Buenos Aires (02/09/98) - The South-American Touring Car Championship continues this week end at the OberÃ¡ circuit, venue for the series eighth round. It is the first time the tin top series uses the Missiones race track, a 2.726 km long circuit...
Buenos Aires (02/09/98) - The South-American Touring Car Championship continues this week end at the Oberá circuit, venue for the series eighth round. It is the first time the tin top series uses the Missiones race track, a 2.726 km long circuit famous for its varied topography. The race program follows its normal schedule, similar to Formula 1, and starts on Friday with two free practice sessions; the 37 laps long race starts on Sunday at 12:00.
Ingo Hoffmanns triumph with his BMW 320i at the Curitiba round, two weeks ago, added drama to the battle for top places in the championship, once again commanded by his team mate at the Pro.As/Mastercard operation, Oscar Larrauri, who now shows 83 points, one ahead of Cacá Bueno (Peugeot 406). Hoffman first win at the S-ATCC gave him a total of 54 points so far, enough to intensify the battle for third place in the championship against Cocho Lopez (Alfa Romeo 155) and Juan Manuel Fangio II (Buenos team mate at the Brahma/Esso squad), who have 67 and 61 points respectively. Lopez, well known for his consistency, is the only one of the top five yet to win a race this season.
All the teams involved in the series agree that Oberá is one of the most demanding circuits from the S-ATCC calendar: its mixing of variation of altitude and a blend of slow and medium speed corners demands for an specific set-up on the cars. Upon these, cars such as the Chrysler Stratus driven by Ernesto Tito Bessone and Pablo Peón and the BMWs 320i are expect to take advantage over the other makes. The former due to the lack of ballast and the later profiting on its real wheel drive. To add fuel to the fire, the two Peugeot drivers - Bueno and Fangio II -, have never driven at Oberá before, what means their team will devote at least one free practice session to find the best set up and the drivers to familiarise themselves with the circuit. The entry list for this eight round shows the return of the two Honda Accord run by Hugo Pierandreis team, who did not take part at the Curitiba round.
RACE PROGRAM Friday: Free practice from 12:30 to 13:00 and from 16:00 to 16:30. Saturday: Free practice from 10:00 to 10:30; Qualifying from 13:30 to 14:00, Top qualifying from 14:05. Sunday: Warm-up from 9:00 to 9:15; race starts at 12:00. Race distance: 37 laps, total of 100.862 km.
Championship positions: Drivers: 1.) Larrauri, 83 points; 2.) Bueno, 82; 3.) Lopez, 67; Fangio II, 61; 5.) Hoffmann, 54; 6.) Guerra, 38; 7.) Spataro, 35; 8.) Bessone, 38; 9.) Croceri, 24; 10.) Peón e Risatti, 18. Manufacturers: 1.) BMW, 116 points; 2.) Peugeot, 100; 3.) Alfa Romeo, 74; 4.) Chrysler, 51; 5.) Chevrolet, 44. Teams: 1.) Pro.As/Mastercard, 115 points ; 2.) Brahma/Esso, 100; 3.) Race-Car/Autocrédito, 69; 4.) Bessone Sport, 51; 5.) INI Competición, 44. ends