Oschersleben (Germany), 26th August 2007. Augusto Farfus (BRA) of BMW Team Germany claimed victory in the 16th round of the FIA World Touring Car Championship. At the "Motorsport Arena Oschersleben", he crossed the line as winner ahead of BMW Team...
Oschersleben (Germany), 26th August 2007. Augusto Farfus (BRA) of BMW Team Germany claimed victory in the 16th round of the FIA World Touring Car Championship. At the "Motorsport Arena Oschersleben", he crossed the line as winner ahead of BMW Team UK's Andy Priaulx (GBR). In the first race of the day, Farfus' team-mate Jorg Muller (GER) was the best-placed BMW national team driver finishing fourth however, the 37-year-old was forced to retire from race two after a collision. Priaulx finished round one in fifth position while Farfus took seventh place.
This was the tenth BMW victory from seven ETCC or WTCC events in the Magdeburg Borde region. For Farfus this was the third win of the season. In the drivers' classification, the 23-year-old has taken the lead from Muller, having 69 points to his tally. Priaulx follows in second place, just one point down on his fellow BMW driver. Muller is now ranked third, having 63 points under his belt. It was the fifth time this year that the championship lead changed hands between the two BMW Team Germany drivers. In the Manufacturers' Championship, BMW defended its overall lead during the home races in Oschersleben. The BMW drivers have so far accumulated 204 points.
The decisive moments of race one at the 3.696-kilometre track happened as early as straight after the start. Two massive pileups occurred, with both BMW Team Italy- Spain drivers being involved in one of them. Alessandro Zanardi (ITA) was touched by another competitor, lost control of his BMW 320si WTCC and hit several other cars. Apart from Zanardi three more drivers had to retire from the race. Only moments later, the race of his team-mate Felix Porteiro (ESP) also came to an unexpected end. On his 24th birthday, Porteiro was hit by Peter Terting (GER/SEAT) who had tried to avoid crashing into other cars before that. This tangle led to a knock-on accident, which again brought an early end for many drivers. A safety car period then followed.
After the re-start on lap four, there were no changes of position at the top of the field. Muller defended his fourth grid position, while Priaulx improved from eighth to fifth place. Farfus also kept out of all the incidents at the start and finally crossed the line in seventh place. During the course of the race both Muller and Farfus put the drivers ahead of them under pressure. Due to 55 and 50 kilos of handicap weight, however, they were unable to launch a successful attack. The three BMW drivers kept their positions - thus securing promising grid positions for race two.
Following the start of the second round of the day, the German motor racing fans witnessed another BMW driver retiring early: Local hero Muller was pushed into the gravel by Jordi Gene (ESP/SEAT), damaging the rear suspension of his BMW 320si WTCC. Muller rejoined at the tail of the field, but finally gave up on lap five.
After good starts, Farfus and Priaulx delivered an exciting fight for the lead. Farfus had improved from second to first place, while Priaulx gained two positions before trailing the BMW Team Germany driver. Several times the defending champion tried to get past Farfus but the Brazilian fended off all the attacks, put in a faultless performance and was rewarded with the seventh BMW victory of the season. Porteiro was also on his way to a good result and was in tenth position when he was called into the pits for a drive-through penalty due to a jump start. He had to make do with 20th place. Zanardi's incredible catch up from 23rd place almost earned the 40- year-old a point. On the final lap, he was able to pass Tiago Monteiro (PRT) for eighth place. However, the SEAT driver launched a counter-attack, Zanardi lost momentum - and dropped back to 15th position.
Augusto Farfus (BMW Team Germany): "This has been the toughest race of the year for me. Andy was in my rear mirror all the time. Everything was down to not making any mistakes - and I was successful. At the start my car was perfect but later I had to deal with understeer. Nevertheless, I claimed victory. The championship lead changes from one driver to the other at almost every race weekend this year and it will even get tougher during the next events. The decision will be made in Macau."
Andy Priaulx (BMW Team UK): "I was faster than Augusto in the second race but I didn't want to take too much of a risk in fighting my fellow BMW driver. I felt very 'racy today but I waited for a mistake from Augusto but it didn't come. Fortunately I had built up a small gap from Gene behind me. There is still a long way to go in the championship but it felt good that there was a bit more speed in my car than in Anderstorp."
Jorg Muller (BMW Team Germany): "The first race was relatively boring from my angle. Carrying 55 kilograms of handicap weight, it was impossible to overtake James Thompson, although I was quicker in the corners. In the end, I scored some points. That wasn't to be in race two. Following a good start I got pushed into the gravel which put an end to my home race. It's a pity that I lost the championship lead but we still have six races."