Pau: British drivers weekend summary

BRITISH DRIVERS RISE TO THE OCCASION IN PAU With less than a couple of months to go until the FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) comes to Brands Hatch, the three key British contenders have already laid down the gauntlet with a strong ...

BRITISH DRIVERS RISE TO THE OCCASION IN PAU

With less than a couple of months to go until the FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) comes to Brands Hatch, the three key British contenders have already laid down the gauntlet with a strong performance during the latest round of the series at Pau, in the south of France.

Pau -- a twisty street circuit hemmed in by tight metal barriers -- is the WTCC's answer to the world-famous Monaco Grand Prix, and to make life even more difficult yesterday's race two started off behind the safety car in torrential rain.

Despite the horrendous conditions, Britain's Andy Priaulx showed just why he is a three-time World Champion with a dominant victory in his BMW Team UK 320Si. The 33 year-old is now fourth overall in the standings and just 12 points off the lead as he bids for his fourth consecutive title this year.

Following on from his debut win at the last round in Valencia two weeks ago, Chevrolet driver Robert Huff from Cambridge claimed another pair of strong finishes at both races in Pau. Two-time British Touring Car Champion James Thompson also scored his first point of the season in the N.Technology Honda Accord.

The scene is now set for an epic three-way battle when the WTCC circus arrives at Brands Hatch from 26/27 July. "When it started to rain at the beginning of race two in Pau, I thought that it wasn't ideal but I really tried hard to find a positive," said Priaulx, the winner of race two at Brands Hatch last year. "This was a very rewarding win for me, as it's so easy to make a mistake at Pau with all the slippery white lines. The hardest thing was to push whilst staying out of trouble. Had I made the slightest mistake, the people behind would have pounced on it."

There is now just one more WTCC race meeting to go -- round six at Brno in the Czech Republic from June 14/15 -- before the clash of the titans in Britain. Tickets are already on sale via the Brands Hatch website with adult admission on Sunday 27 July costing 30 GBP at the gate, but only 24 GBP if you book online at www.motorsportvision.co.uk. An online weekend ticket costs 34 GBP while children aged 12 and under go free, so it pays to book in advance.

Grandstand seating starts at 5 GBP and the Raceday Pit Walkabout, which opens at 09:00 on Sunday, costs 12 GBP. Advance booking is available online and from the Ticket Hotline on 0870 950 9000. Advance ticket purchases to watch some of the world's closest racing close at noon on Wednesday 23 July.

-credit: wtcc uk

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