Prodrive's team has been on home ground at the 4.023 km Donington circuit in the UK Midlands today for the penultimate event in the LG Super Racing Weekend calendar. The track was set to be one of the best chances for points scoring for the team...
Prodrive's team has been on home ground at the 4.023 km Donington circuit in the UK Midlands today for the penultimate event in the LG Super Racing Weekend calendar. The track was set to be one of the best chances for points scoring for the team with the fast corners suiting the Volvo - recognised as the best handling car on the grid.
Both drivers made two runs on good tyres to set their qualifying times. Rydell set the fifth fastest time with only five hundredths of a second separating positions two and five. After the session was over, Giovanardi and Tarquini had their fastest times disallowed for cutting a chicane promoting Rydell two places on the grid to third.
Rickard Rydell No. 60 Grid: 3rd Finish: 2nd
James Hanson No. 61 Grid: 12th Finish: 9th
Both drivers made good starts, Hanson moving four places through the field to eighth. He lost a battle with Ferrier in the faster Alfa Romeo at the Redgate corner dropping him to ninth on lap six of the 13 lap race where he stayed to the race finish. Rydell held his third place from the start line and capitalised on a mistake by Joerg Muller to move to second. He lacked the speed to challenge Dirk Muller in the BMW for that elusive win but equally maintained a decent gap between him and Gabriele Tarquini.
Rickard Rydell No. 60 Grid: 5th Finish: DNF
James Hanson No. 61 Grid: 9th Finish: DNF
Disaster struck for Rydell at the first corner when he made contact with Gabriele Tarquini suffering too much damage to continue. Hanson had an exciting race, surging through the pack to sixth before battling with Giovanardi in the Alfa and Dirk Muller in the BMW. As he exited a chicane on lap five, the Honda of Tavano hit his side pushing him off the track and leaving him and his damaged car stranded opposite the pit lane.
"I'm really pleased for the second place again. We need to work on the car in some aspects but in others it's clear to see that it performs well; the handling through the corners is excellent. I love this circuit and it's great to be back. It is the exact opposite of Pergusa - lots of really good corners."
"Before the crash it was an entertaining event. I basically took advantage others' mistakes. It was a good show here for the Volvo guests and the rest of the spectators with lots of action. I'm reasonably pleased with the way I was driving - I just need to translate that into scoring points."
Olle Odsell, Volvo motorsport director:
"I'm happy for another second place. James made good progress in the first race and looked to be continuing in race two and I'm sorry that neither of them finished. We just have to try for more points at Estoril."
Dave Benbow, Volvo S60 Racing team manager:
"I got the impression that there was a lot more carnage this weekend than we've seen recently. This was highlighted by the noticable lack of cars on the grid in the second race. I hope this series isn't going to deteriorate into a demolition derby at Estoril and I would look to the race officials to keep a tight reign on driving standards. Half a grid is not what the spectators, television viewers and manufacturers want to see. I'm pleased with both drivers performance in the first race and was looking forward to similar progressions in race two but it was not to be. We will be looking to equal or better this in Estoril. Before then we will be working hard to improve the car for the final two races of the season."
Today saw both the Drivers' and Manufacturers' Championship titles secured by Alfa Romeo and Fabrizio Giovanardi respectively.
The next (final) ETCC event takes place at Estoril in Portugal on 19th and 20th October.