1996 International Touring Car Championship season

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1996 International Touring Car Championship season
Previous: 1995 Next: 2000
Support series:
German Formula Three

The 1996 International Touring Car Championship season was the second season of its type. 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 summary[edit]

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 drivers[edit]

No. Driver Team Car Rounds
1 Germany Bernd Schneider D2 Mercedes-AMG Mercedes C-Class All
2 United Kingdom Dario Franchitti D2 Mercedes-AMG Mercedes C-Class All
3 Denmark Jan Magnussen Warsteiner Mercedes-AMG Mercedes C-Class 1–12, 17–26
Colombia Juan Pablo Montoya 13–14
Brazil Ricardo Zonta 15–16
4 Germany Alexander Grau Warsteiner Mercedes-AMG Mercedes C-Class 1–12
Germany Bernd Mayländer 13–26
5 Italy Nicola Larini Martini Alfa Corse Alfa Romeo 155 V6 TI All
6 Italy Alessandro Nannini Martini Alfa Corse Alfa Romeo 155 V6 TI All
7 Germany Manuel Reuter Joest Racing Opel Opel Calibra V6 4x4 All
8 United Kingdom Oliver Gavin Joest Racing Opel Opel Calibra V6 4x4 1–20, 23–26
Japan Masanori Sekiya 21–22
9 Italy Stefano Modena JAS Motorsport Alfa Romeo Alfa Romeo 155 V6 TI All
10 Germany Michael Bartels Jägermeister JAS Motorsport Alfa Romeo Alfa Romeo 155 V6 TI All
11 Germany Jörg van Ommen UPS Mercedes-AMG Mercedes C-Class All
12 Denmark Kurt Thiim UPS Mercedes-AMG Mercedes C-Class 1–22
Brazil Christian Fittipaldi 23–24
Japan Aguri Suzuki 25–26
13 Italy Gianni Giudici Giudici Motorsport Alfa Romeo 155 V6 TI 1–12
Opel Calibra V6 4x4 13–16, 19–22
14 Italy Giancarlo Fisichella TV Spielfilm Alfa Corse Alfa Romeo 155 V6 TI All
15 Germany Christian Danner TV Spielfilm Alfa Corse Alfa Romeo 155 V6 TI All
16 Germany Uwe Alzen Zakspeed Opel Opel Calibra V6 4x4 All
17 Germany Klaus Ludwig Zakspeed Opel Opel Calibra V6 4x4 1–18, 21–26
Germany Volker Strycek 19–20
18 Italy Gabriele Tarquini JAS Motorsport Alfa Romeo Alfa Romeo 155 V6 TI All
19 Denmark Jason Watt Bosch JAS Motorsport Alfa Romeo Alfa Romeo 155 V6 TI 1–22
Brazil Max Wilson 23–24
Japan Naoki Hattori 25–26
21 Germany Ellen Lohr Persson Motorsport Mercedes C-Class All
22 Germany Bernd Mayländer Persson Motorsport Mercedes C-Class 1–12
Germany Alexander Grau 13–26
23 Germany Volker Strycek Opel Team Joest Opel Calibra V6 4x4 15–16
24 France Yannick Dalmas Joest Racing Opel Opel Calibra V6 4x4 All
25 Austria Alexander Wurz Joest Racing Opel Opel Calibra V6 4x4 1–22
Brazil Tony Kanaan 23–24
Japan Masanori Sekiya 25–26
37 Thailand Ratanakul Prutirat Persson Motorsport Mercedes C-Class 11[1]
43 Finland JJ Lehto Team Rosberg Opel Opel Calibra V6 4x4 All
44 Germany Hans-Joachim Stuck Team Rosberg Opel Opel Calibra V6 4x4 All

Schedule and results[edit]

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

Drivers Championship standings[edit]

