In the most exciting qualifying session so far, Peter Kox and his Honda Accord grabbed pole position at Imola. For the 4th time, out of 6, the "Flying Dutchman" will take the start in from the first spot of the grid. Anyway, if not unexpected,...
In the most exciting qualifying session so far, Peter Kox and his Honda Accord grabbed pole position at Imola. For the 4th time, out of 6, the "Flying Dutchman" will take the start in from the first spot of the grid. Anyway, if not unexpected, his performance came just in the final moments, when it looked granted that Alfa Romeo's Nicola Larini had won the pole.
"We chose the right tyres - Kox said - and we came out at the right moment. I couldn't have missed the pole; on the contrary, I'm sure the potential of my car here is even two or three tenths faster".
Larini, who was quickest in free practice and most of the qualifying, was obviously disappointed to have the pole stolen by Kox. "I knew he could do it - he admitted - but as the time was expiring, I hoped I was to grab my first pole".
Series leader Fabrizio Giovanardi was the last of the top drivers to get the chequered flag. And indeed he improved his time, taking 3rd place out of Roberto Colciago for just 3 thousandths of a second. Both Giovanardi and Colciago claimed the provisional pole during the session.
Very close to them was Gianluca De Lorenzi, who qualified his Alfa in 5th on his home track; he lives in Ravenna, some 30 km from Imola.
The first five drivers in quelifying were covered by just 0.55 seconds.
The BMW drivers, who were dominant in Budapest, faced unexpected problems.
"The handling of my car was not as good as it was last year; it proved really nervous on the kerbs so it was not easy to set a time", Emanuele Naspetti said after he qualified 6th.
Much worse was Gianni Morbidelli performance: he placed 11th on the grid; the winner of Hungaroring explained: "My car looks to have some major set-up problem; indeed it was fitted with the same differential I had scrapped in Hungary. I don't kow why".
Good performances for Massimo Pigoli and Stefano Gabellini, teammates at Christy's team, who qualified 7th and 8th respectively.
Behind them will line-up Gianluca Roda, who drives Manuel Reuter's former works Opel Vectra. Roda, who had raced at A-1 Ring and Monza, at the wheel of his old 1996 Vectra, had just bought the car - a winning machine in last year German STW championship - from Opel Motorsport.
"I wanted to see if I can still drive or better I retire" he joked. Very quick in the first part of the session when he was placed 7th, Roda wasn't able to improve his time. "In what was my best lap, I had to lift the throttle between the Rivazza bends, to avoid Bernardoni's car on a spin" he said. But he can be a factor in the race.
Polish Andrzej Dziurka, set 13th time at the wheel of his Alda Motorsport Audi A4 Quattro, but he had his times disallowed when his car was caught 7 kg underweight from the scrutineers. He will take the start from the last spot of the grid.
<pre> Sunday timetable: 09.00-09.15 warm-up 14.00 start of race-one (10 laps) 10-minute pause start of race-two (10 laps)
Supporting races: Italian F360 and F355 Ferrari Challenges, Alfa Romeo GTV Cup
1. Peter Kox (NL) JAS Engineering Honda Accord 1:56.183 152.85 kmh 2. Nicola Larini (I) Alfa Romeo Nordauto Alfa Romeo 156 1:56.499 + 0.316 3. Fabrizio Giovanardi (I) Alfa Romeo Nordauto Alfa Romeo 156 1:56.680 + 0.497 4. Roberto Colciago (I) AGS Motorsport Audi A4 Quattro 1:56.683 + 0.500 5. Gianluca De Lorenzi (I) Nordauto Engineering Alfa Romeo 156 1:56.738 + 0.555 6. Emanuele Naspetti (I) BMW Team CiBiEmme BMW 320i E36 1:57.626 + 1.443 7. Massimo Pigoli (I) Christy's Team BMW 320i E36 1:58.377 + 2.194 8. Stefano Gabellini (I) Christy's Team BMW 320i E36 1:58.669 + 2.486 9. Gianluca Roda (I) Greyhound Motorsport Opel Vectra 16V 1:58.718 + 2.535 10. Sandro Sardelli (I) Team Isert BMW 320i E36 1:59.237 + 3.054 11. Gianni Morbidelli BMW Team CiBiEmme BMW 320i E36 1:59.582 + 3.399 12. Romana Bernardoni (I) Nordauto Engineering Alfa Romeo 156 1:59.803 + 3.620 13. Moreno Soli (I) Soli Racing Team Alfa Romeo 156 2:00.279 + 4.096 14. Guido Lucchetti (I) Nath Racing Audi A4 Quattro 2:00.829 + 4.646 15. * Andrzej Dziurka (PL) Alda Motorsport Audi A4 Quattro no time
* Dziurka: times disallowed for underweight