ETCC: Morbidelli scores while Giovanardi reclaims his place

Gianni Morbidelli's back! The former F1 driver scored BMW's first Euro STC wins and stepped back on the highest podium after five years. His latest successes dated back to 1995, at Pergusa. As expected BMWs were the car to beat at Hungaroring...

Gianni Morbidelli's back! The former F1 driver scored BMW's first Euro STC wins and stepped back on the highest podium after five years. His latest successes dated back to 1995, at Pergusa. As expected BMWs were the car to beat at Hungaroring and Emanuele Naspetti completed the result, claiming two podium positions and closely trailing Morbidelli from green light to chequered flag in race-two. That relaunched BMW hopes to win the title. The only serious treat for BMW, came from Roberto Colciago, who led race-one until his engine blew as it happened in Zeltweg. It was a shame, because he deserved the win. It's the worth to say that BMW and Audi were boosted to a new competitiveness thanks to a 25 kg bonus they were awarded for this race meeting only. Since Imola they will be back at their original weights: 1000 and 1040 kg respectively. In this situation, Fabrizio Giovanardi and Peter Kox, leading players in the first part of the season, did what they could. The Alfa boy finished twice on the podium and managed to regain the series leadership with a 6-point margin to Kox. The Honda Dutchman paid a choice of soft tyres that proved wrong.

RACE-ONE. At the green light Colciago and Morbidelli flashed like bullets, from the 3rd and 6th spots of the grid respectively. TV replay proved they didn't jump the start. Colciago took the lead from Morbidelli and Giovanardi, while Naspetti overtook Kox for 4th on the outside line. The two leaders built up a small margin, while Giovanardi managed to leave behind Naspetti and Kox. De Lorenzi was 6th, heading a group composed by Larini, Studenic, Gabellini, Sardelli, Pigoli and Bonello. Morbidelli put pressure on Colciago, but the AGS Motorsport driver continued to shut all the doors. On lap 6 De Lorenzi let Larini pass through and one lap later Colciago's engine blew, giving Morbidelli the lead for good. The former F1 driver scored BMW's first Euro Stc win, from Giovanardi and teammate Naspetti. Kox managed to maintain 4th position, despite attacks from Larini and De Lorenzi. Slovak Studenic obtained a good 7th, just in front of Christy's twins Gabellini and Pigoli; AGS Motorsport's Bonello scored the last point.

RACE-TWO. Colciago didn't line-up; at the start Morbidelli and Naspetti took off, leaving Giovanardi and Kox to fight for the positions with Larini, De Lorenzi and Gabellini. The BMW duo quickly increased the gap to Giovanardi, while Kox overtook Larini for 4th on lap 2. Naspetti stayed stick to Morbidelli's tail; he even turned on his headlamp, but his teammate didn't commit the littlest mistake. At half distance, De Lorenzi's engine started to fade and he slipped down from 6th to 8th; in the meantime an oil leak forced Sardelli to slow down his pace. Pigoli, who had stalled his engine at the start, recovered up to 9th, overtaking Bonello. Gabellini grabbed a very good 6th place, from consistent Studenic. In the final lap Bernardoni tried invain to steal to Bonello the last place in the points.

The Euro STC will resume at Imola, Italy, on July 8 and 9.

