Two emphatic race wins at Silverstone on Sunday (5 May) have cemented Alfa Romeo’s early season dominance of this year’s ETCC.
Alfa Romeo came to Silverstone last weekend, having convincingly won the opening round of the series at Magny Cours in France. It proceeded to do so again – Nicola Larini leading home team-mate Fabrizio Giovanardi in Race One; the order being reversed in Race Two as the GTA Racing Team Nordauto cars elbowed their way past challenges from both BMW and Volvo.
The Dart Racing Alfa 156 GTA, supported by Alfa Romeo (GB) and driven by 20-year-old Tom Ferrier, qualified a strong fourth on the grid, but was eliminated in a high speed accident at Becketts early in the first race. Ferrier escaped unscathed, driving the severely damaged car back to the pits before commenting: "The team did a great job this weekend, and with so many Alfa (GB) personnel here today, I would have especially loved to have recorded a strong finish. But we’ll analyse our performance carefully and return stronger for the next round."
After four races, all of which have been dominated by Alfa Romeo, the leaderboard is as follows: 1, Alfa Romeo 64 pts; 2, BMW 24 pts; 3, Volvo 13 pts. Drivers: Giovanardi (Alfa GTA) 36; Larini (Alfa GTA) 28; Muller (BMW) and Rydell (Volvo) 13.
The next European Touring Car Championship round is at Brno in Czechoslovakia on 19 May, and the series returns to the UK at Donington Park in early October.Published 7 May 2002