Pos Driver HOC1
Germany
NÜR
Germany
EST
Portugal
HEL
Finland
NOR
Germany
DIE
Germany
SIL
United Kingdom
NÜR
Germany
MAG
France
MUG
Italy
HOC2
Germany
INT
Brazil
SUZ
Japan
Pts
1 Germany 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 Germany 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 Italy Alessandro Nannini 10 13 DSQ DSQ 1 1 14 4 Ret Ret 6 Ret 17 11 1 1 1 1 11 Ret 6 Ret 1 5 10 5 180
4 United Kingdom 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 Finland 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 Italy Giancarlo Fisichella 7 10 DSQ DSQ 2 5 12 5 11 Ret 3 Ret Ret 9 5 4 3 2 3 13 12 5 12 16 4 2 139
7 Germany Klaus Ludwig Ret DNS Ret Ret 3 11 3 Ret 1 1 Ret Ret 1 Ret Ret 11 9 5 1 2 Ret 18 Ret 10 130
8 Germany 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 Germany 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 Denmark 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 Italy 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 Italy Stefano Modena Ret DNS 17 Ret Ret 9 7 Ret 3 13 4 3 4 Ret 13 10 13 7 Ret 14 Ret 10 2 8 5 4 92
13 Germany 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 Italy 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 Germany Christian Danner 13 Ret 9 10 12 13 8 Ret Ret DNS 15 Ret 10 13 18 20 Ret Ret 12 Ret 7 6 3 Ret 2 7 48
16 Austria 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 France 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 Denmark 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 Brazil Max Wilson 9 2 17
20 Denmark 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 Germany 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 Germany 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 United Kingdom Oliver Gavin Ret DNS 14 Ret 6 6 10 DNS 10 12 17 9 11 Ret 16 Ret 12 15 17 Ret 11 15 16 11 16
24 Germany 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 Germany Ellen Lohr 9 Ret 15 11 Ret Ret 15 8 14 9 21 14 20 12 20 21 Ret 14 16 12 11 11 18 13 21 Ret 7
26 Brazil Christian Fittipaldi 10 Ret 1
27 Japan Aguri Suzuki 11 DNS 0
28 Japan Masanori Sekiya 15 13 20 DNS 0
29 Brazil Ricardo Zonta Ret 13 0
30 Italy Gianni Giudici Ret 15 Ret DNS 17 15 19 NC Ret 14 Ret Ret 19 Ret 21 22 Ret Ret 16 Ret 0
31 Japan Naoki Hattori 19 16 0
32 Germany Volker Strycek 19 19 19 Ret 0
Colombia Juan Pablo Montoya Ret Ret 0
Brazil Tony Kanaan Ret Ret 0
Thailand Ratanakul Prutirat DNQ DNQ 0
Pos Driver HOC1
Germany
NÜR
Germany
EST
Portugal
HEL
Finland
NOR
Germany
DIE
Germany
SIL
United Kingdom
NÜR
Germany
MAG
France
MUG
Italy
HOC2
Germany
INT
Brazil
SUZ
Japan
Pts
Colour Result
Gold Winner
Silver 2nd place
Bronze 3rd place
Green Points finish
Blue Non-points finish
Non-classified finish (NC)
Purple Did not finish (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
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.

Notes[edit]

  • 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 Standings[edit]

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

Pos Manufacturer HOC
1

Germany
HOC
2

Germany
NÜR
1

Germany
NÜR
2

Germany
EST
1

Portugal
EST
2

Portugal
HEL
1

Finland
HEL
2

Finland
NOR
1

Germany
NOR
2

Germany
DIE
1

Germany
DIE
2

Germany
SIL
1

United Kingdom
SIL
2

United Kingdom
NUR
1

Germany
NUR
2

Germany
MAG
1

France
MAG
2

France
MUG
1

Italy
MUG
2

Italy
HOC
1

Germany
HOC
2

Germany
INT
1

Brazil
INT
2

Brazil
SUZ
1

Japan
SUZ
2

Japan
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

Germany
HOC
2

Germany
NÜR
1

Germany
NÜR
2

Germany
EST
1

Portugal
EST
2

Portugal
HEL
1

Finland
HEL
2

Finland
NOR
1

Germany
NOR
2

Germany
DIE
1

Germany
DIE
2

Germany
SIL
1

United Kingdom
SIL
2

United Kingdom
NUR
1

Germany
NUR
2

Germany
MAG
1

France
MAG
2

France
MUG
1

Italy
MUG
2

Italy
HOC
1

Germany
HOC
2

Germany
INT
1

Brazil
INT
2

Brazil
SUZ
1

Japan
SUZ
2

Japan
Pts

References[edit]

  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 links[edit]