ETCC: N?rburgring preview

Just two weeks after the seventh Eurosport Super Racing Weekend took place at the Austrian A1 Ring, the cars and drivers will gather in Germany, at the Nürburgring on September 7th– 9th. Like the Austrian track, the Nürburgring is...

Just two weeks after the seventh Eurosport Super Racing Weekend took place at the Austrian A1 Ring, the cars and drivers will gather in Germany, at the Nürburgring on September 7th– 9th. Like the Austrian track, the Nürburgring is surrounded by hills and woods, and the circuit has a number of changes of elevation. With a notoriously unpredictable climate, the Nürburgring is overshadowed by the daunting Nordschleife, over 25 km long. The modern circuit is 4.556 km long, situated 60 km west of Koblenz and 70 km south of Cologne, in the beautiful Eifel region of Germany.

Super Touring Championship rivals Gabriele Tarquini and Nicola Larini have both raced at the track many times, but Fabrizio Giovanardi, currently leading the Championship, will be making his first visit to the Nürburgring.

FIA EUROPEAN TOURING CAR CHAMPIONSHIP
SUPER TOURING CHAMPIONSHIP ROUNDS 15 & 16
SUPER PRODUCTION CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND 8

SUPER TOURING CHAMPIONSHIP

Exciting battle for the Super Touring title
A three-man fight is taking place for the inaugural FIA European Super Touring Championship title. Winning both races in the previous round at the A-1 Ring, Gabriele Tarquini (JAS Motorsport Honda Accord) has reduced his gap to the current leaders, the Alfa Romeo Nordauto duo of Fabrizio Giovanardi and Nicola Larini to respectively 55 and 24 points. Despite being the only one of the three not to know the Nürburgring, Giovanardi is very confident. "It’s not the first time that I have had to learn a track quickly and as far as I know, the Nürburgring Grand Prix course is easy enough. Actually I am more concerned about the tests we are doing to improve our car’s performance. The results of the latest races showed that the Honda Accord is giving Tarquini an advantage which we have to recover", Giovanardi declared.

Conrero : line-up still undecided
Conrero team manager Oscar Berselli has not yet released the name of the driver who will be alongside Angelo Lancelotti in the team’s two Alfa 156s in the Super Touring Championship. The decision depends on the health of Salvatore Deplano. The 27-year old driver from Sardinia, who took part in the STC qualifying at the A-1 Ring, missed both of Sunday’s races due to a kidney complaint. If he recovers in time, he will be back behind the wheel of the nr 10 Alfa Romeo 156 for the Nürburgring races. If he is not fit to race, one of his possible replacements is former Formula 3 driver Giovanni Gulinelli, who previously competed in the FIA GT Championship this season.

Sardelli : Michelin Amateur Trophy leader
Sandro Sardelli, driving a PRO Motorsport Nissan Primera, is leading the STC "Amateurs" Michelin Trophy. GDL Racing’s Gianluca De Lorenzi celebrated his STC comeback at the A-1 Ring, after missing the Budapest round due to a serious accident, and proceeded to dominate both the races in the "Amateurs" class. Trophy leader Sardelli came home second in Race 1, but finished only seventh in Race 2 after he was involved in a collision at the start. However, he still has a comfortable margin over De Lorenzi, who is currently third. Second in the "Amateurs" classification is Paolo Zadra (Max Team BMW 320i) who has proved to be the most consistent driver in the trophy. In Austria he obtained his best results so far and lies 61 points behind Sardelli. Fourth, 100 points behind the leader, is Zadra’s team-mate Eric Cayrolle. Despite his speed, the French driver was unable to score many points during the previous round, after spinning in the first race and being awarded a penalty in the second.

SUPER PRODUCTION CHAMPIONSHIP

Nissan and Alfa Romeo close on BMW
A change is taking place in the Super Production Championship. While BMW cars clearly dominated the first part of the season, other competitors have improved in recent rounds. Since Zolder, Tommy Rustad in his RJN Motorsport Nissan Primera has shown capable of running at the same pace as the BMW drivers. Although a technical failure and a spin prevented the Norwegian from claiming good results at Zolder and Budapest, the blue-and-white Nissan was clearly the car to beat at the A1 Ring. Rustad took pole position and dominated the race. A stop-and-go penalty for a jump start, caused by a clutch failure, meant he was not able to claim his first victory, but he recovered to third place. At the Nürburgring he will try once more to stop the winning streak of the BMW. Luis Villamil and Tobia Masini have the same goal in their Bigazzi Alfa Romeo 156s. In Austria the Italian cars were more competitive than before, showing the progress made by Aldo Bigazzi’s development work. However, neither driver finished the race, Masini following a collision, and Villamil due to a broken gearbox. The Spaniard fought for half the race with eventual podium finishers Norman Simon and Gianni Morbidelli, setting the fourth best lap time in the process.

Two German Alfa 147s in the Super Production
Team Engstler will enter its two Alfa Romeo 147 cars in the eighth round of the Super Production Championship. The Italian cars regularly compete in the German DTC (Deutsche Tourenwagen Challenge), driven by team owner Franz Engstler and Andreas Klinge. 37-year-old Engstler is a very experienced Touring Car driver. After winning the German F3 B Championship in 1989 he switched to touring cars, competing in the German DTM and Super Touring Championships. Last year he claimed the DTC crown at the wheel of a BMW 320i. "We are very happy with the improvement of our cars," Engstler declared. "In the last DTC rounds we closed the gap to the best cars and I hope to give Alfa Romeo its first podium result in the FIA European Super Production Championship." So far, the team’s best finish in the DTC was Engstler’s sixth place at Lausitz’s Eurospeedway.

Simon leads the Under 25 Michelin Trophy
Norman Simon, driving a Ravaglia Motorsport BMW 320i, is still in the lead of the SPC "Under 25" Michelin Trophy. After winning his first race in Austria, Simon has also strengthened his position as the leader of the "Under 25" Trophy. He has now a margin of 46 points over Fulvio Cavicchi (Conrero Alfa Romeo 147), with only 60 points still to be awarded. Due to the many retirements, only Simon and Simone Di Luca scored points in the "U25" classification at the A1 Ring. These were De Luca’s first points since he made his Championship debut in Budapest, driving an RJN Motorsport Nissan Primera. <pre>

Circuit Length : 4.556 km/ 2.83 miles

Other races Renault Formula 2000 Eurocup FC Euro Series Ferrari Challenge West Ferrari Challenge Central

Touring Car records : STC Qualifying lap : 1:41.846– Manuel Reuter (Opel Vectra), 21/8/1999 (Deutsche SuperTourenwagen Meistershaft) STC Race lap : 1:43.975, Tom Kristensen (Honda Accord), 22/8/1999 (Deutsche SuperTourenwagen Meistershaft) SPC Qualifying Lap : 1 :54.393, Michael Funke (Ford Focus), 26/8/2000 (Deutsche Tourenwagen Challenge) SPC Race lap : 1:55.210, Franz Engtsler (BMW 320i E46), 22/6/2000 (Deutsche Tourenwagen Challenge)

On air on Eurosport : Saturday, 8th September 2001 22:00– 23:30 : Qualifying - delayed Sunday 9th September 2001 17:30– 20:00 : Races - delayed

-etcc/estc

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About this article
Series General
Drivers Fabrizio Giovanardi , Tom Kristensen , Norman Simon , Manuel Reuter , Franz Engstler , Gabriele Tarquini , Nicola Larini , Michael Funke , Tommy Rustad