Oschersleben: BMW Motorsport preview

BMW national teams hope to continue their run of successes in Oschersleben. Munich, 20th August 2007. Following a four-week summer break, the FIA World Touring Car Championship resumes the 2007 season with races 15 and 16 in Oschersleben. BMW's...

BMW national teams hope to continue their run of successes in Oschersleben.

Munich, 20th August 2007. Following a four-week summer break, the FIA World Touring Car Championship resumes the 2007 season with races 15 and 16 in Oschersleben. BMW's aim at this home event at the German track is to continue its string of successes from past years.

The spotlight at the "Motorsport Arena Oschersleben" will primarily focus on the only German driver in contention for the championship, Jorg Muller (GER). Driving for BMW Team Germany, he will line up for both races on this 3.696-kilometre circuit as the World Championship leader. Last year Muller managed to claim the second race in Oschersleben for himself, while BMW Team UK driver Andy Priaulx (GBR) won the first race. Indeed, BMW can look back on an impressive record in the "Magdeburg Borde" region: since 2002 the BMW national teams have won nine out of ten races held in Oschersleben as part of the WTCC and ETCC.

After two difficult races in Anderstorp (SWE), the BMW drivers also look forward to benefiting from slightly lower weight handicaps at Oschersleben. While Priaulx and Muller will have 55 kilograms of ballast on board - five less than at the Swedish races - Muller's team-mate Augusto Farfus (BRA, 50 kg) and BMW Team Italy-Spain's Felix Porteiro (ESP, 10kg) will each have shaved ten kilos off their surplus weight. Porteiro's team-mate Alessandro Zanardi (ITA) maintains his weight handicap of five kg.

Jorg Muller (BMW Team Germany):

"Oschersleben is a circuit made for BMW. That's why I am confident the BMW national teams will do well this time round too. As it's a home race, my family and lots of my friends will be coming to the Motorsport Arena, which I'm really pleased about. But essentially Oschersleben is a race like any other: I'm carrying out the usual preparations and I'm just as highly motivated as for any other race weekend. My personal goal will be to score points. That's going to be very difficult as I'll virtually be driving with a full load - 55 kilos of extra weight. But, as the saying goes, anything's possible. The main thing is to make it to the finish."

History and background:

The "Motorsport Arena Oschersleben" is one of the longest running on the FIA Touring Car Championships' calendar. Between 2002 and 2004 it hosted six European Championship races. In the last two years, the WTCC has also been held at this circuit in the region known as the Magdeburg Borde.

Nine out of ten races on the challenging track have been won by a BMW driver. Dirk Muller finished first in both ETCC races in 2002, and the following year Jorg Muller and Priaulx joined the list of winners. . In 2004, at the final appearance of the European Touring Car Championship, Priaulx gained another race win. In the WTCC, the BMW drivers kept on the string of success: In 2005 Priaulx claimed yet another race win, with Zanardi scoring his emotional maiden WTCC victory. Last season, Priaulx/Muller made it to the top step of the podium again.

The circuit is one of Germany's youngest and most modern motor racing facilities. The "MOTOPARK Oschersleben" opened on 25th July 1997 and was renamed "Motorsport Arena Oschersleben" in 2005.

Compared with last year, a slightly modified track layout awaits the drivers of the BMW national teams. The start/finish straight has been extended and now takes a 90-degree bend leading into a right-hand turn which feeds back into the old layout. A new asphalt run-off area and gravel trap have also been added.

One outstanding feature of the track is the "Hasseroder Kurve". This 180-degree bend is slightly elevated and rarely found in this form on modern circuits.

In the chicane before the back straight the drivers traditionally deliver some show- stopping scenes: riding over the kerbs frequently has two wheels lifting clear off the ground. The final corner before the start/finish line offers a good overtaking opportunity.

Apart from this circuit, which hosts both car and motorcycles races, the "Motorsport Arena" also includes a modern karting track. Various German kart series regularly stage races on this 1,018-metre outdoor facility.

The municipality of Oschersleben has a population of 18,000 and is situated 35 kilometres from Magdeburg. The German capital Berlin is about 150 kilometres to the northeast.

Sunday's first race starts at 12:05hrs and will be broadcasted live on Eurosport 2. Race two starts at 16:05hrs (live on Eurosport International).

-credit: bmw

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