ETCC: Pergusa: Rounds 15 & 16 race summary

Fabrizio Giovanardi staked his claim on the FIA European Touring Car Championship drivers's title by scoring two dominant wins in Pergusa. This result has brought the Italian driver's season score to eight wins, simultaneously improving his...

Fabrizio Giovanardi staked his claim on the FIA European Touring Car Championship drivers's title by scoring two dominant wins in Pergusa. This result has brought the Italian driver's season score to eight wins, simultaneously improving his Pergusa record ten consecutive Touring Car wins since 1997, in the Italian Championship and the Euro STC. Giovanardi stretched his leading margin over his t eam-mate Nicola Larini to 21 points, with 38 points separating him from nearest BMW driver Jörg Müller. With 40 points still to be awarded in the two remaining events, Donington Park on October 6th and Estoril on October 20th, the Alfa Romeo drivers are closing in on the European crown, while the Italian make has also a solid 56-point lead in the Manufacturers' Championship.

ATTENDANCE: more than 30,000 spectators.

WEATHER: Partially cloudy and windy with a dry track.

LARINI FASTEST IN THE WARM UP
Nicola Larini set the fastest time in the warm-up. The Alfa Romeo man was timed at 1:49.125, only one tenth of a second faster than his team-mate Giovanardi (1:49.238) and three tenths faster than the third Nordauto driver Colciago (1:49.314).

Dirk Müller confirmed his status as the fastest BMW driver, setting a time of 1:49.609 that was good enough four the fourth position in the session. Rydell was able to take part in the session, his car repaired after his yesterday's qualifying shunt. The Swede set a disappointing 17th time at 1:52.496. "The team did a great job working all night, but the car is not 100 per cent," Rydell commented.

RACE ONE: GIOVANARDI WINS FROM LARINI AND DIRK MÜLLER

Start: From the second row of the grid Dirk Müller takes a great start, diving inside Giovanardi at the first braking and jumping into the lead.

Lap 1: Dirk Müller is closely chased by Giovanardi and Larini, while Jörg Müller is fourth and trying to keep Colciago behind him. At the fast chicane, Giovanardi outbrakes Dirk Müller and takes the lead. A collision involves Colciago and Jörg Müller, forcing Colciago back to the pits for a tyre change.
top-ten positions: 1 - 43 - 2 - 42 - 10 - 6 - 5 - 18 - 19 - 16

Lap 2: Giovanardi tries to build up a margin, but Dirk Müller and Larini remain stuck on his car's tail. Hanson overtakes Cayrolle for tenth position.
top-ten positions: 1 - 43 - 2 - 42 - 10 - 6 - 5 - 18 - 19 - 61

Lap 3: De Lorenzi is shown a black-and-orange flag because his car's rear bumper is loose after his car was hit from behind at the start. Tavano is chasing the Ravaglia Motorsport duo De Simone-Gené. Rydell overtakes his team-mate Hanson for tenth.
top-ten positions: 1 - 43 - 2 - 42 - 10 - 6 - 5 - 18 - 19 - 60

Lap 4: Cayrolle is chasing the two Volvos of Rydell (tenth) and Hanson (eleventh). Larini is putting pressure on Dirk Müller.
top-ten positions: 1 - 43 - 2 - 42 - 10 - 6 - 5 - 18 - 19 - 60

Lap 5: De Lorenzi comes into the pit to have the rear bumper replaced but he retires. Cayrolle and Ferrier overtake Cayrolle, moving up to eleventh and twelfth respectively. Collard goes off at the exit of the last chicane and hits the barrier.
top-ten positions: 1 - 43 - 2 - 42 - 10 - 6 - 5 - 18 - 19 - 60

Lap 6: Hanson goes wide at the Schumacher chicane and crashes into the barrier.
top-ten positions: 1 - 43 - 2 - 42 - 10 - 6 - 5 - 18 - 19 - 60

Lap 7: Larini tries to outbrake Dirk Müller at the last chicane, but the German resists. Jörg Müller manages to pull out a gap from Ekblom. Bernardoni retires due to electrical problems.
top-ten positions: 1 - 43 - 2 - 42 - 10 - 6 - 5 - 18 - 19 - 60

