time (1:35.929) was good enough for fifth position, just ahead of the best Alfa Romeo 156 Gta that Nicola Larini drove to set the sixth fastest time (1:36.033).

Lerini's team-mate and current Championship leader Fabrizio Giovanardi was classified eighth behind another BMW driver, Jordi Gene of BMW Team Spain. Giovanardi covered only four laps in the session before going off into the gravel trap at the Sachsen-Anhalt corner. "It was my fault. I didn't know the track, but from the beginning I liked it, and I ended up overdoing it. I love the double fast right-hander before the main straight and I tried to negotiate it totally flat. It did not work--"

Salvatore Tavano drove his CiBiEmme Team Honda Civic Type-R to an impressive time of 1:36.646 that gave him the ninth position. German newcomer Thomas Klenke and his Hotfiel Sport Ford Focus ST170 started their first ETCC weekend in a very encouraging way by setting a time of 1:36.971, placing them 13th.

SECOND SESSION: CORONEL FASTEST IN A VERY CLOSE SESSION
Carly Motors' driver Tom Coronel topped the times in the second session, the only competitor able to break the 1:35 barrier so far today, with a time of 1:34.937, set 18 minutes into the session.

Two other BMW drivers were classified behind the Flying Dutchman: BMW Team Belgium's Fredrik Ekblom (2nd with 1:35.320) and BMW Team Deutschland's Jorg Muller's (3rd with 1:35.335).

Unlike the first session, when four BMW cars dominated the field, Alfa Romeo and Volvo were very close to the German machines. Nicola Larini managed to improve by 0.7 seconds, clocking a 1:35.367 that was good enough for fourth place in the session, just ahead of Dirk Muller (1:35.453) and Rickard Rydell's Volvo S60 (1:35.993).

After missing most of the first session, Fabrizio Giovanardi managed to climb up to seventh position with a time of 1:35.809, the last of the top group of seven drivers within 0.8 seconds.

BMW Team Spain's drivers Fabrizio De Simone and Jordi Gene were classified eighth and ninth respectively, while Tommy Rustad's RJN Motorsport Nissan Primera completed the top-ten.

The CiBiEmme Honda Civic of Sandro Sardelli missed this session due to engine problems.

-fia-

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About this article
Series General
Drivers Fabrizio Giovanardi , Dirk Müller , Tom Coronel , Jorg Muller , Rickard Rydell , Jordi Gene , Salvatore Tavano , Nicola Larini , Thomas Klenke , Tom Ferrier , Tommy Rustad