FIA WTCC: Seven victories, but still a lot of disappointment.
Priaulx maintains title aspirations late into World Championship battle and celebrates more victories than ever before.
Six victories for BMW Team RBM driver Andy Priaulx and a race win for privateer, Colin Turkington, were ultimately not enough to secure BMW another title in the FIA World Touring Championship, to add to those won in 2005, 2006 and 2007. Priaulx finished fourth in the drivers' standings, boasting a points total of 246, despite winning more races than ever before in his WTCC career. For the second time since 2008, title honours went to Chevrolet's Yvan Muller (FR). Farfus collected 167 points over the course of the season, coming seventh in the overall classification. In the Manufacturers' Championship, BMW finished third with 580 points, while Chevrolet claimed its maiden title.
"Following the opening races of the season it looked as if our team wouldn't be in a position to fight for the championship," said BMW Motorsport Director Mario Theissen. "But they didn't give up and successfully fought back. Our title chances were only over after the exclusion from the results following the races in Okayama. Up to that point, Andy was still in with a chance of winning the title."
With the 2005, 2006 and 2007 world titles to its name, BMW remains the most successful manufacturer in the history of the World Touring Car Championship. The brand can also look back on plenty of successful races in 2010. In total, BMW drivers scored seven wins, 13 podiums, two pole positions and clocked six fastest race laps. Priaulx scored BMW's historic 50th victory in this championship in Brno (CZ). Overall BMW has won 52 WTCC races to date.
For the fourth time a BMW privateer triumphed in the Independents' Trophy: Scuderia Proteam Motorsport's Sergio Hernandez (ES) won this category, claiming his second title with the BMW 320si WTCC after his first in 2008. He notched up 156 points, relegating his fellow BMW driver Franz Engstler (DE) to second. Kristian Poulsen (DK), also running a BMW, finished third. A total of seven BMW privateers made it into the top-10.
The 2010 FIA World Touring Car Championship at a glance.
The year gets underway with difficult races for BMW Team RBM in Curitiba (BR). In wet conditions, Andy Priaulx crosses the line fifth in the first race of the year, just ahead of team-mate Augusto Farfus. Collisions at the start of the second race result in Priaulx retiring his BMW 320si WTCC in the pit lane with a broken suspension, while Farfus finishes in sixth place.
A hard-fought triumph.
At the second race weekend of the season in Marrakech (MA), Priaulx follows an eighth place in round one with his first win of the season in race two. The safety car is out on the track for long periods of the race. Despite this, Priaulx holds his nerve after the restart and defends his lead thanks to a brilliant final lap. Farfus is less successful. The Brazilian finishes tenth in race one to pick up one championship point, but fails to finish the second race.
The start of the European leg of the season resulted in success all along the line for BMW. In Monza (IT), BMW Team RBM clinched its first one-two in the World Championship. Priaulx crossed the finish line first, just ahead of Farfus, in the fifth race of the season. Fourth and fifth in the second race of the day mean more valuable championship points for both BMW works drivers.
On top at home.
Priaulx remains on the road to success in Zolder (BE). After finishing eighth in race one, the three-time world champion dominates race two from pole position, leading from start to finish to claim his third win of the season. Team-mate Farfus finishes ninth and eighth to add to his points tally at BMW Team RBM's home event.
Comeback in Portugal.
Farfus proves to be the main points-winner for BMW Team RBM at the WTCC debut of the "Autodromo Internacional do Algarve" in Portimão (PT). After fourth in the first race, he ends race two in fifth. Priaulx is involved in an accident in race one, but fights back from 19th in race two to finish fourth.
Victory in front of home crowds.
In Brands Hatch (GB), BMW celebrates its second one-two of the season. In race two of his home event, Priaulx claims his fourth win ahead of BMW privateer Colin Turkington. In the first race, third place actually gives Turkington the accolade of being the best-placed BMW driver, while Priaulx comes seventh, Farfus finishes sixth and eighth to pick up points in both races in England.
Landmark victory in the Czech Republic.
After finishing fifth in the first race, Priaulx celebrated a historic success in Brno's (CZ) second race. The Brit's fifth win of the season is also the 50th victory for BMW in the World Touring Car Championship since 2005. Farfus finishes fourth and fifth to add to his points tally, while second in race two for Turkington completes an excellent overall result for BMW at the "Automotodrom Brno".
Strong performance at BMW's home event.
BMW traditionally arrives at its home event in Oschersleben (DE) in dazzling form. Farfus finishes runner-up in both races to make it onto the podium, while Priaulx makes immaculate use of fifth in race one -- as so often this season -- to take victory in the second race. This gives BMW its tenth victory in 12 world championship races in Oschersleben.
Farewell to Europe.
The European season ends in Valencia (ES) with a fifth and a fourth for Priaulx. The triple world champion remains second in the Drivers' Championship, and so travels to the overseas races in Okayama and Macau with his hopes of winning the championship still intact. Farfus is hit by a rival in race one, and drops to the back of the field with a puncture. Thanks to a spirited performance, he works his way back from 18th to eighth in the afternoon race.
Turbulent races in Japan.
It initially looks as though BMW Team RBM is able to drive its way into a good position ahead of the season finale in Macau. After fourth in the first race, Farfus masters extremely difficult and wet conditions in race two to claim his first win of the season. Priaulx finishes as runner-up in race one, which, like the second race, is started from behind the safety car due to the heavy rainfall. However, both BMW drivers are subsequently stripped of the points won in Japan due to a decision made by the FIA's International Court of Appeal. Both drivers used BMW 320si GBS cars with sequential gearboxes at the "Okayama International Circuit". While the FIA Stewards on site regarded this as in line with the regulations, the Court of Appeal revised this decision. As a result, Turkington is confirmed as the winner of race two.
Points at the finale.
BMW Team RBM once again adds to its points tally at the season finale in Macau: in the 22nd race of the year, Farfus crosses the finishing line at the "Guia Circuit" in fifth. Having been blamelessly involved in an accident at the start of race one, Priaulx starts an impressive comeback from 22nd on the grid in race two, finishing seventh to pick up six World Championship points. Farfus finishes sixth in the second race.