BMW's home event opens final third of the FIA WTCC season. Munich, 31st August 2009. The FIA World Touring Car Championship's summer break ends next weekend when the BMW national teams fight for victories and world championship points at ...
BMW's home event opens final third of the FIA WTCC season.
Munich, 31st August 2009. The FIA World Touring Car Championship's summer break ends next weekend when the BMW national teams fight for victories and world championship points at Oschersleben (DE). After five wins in the last seven races, BMW intends making up ground on home soil in both the drivers' and manufacturers' championships before heading for the final European rounds in Imola (IT) and the two flyaway events which will bring the series to a close.
Both BMW and SEAT carry the same compensation weight for Oschersleben, namely 40 kilograms of ballast per car. However, BMW Team Italy-Spain's Alessandro Zanardi (IT), whose BMW 320si WTCC is fitted with a sequential gearbox, goes into the race without carrying ballast. BMW Team UK driver Andy Priaulx (GB), plus BMW Team Germany's Augusto Farfus (BR) and Jorg Muller (DE), have all won at Oschersleben, while Sergio Hernandez (ES) makes his debut for BMW Team Italy-Spain in the Magdeburger Borde region.
Andy Priaulx (BMW Team UK):
"My feelings of Oschersleben are always of standing on the podium with Alex Zanardi following his first win after his return to motorsport. I feel that I have the speed to start the rest of the season on a high, we have tested hard during the break and I want to pay back the team for all their hard work."
Jorg Muller (BMW Team Germany):
"I always look forward to returning to Oschersleben. It is our only event in Germany, and is thus a special one for me. BMW is a German company, I carry the German flag - it couldn't be more homely. Plus, BMW has always been competitive here."
Augusto Farfus (BMW Team Germany):
"At last the break is over. I can't wait to race again. I won in Oschersleben in 2007 and 2008, and feel in top form for this event, so am intrigued by what the weekend will bring. My aim is to increase the pressure on the drivers at the top of the championship points table."
Alessandro Zanardi (BMW Team Italy-Spain):
"We all know the circuit at Oschersleben well. I have won there, but last year I experienced an extremely disappointing weekend. Hopefully this year the good moments will return. The circuit has a lot of interesting, medium speed corners. However, the straights are very short."
Sergio Hernandez (BMW Team Italy-Spain):
"I enjoy Oschersleben. Last year I scored two points here by finishing seventh - in a privately-entered BMW. I am looking forward to seeing whether the balance of power has shifted after the long break."
History and background:
BMW drivers have celebrated numerous Worlds Touring Car Championship successes at the "Motorsport Arena Oschersleben". Seven of the eight races held to date at the 3.696-kilometre circuit have fallen to a BMW driver. Alessandro Zanardi entered the history books when he took his maiden WTCC victory here in 2005. Augusto Farfus and Andy Priaulx have each taken two victories to date at the Magdeburger Borde region, while Jorg Muller stood on the top step of the podium in 2006.
The sinuous circuit has long been included on FIA Touring Car Championship calendars. The European Championship featured six races here between 2002 and 2004. BMW claimed an impressive five victories during that period, with Priaulx scoring two and Muller one.
The "Motorsport Arena" is a level circuit and offers a good mix of slow corners - in which traction is of paramount importance - and flowing sections. A key feature is the chicane on the back straight, where cars need to be able to ride the kerbs without losing time. In terms of average speed, Oschersleben is classified in the middle of the 12 circuits making up the 2009 WTCC calendar.
The circuit is one of Germany's youngest and most modern motorsport venues. It was originally opened on 25th July 1997 as "MOTOPARK Oschersleben", and renamed "Motorsport Arena Oschersleben" in August 2005.
Beside the circuit, which hosts both car and motorcycle events, the "Motorsport Arena" also features a modern kart track. Various German kart championships are contested on this outdoor circuit.
Oschersleben numbers 17,000 inhabitants and lies 35 kilometres from Magdeburg. Berlin is situated approximately 150 kilometres to the north-east.
This year the promoters of the event have laid on a special treat for fans: A concert featuring various popular musicians such as Sarah Connor, Reamonn and Milow is scheduled for 18 00 on Saturday evening. The WTCC entry tickets include admission to the concert in the StarArena.
BMW Team Germany has every reason to party even before the race weekend starts: Team-mates Jorg Muller and Augusto Farfus both celebrate their birthdays on the Thursday. Muller turns 40, and Farfus 26.
Both races will be contested over 14 laps, providing a race distance of 51.74 kilometres. The first heat starts at 12:50hrs (11:50hrs BST), and race 2 at 15:05hrs (14:05hrs BST).