Gabriele Tarquini got Alfa Romeo's FIA European Touring Car Championship campaign off to a flying start by winning the opening round of the series at Barcelona, Spain
The three-strong works Alfa posse almost threw its chances away at the start, however, as Tarquini's team-mates Nicola Larini and Roberto Colciago both made terrible getaways. Tarquini held the lead on the opening lap in his 156 Gta, with the Ravaglia-run BMW 320Is of Fabrizio Giovanardi and Antonio Garcia leading the chase.
Larini, who dropped to fifth by the first corner, grabbed fourth from Jorg Muller (BMW) by the end of the opening tour, but Muller redressed the balance a few moments later. His team-mate Dirk Muller (no relation), also got past Larini, whose Alfa faded in the closing stages, allowing Britain's Andy Priaulx (BMW) to barge his way past into sixth late on.
At the front, Tarquini fended off everything that his old pal Giovanardi could throw at him, the Italian duo just 0.212secs apart at the finish. Garcia took third, ahead of the two Mullers (Jorg ahead of Dirk, who only qualified 12th), with Priaulx a solid sixth.
1 Gabriele Tarquini, Autodelta Alfa Romeo 156, 21m30.672s 2 Fabrizio Giovanardi, Ravaglia BMW 320I, +0.212s 3 Antonio Garcia, Ravaglia BMW 320I, +0.880s 4 Jorg Muller, Schnitzer BMW 320I, +1.980s 5 Dirk Muller, Schnitzer BMW 320I, +9.062s 6 Andy Priaulx, RBM BMW 320I, +9.323s
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