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ROAL Motorsport (previously known as Ravaglia Motorsport) is an Italian auto racing team, which operated the BMW Team Italy-Spain team in the World Touring Car Championship, and currently competes as BMW Team Italia in the Italian GT Championship. It was founded in 2001 by 1987 World Touring Car champion Roberto Ravaglia and Aldo Preo (Roberto + Aldo = ROAL).[1]

Italy ROAL Motorsport
ROAL logo.png
Founded2001
Team principal(s)Roberto Ravaglia
Current seriesBlancpain Endurance Series
Italian GT Championship
Former seriesEuropean Touring Car Championship
Superstars Series
World Touring Car Championship
Alex Zanardi driving a ROAL Motorsport BMW 320si WTCC car at Brands Hatch in 2008

HistoryEdit

Ravaglia Motorsport began competing in the Superproduction class of the European Super Touring Championship in 2001 as BMW Team Germany with Peter Kox and Norman Simon as drivers,[1] with Kox winning the class.[2]

In 2002, they competed in the European Touring Car Championship (ETCC) as BMW Team Spain with Jordi Gené and Fabrizio de Simone as drivers.[1] In 2003, they became BMW Team Italy-Spain and had Antonio García and Fabrizio Giovanardi as drivers, with Alex Zanardi driving a third car at the season finale in Monza,[1] using special controls following his serious accident in 2001 in which he lost both his legs. Zanardi replaced Giovanardi full-time in 2004.

In 2005, the ETCC became the World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) and Ravaglia Motorsport changed their name to ROAL Motorsport. Zanardi also won the Italian Superturismo Championship in 2005 for the team,[3] and finished third in the first edition of the European Touring Car Cup.

Garcia left the team at the end of 2005 to pursue a career in sports car racing, and was replaced by fellow Spaniard Marcel Costa. Costa was disappointing though and was replaced by Duncan Huisman during the season.[1] The team gave GP2 Series racer Félix Porteiro a drive in the ETC Cup and he impressed enough to get a drive in the WTCC for 2007.[1]

In 2008, ROAL Motorsport began development of a competition M3 E90 for the Superstars Series, with Luca Rangoni as driver. For 2009, Porteiro was replaced by 2008 Independent's champion Sergio Hernández in the team, while in the Superstars Series, Rangoni was replaced by reigning Champion Gianni Morbidelli.

After leaving the WTCC in 2010, ROAL returned to WTCC in 2011 with Dutch driver Tom Coronel who last drove for BMW in the European Touring Car Championship, until 2017 season, which WTCC folded and merged into 2018 World Touring Car Cup

Since 2015, ROAL Motorsport has regularly competed in the Italian GT Championship, initially with the BMW Z4 GT3 until switching to the BMW M6 GT3 in 2016. 2016 also saw ROAL compete under the BMW Team Italia name.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-15. Retrieved 2009-08-21.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) Team History at roal-motorsport.com
  2. ^ http://www.driverdb.com/standings/48-2001/ European Superproduction Championship 2002 at Driver Database
  3. ^ http://www.driverdb.com/standings/94-2005/ Italian Super Touring Car Championship 2005 at Driver Database

External linksEdit