Interview with Touring Car World Champion Andy Priaulx. Anybody who would have thought Andy Priaulx (GBR) of BMW Team UK would lose any of his fighting spirit after winning two consecutive titles in the FIA WTCC was wrong. The 33-year-old is ...
Interview with Touring Car World Champion Andy Priaulx.
Anybody who would have thought Andy Priaulx (GBR) of BMW Team UK would lose any of his fighting spirit after winning two consecutive titles in the FIA WTCC was wrong. The 33-year-old is stronger than ever, trailing BMW Team Germany's championship leader Augusto Farfus (BRA) by merely one point. There are six races still to go in the WTCC, including Priaulx's home round at Brands Hatch (23rd September) and the season finale in Macau (18th November). In Monza (7th October), he will contest his 100th race with BMW.
Andy, are you happy with the outcome of the 2007 season to date?
Andy Priaulx: "Absolutely. I think it's going very well at the moment. Our car is a lot more competitive than at the beginning of the year. We are in a good shape, and I feel I should have scored more wins by now. The rest of the season will be a thriller."
Did you expect such a close, three-way fight with your fellow BMW drivers?
Priaulx: "That doesn't come as a surprise at all as it's the same every year. Whether it's in the ETCC or WTCC, the BMW Team Germany drivers always gave me a hard time. It's not any different now that Augusto Farfus is Jorg Muller's team-mate. They are pushing me to the limit, which is good. On the other hand, all BMW drivers are in the same boat. Partly due to changes to the cars' minimum weights, our rivals have reduced the gap. So it's not just us three fighting for the title."
Are you now used to carrying maximum handicap weight?
Priaulx: "That's not even in my mind any more. I'm no longer used to driving the car without any weight. In Brands Hatch, however, the top five drivers in the championship will all be on 60 kilos. So we are all in the same situation."
What have been your personal highs and lows this year?
Priaulx: "Of course it was great to win in Porto. Curitiba was also a great weekend, because, although we were lacking speed, I scored 16 points there. On the other hand, Brno was a big down point. But, there's still a lot more I know I can achieve!"
In 2005 and 2006 you performed extremely well in Macau and secured the title there. Does this make you confident for this year's season finale?
Priaulx: "That doesn't change my situation at all. I keep concentrating on my own preparation. Now we have to be aware of the other cars' speed. I think the Diesel cars might be a big threat in Macau with their straight line speed. As always, I have a lot of respect for the competition, but I feel very confident in what I am doing."