02.12.2003

156 GTA ETTC and 147 GTA Cup


Alfa Romeo wins the 2003 European Touring Car Championship with Tarquini

Alfa Romeo has won the European Touring Car Championship, taking the Drivers title with Gabriele Tarquini and the Alfa 156 GTA. A success confirming Alfa Romeo's leadership in the category most similar to production line models. In fact this is the fourth consecutive continental title, won in the face of strong and very determined competition.
BMW lined up with a really strong team that included two outstanding specialists, Jorg and Dirk Muller, the British driver, Priaulx, Garcia from Spain and Italy's Fabrizio Giovanardi, the driver who won five consecutive titles with Alfa Romeo: two Italian and three European titles.
Alfa Romeo, with its official Autodelta Team, took up the challenge with three Italians: Nicola Larini, Gabriele Tarquini and Roberto Colciago, who between them chalked up ten victories, six of which thanks to Tarquini, the winner at the Pergusa circuit in Spain, at Donington (U.K.) and at Portugal's Estoril circuit, where Alfa Romeo triumphed with two one-two-threes.
The last race was at Monza where 30,000 spectators spurred on the red saloons. For this final outing the Autodelta Team lined up with five Alfa 156 GTAs, one of which was driven by Giancarlo Fisichella after his season in Formula 1 with the Jordan. Unfortunately the Roman driver went off the track in the warm-up lap and didn't make it to the grid. With his eyes set on the Championship, Tarquini focused on taking the necessary points, while British driver James Thompson, co-opted to reinforce the Autodelta Team in the season's last two races, earned a well-deserved victory, the sixtieth in the Alfa 156's racing history.
This car can boast a great sporting record: a car that since 1998 has lined up for 127 races and triumphed 60 times, winning 2 Italian Super Touring Car Championships and 4 European Touring Car Championships.


Alfa Romeo 156: a winning car in racing

In its 127 races from 1998 to 2003 the Alfa Romeo 156 has obtained 60 victories, 57 2nd places, 41 3rd places, 36 pole positions and 49 fastest laps. It has won two Italian Super Touring Car Championships and four European Touring Car Championships.
From 1998, the year it made its debut in racing, the Alfa 156 has always been a winner. In 1998 it triumphed in the Italian Super Touring Car Championship, winning both the Manufacturers title and the Drivers title with Fabrizio Giovanardi. A success that Giovanardi repeated in 1999.
In 2000 the arena was the European championship (European Super Touring Cup) that was won by Giovanardi and Alfa Romeo in all the editions up to and including 2002.
In 2001 the European championship was called the European Super Touring Championship, in 2002, the European Touring Car Championship, and at this point it also became a championship recognised by FIA (Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile).
The technical regulations for the new championship meant that cars participating had to be very similar to production line models. So the winning car is one that can certainly boast advanced technological content in the standard production version. And the winner is the Alfa 156.
The calendar for the 2003 season included 10 events, each of which with two races. In the 20 races Alfa Romeo won on 10 occasions (6 wins for Gabriele Tarquini, 2 for Roberto Colciago, 1 for Nicola Larini and 1 for James Thompson) and took pole position 6 times out of 9. Thanks to these results Tarquini became the champion, finishing ahead of BMW driver, Jorg Muller.


Alfa Challenge 2003 and European Alfa Challenge 2003

N.Technology, on behalf of Alfa Romeo, organised the Alfa Challenge 2003 and European Alfa Challenge, single-brand trophies for the Alfa 147 GTA Cup. The calendar included 10 events, seven in Italy (part of the Italian Speed Touring Car Championship) and three in Europe (Spa and Monza as part of the European Touring Car Championship and at Zandvoort on the occasion of the Marlboro Masters). The three European events valid for the European Alfa Challenge included drivers participating in the Alfa 147 GTA Cup Italy and Holland. The season ended at Monza (October 19th), after which three final standings were prepared: the Alfa Challenge 2003, won by Maurizio Campani ahead of Andrea Larini and Simone Iacone, the latter winner in the Under 25 category, and the European Alfa Challenge, won by Dutch driver, Tim Coronel, ahead of Italy's Maurizio Campani and Iacone.
The race and final prize money was considerable: up to 13,750 euros were distributed for each race, whereas at the end of the season the winning drivers were awarded 137,500 euros while the winner in the Under 25 category received an Alfa Romeo 147 Super Production model.

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