BMW Testing – Monza – Day 2
Ralf Schumacher having a try in the M3 GTR yesterday, who would
be next? We’d heard the rumours that Gerhard Berger (right)
would have a run, and sure enough, at 10.10 this morning, the Austrian
was out onto the track – writes Gabriele Tosi.
“Just for fun,”
was the chief press officer’s explanation. Next man in was
A third one surprise
was the appearance of an ‘old lady’, a 911 GT2 driven
by Caligaris. This is an ex-Roock car (1995), and the chassis has
“well over 40000km” under its belt… but with a
fresh new white paint, it seems very new! A new motor has been installed
but Caligaris told me that with the restrictors set at 32mm, it
is pretty much impossible even to think of entering an FIA GT race.
anyway, the Porsche owner has purchased a Lucchini SR2 from the
Siliprandi team with two “brand new” Alfa Romeo engines
and he plans to enter three LMES races (Monza, Nurburgring and Spa)
with his new toy, with Fabio Babini partnering him. The Porsche
turned a lot of laps both in the morning and afternoon (with usually
freezing temperatures, never above 3°C), and set a best lap
of 1:55: at the end of this year, it will become part of his ‘collection’.
troops the morning turned out to be the most intensive part of the
day, with a lot of laps from Berger and Stuck, and Dirk and Jorg
Muller. In the late afternoon Dirk stepped into the GTR while Jorg
stepped down to the 320 Touring.
times, no official comments from Dirk or Jorg, and not much information…but
Stuck (above) provided some interesting comments: first of all the
GTR has ABS and traction control, and yesterday the Schnitzer team
tested the systems independently, but not together. Today they tested
both systems together, typically running short stints of five to
seven laps. Hans also passed on the news that Michelin had brought
some new tyres for today, which were generating much more heat and
grip than yesterday’s.
engine maps were tried, and the only problem seems to be that Hans
ran out of fuel at the Ascari. The best time was apparently a 1:49.5,
which was a slight improvement on last year’s best with the
GTR, despite the bitter cold.
for now - Alex Zanardi: he was present, and setting some very good
times in his 320 Touring M3. Alex was 'full of business', and taking
the test very seriously: he clocked the best time for the Touring
320 in 2:00.95, only half a second away from last year's Jorg Muller
pole position and significantly faster than his team-mate, Antonio
Garcia… Alex is very happy with the car and all the improvements
he discovered, and he was a very relaxed man, but totally focused
on the test. His magnetic personality is as strong as ever.