Photo: ETCC Media

Oriola wins race two, Giovanardi wins the Cup

Pepe Oriola has taken his first race victory in 2011 with a win in the second race of the FIA European Touring Car Cup, but Fabrizio Giovanardi wins the Cup with a winning points margin of just one point after finishing second.

In continuing wet conditions the race started without the assistance of the safety car, but the long hold at the lights caught out German driver Jens Weimann on the front row. He stalled his Thate Motorsport BMW 320si as the lights went out, slowing down the majority of drivers on the right hand side of the grid. This allowed Peter Rikli to get away in his Rikli Motorsport Honda Civic into a short-lived lead.

Weimann and Ibrahim Okyay then came together heading into the first corner, eliminating the two drivers from the race.

Mehdi Bennani was battling hard with Tomas Engström on the first lap, which caused him to lose a place to Pepe Oriola, with the SUNRED driver up to third by the end of lap one.

Hartmann Honda Racing driver Wolfgang Treml took the lead from Peter Rikli to lead the first lap.

By the end of lap two, Oriola was now in the lead and after a brief tussle with his team-mate Treml, Giovanardi was up to second place.

Tomas Engström followed through, moving up to third past Treml and so the top three were already the same as in race one, although this time with Oriola ahead of Giovanardi.

Meanwhile, Michel Nykjaer had started from the pit lane after completing just one lap in race one. The Dane was making good progress through the field and was up to eighth place before retiring with damage to the front-right of his Chevrolet Motorsport Sweden Cruze. The two-time ETCC champion ended his weekend with no points at all in the Cup, capping off a disastrous weekend.

With Engström on his tail, Giovanardi pressured Oriola for the middle part of the race, though the Italian only needed to finish second to secure the European Touring Car Cup title.

After a few close moments, and with Engström falling two seconds down, Giovanardi backed off on the final two laps allowing Pepe Oriola to cruise to victory.

Aleksander Tosik picked up the victory in the Super Production class, and an overall point with eighth in his ASK Vitro Racing Honda Civic Type-R and claimed the Super Production class title.

Another class win for Thomas Mühlenz in the Roscher Racing Ford Fiesta saw the German take the ETC Cup title for the Super 1600 category.

In Super 2000, Fabrizio Giovanardi won his first FIA European Touring Car Cup title and the third consecutive title for Hartmann Honda Racing, with the Italian scoring 21 points to Pepe Oriola’s 20.

Italy also win the Nations’ Cup on account of Giovanardi’s score in this year’s event.