Priaulx awaiting BMW's Rockingham decision

Andy Priaulx says he is still awaiting confirmation from BMW as to whether he can take up his usual BTCC seat with West Surrey Racing at Rockingham next month.

The three-time World Touring Car Champion currently has a calendar clash between the British Touring Car Championship meeting at Rockingham and the European Le Mans Series event at Paul Ricard.

A successful weekend for Priaulx at Knockhill saw the driver of the #111 BMW 125i move up to sixth in the drivers’ standings, becoming the highest-placed BMW driver as he passed team-mate Sam Tordoff.

Priaulx took pole in race one ahead of Tordoff, before completing the run in third place behind race-winning team-mate Rob Collard. A fifth in race two and a fourth in race three, where he had been demoted from third with a post-race penalty, saw Priaulx jump up to sixth in the standings and sit just 41 points away from championship leader Jason Plato.

“Overall, I’ve had a stonking weekend,” said Priaulx. “I’ve had two podiums, although one’s now a fourth, and I’ve closed the lead in the championship. I think in the last four races I’ve been the championship contender and had I not had those DNFs at the start of the year, it’d look really juicy right now.”

However, the BTCC/ELMS clash is still the main issue for Priaulx, with talks expected to take place on Monday to decide whether he will compete at Rockingham or Paul Ricard.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen at Rockingham,” he explained. “I need to have a word with BMW, but I’m also fighting for that ELMS title. I want to keep BMW happy.

"I have to be honest, they’ve been brilliant to me for the past 15 years and if I could be in two places at once I would. It’s going to be difficult to choose but they are my employers. They'll decide. But, hey, 'which car to drive', what a lovely problem to have!”

Whichever choice BMW make, Priaulx made his intentions of continuing to chase the BTCC crown in the future, whether it be in 2015 or beyond.

“I think I have a really good chance in the future to fight for the title and I’ve proved that in the last four races. There is a realistic chance for me to win this championship, I’m the leading BMW. But it is what it is, I’ll just have a beer tonight and we’ll think about it.”

James Charman/TouringCarTimes

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About this article
Series BTCC , European Le Mans
Drivers Andy Priaulx
Teams West Surrey Racing
Article type Breaking news