1996 International Touring Car Championship

1996 International Touring Car Championship
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German Formula Three

The 1996 International Touring Car Championship was the thirteenth season of premier German touring car championship and also only first and final season under the moniker of International Touring Car Championship. It was for FIA Class 1 Touring Cars and it was contested by Mercedes-Benz, Alfa Romeo and Opel. It was formed of the Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft series that ran both a short German & International-based series in 1995. These were fused together to form the International Touring Car Championship (abbreviated to ITC). The eventual champion was Manuel Reuter driving an Opel Calibra, and Opel won the manufacturer's championship.

Season summaryEdit

 
Alfa Romeo 155 V6 TI

All three manufacturers were relatively equally-matched and competitive all season, with Opel's other winning drivers besides Reuter being the experienced Hans-Joachim Stuck, who took a double victory in Helsinki, and 1994 champion Klaus Ludwig who repeated the feat at Norisring. Alfa Romeo came second to Opel in the standings, with former Benetton Formula One driver Alessandro Nannini taking a convincing seven victories, including four-in-a-row midseason, to place third in the championship. Team-mate and compatriot Nicola Larini could manage just two wins late in a season blighted with retirements, meaning the Ferrari test driver would not be a feature in the title battle.

Mercedes-Benz may have finished third and last in the constructors standings, but were every bit as competitive as their two rivals. Reigning DTM & ITC champion Bernd Schneider racked up four wins, including a double at Diepholz, en route to second in the championship, though 1995's DTM runner-up Jörg van Ommen scored a solitary win in a lacklustre campaign. Their junior team-mates – future Stewart driver Jan Magnussen and IndyCar Series star to-be Dario Franchitti – also scored a win apiece in the first and last rounds of the series respectively. This meant the Scot placed a creditable fourth in the standings, whilst the Dane's mid-season defection to CART along with a number of retirements served to prevent him from challenging for the title. Others who impressed but failed to win a race included sometime Benetton and Sauber driver JJ Lehto for Opel, young Italian Giancarlo Fisichella, who combined an assured sophomore tin-top season for Alfa Romeo with a part-season for the Minardi F1 team, and former Porsche Supercup champion Uwe Alzen who completed the championship top ten by finishing in eighth for Opel.

Looking further down the field, ex-Tyrrell and Jordan F1 driver Stefano Modena endured an average season with Alfa Romeo, whilst fellow Alfa Romeo driver and former BTCC champion Gabriele Tarquini suffered from appalling luck which severely hampered his title tilt despite taking a convincing victory at Silverstone. Christian Danner also disappointed for Alfa Romeo, whilst the respective team-mates of Reuter and Schnieder – Le Mans winner Yannick Dalmas and former DTM champion Kurt Thiim – curiously also had torrid seasons. The latter was replaced at the end of the season, along with future F1 driver Alexander Wurz and Jason Watt, as all three manufacturers elected to enter a local driver each during the last two events at Interlagos and Suzuka. Among these, German F3 regular Max Wilson was the most impressive, the Brazilian finishing second on home turf at Interlagos.

In the end, it was consistency that gifted Reuter the title – he scored points during the first fifteen races of the season, and only failed to do so six times all season. In comparison, Schneider failed to score nine times and Nannini twelve, despite both taking more wins with four and seven respectively as opposed to Reuter's three.

Despite boasting a tremendously strong driver line-up, consisting largely of former F1 drivers, and ostensibly robust manufacturer support, the series suffered from poor media exposure and television coverage, which along with lacklustre spectator attendance figures meant there was comparatively little money coming into the series in comparison to the huge cost of running a 'Class 1' touring car. This was exacerbated by two long journeys to Interlagos, and Suzuka, circuits located in countries where some the competing cars weren't actually sold. This meant that Alfa Romeo and Opel announced in September they would pull out at the end of the series, despite having hitherto committed themselves to compete until the end of 1997. With Mercedes-Benz the only remaining manufacturer committed for 1997, the series was cancelled. It wouldn't be until 2000 that the championship was resurrected, albeit as the DTM which was based firmly in Germany.

