Pau: BMW qualifying report

Augusto Farfus claims his maiden pole position for BMW in Pau. Pau. BMW Team Germany's Augusto Farfus (BR) will start the seventh round of the FIA World Touring Car Championship from pole position. At the "Circuit de Pau Ville" in South-western...

Augusto Farfus claims his maiden pole position for BMW in Pau.

Pau. BMW Team Germany's Augusto Farfus (BR) will start the seventh round of the FIA World Touring Car Championship from pole position. At the "Circuit de Pau Ville" in South-western France the 24-year-old beat the rest of the 25-strong field by setting a best time of 1:21.960 minutes. It's the first time this year a BMW 320si WTCC car will start the first race of a WTCC weekend from pole. At the same time, this is Farfus' maiden pole position as a BMW works driver. Defending champion BMW Team UK's Andy Priaulx (GB) was seventh, 0.719 seconds behind his fellow BMW driver. Farfus' team-mate, Jorg Muller (DE) clocked the tenth-fastest lap of the afternoon. BMW Team Italy-Spain's Alessandro Zanardi (IT) and Felix Porteiro (ES) were 12th and 15th respectively.

"This was a tough qualifying," said Farfus after an exciting session, which got underway 30 minutes late due to crash barrier repairs. "This result comes at exactly the right time. After the difficult start to the season we just had to begin catching up at some point, and I hope this point has now come. Surely we have made the first step in this direction. However, I haven't won anything so far. The races in Pau are long and usually very eventful. But for the moment, I'm just very happy."

Farfus clocked his best time on his final run in the dying seconds of the 45-minute session. Just a lap earlier he had hit the barrier in turn 5, and lost his right wing mirror. "Luckily the car was okay, so I could continue," said Farfus. "I kept on pushing as hard as I could to make it to the top - and that's what I managed to do."

The script for this qualifying session is another proof of the special relationship between Farfus and the twisty Pau street circuit. Last year he rolled his car in qualifying, but still managed to score a spectacular win in race two. "Pau is a driver's circuit," commented BMW Team Germany's team manager, Charly Lamm (DE), on the performance of his driver. "We have been quick quite a few times this year, but seldom were able to exploit our full potential in qualifying. Finally Augusto achieved just that today. Jorg was unlucky and got stuck in traffic several times, but still he is in a position to score points tomorrow."

Priaulx was denied the chance to put in a perfect lap in the decisive stage of qualifying due to several incidents and yellow flags. "When you put a good lap together on a street circuit it is very rewarding and good fun, so I wish I could have found the way to do that today," he said. "However, we have got to race yet and seeing the amount of carnage in the races so far this weekend shows us anything can happen."

The first round will start on Sunday at 12:05hrs CEST (11:05hrs BST). Round two gets underway at 15:50hrs CEST. The two races are both covered live by Eurosport 2 and Eurosport International on TV and the official BMW Motorsport Website.

-credit: bmw-motorsport.com

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About this article
Series WTCC
Drivers Andy Priaulx , Jorg Muller , Augusto Farfus , Felix Porteiro , Charly Lamm