Spa ETCC 1: Larini fends off BMWs

Alfa Romeo's Nicola Larini won the opening FIA European Touring Car Championship race at Spa-Francorchamps today (Saturday), narrowly defeating the BMWs of Jorg Muller and Fredrik Ekblom

Spa ETCC 1: Larini fends off BMWs

Muller made a bold start by squeezing between the front row sitting Alfas to grab the lead, but Fabrizio Giovanardi (Alfa) blasted past him on the straight before Les Combes. Contact appeared to be made between the two cars, and Giovanardi slipped back to fifth.

Muller led the opening lap by 0.7secs, with Larini and Ekblom in tow. Giovanardi passed Rickard Rydell's Volvo at the Bus Stop to grab fourth, but ruined that by going off at Pouhon and dropping to sixth.

At the front, Larini outdragged Muller to take the lead at Les Combes on lap four, and the rest of the race was a cat-and-mouse game between the two, with Ekblom holding a watching brief in third.

Despite trying everything he could, Muller just couldn't find a way past and the top three flashed across the line covered by just six-tenths of a second. Rydell did the best he could but finished a distant fourth, ahead of Giovanardi, who spent most of the race catching, and subsequently passing, the Carly-Isert BMW of local hero Pierre-Yves Corthals.


1 Nicola Larini, Nordauto Alfa Romeo 156 Gta
2 Jorg Muller, Schnitzer BMW 320i
3 Fredrik Ekblom, RBM BMW 320i
4 Rickard Rydell, Volvo S60
5 Fabrizio Giovanardi, Nordauto Alfa Romeo 156 Gta

shares
comments
Qualifying: Alfa scores one-two

Previous article

Qualifying: Alfa scores one-two

Next article

Spa ETCC 2: Muller strikes back

Spa ETCC 2: Muller strikes back
Load comments
Why joker laps are entering the mainstream Plus

Why joker laps are entering the mainstream

This season the World Touring Car Championship looks certain to bring joker laps to a circuit-racing world championship for the first time. And it need not be the daft gimmick people may think

WTCC
Apr 6, 2017
The making of the world's best tin-top driver Plus

The making of the world's best tin-top driver

He has been overshadowed at Citroen for the last three seasons, but the retirement of Yvan Muller means the world says farewell to one of touring-car racing's finest talents

WTCC
Sep 26, 2016
Volvo's plan to conquer the WTCC Plus

Volvo's plan to conquer the WTCC

Volvo gave the World Touring Car Championship a major boost when it announced it would enter the series, but its ambitions don't stop there. JACK COZENS examines its programme, the S60 and what its arrival means for the WTCC

WTCC
Jan 18, 2016
The WTCC's Nordschleife gamble paid off Plus

The WTCC's Nordschleife gamble paid off

A 17-car field on a 13-mile track - the WTCC's Nurburgring Nordschleife gamble wasn't going to be easy to pull off. STUART CODLING explains how the series made it work

WTCC
May 20, 2015
Insight from a Nordschleife master Plus

Insight from a Nordschleife master

World championship racing returns to the Nordschleife this weekend. STUART CODLING got a lesson from one of the legendary track's few masters

WTCC
May 15, 2015
Becoming world champion for £100k Plus

Becoming world champion for £100k

The 2012 World Touring Car champion says he never had the money to race cars. Yet 2015 is his 11th season in the WTCC. He talks STUART CODLING through his journey from motorsport fan to paid professional - for little more than £100,000

WTCC
Mar 23, 2015
Can the vanquished champion bounce back? Plus

Can the vanquished champion bounce back?

The World Touring Car Championship kicks off in Argentina this weekend, and Yvan Muller bids to reclaim his throne from Citroen team-mate Jose Maria Lopez. He talks to STUART CODLING

WTCC
Mar 6, 2015
The top 10 WTCC drivers of 2014 Plus

The top 10 WTCC drivers of 2014

Citroen had no rivals during the 2014 World Touring Car Championship, and 'rookie' Jose Maria Lopez hit the ground running to emerge as a worthy champion. PETER MILLS rates the field

WTCC
Dec 3, 2014