ETCC: Oschersleben: Rounds 11, 12 race report

FIA European Touring Car Championship Rounds 11 And 12 With a double one-two for the Schnitzer cars of Dirk and Jorg Muller, BMW dominated the German round of the FIA European Touring Car Championship, with Volvo's Rickard Rydell twice in third...

FIA European
Touring Car Championship
Rounds 11 And 12

With a double one-two for the Schnitzer cars of Dirk and Jorg Muller, BMW dominated the German round of the FIA European Touring Car Championship, with Volvo's Rickard Rydell twice in third place. Alfa Romeo men Fabrizio Giovanardi and Nicola Larini, currently first and second in the Championship classification, had a difficult time today and saw their point lead cut by several points.

The results remain provisional pending fuel analysis of the nr 60, nr 43 and nr 2 cars

ATTENDANCE: 22,000 spectators over the weekend.

WEATHER: overcast and windy, with a threat of rain, but the track remained dry.

RACE ONE: THE MÜLLERS WIN A FIERCE BATTLE AMONG BMW DRIVERS
Start: Poleman Coronel does not make a good start and Ekblom takes the lead. At turn 4 a pile-up involves Hanson, Ruberti, Ferrier and Tavano. The two latter are forced to retire, their cars badly damaged; Hanson drives back to the pits for repairs, while Ruberti rejoins from the back.

Lap 1: Ekblom keeps the lead, while Dirk Muller manages to overtake Coronel for second position. Bernardoni retires with a broken gear lever.
top-ten positions: 10 -- 43 -- 7 -- 42 -- 60 -- 5 -- 6 -- 1 -- 2 -- 11

Lap 2: Dirk Muller is closely chasing Ekblom and tries to steal the lead from him. Rydell overtakes Jorg Muller for fourth position, while Giovanardi is fighting with Gene and De Simone for sixth.
top-ten positions: 10 -- 43 -- 7 -- 60 -- 42 -- 5 -- 6 -- 1 -- 2 -- 11

Lap 3: Jorg Muller retakes fourth position, overtaking Rydell. Giovanardi passes De Simone and moves up to seventh. Klenke retires after he spun off: "I lost the back of my car at the exit of the Shell Esses and crashed," the German driver said.
top-ten positions: 10 -- 43 -- 7 -- 42 -- 60 -- 5 -- 1 -- 6 -- 2 -- 11

Lap 4: Jorg Muller closes in on Coronel. Ruberti and Cayrolle chase Rustad for tenth place.
top-ten positions: 10 -- 43 -- 7 -- 42 -- 60 -- 5 -- 1 -- 6 -- 2 -- 11

Lap 5: Coronel manages to maintain third place, but he is very closely followed by Jorg Muller, Rydell, Gene and Giovanardi. Cayrolle overtake Ruberti for 11th position.
top-ten positions: 10 -- 43 -- 7 -- 42 -- 60 -- 5 -- 1 -- 6 -- 2 -- 11

Lap 6: Jorg Muller hits Coronel's rear bumper; the Dutchman goes off, drives onto the grass, rejoins but is forced to come back to the pits for repairs. Giovanardi overtakes Gene for fifth position.
top-ten positions: 10 -- 43 -- 42 -- 60 -- 1 -- 5 -- 6 -- 2 -- 11 -- 16

Lap 7: Jorg Muller is shown a warning flag for his move on Coronel.
top-ten positions: 10 -- 43 -- 42 -- 60 -- 1 -- 5 -- 6 -- 2 -- 11 -- 16

Lap 8: Larini overtakes De Simone for seventh. Ruberti drives back to the pits, his car damaged in a collision with Cayrolle.
top-ten positions: 10 -- 43 -- 42 -- 60 -- 1 -- 5 -- 2 -- 6 -- 11 -- 16

Lap 9: Dirk Muller misses the braking point and hits kblom, sending him into a spin. The Swedish driver retires with a damaged suspension. De Simone manages to overtake Gene and Larini, moving up to fifth.
top-ten positions: 43 -- 42 -- 60 -- 1 -- 6 -- 2 -- 5 -- 11 -- 16 -- 15

Lap 10: The clerk of the course waives a warning flag to the new race leader Dirk Muller. Rustad spins and loses his ninth place.
top-ten positions: 43 -- 42 -- 60 -- 1 -- 6 -- 2 -- 5 -- 16 -- 15 -- 11

Lap 12: Villamil overtakes Cayrolle for eighth place.
top-ten positions: 43 -- 42 -- 60 -- 1 -- 6 -- 2 -- 5 -- 15 -- 16 -- 11