RACE RESULTS

RACE-ONE - 11 laps 1. Gianni Morbidelli BMW Team CiBiEmme BMW 320i E36 19:13.202 136.36 kmh 2. Fabrizio Giovanardi (I) Alfa Romeo Nordauto Alfa Romeo 156 19:16.438 + 3.236 3. Emanuele Naspetti (I) BMW Team CiBiEmme BMW 320i E36 19:24.397 + 11.195 4. Peter Kox (NL) JAS Engineering Honda Accord 19:27.772 + 14.570 5. Nicola Larini (I) Alfa Romeo Nordauto Alfa Romeo 156 19:28.003 + 14.801 6. Gianluca De Lorenzi (I) Nordauto Engineering Alfa Romeo 156 19:28.430 + 15.228 7. Andrej Studenic (SK) National Team Slovakia Audi A4 Quattro 19:29.274 + 16.072 8. Stefano Gabellini (I) Christy's Team BMW 320i E36 19:30.714 + 17.512 9. Massimo Pigoli (I) Christy's Team BMW 320i E36 19:36.954 + 23.752 10. Stefano Bonello (I) AGS Motorsport Audi A4 Quattro 19:44.260 + 31.058 11. Sandro Sardelli (I) Team Isert BMW 320i E36 19:46.933 + 33.731 12. Andrzej Dziurka (PL) Alda Motorsport Audi A4 Quattro 19:47.827 + 34.625 13. Romana Bernardoni (I) Nordauto Engineering Alfa Romeo 156 19:48.148 + 34.946 14. Moreno Soli (I) Soli Racing Team Alfa Romeo 156 20:06.175 + 52.973 15. Maciej Stanco (PL) Alda Motorsport Alfa Romeo 155 Ts 20:31.319 + 1:18.117 Dnf Roberto Colciago (I) AGS Motorsport Audi A4 Quattro 2 laps engine

Fastest lap: Morbidelli, 1:43.530, average speed 138.08, on lap 2

RACE-TWO - 11 laps 1. Gianni Morbidelli BMW Team CiBiEmme BMW 320i E36 19:12.398 136.45 kmh 3. Emanuele Naspetti (I) BMW Team CiBiEmme BMW 320i E36 19:12.752 + 0.354 3. Fabrizio Giovanardi (I) Alfa Romeo Nordauto Alfa Romeo 156 19:17.343 + 4.945 4. Peter Kox (NL) JAS Engineering Honda Accord 19:21.254 + 8.856 5. Nicola Larini (I) Alfa Romeo Nordauto Alfa Romeo 156 19:21.515 + 9.117 6. Stefano Gabellini (I) Christy's Team BMW 320i E36 19:30.133 + 17.735 7. Andrej Studenic (SK) National Team Slovakia Audi A4 Quattro 19:30.699 + 18.301 8. Gianluca De Lorenzi (I) Nordauto Engineering Alfa Romeo 156 19:35.721 + 23.323 9. Massimo Pigoli (I) Christy's Team BMW 320i E36 19:36.262 + 23.864 10. Stefano Bonello (I) AGS Motorsport Audi A4 Quattro 19:42.497 + 30.099 11. Romana Bernardoni (I) Nordauto Engineering Alfa Romeo 156 19:43.501 + 31.103 12. Andrzej Dziurka (PL) Alda Motorsport Audi A4 Quattro 19:59.422 + 47.024 13. Moreno Soli (I) Soli Racing Team Alfa Romeo 156 20:07.079 + 54.681 14. Sandro Sardelli (I) Team Isert BMW 320i E36 20:12.018 + 59.620 15. Maciej Stanco (PL) Alda Motorsport Alfa Romeo 155 Ts 20:21.018 + 1:09.171 Dns Roberto Colciago (I) AGS Motorsport Audi A4 Quattro

Fastest lap: Naspetti, 1:43.714, average speed 137.83, on lap 3

EURO STC PROVISIONAL POINTS - AFTER 10 ROUNDS OUT OF 20

Drivers 1.      Fabrizio Giovanardi     136 pts Teams   1.      Alfa Romeo Nordauto     235 pts 
        2.      Peter Kox       130     2.      BMW Team CiBiEmme       204     
        3.      Gianni Morbidelli       107     3.      JAS Engineering 130
        4.      Emanuele Naspetti       97              4.      Christy's Team  60
        5.      Nicola Larini   86      5.      AGS Motorsport  52

COMPLETE RESULTS, POINTS AND PICTURES ARE AVAILABLE ON THE SERIES' OFFICIAL WEBSITE www.eurostc.com

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Series General
Drivers Fabrizio Giovanardi , Peter Kox , Emanuele Naspetti , Gianni Morbidelli , Nicola Larini , Roberto Colciago , Stefano Gabellini