ETCC Super Touring race 1: Tarquini walks it

Gabriele Tarquini's quest to regain lost ground in the FIA European Touring Car Championship started well at Silverstone today (Sunday) when he strolled to a 2.9sec victory over Alfa Romeo's Fabrizio Giovanardi

ETCC Super Touring race 1: Tarquini walks it

Tarquini, who has crashed out of three races this season and languished seventh in the championship coming to Silverstone, made a great start from pole and never looked back. He held a 2sec lead by the conclusion of the opening lap, and extended it to over 3secs in the middle stages, before backing off slightly in the closing stages. As a result, Tarquini will start race two from last on the reversed grid.

"I had no problems at all," said the Italian. "My tactic to push on fresh tyres worked really good. I think I will need to push much harder in race two, though. The cars are much more competitive lower down the order than they were at the start of the season. It is not so easy now to get to the front from the back of the grid."

Giovanardi held an unchallenged second as Britain's Matt Neal (Nissan Primera) took the opening lap to find a way past Fabrice Walfisch's Honda Accord with a brave lunge at Luffield. The Englishman closed the gap slightly on Giovanardi, but was still over a second in arrears at the flag.

"The Honda was very quick on the straights, so I had to do him quickly," said Neal. "I thought my tyres would go off quicker than they did, so it gives us hope for the second race."

Series leader Nicola Larini, who started the race last after the gearbox failed on his Alfa in qualifying, battled his way through to fifth place, finishing well clear of the battling Sandro Sardelli (Nissan Primera), Gianluca De Lorenzi (BMW) and Enrico Toccacelo (Alfa).

1 Gabriele Tarquini (Honda Accord) 10 laps
2 Fabrizio Giovanardi (Alfa Romeo 156) +2.972s
3 Matt Neal (Nissan Primera) +4.292s
4 Fabrice Walfisch (Honda Accord) +10.756s
5 Nicola Larini (Alfa Romeo 156) +15.475s
6 Sandro Sardelli (Nissan Primera) +25.179s
7 Gianluca De Lorenzi (BMW 320i) +27.480s
8 Enrico Toccacelo (Alfa Romeo 156) +33.132s
9 Mikko Lempinen (Audi A4 Quattro) +38.433s
10 Massimo Pigoli (Audi A4 Quattro) +40.577s


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