Lap 14: Jorg Muller closes in on to Dirk, who manages to defend his lead, scoring his first win in the Championship. Rydell claims the third position from Giovanardi, with De Simone and Larini in fifth and sixth.
final positions: 43 -- 42 -- 60 -- 1 -- 6 -- 2 -- 5 -- 15 -- 16 -- 11

RACE TWO: ENCORE FOR DIRK MÜLLER; JORG AND RYDELL 2nd and 3rd AGAIN Ferrier's Alfa 156 does not join the grid as a consequence of the Race One crash. Klenke's Ford Focus takes the start from the end of the pit lane, as the Hotfiel Sport crew worked until the last minute to repair the damages from the first race.

Larini is on pole, with De Simone alongside him.
Start: De Simone takes the lead at the start, while Larini manages to keep the two Mullers behind him. Giovanardi, who fights hard to break into the leading group, is punted off the track and rejoins at the back.

Lap 1: Dirk Muller overtakes his team mate Jorg for third position. Cayrolle and Sardelli collide and retire.
top-ten positions: 6 -- 2 -- 43 -- 42 -- 60 -- 5 -- 15 -- 11 -- 61 - 18

Lap 2: Dirk Muller is closely chasing Larini, who is fiercely defending his second place. Klenke stops on the track, his engine overheated because the radiator was pierced when he crashed in Race One. Giovanardi recovers up to 13th.
top-ten positions: 6 -- 2 -- 43 -- 42 -- 60 -- 5 -- 15 -- 11 -- 61 - 18

Lap 3: Larini is struggling, Dirk Muller overtakes him, but the Italian retake the second position.
top-ten positions: 6 -- 2 -- 43 -- 42 -- 60 -- 5 -- 15 -- 11 -- 61 - 18

Lap 4: The fight over second turns into a battle. Jorg Muller overtakes Dirk, who strikes back and manages to pass both Jorg and Larini, moving up to second. De Simone benefits from the situation and manages to build a narrow margin.
top-ten positions: 6 -- 43 -- 2 -- 42 -- 60 -- 5 -- 15 -- 11 -- 18 -- 7

Lap 5: Larini and Jorg Muller are driving door-to-door, Rydell dives inside and manages to overtake both moving up to third. Finally Jorg Muller passes Larini for fourth position. From the back of the field Coronel, Giovanardi and Ekblom are recovering; the Dutchman overtakes Tavano for ninth.
top-ten positions: 6 -- 43 -- 60 -- 42 -- 2 -- 5 -- 15 -- 11 -- 7 -- 18

Lap 6: Jorg Muller is right behind Rydell's Volvo. Dirk Muller closes up to De Simone and finally overtakes him to take the lead. Giovanardi overtakes Tavano to break into the top ten.
top-ten positions: 43 -- 6 -- 60 -- 42 -- 2 -- 5 -- 15 -- 11 -- 7 -- 1

Lap 8: At every corner,Jorg Muller tries to overtake Rydell, but the Swede is always ready to shut the door. Gene overtakes Larini for fifth. Ekblom overtakes Giovanardi for tenth.
top-ten positions: 43 -- 6 -- 60 -- 42 -- 5 -- 2 -- 15 -- 11 -- 7 -- 10

Lap 9: Rydell and Jorg Muller close in on De Simone. Jorg manages to overtake Rydell for third.
top-ten positions: 43 -- 6 -- 42 -- 60 -- 5 -- 2 -- 15 -- 11 -- 7 -- 10

Lap 11: Jorg Muller overtakes De Simone and jumps into second.
top-ten positions: 43 -- 42 -- 6 -- 60 -- 5 -- 2 -- 15 -- 11 -- 7 -- 10

Lap 12: Rydell is chasing De Simone for third. Ruberti and Hanson collide and retire.
top-ten positions: 43 -- 42 -- 6 -- 60 -- 5 -- 2 -- 15 -- 11 -- 7 -- 10

Lap 13: Rydell hits De Simone, sends him into a spin and claims third position. De Simone also loses fourth position to his team-mate Gene. Ekblom moves up to eighth passing Rustad and Coronel.
top-ten positions: 43 -- 42 -- 60 -- 5 -- 6 -- 2 -- 15 -- 10 -- 7 -- 11

