Andros trophy: Muller leads practice

For the third round of the 1999/2000 Andros Trophy, the series has moved back into France, to the ski station of Alpe d'Huez.

Andros trophy: Muller leads practice

The 850m circuit is one of the most technical visited by the ice-racing series, consisting of a series of hairpins linked by a short straight.

Small mistakes are easily amplified by a billiard ball effect, where the drivers bounce off one snow wall after another.

Marcel Tarrès, driving the Citröen Xsara, was fastest in the free practice session, followed by championship leader Muller in the Opel Astra and Jean-Pierre Malcher's Nissan Micra.

The Opels took their revenge half-way through the timed practice, with Eric Helary and Dany Snobeck taking the provisional lead with laps just above one minute.

Rally-driver Pierre Colard was the first to break the one-minute barrier, putting his 2-litre Peugeot 306 into the lead.

Yvan Muller, unbeaten so far this season, came onto the ice in the final group of four, and proceeded to demolish the times.

He knocked a second off Colard's best time on his first lap out, reducing his time by another second on his third lap, taking the lead with a time of 57.442.

Marcel Tarrès was second, a second and a half slower than his great rival, with Opel's Jean-Philippe Dayraut third.

Jean-Pierre Malcher was the leading Nissan driver, in fourth place, while leading rookie Emmanuel Collard was fifteenth, the technical circuit giving him one of his lowest
placings this season.

Endurance specialist Philippe Gache made his first appearance in this season's Andros at Andorra, with a new Peugeot 306.

After rather difficult beginnings, the car is improving rapidly. 'It's going better and better,'
Gache said. 'We don't have any ambitions for the title, so our objectives are to improve the car.

'We know what we have to do - we need more power for the engine, and there is also some work to be done on the gearbox.

'It should go better after the holiday break. It's a very different car from the Méga - a totally different conception. Basically, we need another 50 or 60bhp to really become competitive.'

Results from timed practice session:



















































































Position


Driver


Car


Time


1


Y Muller


Opel Astra


0:57.442


2


M Tarres


Citroen Xsara


0:59.026


3


J-P Dayraut


Opel Astra


0:59.031


4


J-P Malcher


Nissan Micra


0:59.167


5


P Colard


Peugeot 306


0:59.930 [2]


6


J-L Pailler


Citroen Saxo


0:59.968


7


E Helary


Opel Astra


1:00.032


8


J Ruffier


Opel Tigra


1:00.607


9


D Snobeck


Opel Astra


1:00.960


10


J Pressac


Renault Megane


1:01.206


11


J-P Richelmi


Nissan Micra


1:01.273


12


H Knapick


Citroen Saxo


1:01.283


13


G Dussaucy


Nissan Micra


1:01.369 [P]


14


C Balas


Subaru Forester


1:01.716 [P]


15


E Collard


Nissan Micra


1:01.866



P = promotion 2 = 2-litre category
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