Jordi Oriola triumphs in the rain at Monza
Jordi Oriola has taken the first win of the 2013 European Touring Car Cup, leading a SEAT Supercopa 1-2 as the BMWs struggled in the wet conditions.
The Spaniard was handed a blow after the morning warm-up after he was given a five place grid penalty for not switching his engine off whilst being worked on in the pits. This dropped him from the Single-Make Trophy class pole and seventh on the grid to 12th, however the 16-year-old was able to drive through the field in the SEAT León Supercopa to take the chequered flag first on his debut.
The race was started behind the safety car, with the green flag being waved on lap two. The leading BMWs held station briefly, but soon they were overtaken by the front-wheel drive S2000 cars of Dusan Borkovic and Peter Rikli.
Borkovic in the Nis Petrol Racing Team SEAT León TFSI made contact with Oleg Petrikov’s BMW into the first corner on lap three, but despite the damage was able to work his way up to second by the end of the lap. Borkovic was passed by the Honda of Peter Rikli on lap four and then Rikli managed to pass race leader Petr Fulín in the Krenek Motorsport BMW into Ascari on the following lap.
As the rain continued to fall, it was the Single-Make Trophy class cars which actually had the ultimate pace however, and Andreas Pfister was making rapid progress, pulling off the same move down the inside into the Rettifilo on three consecutive laps to pass Borkovic, Fulín and then Rikli for the lead.
Whilst Borkovic battled with Fulín, the Serbian was judged to have jumped the Della Roggia chicane on too many occasions and was handed a drive-through penalty which dropped him to 17th place.
The Tuenti Racing SEAT of Jordi Oriola and the Galaxi Racing-run car of Aurélien Comte were now on a charge, both passing Peter Rikli’s Honda on lap eight.
On the penultimate lap, race leader Pfister suddenly slowed and pulled into the pits, handing the lead to Oriola who went on to take the first race victory for a Single-Make Trophy class car in the ETCC, with Peter Rikli winning in the Super 2000 class for the first time with third overall.
Last year’s Super 1600 champion Kevin Krammes was unchallenged for the class win, finishing 17 seconds clear of Gilles Bruckner in the Ravenol Team GENA Ford Fiesta.
The Ladies Cup winner was Andrina Gugger, Rikli’s team-mate, who grabbed the last spot in the top ten.
The top eight are reversed for race two which will see Anton Ladygin start from pole in the SMP Russian Bears Racing SEAT León Supercopa with Christian Fischer’s Liqui Moly Team Engstler BMW alongside