Teams and driversEdit

Make Car Team No. Drivers Rounds
Mercedes-Benz Mercedes-Benz C-Class   D2 Mercedes-AMG 1   Bernd Schneider All
2   Dario Franchitti All
  Warsteiner Mercedes-AMG 3   Jan Magnussen 1–6, 9–13
  Juan Pablo Montoya 7
  Ricardo Zonta 8
4   Alexander Grau 1–6
  Bernd Mayländer 7–13
  UPS Mercedes-AMG 11   Jörg van Ommen All
12   Kurt Thiim 1–11
  Christian Fittipaldi 12
  Aguri Suzuki 13
  Persson Motorsport 21   Ellen Lohr 1–8
  Alexander Grau 9–13
22   Bernd Mayländer 1–6
  Alexander Grau 7–8
  Ellen Lohr 9–13
37   Ratanakul Prutirat 6
Alfa Romeo Alfa Romeo 155 V6 TI   Martini Alfa Corse 5   Nicola Larini All
6   Alessandro Nannini All
  JAS Motorsport Alfa Romeo 9   Stefano Modena All
18   Gabriele Tarquini All
  Jägermeister JAS Motorsport Alfa Romeo 10   Michael Bartels All
  Bosch JAS Motorsport Alfa Romeo 19   Jason Watt 1–11
  Max Wilson 12
  Naoki Hattori 13
  Giudici Motorsport 13   Gianni Giudici 1–5
  TV Spielfilm Alfa Corse 14   Giancarlo Fisichella All
15   Christian Danner All
Opel Opel Calibra V6 4x4   Joest Racing Opel 7   Manuel Reuter All
8   Oliver Gavin 1–10, 12–13
  Masanori Sekiya 11
23   Volker Strycek 8
24   Yannick Dalmas All
25   Alexander Wurz 1–11
  Tony Kanaan 12
  Masanori Sekiya 13
  Zakspeed Team Opel 16   Uwe Alzen All
17   Klaus Ludwig 1–9, 11–13
  Volker Strycek 10
  Team Rosberg Opel 43   JJ Lehto All
44   Hans-Joachim Stuck All
  Giudici Motorsport 13   Gianni Giudici 6–8, 10–11

Schedule and resultsEdit

Round Country Circuit Date Pole Position Fastest Lap Winning Driver Winning Team Report
1 R1   Germany Hockenheimring 14 April   Nicola Larini   Alessandro Nannini   Manuel Reuter Joest Racing Opel Report
R2   Jan Magnussen   Jan Magnussen Warsteiner Mercedes-AMG
2 R1   Germany Nürburgring 12 May   Jörg van Ommen   Dario Franchitti   Jörg van Ommen UPS Mercedes-AMG Report
R2   Jörg van Ommen   Manuel Reuter Joest Racing Opel
3 R1   Portugal Autódromo do Estoril 26 May   Alessandro Nannini   Alessandro Nannini   Alessandro Nannini Martini Alfa Corse Report
R2   Alessandro Nannini   Alessandro Nannini Martini Alfa Corse
4 R1   Finland Helsinki Thunder 9 June   Hans-Joachim Stuck   Dario Franchitti   Hans-Joachim Stuck Team Rosberg Opel Report
R2   Hans-Joachim Stuck   Hans-Joachim Stuck Team Rosberg Opel
5 R1   Germany Norisring 23 June   Uwe Alzen   Uwe Alzen   Klaus Ludwig Zakspeed Opel Report
R2   Uwe Alzen   Klaus Ludwig Zakspeed Opel
6 R1   Germany Diepholz Airfield Circuit 7 July   Bernd Schneider   Bernd Schneider   Bernd Schneider D2 Mercedes-AMG Report
R2   Alexander Wurz   Bernd Schneider D2 Mercedes-AMG
7 R1   Great Britain Silverstone Circuit 18 August   Klaus Ludwig   Alessandro Nannini   Klaus Ludwig Zakspeed Opel Report
R2   Gabriele Tarquini   Gabriele Tarquini JAS Motorsport Alfa Romeo
8 R1   Germany Nürburgring 1 September   Alessandro Nannini   Alessandro Nannini   Alessandro Nannini Martini Alfa Corse Report
R2   Alessandro Nannini   Alessandro Nannini Martini Alfa Corse
9 R1   France Circuit de Nevers 15 September   Nicola Larini   Giancarlo Fisichella   Alessandro Nannini Martini Alfa Corse Report
R2   Giancarlo Fisichella   Alessandro Nannini Martini Alfa Corse
10 R1   Italy Mugello Circuit 29 September   Nicola Larini   Nicola Larini   Nicola Larini Martini Alfa Corse Report
R2   Bernd Schneider   Bernd Schneider D2 Mercedes-AMG
11 R1   Germany Hockenheimring 13 October   Klaus Ludwig   Uwe Alzen   Klaus Ludwig Zakspeed Opel Report
R2   Manuel Reuter   Manuel Reuter Joest Racing Opel
12 R1   Brazil Autódromo José Carlos Pace 27 October   Christian Danner   Alessandro Nannini   Alessandro Nannini Martini Alfa Corse Report
R2   Giancarlo Fisichella   Nicola Larini Martini Alfa Corse
13 R1   Japan Suzuka Circuit 10 November   Christian Danner   Christian Danner   Dario Franchitti D2 Mercedes-AMG Report
R2   Bernd Schneider   Bernd Schneider D2 Mercedes-AMG

