The battle is hotting up at the head of the ETCC pack with Alfa Romeo re-establishing its dominance in a qualifying session at Enna that was a real Alfa/BMW benefit
Pole position went to Alfa's lead driver, Fabrizio Giovanardi, the man most likely to take the first title of the reborn championship. The Italian was in mighty form at Enna, lapping half a second quicker than team-mate Nicola Larini, who in turn was the best part of a second up on BMW's Dirk Muller.
Roberto Colciago, who has been drafted in by Alfa to help Giovanardi's title bid, was an impressive fourth, ahead of a pack of 320is that fill the next five places on the grid.
Brit James Hanson was the top non-BMW/Alfa, qualifying his Volvo in 12th. It was a nightmare session for his team-mate Rickard Rydell, who failed to set a competitive time and will start 20th and last.
Tom Ferrier qualified his Alfa 156 14th, while former BTCC production class driver Rob Collard will line up 19th in his Nissan Primera.
Fabrizio Giovanardi Alfa Romeo 156 GTA 1m47.522s Nicola Larini Alfa Romoe 156 GTA 1m48.065s Dirk Muller BMW 320i 1m48.904s Roberto Colciago Alfa Romeo 156 GTA 1m48.932s Jorg Muller BMW 320i 1m49.209s Fredrik Ekblom BMW 320i 1m49.458s Fabrizio de Simone BMW 320i 1m49.580s Gianluca de Lorenzi BMW 320i 1m49.705s Jordi Gene BMW 320i 1m50.788s Eric Cayrolle Alfa Romeo 156 GTA 1m51.245s
Volvo gave the World Touring Car Championship a major boost when it announced it would enter the series, but its ambitions don't stop there. JACK COZENS examines its programme, the S60 and what its arrival means for the WTCC
The 2012 World Touring Car champion says he never had the money to race cars. Yet 2015 is his 11th season in the WTCC. He talks STUART CODLING through his journey from motorsport fan to paid professional - for little more than £100,000