ETCC: Peter Kox to defend lead at Pergusa

After their convincing double win scored at Mugello, in the European Super Touring Cup opening, Dutchman Peter Kox and JAS Engineering, will defend the series leadership at Pergusa. The team's original plan was to take part in only three or four...

After their convincing double win scored at Mugello, in the European Super Touring Cup opening, Dutchman Peter Kox and JAS Engineering, will defend the series leadership at Pergusa. The team's original plan was to take part in only three or four rounds of the Euro STC, but following the brilliant results in the series' first meeting, JAS Engineering has obtained by Honda Motorsport Europe the permission to race at Pergusa. The Italian squad would like to participate in all the remaining rounds of the series, but before taking a final decision it has to complete the budget and to organize the operation; because some rounds of the Euro STC clash with BTCC, where JAS is committed on behalf of Honda Motorsport Europe, to run Gabriele Tarquini's Honda Accord.

At Pergusa, Kox and his Accord will face a fierce opposition from Alfa Romeos and BMWs. Since three years, the Alfas are virtually unbeatable on the very fast track, located in the heart of Sicily. Reigning Italian champion Fabrizio Giovanardi is particularly at his ease speeding around the lake; his true grit in jumping over the kerbs and in braking later then everybody esle at the chicanes, enabled him to win six back-to-back races, from 1997 to last year. Giovanardi is also the track record holder for Super Touring cars, both in qualifying and race. His Alfa team-mate Nicola Larini is not less competitive at Pergusa. Despite in the past he has often missed the Sicilian meeting, for clashes with F1 grand prix, Larini has scored four wins there, between 1988 and 1990 at the wheel of the powerful Alfa 75 Turbo.

BMW top-guns too like Pergusa. Gianni Morbidelli (in 1990) and Emanuele Naspetti (in 1991) had both obtained a prestigious success in the F3000 Mediterranean Grand Prix. Later the two of them repeated in Super Touring with CiBiEmme BMWs; Morbidelli claimed back-to-back wins in 1995 and Naspetti won all four races held in the two visits the Italian championship paied to Sicily in 1996.

Pergusa will host the Euro STC's second race meeting of the season, on April 29 and 30. Highlights of the event will be televised on Eurosport, sunday night at 23.00 CET.

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Series General
Drivers Fabrizio Giovanardi , Peter Kox , Gianni Morbidelli , Gabriele Tarquini