Drivers Championship standingsEdit

Pos Driver HOC1
 
NÜR
 
EST
 
HEL
 
NOR
 
DIE
 
SIL
 
NÜR
 
MAG
 
MUG
 
HOC2
 
INT
 
SUZ
 
Pts
1   Manuel Reuter 1 3 3 1 4 3 2 2 6 5 10 6 6 6 4 16 Ret DNS 18 7 2 1 4 4 13 14 218
2   Bernd Schneider 4 2 4 6 11 12 16 Ret 9 6 1 1 16 5 2 2 Ret 8 2 1 14 Ret 5 14 3 1 205
3   Alessandro Nannini 10 13 EX EX 1 1 14 4 Ret Ret 6 Ret 17 11 1 1 1 1 11 Ret 6 Ret 1 5 10 5 180
4   Dario Franchitti 3 4 2 8 9 10 17 DNS 5 Ret 2 2 21 14 3 3 6 4 4 2 Ret 7 13 10 1 Ret 171
5   JJ Lehto 15 Ret 5 2 16 Ret 5 3 4 3 7 Ret 5 2 7 5 5 3 9 15 5 8 6 9 Ret 8 148
6   Giancarlo Fisichella 7 10 EX EX 2 5 12 5 11 Ret 3 Ret Ret 9 5 4 3 2 3 13 12 5 12 16 4 2 139
7   Klaus Ludwig Ret DNS Ret Ret 3 11 3 Ret 1 1 Ret Ret 1 Ret Ret 11 9 5 1 2 Ret Ret Ret 10 130
8   Uwe Alzen 8 6 18 4 5 2 13 Ret 2 2 11 10 13 Ret 12 6 4 13 7 3 3 Ret Ret DNS 9 12 119
9   Hans-Joachim Stuck 5 7 6 14 Ret 7 1 1 7 4 5 4 12 15 22 12 7 Ret 5 16 17 9 7 Ret 18 18 112
10   Jan Magnussen 2 1 7 3 Ret Ret Ret DNS 17 DNS 16 Ret Ret Ret Ret 5 Ret 4 14 3 7 3 97
11   Nicola Larini 11 12 Ret 7 Ret Ret Ret 6 Ret Ret Ret DNS 3 Ret 6 15 2 Ret 1 Ret Ret Ret Ret 1 6 6 95
12   Stefano Modena Ret DNS 17 Ret DNS 9 7 Ret 3 13 4 3 4 Ret 13 10 13 7 Ret 14 Ret 10 2 8 5 4 92
13   Jörg van Ommen Ret 9 1 13 7 4 9 Ret 8 7 13 5 18 Ret 9 8 8 9 NC 8 8 3 15 6 14 13 87
14   Gabriele Tarquini Ret DNS 10 5 Ret 14 Ret DNS Ret DNS 20 DNS 2 1 Ret 17 15 Ret 13 6 4 Ret Ret DNS DNS Ret 60
15   Christian Danner 13 Ret 9 10 12 13 8 Ret Ret DNS 15 Ret 10 13 18 20 Ret DNS 12 Ret 7 6 3 Ret 2 7 48
16   Alexander Wurz Ret Ret 12 DSQ 10 8 Ret 9 12 8 9 8 7 4 Ret DNS 10 6 6 9 Ret DNS 43
17   Yannick Dalmas Ret 11 Ret DNS 8 Ret 6 Ret Ret DNS 12 7 9 7 8 7 Ret DNS 10 10 18 Ret 8 11 12 9 33
18   Kurt Thiim 12 8 8 12 DNS DNS 18 Ret Ret Ret 14 11 Ret 10 10 Ret 11 10 8 4 10 Ret 23
19   Max Wilson 9 2 17
20   Jason Watt Ret Ret 13 9 15 DNS DNS DNS 15 DNS 22 12 8 3 14 Ret Ret 12 14 Ret Ret Ret 17
21   Michael Bartels 14 14 11 Ret 18 Ret 4 Ret Ret DNS 8 Ret DSQ 8 15 14 Ret DNS 20 DNS 13 Ret Ret 17 15 17 16
22   Alexander Grau 6 5 Ret DNS 13 DNS Ret 10 13 10 18 Ret 15 Ret 17 18 14 11 15 11 Ret 12 17 12 17 15 16
23   Oliver Gavin Ret DNS 14 Ret 6 6 10 Ret 10 12 17 9 11 Ret 16 Ret 12 15 17 Ret 11 15 16 11 16
24   Bernd Mayländer Ret Ret 16 Ret 14 Ret 11 7 16 11 19 14 14 Ret 11 9 Ret DNS Ret Ret 9 Ret 16 7 8 Ret 15
25   Ellen Lohr 9 Ret 15 11 Ret Ret 15 8 14 9 21 13 20 12 20 21 Ret 14 16 12 11 11 18 13 21 Ret 7
26   Christian Fittipaldi 10 Ret 1
27   Aguri Suzuki 11 DNS 0
28   Masanori Sekiya 15 13 20 DNS 0
29   Ricardo Zonta Ret 13 0
30   Gianni Giudici Ret 15 Ret DNS 17 15 19 NC Ret 14 Ret Ret 19 Ret 21 22 Ret Ret 16 Ret 0
31   Naoki Hattori 19 16 0
32   Volker Strycek 19 19 19 Ret 0
  Juan Pablo Montoya Ret Ret 0
  Tony Kanaan Ret Ret 0
  Ratanakul Prutirat[1] DNQ DNQ 0
Pos Driver HOC1
 
