ETCC: N?rburgring round 16 race notes

FIA SUPER TOURING CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND 16 RACE 2 REPORT Weather Dark clouds covered the sky and rain threatened. Temperatures remained low and the track was dry, but the clerk of the course declared it to be a "wet race". First win for Walfisch...


Dark clouds covered the sky and rain threatened. Temperatures remained low and the track was dry, but the clerk of the course declared it to be a "wet race".

First win for Walfisch in a Honda 1-2
Giovanardi was the pole sitter on the reverse grid, with Colgiago alongside him. Cayrolle took the start from the pit-lane as he chose to take his car out of parc fermé in order to repair his BMW, which had been damaged during the first race in a collision with Pigoli. All the drivers were on slick tyres.

Start– Giovanardi takes a slow start and Colciago dashes into the lead followed by Walfisch and Giovanardi. Zadra spins at the first chicane and rejoins at the back of the field.

Lap 1– Walfisch chases Colciago and overtakes him to take the race lead. De Lorenzi passes Pigoli for fourth. Top-10: 5 - 7 - 1 - 20 - 8 - 4 - 29 - 2 - 18 - 14

Lap 2– Tarquini, Neal and Larini are making their way up through the field; Tarquini is closing on De Lorenzi. Top-10: 5 - 7 - 1 - 20 - 4 - 29 - 2 - 8 - 18 - 19

Lap 3– Tarquini manages to pass De Lorenzi and begins to chase Giovanardi in third place. Walfisch is pulling away from Colciago. Top-10: 5 - 7 - 1 - 4 - 20 - 29 - 2 - 8 - 18 - 9

Lap 4– Tarquini is on Giovanardi's tail. Neal spins after contact with Larini and rejoins in 12th position. Cayrolle moves up into the top-ten. Sardelli and Lacelotti both overtake Pigoli, moving up to seventh and eighth places respectively. Top-10: 5 - 7 - 1 - 4 - 20 - 2 - 18 - 9 - 8 - 16

Lap 5– Tarquini tries to outbrake Giovanardi at the Veedol chicane ; they both cut over the grass and Tarquini grabs third position. Top-10: 5 - 7 - 4 - 1 - 20 - 2 - 18 - 9 - 16 - 8

Lap 6– Neal recovers to tenth place. Top-10: 5 - 7 - 4 - 1 - 20 - 2 - 18 - 9 - 16 - 29

Lap 7– Larini is chasing De Lorenzi and manages to overtakes him for fifth position. Top-10: 5 - 7 - 4 - 1 - 2 - 20 - 18 - 9 - 16 - 29

Lap 9– Neal passes Cayrolle for ninth position. Top-10: 5 - 7 - 4 - 1 - 2 - 20 - 18 - 9 - 29 - 16

Lap 10– Neal spins into the gravel trap and retires from ninth. Lempinen regains the tenth position. Top-10: 5 - 7 - 4 - 1 - 2 - 20 - 18 - 9 - 16 - 19

Lap 11– Tarquini is close behind Colciago; he makes a couple of attempts and eventually manages to outbrake him at the Veedol chicane to grab second place behind his team-mate Walfisch. The Frenchman scores his first Touring Car success, heading a Honda 1-2 ahead of Colciago’s Audi. Giovanardi and Larini are classified fourth and fifth respectively, managing to maintain the first two positions in the Championship's classification. Giovanardi has therefore stretched his lead to 7 points ahead of Larini, with Tarquini just 29 points behind the leader. The race for the Amateurs trophy was won by De Lorenzi, who came home in sixth place, beating Sardelli by only 25 hundredths of a seconds. Top-10: 5 - 7 - 4 - 1 - 2 - 20 - 18 - 9 - 16 - 19


Nicola Larini - nr 2 Nordauto Alfa Romeo– Race 1 Winner : "It was time to win again ; my last success was at Brno, quite a long time ago and I was becoming a bit nervous because in the latest rounds I had a lot of bad luck. The first race was good although I had some problems at the beginning. I had a lot of oversteering. With the rain, the set up was better and I had a good feeling. My lap times were constantly quicker. I was chasing Tarquini and Neal and then they both had problems ; Neal spun in front of me and Tarquini slowed down a bit, enough to let me close the gap and finally get past. In the second race I charged from the back of the reverse grid and I was fighting with Neal over fifth position. However, when I dived inside he closed the door, so we made contact and he spun off. Afterwards my car was not as good, because the suspension and the rim had been damaged in the contact. I tried to push a bit more to catch Fabrizio Giovanardi for fourth, but it was too risky. Anyway, now I am only seven points behind him in the championship classification and I think that Giovanardi, Tarquini and I will have a great fight for the title in the two final meetings."

Gabriele Tarquini - nr 4 JAS Motorsport Honda– 2nd in Races 1 and 2: "I did not score any wins today, but I have gained a lot of points. Now I am much closer to the lead and I feel far more optimistic for the end of the season. In the first race, I was comfortably in the lead, but then my car began oversteering and that enabled Larini to overtake me. After the car was released from parc fermé we discovered that the problem was due to punctured left rear tyre. I was lucky to have had enough pressure to finish the race. In the second race I made my way through the field, but it was not easy to overtake Giovanardi and Colciago. When I finally managed to move up to second it was too late to try to catch Walfisch. My car proved to be very fast both in the wet and in the dry."

Fabrice Walfisch - nr 5 JAS Motorsport Honda– Race 2 Winner : "I am really happy with the first Touring Car win of my career. I had almost forgotten how sweet is to win, because my last success was three years ago. Race 1 was a nightmare, it looked as if it might stay dry so I decided to gamble on slick tyres and I lost. As soon as I came off the pit lane it started to rain again. From that moment on, my only concern was to finish the race to have a good position on the reverse grid for Race 2. I knew that Colciago would be faster than me at the start, but during the first lap I pushed very hard to pass him. I wanted to do it as soon as possible to build a margin between me and the faster guys, who were charging from behind. In the later laps I was watching in my mirror; I saw that Tarquini was about to pass Colciago, but I was in total control."

Roberto Colciago - nr 7 AGS Motorsport Audi– 3rd in Race 2 : "It was not a memorable weekend for me. In the first race I played the same gamble as Walfisch, but even with my Audi's four-wheel drive it was not possible to drive on slick tyres. In the second race I took a very good start, but Walfisch overtook me easily. In the final part of the race I really tried hard to defend my second position, but Tarquini's Honda was much faster than my car. For more than one lap I managed to keep him behind me, but he finally got past and I could not do anything to avoid it."

Matthew Neal - nr 29 RJN Motorsport Nissan– 3rd in Race 1 : "I'm disappointed with my personal driving today. I could have won the first race ; after I managed to pass Larini, I was closing on Tarquini, but I pushed too hard and I lost the rear of my car, going into a spin, which was a real shame. In the second race my car was quite good but Larini hit me at the back and sent me into a spin. Something broke in the suspension and soon afterwards I spun off and retired. I made sure not to get involved in the Championship title fight, but in the two final meetings I will definitely do my best to try and score my first win in the European Championship."


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Series General
Drivers Fabrizio Giovanardi , Gabriele Tarquini , Nicola Larini , Roberto Colciago