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Alfa at Monza

More babble from the Alfa press office.
============================
ALFA ROMEO AT MONZA TO PRESENT THE WORLD TOURING CAR CHAMPIONSHIP

The World Touring Car Championship in which the Alfa Romeo Racing Team is taking part with four Alfa 156's, driven by Gabriele Tarquini (European champion in 2003), Fabrizio Giovanardi (European champion in 2001 and 2002), Brazilian Augusto Farfus and Englishman James Thompson, was presented today at the Monza Racing Circuit.

The Brianza track saw the Alfa Romeo team turn out to the last man with Lapo Elkann, head of Fiat Auto Brand Promotion, doing a few laps by the side of the young Brazilian Augusto Farfus on board his Alfa Romeo 156.

"It was fantastic", said Lapo Elkann climbing out of the Alfa Romeo Racing Team's vehicle. "What most impressed me was the car's stability and the extreme ease with which Farfus manages to obtain high performance".
"I started my career in Ferrari", the young Fiat Auto manager continued, "and there I learned to really appreciate the pleasure of driving and got to love the thrill of racing on a circuit. To get into this car, which I consider a second "racing red", was a unique experience. I would really like to be there in the line-up in place of one of the four musketeers, Tarquini, Giovanardi, Farfus e Thompson, who will actually be racing them".

The World Touring Car Championship is in its first edition and will consist of 10 races. The first appointment is at Monza on 10 April. The Championship continues in France at Magny Cours (1 May), in England at Silverstone (15 May), then back to Italy and Imola (29 May). The first excursion outside Europe will be on 26 June at the new track at Puebla, in Mexico, before the circus returns to the Old Continent to tackle Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium, 30 July), Oschersleben (Germany, 28 August), Istanbul (Turkey, 18 September) and Valencia (Spain, 2 October). The season's Grand Final will take place on the city circuit of Macau, in China, on 20 November.

In addition to Alfa Romeo, Bmw, Chevrolet, Ford and Seat will also be taking part in the World Touring Car Championship with official works teams.

The first race in the European Alfa Challenge, a promotional championship in which the Alfa 147 GTA Cup model shows its mettle and which consists of 6 appointments of two races each will also take place on 10 April at Monza. This first appointment will be followed by races on 1 May at Magny-Cours (France), 29 May at Imola, 30 July at Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium), 28 August at Oschersleben (Germany) and 2 October at Valencia (Spain).
Following today's practice, tomorrow will see the second session of testing for all the teams taking part in the World Touring Car Championship.
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