Oschersleben: BMW Motorsport Saturday notes

Jorg Muller posts best time at home event in Oschersleben. Oschersleben (Germany), 27th August 2005. Jorg Muller (GER) of BMW Team Deutschland drove the fastest lap in qualifying for the 13th round of the FIA World Touring Car Championship...

Jorg Muller posts best time at home event in Oschersleben.

Oschersleben (Germany), 27th August 2005. Jorg Muller (GER) of BMW Team Deutschland drove the fastest lap in qualifying for the 13th round of the FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) in Oschersleben. With a time of 1:31.772 minutes, he relegated Alfa Romeo drivers James Thompson (GBR) and Augusto Farfus jr. (BRA) into second and third place. But the BMW works driver will not be starting from pole on Sunday: as a result of an incident in Spa-Francorchamps, he has been put ten places back on the grid and will start the second of the two races from eleventh place.

Andy Priaulx (GBR) of BMW Team UK claimed the fourth best qualifying time at the Motorsport Arena Oschersleben. With the maximum weight handicap of 60 kilograms on board his BMW 320i, the reigning European Touring Car Champion secured a slot in the second row of the grid shortly before the end of the 30-minute session. Profiting from Jorg Muller's penalty, Priaulx will start from third place. BMW Team Deutschland driver Dirk Muller (GER) - likewise with a 60-kilogram load on board - came ninth in qualifying and will start from eighth place on the grid. Antonio Garcia (ESP) of BMW Team Italy-Spain 14th place, immediately ahead of his team- mate Alessandro Zanardi (ITA).

"Of course I view this result with mixed feelings," said Jorg Muller following the thrilling qualifying laps. "On the one hand I'm pleased to have gained the best time, on the other hand it's a great shame I'm not starting from pole. From the first practice session on, I had a good feeling and coped well with the car. Tomorrow I'll give it my all, as I haven't yet given up the battle for the championship. There are another 80 points to be gained this year, and I want a few of them. In today's qualifying it was also clear that we can no longer distinguish between a BMW or an Alfa circuit. What is really decisive is the handicap weight."

Priaulx was also happy with his qualifying performance and said, "I'm pleased to have got such a good position with a handicap of 60 kilos. I'm desperate to shorten the gap to Dirk Muller and Giovanardi in the World Championship, and third place on the grid is certainly a good starting point for that." Out of the three front runners in the championship, who are all racing with the maximum additional ballast, Priaulx proved the fastest on the 3.667-kilometre track. But World Championship leader Dirk Muller in eighth place on the grid also has a good chance of further boosting his points tally. His closest pursuer, Fabrizio Giovanardi (Alfa Romeo), will be starting the first race in Oschersleben from twelfth place. The Italian is currently four points adrift of Dirk Muller, who has a total of 61 under his belt. Priaulx lies in wait in third place with 50 points.

The 13th race of the World Touring Car Championship starts at 15.15 hrs on Sunday. For the second race, the drivers of the BMW national teams will take to the track at 16.20 hrs. There will be live coverage of the races from Oschersleben on the television channels Eurosport and ZDF.

-bmw-

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Series WTCC
Drivers Fabrizio Giovanardi , Andy Priaulx , Antonio Garcia , Dirk Müller , Jorg Muller , James Thompson , Augusto Farfus