EUROPEAN TOURING CAR CHAMPIONSHIP
Magny Cours 2002
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21/04/2002
 
21/04/2002
Race Update-2nd
 
The second race starts in the reverse order of the final positions from the first race, well at least the first six places do anyway! That means that the BMW of Fredrik Ekblom started in pole position from his team mate Jorg Muller. The Volvo of Rickard Rydell started the race from the second row with the BMW 320i of Dirk Muller along side him and the Alfas of Larini and Giovanardi on the third row.

The rear drive of the BMWs gave the German manufacturer a distinct advantage from the standing start allowing them to take the first three positions by the end of the pit straight. The Prodive designed and ran Volvo S60 of Rydell headed the chasing pack with the two Alfa Romeo 156 Gtas close behind.

As in the first race the Alfa the instantly looked the class act of the field and it was not long before Larini had passed the Volvo and closed on the gaggle of BMWs at the front of the race. Goivanardi did not have to wait long to get his chance to move in front of Rydell, taking the ex BTCC driver under braking shortly after Larini.

Once the NordAuto 156s had latched onto the back of BMWs it would only be a matter of time before the lead two positions would be theirs. The Alfa is visibly quicker in a straight line than the rest of the field and sure enough Giovanardi got past his team mate and drove by the two Mullers to take the lead by lap six. Larini copied his compatriots move to gain second position by the end of the next lap.

The surprise of the weekend had to be the pace of the Volvo. Rydell had closed the gap on the BMWs ahead of him whilst they battled with the Alfas and made a good overtaking move on the BMW of Jorg Muller on the last lap to grab forth position. The Volvo chassis worked very well on the ultra smooth circuit and looked far more composed than the BMW 320.

James Hanson in the second Volvo suffered an early exit from the race after coming together with a BMW early on whilst Tom Ferrier had a weekend to forget in his Alfa by failing to finish twice.

So the Alfa factory had a perfect weekend gaining maximum points and clearly showing the opposition the way forward. For Giovanardi, he has started exactly where he left off, out in front.



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