Giovanardi Wins Imola Race 1

Fabrizio Giovanardi dominated the first World Touring Car Championship race at Imola, giving Alfa Romeo their third victory of the season

Giovanardi Wins Imola Race 1

It was the Italian's maiden WTCC victory, finishing a comfortable three seconds ahead of Antonio Garcia in second.

Garcia had taken the lead at the start thanks to the rear-wheel drive of the BMW giving the Spaniard extra traction off the grid. However by the second lap Giovanardi was through and pulled away to victory.

Last year's Champion Andy Priaulx moved into second place in the Championship with third place, holding off Championship leader Dirk Muller for third.

At one stage it looked as if the race would have to be stopped the Ford Focus of Sascha Ploderl rolled his car at the final chicane. The Austrian was unhurt in the incident, and marshals managed to move the car without even a safety car.

Alfa Romeo had more to smile about with fifth for Augusto Farfus Jr and seventh for James Thompson. The Honda Accord of Roberto Colciago finished sixth.

Alex Zanardi will start on pole for race two, after finishing eighth.

CLASSIFIED: Pos Driver Make Time 1. Fabrizio Giovanardi Alfa Romeo 156 22:12.202 2. Antonio Garcia BMW 320i + 3.146 3. Andy Priaulx BMW 320i + 8.131 4. Dirk Muller BMW 320i + 9.126 5. Augusto Farfus Jr. Alfa Romeo 156 + 12.299 6. Roberto Colciago Honda Accord Euro + 15.175 7. James Thompson Alfa Romeo 156 + 16.995 8. Alessandro Zanardi BMW 320i + 17.476 9. Rickard Rydell SEAT Toledo Cupra + 17.974 10. Peter Terting SEAT Toledo Cupra + 18.341 11. Jason Plato SEAT Toledo Cupra + 23.788 12. Alessandro Balzan SEAT Toledo Cupra + 25.680 13. Nicola Larini Chevrolet Lacetti + 34.619 14. Alain Menu Chevrolet Lacetti + 35.495 15. Gabriele Tarquini Alfa Romeo 156 + 41.034 16. Carl Rosenblad BMW 320i + 41.816 17. Thomas Klenke Ford Focus + 43.746 18. Tom Coronel Seat Toledo Cupra + 47.156 19. Salvatore Tavano Alfa Romeo 156 + 51.960 20. Robert Huff Chevrolet Lacetti + 52.569 21. Gianluca De Lorenzi BMW 320i + 55.599 22. Stefano D'aste BMW 320i + 57.302 23. Andrea Larini Alfa Romeo 156 +1:07.317 24. Stefano Valli BMW 320i +1:07.922 25. Carlos Mastretta Seat Toledo Cupra +1:08.253 26. Thomas Jager Ford Focus +2:13.774 27. Jorg Muller BMW 320i + 1 Lap NOT CLASSIFIED/RETIREMENTS: Driver Make On Lap Sascha Ploderl Ford Focus ST170 5 Giuseppe Ciro BMW 320i 5 Adriano De Micheli Honda Accord Euro 2 Marc Hennerici BMW 320i 2 Jordi Gene SEAT Toledo Cupra 1 Fastest lap: Giovanardi, 2:00.208, on lap 4 
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Giovanardi on Pole at Imola

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Series WTCC
Author Tim Redmayne
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