Priaulx claims third in Monza - Difficult WTCC weekend for BMW. Monza, 5th October 2008. BMW Team UK's Andy Priaulx (GB) finished third in the 19th round of the FIA World Touring Car Championship. The defending champion crossed the line at the...
Priaulx claims third in Monza - Difficult WTCC weekend for BMW.
Monza, 5th October 2008. BMW Team UK's Andy Priaulx (GB) finished third in the 19th round of the FIA World Touring Car Championship. The defending champion crossed the line at the "Autodromo Nazionale di Monza" in fourth, benefiting from a belated 30-second penalty for a competitor. Alessandro Zanardi (IT) also scored one point for BMW Team Italy-Spain by finishing eighth. In the second race of the day, the local hero came seventh, while BMW Team Germany's Augusto Farfus (BR) was rewarded for an impressive fight back with eighth.
Priaulx was forced to retire with a puncture while running in fifth. Farfus' team-mate, Jorg Muller (DE), walked away from the WTCC's final European race weekend of the year with ninth and tenth places respectively. Following his retirement in race one, Felix Porteiro (ES) also missed out on a points' finish in the second nine-lap contest. The two victories went to the SEAT pairing of Yvan Muller (FR) and Gabriele Tarquini (IT). In the Drivers' Championship, fifth-placed Priaulx remains the most successful BMW representative with 61 points. In the manufacturers' classification, BMW ranks second with 223 points. SEAT increased its lead to 54 points.
Andy Priaulx (BMW Team UK):
"Today we made the most of our opportunities, my car was fantastic. However, it was impossible to challenge the diesel opposition. Obviously I'm disappointed about the puncture in race two. Many cars went over the debris before me, but I was the only one who suffered a problem. That's somehow symbolic for this season."
Alessandro Zanardi (BMW Team Italy-Spain):
"Starting from pole position you naturally hope to finish somewhere up front. But that was just not possible today. A lot of work lies ahead of BMW and the teams in order to close the gap to the front-runners again. I'm happy that I at least provided the Italian fans with a lot of action."
Jorg Muller (BMW Team Germany):
"Race one started in a truly chaotic way. In the crash with James Thompson the balance of my car suffered, so I wasn't able to push as hard as I had planned to from 15th on the grid. In race two I got a heavy hit even before the first chicane. Again the handling was affected for the worse. I had hoped for a better farewell from Europe."
Augusto Farfus (BMW Team Germany):
"My start in race one was good. But then everything went against me. First, someone bent my exhaust, and then I lost my radiator grill and later the radiator lost water. At least I was able to say thank you to my team for the repair works by improving to eighth in race two."
Felix Porteiro (BMW Team Italy-Spain):
"I had different plans for the home event of BMW Team Italy-Spain. Right at the start of the first race I lost all my chances of scoring another good result. I hope the forthcoming overseas races will have a more positive outcome for us."
Race 1 - Lap by lap.
Start The "flying" start is a turbulent affair. In the first chicane, Felix Porteiro
collides with James Thompson, who spins off and returns to the track
backwards. Jorg Muller is also involved in this incident. While the 39-
year-old is able to continue in 13th after crashing into Thompson,
Porteiro's race comes to an early end. The 25-year-old heads to the
pits with a damaged left front suspension. Augusto Farfus gets pushed
from behind, forcing him to hit another car - with serious
consequences. Nevertheless, he defends his fifth grid position. Andy
Priaulx improves to sixth, Alessandro Zanardi moves up the ranks from
14th to 11th.
Lap 4 Farfus overtakes Nicola Larini, only to lose fourth a few corners later to the Chevrolet driver.
Lap 5 Priaulx passes Farfus for fifth.
Lap 6 Farfus retires due to the damage his car's radiator suffered in the starting incident. Zanardi has worked his way up to ninth, Muller follows in tenth.
Lap 9 Larini drops back on the final lap, with Priaulx taking over fourth.
Finish Priaulx finishes fourth - and sets the fastest lap of the race in 2:00.443 minutes. When Rickard Rydell gets a 30-second penalty after the race for cutting the chicane, Priaulx improves to third. Zanardi takes the chequered flag ninth. Due to Rydell's penalty, however, he scores one point and is the pole-sitter for the second race. Muller is classified ninth. BMW Team Germany changes Farfus' engine to give its driver the chance to compete in the second race.
Race 2 - Lap by lap.
Start Zanardi performs a great start and successfully defends his lead against
Jordi Gene. Priaulx drops back into seventh, Muller stays in ninth.
Porteiro improves from 23rd to 17th. Farfus even leaps further up the
field: Having started from 30th on the grid, he lies 19th at the end of lap
Lap 2 Gene uses the performance advantage of his SEAT diesel to overtake Zanardi. Muller gets overtaken by Alain Menu,
Lap 3 Zanardi loses several positions, now running in eighth. Priaulx passes Robert Huff as well as his fellow BMW driver. He is now fifth.
Lap 5 Muller loses ground and is ranked 12th.
Lap 7 After going over pieces of debris, Priaulx suffers a puncture on the left front wheel. He creeps back into the pits. Huff also retires. Zanardi thus improves to seventh, Muller goes back to tenth. Meanwhile, Farfus and Porteiro lie in ninth and 11th respectively.
Lap 9 Farfus passes Rydell for P8, while Porteiro loses one position to Thompson.
Finish Zanardi and Farfus score points by finishing seventh and eighth. Muller comes home in tenth, Porteiro crosses the line in 12th.