Lap 8: Rustad hits the tyres in the fast chicane and is forced to pit with a broken front left wheel.
top-ten positions: 1 - 43 - 2 - 42 - 10 - 6 - 5 - 18 - 19 - 60

Lap 9: Larini repeats his attempt to outbrake Dirk Müller at the last chicane. The two cars brake hard door-to-door. Larini keeps the inside line and jumps into second position.
top-ten positions: 1 - 2 - 43 - 42 - 10 - 6 - 5 - 18 - 19 - 60

Lap 10: Guagliardo, Villamil and Ferrier avoid a collision while fighting for position.
top-ten positions: 1 - 2 - 43 - 42 - 10 - 6 - 5 - 18 - 19 - 60

Lap 11: Giovanardi claims his seventh personal win of the season. Dirk Müller makes a desperate attempt to steal second position from Larini, but even straight cutting the last chicane is not enough and he has to settle in third. Jörg Müller, Ekblom and De Simone take the other positions in the points. Tavano overtakes Gené for seventh place.
final positions: 1 - 2 - 43 - 42 - 10 - 6 - 18 - 5 - 19 - 60

RACE TWO: GIOVANARDI-COLCIAGO FOR ANOTHER ALFA 1-2

Hanson's Volvo and Collard's Nissan do not rejoin the grid following their Race One shunts.

De Simone is on pole on the reverse grid, with Ekblom alongside him. Start: Ekblom takes the lead at the start from De Simone, Jorg Müller, Dirk Müller and Giovanardi. Larini loses a couple of positions to the Honda Civic cars of Tavano and Sardelli.

Lap 1: Giovanardi overtakes Dirk Müller in the fast chicane and moves up to fourth. Larini overtakes Sardelli for seventh. De Simone loses second position to Jorg Müller and then third to Giovanardi.
top-ten positions: 10 - 42 - 1 - 6 - 43 - 2 - 18 - 19 - 4 - 5

Lap 2: Dirk Müller overtakes De Simone for fourth. Larini also attacks De Simone's fifth position. Their cars clash and both drivers are forced to cut the fast chicane. Cociago and Gené overtake both the Honda Civics of Tavano and Sardelli, climbing to seventh and eighth respectively.
top-ten positions: 10 - 42 - 1 - 43 - 6 - 2 - 4 - 5 - 18 - 19

Lap 3: Jörg Müller and Giovanardi fight hard over the second place. They both cut a chicane and are given a black-and-white warning flag. Under pressure, Jörg Müller brakes too late at the last chicane, jumps over the kerbs and landed against Ekblom's door. They clash and Jörg Müller takes the lead. Tavano recovers eighth position from Gené.
top-ten positions: 42 - 10 - 1 - 43 - 6 - 2 - 4 - 18 - 5 - 19

Lap 4: Giovanardi overtakes Ekblom for second. The first seven drivers are within 1.7 seconds. Sardelli crashes at the Schumacher chicane after Cayrolle hit him from behind. De Lorenzi moves into the top-ten.
top-ten positions: 42 - 1 - 10 - 43 - 6 - 2 - 4 - 18 - 5 - 24

Lap 5: The fight for fifth between De Simone, Larini and Colciago intensifies. The three drivers clash, De Simone hits the tyres at the fast chicane and retires. Dirk Müller spins at the Schumacher chicane dropping from fourth to ninth. Tavano moves up to sixth, the first time in the season that a Honda Civic is within the point-zone.
top-ten positions: 42 - 1 - 10 - 2 - 4 - 18 - 24 - 16 - 43 - 5

Lap 6: Giovanardi and Jörg Müller try to outbrake each other at the first chicane. Giovanardi keeps the inside line and overtakes the German, his car almost sideways. Jörg Müller tries to resist but jumps over the kerbs and loses second position to Ekblom. Rydell overtakes Gené for tenth.
top-ten positions: 1 - 10 - 42 - 2 - 4 - 18 - 24 - 16 - 43 - 60

Lap 7: Jörg Müller recovers second position from Ekblom at the Schumacher chicane. De Lorenzi, Dirk Müller and Cayrolle are chasing Tavano for sixth. Villamil overtakes Rydell for tenth.
top-ten positions: 1 - 42 - 10 - 2 - 4 - 18 - 24 - 43 - 16 - 15

