Oschersleben: BMW Motorsport race notes

Andy Priaulx and Jorg Muller win for BMW at Oschersleben home event. Oschersleben (Germany), 04th June 2006. Andy Priaulx (GBR) and Jorg Muller (GER) have won rounds seven and eight of the FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC). At the BMW...

Andy Priaulx and Jorg Muller win for BMW at Oschersleben home event.

Oschersleben (Germany), 04th June 2006. Andy Priaulx (GBR) and Jorg Muller (GER) have won rounds seven and eight of the FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC). At the BMW home event at the "Motorsport Arena Oschersleben", Priaulx and his BMW Team UK celebrated victory in the first race in front of 34 000 spectators. The 31-year-old relegated BMW Team Germany's Dirk Muller (GER) and SEAT driver Rickard Rydell (SWE) to second and third place, respectively. Jorg Muller, who is also driving for BMW Team Germany, benefited from the reversed grid in the second race of the day and claimed his first win of the season after starting from second. He was joined on the podium by Augusto Farfus (BRA) and third- placed Dirk Muller, who was the most successful driver of the weekend.

Priaulx made perfect use of his pole position in race one, committed no mistakes and scored a start to finish victory. However, he came under pressure on the last laps. At the start, Dirk Muller improved from sixth to fourth place and was moving up over the course of the 14-lap sprint race. First, he overtook Rydell, and on lap eight he also passed Rydell's SEAT team-mate, James Thompson (GBR). Then he started chasing Priaulx. But the 30-year-old did not get a chance to launch an attack. Therefore, the reigning World Champion Priaulx took the chequered flag with a gap of 0.469 seconds to the runner-up.

Jorg Muller worked his way up from tenth to seventh place. He delivered an exciting duel with Farfus for sixth position, but failed to overtake the Alfa Romeo driver on the narrow track. Alessandro Zanardi (ITA) of BMW Team Italy-Spain, who celebrated victory in Oschersleben last year, was involved in a lot of race action: The 39-year-old fought with Yvan Muller (FRA) for eighth place - and pole position for race two. However, during an overtaking move on lap 12 the two cars collided, Zanardi was forced into the gravel and then to pit to have his tyres changed. Finally he finished 24th. His team-mate Marcel Costa (ESP) improved from 23rd to 18th position.

In the second race, Jorg Muller laid the foundation for his victory right at the start, when he passed SEAT's Peter Terting (GER) for the lead. During the first laps, he was under pressure from Farfus, but succeeded in building up a gap by mid race, thus securing his fourth WTCC win. Behind him, his team-mate Dirk Muller caused a stir. As the red lights went off, he leapfrogged from seventh to third place and even attacked Farfus, after the South American had lost ground to Jorg Muller. At the end of the day, Dirk could not pass him but gained some ground in the championship fight by coming third.

Priaulx missed a gear directly after the start, fell back from eight to tenth position and remained there until the end of the race. Further back in the field, Zanardi was ploughing through the field after the incident in race one. The fans' favourite finished 12th, after starting from 24th. Costa took 16th position.

After this double-victory in Oschersleben, BMW has now 103 points under its belt and thus regained first place in the Manufacturers' Championship from SEAT. Priaulx is the new leader of the Drivers' Standings, having 33 points to his tally after eight WTCC rounds. For him, it was already the third win of the season.

Reactions:

Andy Priaulx (BMW Team UK):
"I am leading the championship again. However, that doesn't mean anything at this point of the season. It's extremely close out there - and it will stay like this right until the end. I'm convinced that the championship will again be decided at the final event at Macau. In the first race, I pushed hard to build up a gap as fast as possible, as it's always better to dictate the pace from the lead. I succeeded. In race two I missed the gear and lost two positions as well as a championship point."

Jorg Muller (BMW Team Germany):
"In Magny-Cours, I came second twice. Now it has finally worked out with my first win this season. Between the two races we changed the set-up of my car. It felt much better in race two. At the beginning, Augusto Farfus put me under pressure, but then I was able to move away a bit. Then it was all about not making any mistakes. That's what I did, and now I'm happy with the result. I'm sure that the balance of power will continue to change from race to race."

Dirk Muller (BMW Team Germany):
"I just feel great. In the championship I'm now only one point behind the leaders. The car was just brilliant today. In race one, I managed to close the gap to Andy within just a few laps. Unfortunately, I was unable to launch an attack. The key to success in race two was my perfect start. I started from seventh place - and was suddenly in the middle of a fight with Augusto Farfus for second place. That was exciting and was good fun. I can really be happy with this weekend."

Alessandro Zanardi (BMW Team Italy-Spain):
"This was not really my weekend. After I had already been unlucky in qualifying, I was forced to give my all to gain eighth place in race one. Then I would have started from pole in race two due to the reversed grid. Unfortunately, this plan didn't pay off. Nevertheless, I think that I have shown what would have been possible today. That's why I'm really disappointed with leaving Oschersleben empty-handed."

-bmw-

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About this article
Series WTCC
Drivers Andy Priaulx , Dirk Müller , Jorg Muller , Yvan Muller , James Thompson , Augusto Farfus , Peter Terting , Marcel Costa , Rickard Rydell