ETCC: Spa: Volvo S60 Racing race report

Spa brings points haul for Volvo. Volvo arrived at Spa with trepidation given the longs straights and demanding hills that the circuit holds. Without the power of the BMWs and Alfas it was going to be a tough weekend. A gearbox problem held ...

Spa brings points haul for Volvo.

Volvo arrived at Spa with trepidation given the longs straights and demanding hills that the circuit holds. Without the power of the BMWs and Alfas it was going to be a tough weekend. A gearbox problem held James Hanson back to 19th on the grid in Friday's qualifying but from then the problems were over and the uphill battle paid off with points for both drivers.

Race 1
Rickard Rydell No. 60 - Grid: 5th - Finish: 4th
James Hanson No. 61 - Grid: 19th - Finish: 10th

It was a lonely race for Rickard Rydell. By lap two, he had made fourth place behind Jorg Muller (BMW Team Germany), Nicola Larini (Nordauto Alfa Romeo) and Frederik Ekblom (BMW Team Belgium). With the rest of the pack well behind him and the top three pulling away, Rickard drove the remaining six laps to hold position and take three points. James Hanson's race was a different story with a charge from nineteenth place to eleventh on the first lap. Lap three saw him lose two positions on straight-line speed but then on lap five he regained tenth place by taking Rustad in the Nissan.

Race 2
Rickard Rydell No. 60 - Grid: 3rd - Finish: 2nd
James Hanson No. 61 - Grid: 10th - Finish: 6th

Hanson made a second good start gaining a place by the end of the first lap. Rustad retired and then Cayrolle span out of the race outing Hanson in seventh. Giovanardi suffered transmission failure leaving Hanson clear in sixth place and with a valuable championship point.

Rydell's race was much closer than his first. After a start with close action and a spin from Corthals (BMW Team GB) in the lead across the track, the pack settled to Giovanardi (Nordauto Alfa Romeo) in the lead followed by Jorg Muller and Rickard Rydell. Rydell kept with the battling pair ahead and benefited from Giovanardi's retirement to finish in second place and take his place on the podium for the sixth time this season.

Rickard Rydell:
"It was a good race [race 2] and really good fun when I could stay with Giovanardi and Jorg Muller. I could only stay with them when they were racing. After that Jorg pulled away. The car was a little better for race two which helped. Overall I'm pleased with a second place here."

James Hanson:
"To get a point after a bad weekend is good. I was lucky in race two but everyone has to get lucky sometime. I made two good starts and basically capitalised on others' mistakes to make up places. I was doing my job when they slipped up and weren't doing theirs. It's great to finish both races again. It feels as though everything's back on track."

Olle Odsell, Volvo motorsport director:
"Of course I'm pleased with the results. To be honest we inherited some places from others which isn't the best way to win places. I think the drivers have worked well and earned their points. It's a good point tally for us this weekend."

Dave Benbow, Volvo S60 Racing team manager:
"It's good to have both cars scoring points again and another middle step on the podium this week for Rickard. We still have to find more performance from the car in the break between now and Enna-Pergusa following which we will be looking to have a race win or two before the end of the season. "

The next ETCC event takes place at Enna-Pergusa on 21st and 22nd Speptember.

-volvo-

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About this article
Series General
Drivers Jorg Muller , Fredrik Ekblom , Rickard Rydell , Nicola Larini