BMW 320 TC racers Alberto Cerqui and Tom Coronel, the drivers for Robert Ravaglia’s ROAL Motorsport team, each scored a fourth place finish in the World Touring Car Championship sprints at the Slovakia Ring near Bratislava. It was the WTCC’s first visit to the Slovak Republic.
A Chevrolet Cruze had won every race of the season up until the first round in Slovakia, but its string was broken by SEAT’s Gabriele Tarquini, who took race one ahead of his teammate Aleksei Dudukalo.
BMW tried to capitalize on Chevrolet’s first weak performance of the season, but was unable to get the job done. The BMW 320 TC of Norbert Michelisz took the race one pole ahead of Dudukalo, but a tap from Tarquini early in the race set him back, and a spin courtesy of Chevrolet’s Yvan Muller prevented his recovery. He finished sixth. Chevrolet’s Alain Menu finished third behind the two SEAT drivers, while ROAL’s Alberto Cerqui finished fourth. It was the best finish so far for the nineteen-year old Italian, who joined ROAL this season.
Two more BMWs followed Cerqui across the line; Stefano D’Aste was fifth and Michelisz was sixth. Coronel finished eighth on the track, but a 30-second penalty for punting BMW racer Franz Engstler off the track dropped him to fifteenth.
Chevrolet was back on form in race two as Robert Huff took the win ahead of Yvan Muller. Tarquini finished third, while Coronel, finishing fourth, was the best of the BMW runners.
Coronel remained the best of the non-Chevrolet racers in drivers points, leaving Slovakia fourth in the standings behind Muller, Huff, and Menu, and ahead of Tarquini.
The series runs again next weekend in Hungary.—Brian S. Morgan, motorsports editor, bmwcca.orgBack to News