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Old 06-02-2004, 08:05 AM
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BMW drivers win two and create a gap - SEAT on podium and Giovanardi with two 5th...

BMW drivers win two and create a gap - SEAT on podium and Giovanardi with two 5th places


The fight for the 2004 FIA European Touring Car Championship Drivers' title seems close to become a BMW family affair. In the 9th and 10th rounds of the series, the winning streak of the German Manufacturer was streched to a sixth consecutive success. And now three BMW drivers are leading the classification: Dirk Müller is first, Andy Priaulx second with a four-point gap, and Jörg Müller third, two further points behind. BMW has also increased its leading margin in the Manufacturers' Championship. In the first race, Andy Priaulx took the best start and flew away, while Rickard Rydell, Dirk Müller and Antonio García had a tough fight for second position. Priaulx claimed his third race win of the season, while Rydell gave SEAT its first second place in the ETCC.

The second race was even tougher, with Jörg Müller taking an early leadership, and Frank Diefenbacher ousting him to lead four laps, before being passed by Dirk Müller and Priaulx.

A long queue of drivers out of the Stewards room testified how much the race was hot and packed with collisions. The major effect was a 30-second penalty which deprived Rydell of his fifth place in Race 2.

Like in Hockenheim, the Alfa Romeo drivers remained out of the podium, and Gabriele Tarquini, best-placed AutoDelta man in the points, scored two disappointing nils. The reigning champion is now twenty points from the leader.

Tom Coronel and his Carly Motors BMW struck back and won both the Independents' races, which were also very tough, with Luca Rangoni and Carl Rosenblad claiming a second

position apiece, and Alessandro Balzan twice in third.

These results remain provisional, pending the engine check on Dirk Müller's cars.

Race 1 report

Priaulx sprints to take the lead at the start: D. Müller took a prefect start, squeezing between pole-sitter Rydell and Priaulx. The latter managed to keep the inside line and take the lead, with Rydell on his tow. D. Müller was third, chased by García, Gené, Giovanardi and Coronel. During the first lap, J. Müller overtook Tarquini for the eighth position; while Zwaart lost one wheel, came back to the pits for repairs and rejoined: "I've been sandwiched between two other cars at the start, and one of my wheels was gone," he said. Lap 1: 1. Priaulx, 2. Rydell, 3. D. Müller, 4. García, 5. Gené, 6. Giovanardi, 7. Coronel, 8. J. Müller

Drive through to Gené, for jumping the start: On lap 2, Priaulx was able to increase his leading margin to 1.5 seconds, while Tarquini was closely chasing J. Müller. Balzan overtook Zanardi for the 15th position, while Ruokonen retired with gearbox problems. On lap 3, the fight for third position became hotter: García overtook D. Müller; Gené drove wide and lost five positions to Giovanardi, Coronel, J. Müller, Tarquini and Diefenbacher. His troubles were not over yet, as he was given a drive through penalty for jump start. Lap 5: 1. Priaulx, 2. Rydell, 3. García, 4. D. Müller, 5. Giovanardi, 6. Coronel, 7. J. Müller, 8. Diefenbacher

Collision between Zanardi and D'Aste: On lap 7, Priaulx's leading margin steadied at 2.5 seconds, while García was closing in on Rydell. On lap 9, Gené's bad luck hit again and the Spaniard retired with a broken rim. On the 10th and last lap, Balzan overtook Tavano moving up to 13th, while Zanardi went off after a collision with D'Aste. Magnussen and Rosenblad were fighting hard for the 17th place, and overtook each other several times. Priaulx crossed the line with a 3-second margin, scoring his third win of the season, from Rydell and García; D. Müller, Giovanardi, Coronel (winner of the Independents' race), J. Müller and Diefenbacher filled the other positions in the points. Tarquini finished ninth, just out of the point zone.

ETCC - Brno, 30th May 2004 - Race 1:

