Five questions for the BMW title contenders in the WTCC Three BMW drivers are still in contention for winning the drivers' title in the FIA World Touring Car Championship. Prior to the season finale in Macau, double world champion, Andy Priaulx...
Five questions for the BMW title contenders in the WTCC
Three BMW drivers are still in contention for winning the drivers' title in the FIA World Touring Car Championship. Prior to the season finale in Macau, double world champion, Andy Priaulx (GBR), of BMW Team UK leads the overall standings with 81 points. BMW Team Germany driver, Augusto Farfus (BRA), is ten points behind Priaulx in third place. His team-mate, Jorg Muller (GER), who lies 16 points behind the leader in fourth place, also has a theoretical chance of finishing the season at the top of the standings. BMW is also homing in on a defence of its title in the Manufacturers' Championship, heading the classification with 237 points in the run up to the final two races at the "Guia Circuit". The three BMW title contenders give an insight into their preparations.
How have you spent your time since the races in Monza?
Andy Priaulx: "One thing is certain: I have not been simply idling the time away. We cannot afford this luxury. We have been testing, and working hard to improve our overall package and be as fast as possible in Macau. It goes without saying that I have kept up my personal training to make sure I am fit going into the season finale."
Augusto Farfus: "Despite the break from races, there has been a lot to do. First I spent a few days at a Formula BMW event in Brazil, before heading to Vallelunga for testing. I then moved on to Malaysia for the next engagement with Formula BMW. In the meantime, I stayed in close contact with the team to press ahead with preparations for Macau. At the moment I am finally spending a few days at home, to make sure I am physically and mentally fit."
Jorg Muller: "After the testing in Italy, I went to Valencia to act as an instructor at the scholarship course for the new Formula BMW Europe. I was then able to go diving and completely relax for a few days. It is good to take time out every now and again. There is very little time to relax over the course of the year. It also helps to focus your concentration prior to the final races of the year."
Do you sense a special tension in the run up to the season finale?
Andy Priaulx: "Yes, I love the special tension that builds up before the finale to a long season. I am, of course, delighted to be in the fight for a big title right up to the final race for the fifth time in a row. The battle for the title naturally provides the greatest motivation."
Augusto Farfus: "You can already notice that the tension is growing from day to day - but in a positive way. I am 100% motivated to perform to my best in Macau."
Jorg Muller: "I wouldn't say that I am any more nervous than usual. I am just really looking forward to competing in Macau again. I have enjoyed many victories there in the past, and really like the circuit. It is not necessarily important that these are also the final races of the year."
How do you rate your chances of winning the World Championship?
Andy Priaulx: "It is impossible to predict what will happen. We will just have to wait and see how the opposition presents itself in Macau. It is important that we perform as well as possible. Everything else is out of your hands in sport."
Augusto Farfus: "First and foremost, I want to help BMW win the Manufacturers' Championship. Then I will give everything to claim my first World Championship title."
Jorg Muller: "I know, of course, that it will be difficult to take the title, even if I am statistically still in the race. There is also the Manufacturers' Championship, and we will do everything to ensure that BMW successfully defends its title."
There will be no driving on Saturday in Macau. How will you spend the day?
Andy Priaulx: "I always watch the motorcycle race at the Guia Circuit. I do this simply to show my respect for these incredible drivers. I will switch off for the rest of the day and recharge my batteries for an exciting and eventful final day."
Augusto Farfus: "I will spend time with the team and relax. Most of the work will already have been done, and the grid positions will have been known since qualifying on Friday. The first opportunity we get to influence events is in the warm-up on Sunday."
Jorg Muller: "The Saturday in Macau offers what is probably the most spectacular race of the weekend: the motorcycle race. I like to mingle with the spectators for this race. Otherwise, we use the time to once again study in detail the data from free practice and qualifying. There is not so much time for this on a normal race weekends."
What were the highlights of the season so far for you?
Andy Priaulx: "It was great to take the 16 points from Curitiba, as our car was not really 100% competitive at the start of the season. The victory in Brands Hatch was certainly special, as was the success in front of 100,000 people in Porto."
Augusto Farfus: "In Curitiba and Pau I experienced the most intense weekends of my career. It was fantastic to win on my home turf. That I was able to finish so far up the field following my crash in qualifying in Pau was just reward for the hard work that my team put in."
Jorg Muller: "The first victory in Curitiba was a perfect start to the season. In the past I have had a few problems finding my feet early on in the season. This victory was a great motivational boost."