Giovanardi Leads Alfa 1-2 in Race 1

Fabrizio Giovanardi headed home an Alfa Romeo one-two in the opening World Touring Car Championship race at Istanbul Park in Turkey this afternoon

Giovanardi Leads Alfa 1-2 in Race 1

Giovanardi, Alfa's only serious challenger for the inaugural WTCC crown, had qualified fourth behind the Italian manufacturer's three other cars. However, he was able to proceed to the front of the Alfa train unchallenged and ran out a clear winner ahead of teammate James Thompson.

The Alfa 156s dominated the race and looked set to block out the top four positions, until front right punctures struck Gabriele Tarquini and Augusto Farfus Jr on the final lap.

Alfa's misfortune played into the hands of BMW driver Andy Priaulx. The Briton claimed the final place on the podium, despite starting the final lap in sixth place.

Rickard Rydell was the first SEAT home in fifth place, while Alex Zanardi benefited from the misfortune of those ahead of him to jump from ninth to sixth in the closing stages.

Tarquini and Farfus limped home in seventh and eighth positions, which gave them the front row for race two.

Independents' honours went to Carl Rosbenblad Eje Elgh Motorsport-run Crawford Racing BMW.

CLASSIFIED:

Pos  Driver                Make                   Time
 1.  Fabrizio Giovanardi   Alfa Romeo 156         21:12.294
 2.  James Thompson        Alfa Romeo 156         +   2.794
 3.  Andy Priaulx          BMW 320i               +   6.134
 4.  Antonio Garcia        BMW 320i               +   6.893
 5.  Rickard Rydell        SEAT Toledo Cupra      +   8.018
 6.  Alessandro Zanardi    BMW 320i               +   9.513
 7.  Gabriele Tarquini     Alfa Romeo 156         +  14.495
 8.  Augusto Farfus Jr.    Alfa Romeo 156         +  19.711
 9.  Dirk Muller           BMW 320i               +  20.198
10.  Alain Menu            Chevrolet Lacetti      +  22.805
11.  Carl Rosenblad        BMW 320i               +  24.626
12.  Giuseppe Ciro         BMW 320i               +  28.694
13.  Marc Hennerici        BMW 320i               +  32.866
14.  Stefano D'aste        BMW 320i               +  33.848
15.  Adriano De Micheli    Honda Accord Euro R    +  34.112
16.  Robert Huff           Chevrolet Lacetti      +  34.470
17.  Jordi Gene            SEAT Leon              +  34.584

NOT CLASSIFIED/RETIREMENTS:

     Driver                Make                 On Lap
     Erkut Kizilirmak      SEAT Toledo Cupra      6
     Nicola Larini         Chevrolet Lacetti      6
     Tom Coronel           SEAT Toledo Cupra      5
     Stephane Ortelli      SEAT Toledo Cupra      5
     Peter Terting         SEAT Toledo Cupra      5
     Jorg Muller           BMW 320i               4
     Michael Funke         Ford Focus             2
     Thomas Klenke         Ford Focus             1
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