Test day for the FIA European Touring Car Cup at Adria Raceway

27.10.2007: Test day for the FIA European Touring Car Cup at Adria Raceway

The third FIA European Touring Car Cup got underway today at the Adria Raceway in Italy with four 60-minute test sessions. The weather was drizzly for the first two sessions, and the track wet. In spite of this lap times were faster and faster as the competitors got to know where to put their wheels.

Eventually the rain stopped and the third and fourth sessions were held on a drying track that was very tricky because of the puddles.

In the Super 2000 class Chevrolet Motorsport Danmark drivers, Pontus Mörth and Henrik Lundgaard made their ambitions clear from the very beginning posting the two fastest laps of the day: 1:35.642 for the Swedish Mörth and 1:37.064 for his Danish team-mate.

Russian drivers declared themselves as the men to beat in the Super Production class; the day’s best lap was clocked by Aimol Racing’s Dmitry Dobrovolskiy in his Opel Astra Coupé (1:43.589).

Tomorrow morning the drivers will take part in two 30-minute free sessions (at 9.00 and 11.30) that will be followed in the afternoon (at 15.00) by the 30-minute qualifying session that will determine the grid for Sunday’s Race 1.



Nineteen drivers took part, and Latvian Jānis Horeliks posted the fastest lap of 1:38.079 in the JH Motorsport Honda Civic.

Kristian Poulsen from Denmark was fastest until the last twenty minutes in his BMW 320si but finished second half a second behind. Pontus Mörth (Chevrolet Lacetti) was third with Irish driver Emmet O’Brien (BMW 320si) in fourth.

Halfway through the session Alexander Lvov’s Golden Motors Honda Accord stopped on the track and was towed back to the pits with engine problems that sidelined him for the rest of the day. Earlier Lvov had posted a lap time of 1:42.602 but then slipped down to 8th behind the BMW of César Campaniço and the Honda of Jens Reno Møller.

In Super Production Aleksey Basov drove his Honda Civic to the fastest lap with a time of 1:44.548, that was also good enough for 9th position overall. Anton Markin and Basov’s team-mate Nikolay Agapov placed second and third in the class, the latter rejoining after going off at Turn 4.

Maksim Tsimbalov emerged as the fastest in the S1600 class, lapping in 1:54.214 at the wheel of his Volkswagen Polo.

Right at the end of the session, Alexander Lvov Jr in the sport-Garage Audi A4 went off into the gravel trap at turn 6 and Campaniço, who had posted the 5th fastest time, stopped on the track with fuel feeding problems.



The second session, again on a wet track, saw Pontus Mörth posting the fastest time in his Chevrolet Lacetti with a time of 1:38:050, improving by over one and a half second from his first session time. The Swede also improved the fastest time set by Horeliks in the previous test by three tenths of a second.

The Toyota Corolla of Philip Geipel was second fastest ahead of Emmet O’Brien in the BMW. The pair were separated by less than one tenth of a second, although Geipel’s gap from Mörth was eight tenths.

Mörth’s team-mate Henrik Lundgaard improved his first session time by over two seconds clocking the fourth fastest time of 1:39:097, just ahead of his fellow Danish countrymen Michel Nykjær (SEAT León) and Jens Reno Møller (Honda Accord).

Tomas Engström (Honda Accord) and César Campaniço (BMW 320si) were classified 7th and 8th, with Andrey Smetsky (Honda Accord) and Kristian Poulsen (BMW 320si) rounding out the top ten.

The Super Production class was led by Arkadiy Pavlovskiy in the Aimol Racing Opel Astra Coupé (12th overall with a lap of 1:48.308) with Anton Markin in second.

In the S1600 class Maksim Tsimbalov was again fastest with a time of 1:49:103.



Pontus Mörth and Henrik Lundgaard posted a one-two in the third test session for the Chevrolet Motorsport Danmark team. Mörth clocked his and the fastest time of the day so far with a 1:35:642 and edged his Danish team-mate by 1.8 seconds.

After 15 minutes Tomas Engström had posted a provisional fastest time in the session with Emmet O’Brien second. Five minutes later Richard Kaye in the Engstler Motorsport BMW 320i set a time of 1:41:144 placing him third. Another BMW 320i driver Stefano Valli made into the top 7 with a time of 1:43:307.

Halfway through the session Engström remained fastest with Mörth posting a time only a tenth slower. Further down the order Michel Matĕjovský (Alfa Romeo 156) posted a time of 1:42:615 placing him 8th.

With 20 minutes to go Mörth again took the top spot with a time of 1:37:220 nearly a second faster than his second session time; he eventually managed to improve further to 1:35.642. Lundgaard moved up to second with Engström third, separated by only 0.003 seconds. Team-mates O’Brien and Kristian Poulsen were classified 4th and 5th, with Ceresoli in 6th.

After not taking part in the second session Aleksey Basov emerged again as the fastest in Super Production setting a time of 1:44:525 (11th overall), just one tenth faster than Dmitry Dobrovolskiy.

For the third consecutive session Maksim Tsimbalov posted the fastest time in the S1600 class (1:46.158). Twenty four drivers took part in the session. 



Pontus Mörth was fastest in all but one of the practice sessions in Adria today. His fastest time in the fourth session was 1:36:473. The Swede’s Chevrolet Lacetti had already posted the fastest time of the day in the previous session (1:35:642).

Twenty nine drivers competed in the last session of the day which was run on a nearly dry track and began with Tomas Engström posting a provisional fastest time of 1:37:260 followed by Jānis Horeliks in second and Emmet O’Brien third.

Both the SEAT León cars of Maurizio Ceresoli and Michel Nykjær occupied the third place at one point during the session, Ceresoli ended the session 6th with Nykjær 8th. After 15 minutes Horeliks was ahead of Mörth by over half a second, Geipel and Engström continued to swap places lap after lap for third on the time sheet.

There was a red flag issued just before the middle of the session to recover Alexander Lvov Jr’s Audi A4 that was stranded in the gravel trap at turn 14. When the cars returned to the track Mörth jumped ahead of Horeliks after posting a time of 1:36:652 with Engström third. But eventually the second Chevrolet of Henrik Lundgaard posted the second fastest lap of 1:37.064.

Aimol Racing drivers Dmitry Dobrovolsky and Arkadiy Pavlovskiy were first and second respectively in the Super Production class (1:43.589 and 1:44.381). 29 drivers took part in the session, with German Jens Löhnig the only competitor in the S1600 to join at the wheel of his Citroën C2.


- Fabio Ravaioli,FIA -

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27.10.2007 / MaP

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