Donington ETCC 1: Giovanardi champ

Alfa Romeo star Fabrizio Giovanardi sealed his third consecuitve European touring Car Championship with a solid drive to fourth place in the first of two races at Donington Park

Donington ETCC 1: Giovanardi champ

The Italian, carrying 30kg of ballast, is unassailable at the top of the European Touring Car Championship standings after team-mate Nicola Larini retired following a first lap collision.

But it was pole man Dirk Muller who took victory in the race, despite a scare at the first corner. Fellow front-row starter Roberto Colciago, drafted in at Alfa or the final two races to help Giovanardi to the title, headed into the first corner side-by-side with Muller. The Italian turned across the German and the pari made contact, sending the former into a spun.

Larini's Alfa then struck the side of the rejoining Colciago, rearing up and sustaining extensive suspension damage, putting both out of the race.

Muller survived the collision and led to the finish, although BMW team-mate and fellow Muller, Jorg, dropped back from his early second place to finish fifth, behind third-place Gabriele Tarquini and Giovanardi.

Volvo's Rickard Rydell took second place from third on the grid, taking advantage of the battle between Tarquini and Giovanardi taking place in his wake.

Duncan Huisman claimed the final point with sixth place, while Tom Ferrier was the top British representative in eighth place, with Volvo's James Hanson taking ninth.



Dirk Muller (BMW 320i E46)
Rickard Rydell (Volvo S60), +2.030s
Gabriele Tarquini (Alfa Romeo 156 Gta), +3.476s
Fabrizio Giovanardi (Alfa Romeo 156 Gta), +7.432s
Jorg Muller (BMW 320i E46), +8.946s
Duncan Huisman (BMW 320I E46), +9.498s
Tom Coronel (BMW 320i E46), +14.459s
Tom Ferrier (Alfa Romeo 156 Gta), +14.716s
James Hanson (Volvo S60), +17.036s
Salvatore Tavano (Honda Civic Type-R), +31.412s

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