POS DRIVER TEAM CAR Laps Elapsed Time Av.Speed\Gap
1 Andy Priaulx (GBR) BMW Team Great Britain BMW 320i 10 22:12.963 145.92 kph
2 Rickard Rydell (SWE) SEAT Sport SEAT Toledo Cupra 10 22:16.298 3.335
3 Antonio García (ESP) BMW Team Italy-Spain BMW 320i 10 22:17.217 4.254
4 Dirk Müller (GER) BMW Team Deutschland BMW 320i 10 22:17.996 5.033
5 Fabrizio Giovanardi (ITA) AutoDelta Squadra Corse Alfa Romeo 156 10 22:31.521 18.558
6 Tom Coronel (NED) Carly Motors BMW 320i 10 22:32.135 19.172
7 Jörg Müller (GER) BMW Team Deutschland BMW 320i 10 22:32.373 19.410
8 Frank Diefenbacher (GER) SEAT Sport SEAT Toledo Cupra 10 22:33.067 20.104
9 Gabriele Tarquini (ITA) AutoDelta Squadra Corse Alfa Romeo 156 10 22:34.670 21.707
10 Luca Rangoni (ITA) Oregon Team Alfa Romeo 156 Gta 10 22:36.870 23.907
11 Kurt Mollekens (BEL) BMW Team Belgium-Luxembourg BMW 320i 10 22:37.165 24.202
12 Augusto Farfus (BRA) AutoDelta Squadra Corse Alfa Romeo 156 10 22:38.307 25.344
13 Alessandro Balzan (ITA) JAS Motorsport Honda Accord Euro R 10 22:40.066 27.103
14 Salvatore Tavano (ITA) Oregon Team Alfa Romeo 156 Gta 10 22:42.424 29.461
15 Jan Magnussen (DEN) Peugeot Sport Engineering Peugeot 307 Gti 10 22:45.534 32.571
16 Stefano D'Aste (ITA) Proteam Motorsport BMW 320i 10 22:46.285 33.322
17 Sebastian Grunert (GER) RS-Line Rotpunkt Sport Ford Focus ST170 10 22:46.450 33.487
18 Carl Rosenblad (SWE) Crawford Racing BMW 320i 10 22:46.833 33.87
19 Simon Harrison (GBR) GR Asia Honda Civic Type-R 10 22:47.315 34.352
20 Michele Bartyan (AUT) Oregon Team Alfa Romeo 156 Gta 10 22:52.625 39.662
21 Alessandro Zanardi (ITA) BMW Team Italy-Spain BMW 320i 9 20:28.329 1 lap
22 Jordi Gené (ESP) SEAT Sport SEAT Toledo Cupra 9 21:20.740 1 lap *
23 Klaas Zwart (NED) Carly Motors BMW 320i 9 23:43.863 1 lap Dnf
17 Toni R. Ruokonen (FIN) GR Asia Honda Civic Type-R 1 02:27.329 9 laps

* Gené: drive through penalty, due to jump start

Race 2 report

Diefenbacher chases J. Müller closely: Ruokonen's Honda did not make the grid further to its gearbox problem. Diefenbacher's SEAT sat on pole on the reversed grid, but J. Müller took the lead at the start. Behind him, Diefenbacher managed to stay in front of both, Coronel on the outside and Giovanardi on the inside. During the first lap, Rangoni went off into the gravel after a collision with Mollekens. J. Müller seemed able to create a gap, while D. Müller, García, Giovanardi, Priaulx and Rydell were in tough fight for fourth position. Lap 1: 1. J. Müller, 2. Diefenbacher, 3. Coronel, 4. D. Müller, 5. Giovanardi, 6. García, 7. Priaulx, 8. Rydell

Rydell hits Tarquini, sending him off: On lap 2, Priaulx overtook García, moving up to sixth, while D. Müller was closely following Coronel. Rydell lost two positions, from eighth to tenth, when he was overtaken by Farfus and Tarquini. A few moments later the Swede missed the braking point and hit Tarquini, sending him into the gravel trap. On lap 3, Diefenbacher passed J. Müller and jumped into the lead; Giovanardi overtook Coronel for fourth position. On lap 4, Coronel lost another position to Priaulx; Grunert retired with engine problems. The Müllers were on Diefenbacher's tail, the three leaders covered by half-a-second. On lap 5, Coronel slipped down to sixth, when García overtook him. D. Müller moved up to second, Priaulx passed Giovanardi for fourth. Magnussen retired after a clash with Bartyan, and Gené following a collision with Zanardi. Lap 5: 1. Diefenbacher, 2. D. Müller, 3. J. Müller, 4. Priaulx, 5. Giovanardi, 6. García, 7. Rydell, 8. Coronel

Rydell, Zanardi and Tavano demoted by the Stewards: On lap 6, D. Müller took command overtaking Diefenbacher. On lap 7, Farfus went off after a collision with García. On lap 8, Priaulx dived inside J. Müller first, and then Diefenbacher, climbing to second. On lap 9, Mollekens stole eighth position to Coronel. In vain Priaulx tried to get past D. Müller, who won the race (his second success of the season), with a two-tenths margin. Diefenbacher finished third, meaning another podium for SEAT, from J. Müller, Rydell, Giovanardi, García and Coronel (again first of the Independents) and Mollekens. Zanardi and Tavano were involved in a double collision. After the race, the Stewards inflicted a 30-second time penalty to Rydell for hitting Tarquini (demoting him from fifth to 12th), and also to Zanardi and Tavano, for their last lap clash.
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Old 06-02-2004, 08:09 AM
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ETCC - Brno, 30th May 2004 - Race 2:

