Paul Ricard, France; Saturday 14/10/95 Audi ace Emanuele Pirro took qualifying honours as the 40 top international touring car drivers vied for all-important grid positions in preparation for tomorrow's (Sunday) two races which will decide the...
Paul Ricard, France; Saturday 14/10/95
Audi ace Emanuele Pirro took qualifying honours as the 40 top international touring car drivers vied for all-important grid positions in preparation for tomorrow's (Sunday) two races which will decide the destination of the blue riband 1995 FIA Touring Car World Cup.
This year's star studded entry includes all the leading competitors from the Auto Trader RAC British Touring Car Championship plus their tin-top counterparts from German, Italian, French, Spanish, South African and Japanese Super Touring series.
The prestigious title will be awarded to the driver amassing the most aggregate points from two 26-lap showdowns which this year are being staged at the Paul Ricard circuit in Southern France. Respective starting grids for the two races were settled in today's two individual qualifying sessions. Italian champion Pirro took pole position for both races as the impressive four-wheel drive Audis emphasised their advantage with a 1-2-3 lock-out of both starting grids. Steve Soper was the best British and BMW driver, he qualified fourth for both races.
Front-wheel drive cars have been struggling to match the times set by the Audis and BMWs. Alain Menu in the Williams Renault Laguna was the pick of the bunch, the Swiss star qualifying seventh for the first race and tenth for the second.
"I fear it's become something of an Audi and BMW benefit," said a dejected British Champion John Cleland. "This circuit simply doesn't suit cars like the Cavalier and Laguna." Cleland has a mountain to climb, he starts first race from a lowly 14th and the second from 18th.
Audi, meanwhile, has confirmed it will be entering next year's Auto Trader RAC Touring Car Championship with two of its on-form Audi A4s: one for Frank Biela, the other for an as yet unnamed British driver.
QUALIFYING/STARTING GRID - Race 1 FIA Touring Car World Cup Paul Ricard, France 14/10/95
1 Emanuele Pirro (I), Audi A4 - 1 minute 27.478 seconds, 156.382kph 2 Frank Biela (D), Audi A4 - 1:27.483s 3 Hans Stuck (A), Audi A4 - 1:27.540s 4 Steve Soper (GB), BMW 318i - 1:27.671s 5 Johnny Cecotto (Ven), BMW 318i - 1:27.772s 6 Yvan Muller (F), BMW 318i - 1:27.946s 7 Alain Menu (Swi), Renault Laguna - 1:28.007s 8 Roberto Ravaglia (I), BMW 318i - 1:28.035s 9 Rinaldo Capello (I), Audi A4 - 1:28.228s 10 Rickard Rydell (Swe), Volvo 850 - 1:28.290s 11 Kelvin Burt (GB), Ford Mondeo - 1:28.488s 12 David Brabham (AUS), BMW 318i - 1:28.560s
QUALIFYING/STARTING GRID - Race 2 1 Pirro - 1 minute 27.319 seconds, 156.667kph 2 Stuck - 1:27.521s 3 Biela - 1:27.536s 4 Soper - 1:27.602s 5 Cecotto - 1:27.727s 6 Muller - 1:27.762s 7 Ravaglia - 1:27.812s 8 Anthony Reid (GB), Vauxhall Cavalier - 1:27.987s 9 Capello - 1:28.008s 10 Menu - 1:28.011s 11 Rydell - 1:28.256s 12 Joachim Winkelhock (D), BMW 318i - 1:28.266s
-- Max Communications Best in British Motor Sport website: http://www.demon.co.uk/racing/index.html