Estoril: BMW qualifying report

BMW Team UK's Andy Priaulx secures third-row grid position in Estoril. Estoril, 12th July 2008. BMW Team UK's Andy Priaulx (GB) set the sixth-fastest time in qualifying for the 11th round of the 2008 FIA World Touring Car Championship. The ...

BMW Team UK's Andy Priaulx secures third-row grid position in Estoril.

Estoril, 12th July 2008. BMW Team UK's Andy Priaulx (GB) set the sixth-fastest time in qualifying for the 11th round of the 2008 FIA World Touring Car Championship. The three-time world champion lapped Portugal's "Circuito do Estoril" in 1:47.724 minutes. This meant Priaulx finished 0.399 seconds behind Chevrolet driver Nicola Larini (IT), who claimed pole position. BMW Team Germany's Augusto Farfus (BR) drove his BMW 320si WTCC to seventh, setting a personal best time of 1:47.756 minutes. He will start the first of the two sprint races from the fourth row, directly behind his fellow BMW driver, Priaulx.

The BMW Team Italy-Spain driver pairing, Felix Porteiro (ES) and Alessandro Zanardi (IT), secured 12th and 16th respectively for the first half of the season's final round. Farfus' team-mate, Jorg Muller (DE), failed to improve his time on his final run shortly before the end of the 30-minute session and had to make do with 13th.

Priaulx was satisfied with his qualifying result, after he hadn't made it into the top-six in the morning's two practice sessions. "This was the best my car could do today," said the Guernsey-born racing driver. "The car was good, our strategy was good. Despite the rather difficult start to the weekend our team didn't lose its calm and just continued working hard. I shall push hard tomorrow to bring this weekend and the first half the season to a successful end."

Farfus, however, had hoped for a more successful qualifying, following promising results in practice. "We didn't expect to be that far away from pole position," he commented. "But our rivals succeeded in improving considerably over the course of the weekend. Conditions were good out there, and we obviously have a good chance to add some points to our tally. However, I had hoped for more today."

Spectators at the 4.140-kilometre track were treated with a true showdown in the dying stages of qualifying. Up to five minutes before the end almost the entire field waited in the pit lane, in order to find the perfect timing for the final attempt. When the pack finally went out, one improvement followed after another. Priaulx, Farfus and Porteiro were among the long list of drivers who set their fastest lap times in the final seconds of the session.

Race one will start on Sunday at 13:20hrs local time and will be broadcast on Eurosport 2. After a longer break than usual the lights go green for the second race at 17:20hrs. Eurosport International provide live coverage. Both races can also be watched on the official BMW Motorsport Website at www.bmw-motorsport.com.

-credit: bmw

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About this article
Series WTCC
Drivers Andy Priaulx , Jorg Muller , Augusto Farfus , Felix Porteiro