POS DRIVER TEAM CAR Laps Elapsed Time Av.Speed\Gap
1 Dirk Müller (GER) BMW Team Deutschland BMW 320i 10 22:19.951 145.16 kph
2 Andy Priaulx (GBR) BMW Team Great Britain BMW 320i 10 22:20.145 0.194
3 Frank Diefenbacher (GER) SEAT Sport SEAT Toledo Cupra 10 22:23.479 3.528
4 Jörg Müller (GER) BMW Team Deutschland BMW 320i 10 22:23.815 3.864
5 Fabrizio Giovanardi (ITA) AutoDelta Squadra Corse Alfa Romeo 156 10 22:34.729 14.778
6 Antonio García (ESP) BMW Team Italy-Spain BMW 320i 10 22:35.138 15.197
7 Tom Coronel (NED) Carly Motors BMW 320i 10 22:36.181 16.230
8 Kurt Mollekens (BEL) BMW Team Belgium-Luxembourg BMW 320i 10 22:36.608 16.657
9 Carl Rosenblad (SWE) Crawford Racing BMW 320i 10 22:42.728 22.777
10 Alessandro Balzan (ITA) JAS Motorsport Honda Accord Euro R 10 22:42.766 22.815
11 Simon Harrison (GBR) GR Asia Honda Civic Type-R 10 22:45.824 25.873
12 Rickard Rydell (SWE) SEAT Sport SEAT Toledo Cupra 10 22:55.490 35.539 *
13 Michele Bartyan (AUT) Oregon Team Alfa Romeo 156 Gta 10 23:00.092 40.141
14 Stefano D'Aste (ITA) Proteam Motorsport BMW 320i 10 23:00.685 40.734
15 Klaas Zwart (NED) Carly Motors BMW 320i 10 23:15.915 55.964
16 Salvatore Tavano (ITA) Oregon Team Alfa Romeo 156 Gta 10 23:16.672 56.721 *
17 Alessandro Zanardi (ITA) BMW Team Italy-Spain BMW 320i 10 23:34.297 01:14.346 *
Dnf Augusto Farfus (BRA) AutoDelta Squadra Corse Alfa Romeo 156 6 13:33.046 4 laps
Dnf Jordi Gené (ESP) SEAT Sport SEAT Toledo Cupra 5 11:21.917 5 laps
Dnf Jan Magnussen (DEN) Peugeot Sport Engineering Peugeot 307 Gti 5 11:27.374 5 laps
Dnf Sebastian Grunert (GER) RS-Line Rotpunkt Sport Ford Focus ST170 4 09:12.364 6 laps
Dnf Gabriele Tarquini (ITA) AutoDelta Squadra Corse Alfa Romeo 156 1 02:23.235 9 laps
Dnf Luca Rangoni (ITA) Oregon Team Alfa Romeo 156 Gta 0 10 laps
Dns Toni R. Ruokonen (FIN) GR Asia Honda Civic Type-R 0

* Rydell: 30-second time-penalty, due to collision with Tarquini
* Zanardi and Tavano: 30-second time-penalty, due to colliding each other

Driver's quotes

Frank DIEFENBACHER - SEAT Sport, 8th in Race 1 and 3rd in Race 2: "I was very optimistic during the second race. I was on new tyres and when we went into the first corner, I was second behind Jörg Müller. Then his tyres suddenly went away. So when I took the lead, I tried not to push too much to cool my tyres down and avoid having the same happening to me. But then I saw Dirk Müller passing Jörg and flying towards me, and I knew that he would go past. I tried to make it as hard on him as possible, though. I haven't been really happy with how things went this weekend, but now I finally have a good result."

Fabrizio GIOVANARDI - AutoDelta, 5th in Race 1 and 5th in Race 2: "I expected two difficult races for us, and this proved an easy prediction. After three laps in both races we started having tyre problems. Then I just focused on scoring some points. It was easier in the first race, where there was a bit of confusion and a few fights. The second race was a nightmare, because I was followed by three cars which were lapping one second faster; and on such a wide track was impossible to keep them behind. In the end I got two fourth places, which are an unexpected gift."

Tom CORONEL - Carly Motors, 6th in Race 1 and 6th in Race 2: "In both races I was basically just trying to stay out of trouble. In the first one, there was some oil on the track where two drivers crashed into each other, and I tried to avoid slipping on it. In the second race, cars were fighting everywhere. I thought I need to stay away because they'd just take each other off, and that's exactly what happened. I was lucky to get away unscathed."

