The Portuguese round of the FIA WTCR has marked an important step in the growth course of the Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR by Romeo Ferraris. At the occasion of the fifth round of the season, the Team Mulsanne cars proved competitive, and went close to the Top-10, both in qualifying and in the races. At their debut on the Lusitanian track, in front of huge crowds and in a street circuit (the second of the fourth of such tracks in the calendar), Fabrizio Giovanardi and Gianni Morbidelli proved the potential of the Italian cars. Race 1 was marked by the frightening massive accident at the start, in a race that Gianni could not take part in because of an accident in qualifying. Fabrizio, instead, concluded 11th despite damage in the rear. On Sunday, Gianni’s race was compromised by an oil pressure alert on the very grid, which proved wrong, as an issue to the carter had been repaired. Giovanardi was again 11th in Race 2 but had to retire in Race 3 after going wide in the joker lap, while he was fighting for points position and posting lap times similar to those of the front-runners.
Michela Cerruti, Romeo Ferraris Operations Manager
“Vila Real was a real challenge for us, as neither the team nor the drivers knew the circuit, which requires proper familiarization as any urban track. Still, we are very satisfied with the consistency of our performances and by the fact we were very close to obtain excellent results that we nearly missed for various reasons. The accident at the start of Race 1 was huge and I think we witnessed one of the most spectacular shunts of this kind in touring car racing history. We feared that Fabrizio would not be able to restart, as the rear of the car was severely damaged, but he kept fighting missing the points by one position. He repeated 11th in Race 2. For Gianni, it has been a very frustrating weekend, as he could not participate in any of the races due qualifying mistakes. On Sunday, after changing the oil carter, an alarm started to blink in the dashboard on his out lap and we had to recall the car to the pits. We hope in some better luck in the next round, which will take place at the Slovakiaring, after the cancellation of the Argentinean round”.