ETCC: Brno: BMW qualifying notes

BMW lock out the opposition The BMW national teams made the Brno track their own in qualifying today with all five drivers setting times in the top six. However, it was not age and experience that won the day but youth, with the marque's ...

BMW lock out the opposition

The BMW national teams made the Brno track their own in qualifying today with all five drivers setting times in the top six. However, it was not age and experience that won the day but youth, with the marque's youngest driver, BMW Team Italy-Spain's Antonio Garcia, claiming BMW's first 2002 pole on his first visit to the track. Antonio admitted he didn't believe the time when he first went over the start/finish line, as on old tyres the cars had been over two seconds a lap slower. Second quickest was BMW's top qualifier from last year, Dirk Müller, in the BMW Team Deutschland car, but it was another newcomer to the circuit, BMW Team Great Britain's Andy Priaulx, who was third. Andy is the highest placed driver on the grid with ballast, while Championship leader, Jörg Müller, has kept up his hundred per cent record this year for carrying a weight disadvantage.

Positions for the BMW drivers are: 1st Antonio Garcia, 2nd Dirk Müller, 3rd Andy Priaulx , 4th Fabrizio Giovanardi, 6th Jörg Müller.

BMW Team Deutschland - Schnitzer Motorsport - Charly Lamm: "Today's result is a great one for BMW. We are happy with our drivers and we have to congratulate Team Ravaglia and Antonio Garcia on their first pole position. Dirk's time put him on the front row of the grid and also Jörg did a very good lap. He was not entirely happy with his tyres in free practice but this is solved now."

Dirk Müller (GER) (2m 11.782s): "I am delighted to be starting this race from the front row of the grid and I must congratulate Antonio on what he has done here. As usual the Schnitzer team has done a great job and when you look at the grid it is obvious BMW has the best car for this track. Now we have to work hard to make sure we can get the same result in the race."

Jörg Müller (GER) (2m 12.321s) (carrying 30 kilos ballast): "I am happy with my qualifying as I flat spotted a tyre in free practice, so went into this session without much information on set-up. As usual I have ballast and I know that from now on it is going to be difficult to keep the lead in the championship. However, the 30 kilos will not affect me as badly here as the 40 kilos did in Pergusa."

BMW Team Great Britain - RBM - Bart Mampaey: "I am very pleased as this is the first top-three result in qualifying for us this year. This is particularly good when you consider the circumstances. Andy has ten kilos of ballast and has never been here before. It is fantastic to beat some of the other BMWs and all the Alfas on his first visit here."

Andy Priaulx (GBR) (2m 12.001s) (carrying 10 kilos ballast): "I am very happy to achieve my first top three qualifying position on my first visit to Brno. It makes me feel optimistic, and if we can keep up the momentum we can have two strong races tomorrow. I am relieved to have today out of the way, as it is always a bit nerve wracking coming to a new circuit, especially one as complicated as this but we have come out of it okay."

BMW Team Italy-Spain - Ravaglia Motorsport - Roberto Ravaglia: "I can only say how happy I am. Antonio did a great lap, especially as it is his first time here. Fabrizio isn't that far behind and I know he will be strong in the race tomorrow."

Fabrizio Giovanardi (ITA) (2m 12.077s): "I am happy, as we had a chance to test the car in Hockenheim this week and it has helped. The team have done a good job with the car. I didn't expect our cars to be that good here as I know what the Alfa Romeo can do. Anyway it is great and now we have to look forward to a good race tomorrow.

Antonio Garcia (ESP) (2m 11.620s): "I am really very happy with this result, which I have to be honest and say I did not expect after free practice, although I knew then we had a good car. At the start of the day I went out behind Fabrizio for the first few laps and so was able to learn the track by following his line. After that everything was going very well. The car felt good, but it was over two seconds a lap slower on old tyres so when I passed the pits and saw the time I didn't believe it. I spoke to the team on the radio and they confirmed it was correct."

-bmw-

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Series General
Drivers Fabrizio Giovanardi , Andy Priaulx , Antonio Garcia , Dirk Müller , Jorg Muller , Roberto Ravaglia , Bart Mampaey , Charly Lamm