ETCC: Misano Rounds 13 and 14 preview

Misano it's a beautiful small town on the Adriatic sea, sandwiched between Riccione and Cattolica, few kms south of Rimini. In other words: right in the middle of one of Italy's most renowned holiday regions. Every summer a great number of...

Misano it's a beautiful small town on the Adriatic sea, sandwiched between Riccione and Cattolica, few kms south of Rimini. In other words: right in the middle of one of Italy's most renowned holiday regions. Every summer a great number of tourists from everywhere in Europe, invades these shores to spend their summer holidays. Maybe only a few among them are aware that Misano has one of the best motorsports tracks in Europe; more famed for motorcycling and truck-racing, but also hosting a lot of car-races.

This year, the most important one, is surely the Euro STC's 7th racemeeting. The last one before a 40-day summer break. Indeed, afterwards, the series will resume at Ljublijana (Slovenia) on September 2 and 3, for a 3-meeting final rush in 20 days.

That's why the event in Misano is so important. It might turns the situation in favour of one or another of the title contenders: actual leader Fabrizio Giovanardi, who has a 12-point margin but is in a 6-race winless streak, and his closest rival Peter Kox. Or it could even relaunch the hopes of some other drivers, such as BMW men Gianni Morbidelli and Emanuele Naspetti, Giovanardi's teammate Nicola Larini, or AGS Motorsport's golden boy Roberto Colciago who has won three out of the six latest rounds.

Looking at the past Super Touring races in Misano, including those counting for the 1999 German STW, we discover that Alfa Romeo and BMW have scored a similar number of wins: 8 to 7 for the Italian manufacturer. Audi has won 4 and Peugeot 3.

Among the current Euro STC drivers, Giovanardi claimed four wins: one at the wheel of a Peugeot 405 in 1993 and three with his Alfa 156, two in 1998 and the sprint-race in the German STW last year. But Naspetti is only one shorter, as he collected two successes in 1997 and one in 1999, all for BMW.

Is Larini the most winning Touring Car driver at Misano, where he has won six times: five before the ST era, with the mighty Alfa 75 Turbo, and one last year at the wheel of an Alfa 156; on that occasion he has also set both the current track records for super-tourers, in qualifying and race. As well as Larini, Morbidelli too drove the Alfa 75 Turbo to one win at Misano, in 1990.

As to the other drivers.

Peter Kox has never raced here, but he can benefit of the JAS team's experience; the Italian squad uses to make a lot of wintertime tests here and they proved competitive in the 1999 STW meeting, when Tom Kristensen qualified 4th and Gabriele Tarquini classified 4th and 3rd in the two German rounds.

Roberto Colciago has never won at Misano, not even in his F3 years, though he always did good races. His best one was in 1998, at the wheel of a third works BMW, when he finished 2nd behind Giovanardi and even savoured the seet smell of success, between the Alfa driver's exclusion and his reinstatement after the appeal.

Misano is the home track of Stefano Gabellini, who works as an instructor in Siegfried Stohr's driving school which is based in the circuit. At the wheel of his Christy's team BMW, Gabellini proved consistent in the previous rounds and is actually 9th in the series classification; his ambition is to obtain a podium result.

In the Adriatic meeting, Euro STC will welcome back Stefano Bonello, who missed Imola as he was hospitalized for undergoing a surgical operation.

<pre> EURO STC, ROUNDS 13 and 14 - FACTS & FIGURES Date: July 22/23, 2000 Venue: Circuito Santamonica, via del Carro 27, 47046 Misano Adriatico, Italy; tel. +39 0541 615159, fax 615463 Website: www.misanocircuit.com Track: 4,060 m Super Touring qualifying record: 1:33.911, Nicola Larini (Alfa Romeo 156), April 17, 1999 Super Touring lap record: 1:34.179, Nicola Larini (Alfa Romeo 156), April 17, 1999

TIMETABLE

Saturday 22     
08.50-09.15     Warm-up 
11.05-11.50     Free practice
14.00-14.20     Qualifying session

Sunday 23 09.00-09.15 Warm-up 14.00 Start of Race-one (12 laps) 15.00 Start of Race-two (12 laps)

Supporting races: Italian F360 and F355 Ferrari Challenges, Alfa Romeo GTV Cup TV coverage: highlights on Eurosport, Monday at 17.00

MISANO ENTRY LIST

team driver car 1 Nordauto Engineering Fabrizio Giovanardi (I) Alfa Romeo 156 Twin Spark 2 Nordauto Engineering Nicola Larini (I) Alfa Romeo 156 Twin Spark 3 CiBiEmme Engineering Emanuele Naspetti (I) BMW 320i E36 4 CiBiEmme Engineering Gianni Morbidelli (I) BMW 320i E36 5 AGS Motorsport Roberto Colciago (I) Audi A4 Quattro 6 AGS Motorsport Stefano Bonello (I) Audi A4 Quattro 7 Nordauto Engineering Romana Bernardoni (I) Alfa Romeo 156 Twin Spark 8 Nordauto Engineering Gianluca De Lorenzi (I) Alfa Romeo 156 Twin Spark 9 Christy's Team Massimo Pigoli (I) BMW 320i E36 10 Christy's Team Stefano Gabellini (I) BMW 320i E36 11 JAS Engineering Peter Kox (NL) Honda Accord 12 Team Isert Sandro Sardelli (I) BMW 320i E36 14 Soli Racing Team Moreno Soli (I) Alfa Romeo 156 Twin Spark 15 Nath Racing Guido Lucchetti Cigarini (I) Audi A4 Quattro 16 National Team Slovakia Andrej Studenic (SK) Audi A4 Quattro 18 Alda Motorsport Andrzej Dzjurka (PL) Audi A4 Quattro 20 Greyhound Motorsport Gianluca Roda (I) Opel Vectra 16V

EURO STC PROVISIONAL POINTS - AFTER 12 ROUNDS OUT OF 20

Drivers 1. Fabrizio Giovanardi 166 pts; 2. Peter Kox 154; 3. Gianni Morbidelli 119; 4. Emanuele Naspetti 107; 5. Nicola Larini 104; 6. Roberto Colciago 80; 7. Gianluca De Lorenzi 70; 8. Massimo Pigoli 38; 9. Stefano Gabellini 37; 10. Andrej Studenic 20.

Teams 1. Nordauto Engineering 283 pts; 2. CiBiEmme Engineering 226; 3. JAS Engineering 154; 4. AGS Motorsport 92; 5. Christy's Team 75

WEIGHT HANDICAPS AT MISANO

40 kg   # 5     Roberto Colciago        AGS Motorsport
30 kg   # 1     Fabrizio Giovanardi     Nordauto Engineering
20 kg   # 11    Peter Kox               JAS Engineering
10 kg   # 2     Nicola Larini           Nordauto Engineering

- www.eurostc.com

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Series General
Drivers Fabrizio Giovanardi , Tom Kristensen , Peter Kox , Emanuele Naspetti , Gianni Morbidelli , Gabriele Tarquini , Nicola Larini , Roberto Colciago , Stefano Gabellini , Gianluca Roda