ETCC: February news, notes & quotes from Eurosport Super Racing

FIA EUROPEAN TOURING CAR CHAMPIONSHIP Double Commitment for Racing Box : GT and Touring Car Italian Racing Box is the first team to commit to parallel programmes in both the FIA GT and the FIA European Touring Car Championships. After having...

FIA EUROPEAN TOURING CAR CHAMPIONSHIP
Double Commitment for Racing Box : GT and Touring Car

Italian Racing Box is the first team to commit to parallel programmes in both the FIA GT and the FIA European Touring Car Championships.

After having confirmed the entry of its Chrysler Viper GTS-R for drivers Gabriele Matteuzzi and Luca Cappellari in the FIA GT Championship, the team also entered an Audi A4 Quattro in the FIA Super Touring Championship.

Sergio Sambataro, 37, from Rome, will be driving the car. He has been a regular participant in the Italian Group N Touring Car Championship for the last ten years. As a Privateer, he also took part in the Italian Super Touring Championship in an Opel Vectra for two seasons, in 1996 and 1997.

The team, founded in 1996 by Alberto Mojoli and former Formula Three driver Luca Canni Ferrari, already competed in Touring Cars, winning three titles in the Italian Group N Touring Car Championship (1997 Class N6 with a Seat Ibiza, 1998 Division 1 and Class N4 with an Alfa Romeo 156).

AGS with Colciago and Pigoli in STC
Italian AGS Motorsport will enter two Audi A4 Quattros in the FIA Super Touring Championship. Team principal Guido Tritto confirmed his lead-driver Roberto Colciago and signed Massimo Pigoli. The entry of a third Audi is still possible, according to Tritto.

Colciago, 32 from Saronno, will be with the team for the third consecutive season. A former Italian F3 champion (in 1990), Colciago switched to Touring Car racing in 1995, winning a round of the Italian Super Touring Championship at his home track - Monza - in an Opel Vectra. In the following seasons he twice claimed the Italian Privateers Trophy : in 1996 at the wheel of an Alfa Romeo 155 and in 1999 in an AGS Audi A4. That season he also scored three outright wins in the championship.

Pigoli, 43, from Menaggio, is one of the most consistent Privateers in Touring Car racing. Between 1992 and 1999 he was a regular competitor in the Italian Super Touring Championship, winning the Privateers trophy in 1997 (BMW 318is) and finishing second in 1993 (BMW 318i) and 1994 (Peugeot 405).

Last year, both drivers competed in the European Super Touring Cup : Colciago won five races in the AGS Audi A4 and finished 6th in the series classification, while Pigoli finished 8th in his Christy's BMW 320i.

Alex Fiorio team manager at Cibiemme
Alex Fiorio switched to Touring Cars not as a driver, but as team manager for CiBiEmme Engineering in the FIA European Super Production Championship. Fiorio will be in charge of managing operations at the racetracks, where CiBiEmme will run two BMW 320is for Gianni Morbidelli and Stefano Gabellini.

An experienced rallyman, Fiorio (36, from Turin) has been a works driver for manufacturers such as Lancia, Ford and Mitsubishi. He finished second in the 1989 Group N World Rally Championship. Although he has no previous experience of working either in Touring Cars or as a team manager, he may count on his father Cesare's experience, who will be at his side at some races during the season. In his career as a team manager, Cesare Fiorio has been successful in all forms of motor sport, from Formula One to the World Rally Championship and from Sportscars to Touring Cars.

Alfa Romeo and BMW fastest in Vallelunga testing
Michelin organised a three three-day test session at Vallelunga, Italy, from February 13th to 15th in order to test the tyres that may be supplied to the FIA European Touring Car Championship competitors.

The Nordauto Super Touring Alfa 156s of Nicola Larini and Fabrizio Giovanardi set the fastest times. Larini set his best lap in 1:13.95 at an average speed of 156.85 kph while his teammate, reigning Euro STC winner Giovanardi, lapped the Italian track in 1:14.09. The team's third driver, Romana Bernardoni, drove Larini's car on day one.

At Vallelunga, the BMW Motorsport Schnitzer Team ran the new 2001 evolution of the 320i Super Production car, which has been radically revised (bumpers, rollcage, engine and gearbox). The car, driven by Dutchman Peter Kox, proved very quick from its first laps. Kox's fastest time in the three days was a 1:21.54 at an average speed of 142.25 kph, a lap time which was 1.3 seconds faster than the previous Super Production track record. The Scuderia Bigazzi Alfa Romeo 156 driven by Tobia Masini lapped in 1.23.00.

-Patricia Kiefer

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About this article
Series General
Drivers Peter Kox , Gabriele Matteuzzi , Luca Cappellari , Gianni Morbidelli , Nicola Larini , Roberto Colciago , Stefano Gabellini