Gabriele TARQUINI - AutoDelta, 9th in Race 1 and DNF in Race 2: "This was not the right track for us where to score many points, but I did not expect to remain scoreless. In the first race I was involved in tough fight with a lot of other drivers, and I lost a few positions; I finished ninth, which is the worst place: out of the points and the pole missed by inches. In the second race I only finished the first lap, and Rydell pushed me off."

Dirk MÜLLER - BMW Team Deutschland, 4th in Race 1 and 1st in Race 2: "Both races were though and I was fighting like hell. It was really difficult with the 40 kg ballast, and mid-race I was struggling with the grip level. And Andy (Priaulx) put me under lots of pressure on the last two laps. It was difficult to stay in front, but I was struggling like a maniac. I'm just really lucky at the moment, and I hope it will continue like this."

Andy PRIAULX - BMW Team Great Britain, 1st in Race 1 and 2nd in Race 2: "It was a perfect race weekend for me. I honestly didn't expect to be so strong in the second race, because I had some contact in the first race that damaged the right rear of my car. I enjoyed the last race a lot, though. Dirk did a great job. He had 40 kg on board and he drove really well, even though I was putting a lot of pressure on him. It's going to be a lot tougher in Donington, because I'll have ballast then."

Rickard RYDELL - SEAT Sport, 2nd in Race 1 and 12th in Race 2: "It's very nice to have two podiums for SEAT here. For us, podium finishes are like victories! So far, we only had one podium on a race weekend, so this is a great result. There were no problems during the races, no big dramas. The car was very good all weekend. Andy (Priaulx) was a little bit too quick, though, and it was hard to follow him. The start was also very difficult. To be fair this Championship should have a rolling start, because otherwise we can never go into the first corner as the leader..."

Antonio GARCÍA - BMW Team Italy-Spain, 3rd in Race 1 and 6th in Race 2: "We had two very good races. I didn't know what to expect, where I would finish. I was unlucky in qualifying and couldn't get as far ahead as I wanted. Then I started into the first race with new tyres; and after the first lap, I was already third! So I tried my best to push. I'm apparently still not too lucky when it comes to fighting with my competitors, though. In the second race, my old teammate Giovanardi pushed me on the first lap and the others could pass."

2004 FIA EUROPEAN TOURING CAR CHAMPIONSHIP

Drivers' Championship

Pos. Driver Points
1 Dirk Müller (GER) 63
2 Andy Priaulx (GBR) 59
3 Jörg Müller (GER) 57
4 Gabriele Tarquini (ITA) 43
5 Fabrizio Giovanardi (ITA) 41
6 Antonio García (ESP) 30
7 Augusto Farfus (BRA) 24
8 Frank Diefenbacher (GER) 17
9 Jordi Gené (ESP) 15
10 Tom Coronel (NED) 15
11 Rickard Rydell (SWE) 13
12 Luca Rangoni (ITA) 5
13 Kurt Mollekens (BEL) 3
14 Salvatore Tavano (ITA) 3
15 Stefano D'Aste (ITA) 1
16 Alessandro Zanardi (ITA) 1

Michelin Independents Trophy

Pos. Driver Points
1 Tom Coronel (NED) 78
2 Stefano D'Aste (ITA) 50
3 Alessandro Balzan (ITA) 48
4 Salvatore Tavano (ITA) 43
5 Luca Rangoni (ITA) 37
6 Michele Bartyan (AUT) 31
7 Carl Rosenblad (SWE) 28
8 Simon Harrison (GBR) 20
9 Toni R. Ruokonen (FIN) 18
10 Roland Asch (GER) 11
11 Thomas Klenke (GER) 8
12 Paulien Zwart (NED) 7
13 Sebastian Grunert (GER) 7
14 Klaas Zwart (NED) 3

Manufacturers Championship

Pos. Manufacturer Points
1 BMW 150
2 Alfa Romeo 93
3 SEAT 44

Michelin Teams Trophy

Pos. Team Points
1 BMW Team Deutschland 121
2 AutoDelta Squadra Corse 89
3 Racing Bart Mampaey 62
4 SEAT Sport 44
5 BMW Team Italy-Spain 31
6 Carly Motors 15
7 Oregon Team 8
8 Proteam Motorsport 1
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Old 06-02-2004, 08:11 AM
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more pics..
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Old 06-02-2004, 08:13 AM
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Old 06-02-2004, 08:17 AM
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and finally..
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Old 06-02-2004, 02:59 PM
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It's great to see Zanardi back in there. I remember watching his last CART race, when it happend, unbelieveable. It's so amazing that he's back to doing what he loves.
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