ETCC qualifying: Giovanardi beats Tarquini

Alfa Romeo's Fabrizio Giovanardi won a fantastically close battle with Honda's Gabriele Tarquini for pole position in the FIA European Touring Car Championship race around the sinuous Hungaroring circuit

ETCC qualifying: Giovanardi beats Tarquini

Giovanardi set the early pace in his Nordauto-run 156 with a 1m43.191s, which Tarquini immediately topped with a 1m42.942s effort. On his second set of tyres, Gabriele set 1m42.589s, which Fabrizio pipped with a 1m42.569s - just two-hundredths of a second quicker.

"It was a great fight with Gabriele," said Giovanardi. "We worked really hard since the last race, especially on the engine, and I think this was enough to take the pole."

The second Nordauto Alfa of Nicola Larini will start the first of Sunday's two races from third on the grid. The former Ferrari F1 racer leads the championship by just two points from his pole sitting team mate, and was two-tenth in arrears of Giovanardi's quickest time.

Roberto Colciago's Audi A4 Quattro was fourth quickest, ahead of Matt Neal's Team Dynamics Nissan Primera (which has suffered from a misfire all weekend) and Tarquini's team mate Fabrice Walfisch.

The grid for the second of Sunday's two 50km races will be decided by reversing the results of tomorrow morning's opening event.

In the Super Production class, meanwhile, Gianni Morbidelli scored his second pole position of the year in his BMW 320i. The Italian heads series leader Duncan Huisman, while Norway's Tommy Rustad shook up the form book by breaking the BMW domination of the championship by going third quickest in his nimble Nissan Primera.

Norman Simon was fourth fastest, the German ahead of Italy's Stefano Gabellini. Three-time race winner Peter Kox could only manage the sixth quickest time in his Ravaglia Motorsport-run BMW.

Fabrizio Giovanardi, Nordauto Alfa Romeo 156, 1m42.569s
Gabriele Tarquini, JAS Motorsport Honda Accord, 1m42.589s
Nicola Larini, Nordauto Alfa Romeo 156, 1m42.794s
Roberto Colciago, AGS Audi A4 Quattro, 1m43.003s
Matt Neal, Team Dynamics Nissan Primera, 1m43.474s
Fabrice Walfisch, JAS Motorsport Honda Accord, 1m43.539s

Gianni Morbidelli, BMW 320i, 1m51.653s
Duncan Huisman, BMW 320i, 1m51.719s
Tommy Rustad, Nissan Primera, 1m51.866s
Norman Simon, BMW 320i, 1m52.102s
Stefano Gabellini, BMW 320i, 1m52.270s
Peter Kox, BMW 320i, 1m52.593s

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