AFTER FOUR RACES BMW IS LEADING LARRAURI TEAM FEARS PEUGEOT AND AFLA AT THE SUDAM Buenos Aires (16/07/98) - Oscar Larrauri (BMW 320i), winner of three out of four rounds ...
AFTER FOUR RACES BMW IS LEADING LARRAURI TEAM FEARS PEUGEOT AND AFLA AT THE SUDAM Buenos Aires (16/07/98) - Oscar Larrauri (BMW 320i), winner of three out of four rounds already contested at this year's South American Touring Car Championship, is far away from feeling secured at the series leadership. Reasons are plenty, above all the fact that Brazilian Cacá Bueno (Peugeot 406), is just five points behind the former EuroBrun driver, who manages a total of 60 thanks to his wins at Buenos Aires (circuits nr. 6 and 8), and Posadas. Also, Bueno's team mate, Juan Manuel Fangio II, finished second at the last round and proved he is already feeling at home with front wheel drive, giving the Peugeot/Brahma/Esso team a true top drivers line up. According to Hugo Videla, a team director at Larrauri's Pro.As/Mastercard operation, there are other top rival on his way to a second title: "I can name Cocho Lopez and his Alfa Romeo 155 as another top rival but the fact is that we've found ourselves working even harder than last year. In 1997 we only secured the title on the last race after a season that had plenty of winners, like Nonô Figueiredo (Chevrolet Vectra), Alejandro Pagani (Chevrolet Vectra), Oscar Fineschi (Toyota Corona), and Ricardo Risatti (Ford Mondeo). We didn't expect the competition to be easier and the fact that we signed Brazilian Ingo Hoffmann, as Larrauri a name with F1 experience, shows our commitment".
Videla is aware of Bueno's regularity as a point scorer "as he has finished every race, always starting from pole, what means bonus points". Larrauri, on the other hand, is making full use of his wide experience to cope with different situations: "We have never had it easy. At the season opening round a problem with the differential almost caused his retirement. On the second race Larrauri managed a relatively poor seventh place on the grid but made a remarkable recovery at the start, helped by the fact that Bueno had to start last and Lopez did not capitalise his first row position. At Londrina, like in 97, once again Oscar did not score and at Posadas things could be even worse, as he was involved in an get together with Carly Cura and, later, a plastic bag prevented a proper airflow towards the radiator." BUENO IS ALL RIGHT AFTER SURGERY Cacá Bueno, the "Pole Position King of the S-ATCC, is now recovering from a surgery to cure a long time problem on his left knee. Bueno, a former volleyball player, won't be back in action until the next race, at Mar de Ajó, on the 26th. According to his team manager Edgardo Fernandez, "The best thing to Cacá, now, is to relax and be on tip-top shape for the next race. All tests until there will be carried out by Manuelito (Fangio II), who is now much comfortable with the Peugeot front wheel drive". VISIR TO DRIVE SECOND TOYOTA
José Visir has been confirmed at the wheel of the second Toyota Corona to take part in the South American Touring Car Championship. Always loyal to the Japanese manufacturer, Oscar Fineschi - who established himself as team owner and first driver at Fineschi Sport last year -, opted to increase his efforts and managed to buy a car formerly used at the North-American sister series, but powered by a revised engine from Tom's Toyota, from England. Last month Visir drove the second Ford Mondeo from Risatti Racing at the Londrina round in order to get used to front wheel drive. Ricardo Risatti hopes to confirm Vicente Pernía as his substitute.