Lap 8: Colciago overtakes Larini - whose car has been extensively damaged after his collision with De Simone - and climbs to fourth. The new Swedish Touring Car champion proceeds to overtake Ekblom and jumps into third. Rydell recovers tenth position from Villamil.
top-ten positions: 1 - 42 - 4 - 10 - 2 - 18 - 24 - 43 - 16 - 60

Lap 9: Jörg Müller hits the tyres in the Schumacher chicane and Colciago sticks on his car's tail. The Italian manages to overtake the German at the following braking point, taking second position. Dirk Müller overtake De Lorenzi and Tavano to move up to sixth.
top-ten positions: 1 - 4 - 42 - 10 - 2 - 43 - 18 - 24 - 16 - 60

Lap 10: Ekblom hits the tyres at the Schumacher chicane and Larini overtakes him for fourth. Gené overtakes Rydell for tenth.
top-ten positions: 1 - 4 - 42 - 2 - 10 - 43 - 18 - 24 - 16 - 5

Lap 11: Giovanardi repeats his Race One win from Colciago and Jörg Müller. Larini, Ekblom and Dirk Müller also finish in the points. Tavano was classified seventh as in the first race, the best result for an Honda Civic in the championship so far.
final positions: 1 - 4 - 42 - 2 - 10 - 43 - 18 - 24 - 16 - 5

Fabrizio Giovanardi, Gta Racing Team Nordauto: "After everyone expected me to win, I really had to win today! I am really happy as I have not won a race during the last three meetings. In today's first race, I pushed a lot and the car was fantastic. I really enjoyed the fight I had with Jörg Müller in Race Two; I had to outbrake him in the first chicane and I was lucky I managed to handle my car because I was on the dirty side of the track. I worked a lot to win these two races and now I have a good advantage in the Championship. However, I have to concentrate on the last two meetings as my team-mate is always very fast. I need two points to be on the safe side".

Nicola Larini, Gta Racing Team Nordauto: "In the second race, De Simone hit me and pushed me out. My car was almost destroyed. On the following lap, he hit me again and I lost a big opportunity to score more points, improving my position compared to Fabrizio and also to Jörg, who is still so close to me. I still think I might win the Championship. I'm a bit worried about the next meeting in Donington Park, as I haven't raced at the circuit for a long time. It will be a great but difficult challenge".

Roberto Colciago, Gta Racing Team Nordauto: "In the first race I had a misunderstanding with Jörg Müller and I flat-spotted my tyres. Therefore, I had to pit and lost contact with the leaders. In the second race I was patient, watching the strange fight between Nicola and Fabrizio De Simone. I then overtook Nicola and also the BMWs as my car was faster. I was here to take points in order to help Alfa Romeo to secure the title and that is exactly what I did!"

Jörg Müller, BMW Team Deutschland: "I do not want to cry because Alfa Romeo have won 12 out of 16 races so far. It was hard racing here this weekend and I enjoyed it. The Championship fight is over for us now. In the first race, Ekblom tried to close the road while I was still fighting for the Championship. I do not know why. In the end, I passed him and touched him. Luckily my car was not damaged in the collision".

Dirk Müller, BMW Team Deutschland: "We knew we did would not have much of an opportunity to spoil Alfa Romeo's party at their home race. But I have to say that I enjoyed my fight with Larini in Race One; it was really nice and fair. In the second race I had a good start, but then I was hit at the back and my car began to oversteering. Finally I spun in the Schumacher chicane and I was lucky not to crash into the barriers. I spent the second half of the race recovering positions until I was back into the points".

Fabrizio De Simone, BMW Team Spain: "I had a good race one, finishing in the points and claiming the right to the pole for Race Two. Then it turned to a nightmare, as Larini started hitting me from behind from the start. It seemed he wanted to punt me off. In the end he overtook me at the fast chicane and then forced me to brake so that Colciago, who was behind me, could not avoid pushing me against the tyres".

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series General
Drivers Fabrizio Giovanardi , Dirk Müller , Jorg Muller , Nicola Larini , Roberto Colciago