ETCC round-up: Alfa goes to Fiorano…

Works Alfa Romeo outfit Nordauto has spent the break between the Zolder and Hungaroring rounds of the European Touring Car Championship by using sister company Ferrari's test track at Fiorano

ETCC round-up: Alfa goes to Fiorano…

Nicola Larini and Fabrizio Giovanardi - who are separated by just two points at the top of the championship - took part in the tests, aimed at developing the engine, aerodynamics and suspension. Different suspension geometries were tested, to try to reduce the front tyre wear that has been the Alfa's weak point this season.

New engine management programs were also tested, looking for better torque at low revs. A complete functional check was made on the electrical wiring and connections, to avoid a reoccurrence of the failures that plagued Larini's car at Silverstone and Zolder.

The 156s improved their 2000 track record by half a second, their best time being clocked at 1m19.78s - compared to Schuey's regular sub-minute times in his Formula 1 Ferrari.

Matt Neal hopes to claim his first ETCC win at the Hungaroring this weekend, after recording podium finishes at Silverstone and Zolder. His Team Dynamics Nissan Primera's engine, which was leaking compression in one of its cylinders, has been rebuilt for the Hungarian round.

The Italian JAS Motorsport squad celebrates its 100th Super Touring race with Japanese manufacturer Honda's Accord model this weekend. The Milan-based outfit has raced in the German, British and European championship in the last four years.

"Forty-four podiums, 16 pole positions and 18 victories have been an important success for us," said team boss Alessandro Mariani. "In this historic moment for JAS, we wish to thank with affection Honda and all our drivers - Gabriele Tarquini, Tom Kristensen, Peter Kox and Fabrice Walfisch - who have accompanied us during this exciting adventure."

Owner/driver Gianluca De Lorenzi will not contest the Hungaroring meeting following an accident in the team's workshop in which he injured his right wrist. He will be back for the next meeting at the A-1 Ring, where he will be joined by a second GDL-run BMW 320i driven by Moreno Soli. The former Alfa Romeo stalwart is making his return to the ETCC after a break of 17 years.

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