Qualifying: BMW smile after Alfa calamity

It's going to be an all-BMW front row in the final European Touring Car Championship round at Monza tomorrow (Sunday). The qualifying results sheet has got a look that will make stomachs turn at Alfa Romeo, after three of their top stars crashed without setting times.

Qualifying: BMW smile after Alfa calamity

Jörg and Dirk Müller will start first and second, and in a twist that will be most pleasing to BMW fans, championship leader Gabriele Tarquini will start right at the back, along with Nicola Larini. Not only that, but Alfa's guesting Grand Prix driver Giancarlo Fisichella may not start the race at all.

Fisichella crashed at Ascari on his first out-lap, causing the session to be stopped. When it was re-started, both Nicola Larini and Gabriele Tarquini had shunts at the very same corner. Championship leader Tarquini's car was not seriously damaged, but whether both Fisichella and Larini will have cars for tomorrow will depend on a fearsome night's work by the Autodelta mechanics.

The other man in contention for the championship, BMW's Andy Priaulx, finds himself in a sixth place that is poorly compared to Müller, but a place that the Alfa contenders would probably kill for on their home circuit.

There will be an all-Alfa second row, but they are the wrong Alfas as far as the drivers' championship is concerned. Roberto Colciago's 156 starts ahead of Alfa's other ETCC guest star, James Thompson.

BMW's folk hero Alex Zanardi had a trouble-free qualifying and will line up in a fine eleventh, despite missing one free practice session. Zanardi was further boosted by surprise visits from Tony Kanaan and Jimmy Vasser, friends from his American racing days. The upbeat Zanardi has also said he can't rule out further racing next season.


Jörg Müller (BMW) 2m00.454s
Dirk Müller (BMW) +0.013s
Roberto Colciago (Alfa Romeo) +0.159s
James Thompson (Alfa Romeo) +0.332s
Duncan Huisman (BMW) +0.474s
Andy Priaulx (BMW) +0.796s

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