A grid of over 30 cars is to take to the track at the Salzburgring in Austria this weekend for the fourth running of the European Touring Car Cup.

A total of 33 drivers will take part in the event, with 21 in the FIA Super 2000 Cup, six in the FIA Super Production Cup and six in the new FIA Super 1600 Cup. Those 33 drivers will represent 15 nationalities and will be at the wheel of cars representing no fewer than ten different manufacturers.

Michel Nykjaer, the winner of the 2007 FIA S2000 Cup in Adria, will defend his title at the wheel of a Chevrolet Lacetti run by the Chevrolet Motorsport Denmark team and is one of three former champions in the line-up. Richard G?ransson, the first person to clinch the S2000 Cup back in 2005, will be at the wheel of a Flash Engineering BMW 320si while Alexander Lvov, who was crowned Super Production champion in 2006, will compete again in a Golden Motors Honda Accord Euro R.

Nykjaer and G?ransson are amongst the favourites to take honours in the S2000 Cup, although the pair aren't expected to have it all their own way in the quest for honours. Tomas Engstr?m in his Engstr?m Motorsport Honda Accord and Kristen Poulsen in the Poulsen Motorsport BMW 320si, finished second and third last season and should challenge again, while the young Spaniard Oscar Nogu?s will be at the wheel of the only SEAT Leon in the event, with his driver with the SUNRED team coming thanks to his success in the 2008 SEAT Leon Eurocup.

Two of the more experienced drivers in the grid should also be at the sharp end of the grid, with Franz Engstler taking time out of his WTCC campaign to run his BMW 320si, while a similar car will be entered by the Swede Jan Nilsson; one of the most successful drivers in the history of the Swedish Touring Car Championship with 30 wins and two championship titles.

Title winners play a large part in the line-up, with five title winners on the entry list and one more close to securing his domestic honours.

Philip Geipel (Germany), George Tanev (Bulgaria), Mikko Eskelinen (Finland) and G?ransson (Sweden) have already claimed their respective national titles while Ego? Lapins of Latvia lifted the title in the Baltic Championship. C?sar Campani?o meanwhile is only six points away from being crowned Portuguese champion for the 2008 season.

German champion Geipel will make history in the event, when he gives his new Toyota Auris its debut in an international event. The car was seen for the first time during the WTCC race weekend at Oschersleben, where it raced in the supporting ADAC Procar event, and will be looking to take its first win; the best results to date being a brace of second places during the latest Procar event at the Sachsenring. Geipel's brother Charlie will also be present in the event but running the older Toyota Corolla model.

Half-a-dozen drivers will fight for the Super Production Cup, with Italian driver Fabio Fabiani is regarded as the man to beat after he set pole position last year in Adria. He will be hoping for better luck than last year however when he went off and retired in the opening race. Fabiani will be at the wheel of a BMW 320i, as will F.Motorsport team-mate Imerio Brigliadori. The two Italians will face competition coming from Russia and the Baltic States, with Dmitriy Dobrovolsky, who also raced in Adria, makes a comeback in the Aimol Racing Opel Astra, alongside his 19-year old fellow countryman Nikolay Karamishey in a Sport-Garage VW Golf VI. Baltic Touring Car champion Lapins and Lithuanian Paulius Krukauskas complete the field with a pair of Honda Integra cars

Four competitors out of six in the new Super 1600 class are Germans. Ralf Martin, Carsten Seifert, Jens L?hnig and Guido Thierfelder are regulars of ADAC Procar's Division 2. And so is Andrii Kruglik, the 24-year old from Kiev, the first Ukrainian to compete in the FIA Cup. The only one in the class who is not coming from the Procar series is Sergey Ryabov from Russia. The sextet will represent four manufacturers in Citroen, Ford, Peugeot and Volkswagen.

2008 European Touring Car Cup entry list:

1. Michael NykjaerChevrolet Motorsport DenmarkChevrolet Lacetti
2. Tomas EngstromHonda RacingHonda Accord Euro R
3. Richard Goransson Flash EngineeringBMW 320si
4. Alexander LvovGolden MotorsHonda Accord Euro R
5. Andrey SmetskyGolden MotorsHonda Accord Euro R
6. Oleg PetrishinLiqui Moly Team EngstlerBMW 320si
7. Oscar NoguesSUNRED EngineeringSEAT Leon
9. Jan NilssonFlash EngineeringBMW 320si
10. Kristian PoulsenPoulsen MotorsportBMW 320si
11. Jens Reno Muller Hartmann Honda RacingHonda Accord Euro R
12. Franz EngstlerLiqui Moly Team EngstlerBMW 320si
14. Mikko EskelinenGTM FinlandBMW 320si
15. Wolfgang TremlKissling MotorsportOpel Astra GTC
16. Philip GiepelYaco RacingToyota Auris
17. Charlie GiepelYaco RacingToyota Corolla T-Sport
18 Janis HoreliksJH MotorsportHonda Civic Type-R
19. Urmas KitsingSaksa Auto AMKBMW 320si
20. Peter RikliRikli Motorsport Equipe BernoiseHonda Accord Euro R
21. Sergey KrylovSport-GarageFord Focus
22. George TanevPetrol GT Racing TeamBMW 320si
27. Cesar Campanico Liqui Moly Team EngstlerBMW 320si
52. Egons LapinsSpice Racing TeamHonda Integra Type-R SP
53. Paulis Krukauskas ZaibelisHonda Integra Type-R SP
54. Fabio FabianiF.MotorsportBMW 320i SP
55. Imerio Brigliadori F.MotorsportBMW 320i SP
56. Dimitry Dobrovolskiy Aimol RacingOpel Astra Coupe SP
57. Nikolay Karamishev Sport-GarageVolkswagen Golf VI SP
72. Ralf MartinTLM Team Lauderbach MotorsportFord Fiesta ST S1600
73. Carsten SiefertNK Racing TeamFord Fiesta ST S1600
74. Jens LohnigRoscher RacingCitroen C2 VTS S1600
75. Andrii KruglikTLM Team Lauderbach MotorsportFord Fiesta ST S1600
76. Guido Thierfelder ETH TuningPeugeot 207 Sport S1600
77. Sergey RyabovSport-GarageVolkswagen Polo GTi S1600

SP denotes Super Production, S1600 denotes Super 1600. All others S2000

 

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