NÜR
 
EST
 
HEL
 
NOR
 
DIE
 
SIL
 
NÜR
 
MAG
 
MUG
 
HOC2
 
INT
 
SUZ
 
Pts
Colour Result
Gold Winner
Silver 2nd place
Bronze 3rd place
Green Points finish
Blue Non-points finish
Non-classified finish (NC)
Purple Retired (Ret)
Red Did not qualify (DNQ)
Did not pre-qualify (DNPQ)
Black Disqualified (DSQ)
White Did not start (DNS)
Withdrew (WD)
Race cancelled (C)
Blank Did not participate (DNP)
Did not arrive (DNA)
Excluded (EX)

Bold – Pole
Italics – Fastest Lap

† Drivers did not finish the race, but were classified as they completed over 90% of the race distance.

Note: bold signifies pole position, italics signifies fastest lap. Grid order for race 2 was decided by the finishing order in race 1.

NotesEdit

  • Points System: 20–15–12–10–8–6–4–3–2–1 for the Top 10 drivers in each race. No extra points awarded.

Manufacturers Championship StandingsEdit

Final placings in the 1996 FIA Touring Car International Championship for Manufacturers were:[2]

Pos Manufacturer HOC
1

 
HOC
2

 
NÜR
1

 
NÜR
2

 
EST
1

 
EST
2

 
HEL
1

 
HEL
2

 
NOR
1

 
NOR
2

 
DIE
1

 
DIE
2

 
SIL
1

 
SIL
2

 
NUR
1

 
NUR
2

 
MAG
1

 
MAG
2

 
MUG
1

 
MUG
2

 
HOC
1

 
HOC
2

 
INT
1

 
INT
2

 
SUZ
1

 
SUZ
2

 
Pts
1 Opel 1 3 3 1 3 2 1 1 1 1 5 4 1 2 4 5 4 3 5 3 1 1 4 4 9 8 349
2 Alfa Romeo 7 10 9 5 1 1 4 4 3 13 3 3 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 6 4 5 1 1 2 2 340
3 Mercedes-Benz 2 1 1 3 7 4 9 7 5 6 1 1 14 5 2 2 6 4 2 1 8 3 5 3 1 1 305
Pos Manufacturer HOC
1

 
HOC
2

 
NÜR
1

 
NÜR
2

 
EST
1

 
EST
2

 
HEL
1

 
HEL
2

 
NOR
1

 
NOR
2

 
DIE
1

 
DIE
2

 
SIL
1

 
SIL
2

 
NUR
1

 
NUR
2

 
MAG
1

 
MAG
2

 
MUG
1

 
MUG
2

 
HOC
1

 
HOC
2

 
INT
1

 
INT
2

 
SUZ
1

 
SUZ
2

 
Pts

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ The DTM/ITC had a 105%-limit to qualify for a race. Prutirat was the only driver ever to be caught by this.
  2. ^ 1996 FIA Touring Car International Championship for Manufacturers results Retrieved from web.archive.org on 24 December

External linksEdit