Lap 14: Dirk Muller scores his second win of the day from Jorg Muller and Rydell. Gene, De Simone and Larini occupy the other places in the points. Coronel retakes eighth place from Ekblom. Giovanardi finishes 11th and for the first time this season does not score any points
final positions: 43 -- 42 -- 60 -- 5 -- 6 -- 2 -- 15 -- 7 -- 10 -- 11

RACE QUOTES

Fabrizio Giovanardi, nr 1 GTA Racing Team Nordauto : "We had a difficult time yesterday in qualifying but the first race today was good enough for me, despite the clash I had at the start with De Simone which spoilt the balance of my car. Before the second race, the mechanics managed to re-set up the car and from the formation lap, I noticed that the car was even better than in the first race. Unfortunately, while I was fighting for the positions after the start, somebody pushed me off and that was the end of my hopes. Today, it was very hard because this is definitely a BMW track. However, we did our best to get the best out of our cars. You cannot win every time but I am convinced that we were in a position to fight. I lost 17 points of my margin but I am not worried. However, we must be very careful to avoid situations like today when I did not score points in the second race".

Jordi Gene, nr 5 BMW Team Spain : "I am not very happy with the first race because my car was not well balanced. It was very difficult to drive during the morning warm up. Then, I decided to change the set up and that was a mistake as yesterday in qualifying the car was very good. Throughout the race, I fought against understeer. We changed again between the two races and we also went out on a brand new set of tyres. The car was fantastic and from the beginning of the race, I could easily follow the leading group. I had fun, I finally managed to overtake Larini and I am very happy because we confirmed the progress shown in Anderstorp. Now, we are competitive".

Fabrizio De Simone, nr 6 BMW Team Spain : "I am very happy as for the first time of the season, I finished both races in the points. I was also able to lead Race 2 for several laps. We had some difficult times in the first half of the Championship but now we are in the positions where we want to be. In the first race, I took a very good start, overtaking three cars and I had a very good fight with Giovanardi and Larini. In the second race, I particularly enjoyed being so close to the starting lights. Again, I took a good start and I tried to benefit from the fights behind me to build a leading margin. I drove very smoothly but the Mullers were faster than me and it was really not possible to keep them behind. Finally I also lost 3rd place to Rydell. Maybe he was a little bit tough, maybe I was too fair, in any case, he passed me in a way that is part of this kind of racing".

Tom Coronel, nr 7 Carly Motors : "My start in the first race was not really good and I took second place. Dirk Muller was very clever and outbraked me. When Jorg Muller got just 5 metres behind me, he just hit me from the rear very hard. That's why I went right and he took the inside. And even when I was on the outside, he pushed me."

Fredrik Ekblom, nr 10 BMW Team Belgium : "I was leading the race, flat out, trying to keep ahead of Dirk Muller, which I just managed -- although it was very close. Then we got together at the end of the back straight, I got hit and, basically, I was thrown out. It is difficult for me to explain what happened as I did not see anybody and got hit from behind. I should have a look on TV to know. Before that, I can not really make a good judgement. The mechanics had to repair the rear suspension for the second race."

Dirk Muller, nr 43 BMW Team Germany : "I am really happy as I didn't know how it felt to win races. I have to give a big thanks to Schnitzer and to BMW Team Germany who all did a great job this weekend. We tried something in qualifying as I only used two sets of tyres so that I could use the third one in the second race. I thought I would be third or fourth. Everything worked well for me. All the cars were fighting and I was really nervous in the last two or three laps, hoping that my car would last. Regarding my collision with Fredrik Ekblom (BMW Team Belgium) in the first race, I was sorry and I went to see him at the end and we shook hands. He was in good shape and his car was good too. But I was quicker than him and could not stay behind any longer. He made a mistake and went sideways, losing speed. I was beside him in the corner and he closed the door. I went onto the grass but the accident was there... There are now 4 meetings left and 80 points to collect. We therefore still have a good chance to win the Championship. Oschersleben was a special round as it is a track which suits the BMW cars. In three weeks, in Spa, it will be different. If for that event we can get more power to follow the Alfas in the straights, the Championship will be getting closer and closer".

Rickard Rydell, nr 60 Volvo S60 Racing Team : "The rules changes in the middle of the season did not do us any good as without these, I would have taken pole. I am disappointed with this but happy to still finish third. I am looking forward to Spa as I know the circuit and really like it. It has lots of fast corners, which should suit our car."

-etcc-

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About this article
Series General
Drivers Fabrizio Giovanardi , Dirk Müller , Tom Coronel , Jorg Muller , Rickard Rydell , Jordi Gene , Nicola Larini