championship was revised for 1988; Group N cars now could participate
in all rounds, and they could fight for the overall title with the
Group A cars, thanks to a complicated points system which favoured the
bigger cars with extra points for overall placings.
were three long-distance events, and the entry lists kept growing;
mostly, as much as six different races per weekend had to take place.
Although Alfa Romeo was more or less ruled out of the ETCC with the new turbo factor of 1.7, which put them in the same class as the Sierra Cosworth, in Italy things were different; there were few Sierras but a mass of Alfa Romeos, in Evolution trim (A1) or 1986-style (A2). Alfa sent works cars which well-known drivers who were not supposed to do more than a handful of races to give the privateers a chance of the title.
Gianfranco Brancatelli, with an A2 Jolly Club Alfa, won the title over Giorgio Francia, who switched from A2 to A1 during the season. Brancatelli even managed three overall wins with his supposedly inferior '86 car!
But the writing was on the wall; the last two races were dominated by Schnitzer and Bigazzi with BMW M3's, the teams looking for new playgrounds since the ETCC would be axed.