Priaulx claims fourth for BMW in 50th WTCC qualifying since 2005. Porto, 4th July 2009. In qualifying for the 13th round of the 2009 FIA World Touring Car Championship, BMW Team UK's Andy Priaulx (GB) secured a place on the second row of the...
Priaulx claims fourth for BMW in 50th WTCC qualifying since 2005.
Porto, 4th July 2009. In qualifying for the 13th round of the 2009 FIA World Touring Car Championship, BMW Team UK's Andy Priaulx (GB) secured a place on the second row of the grid. The triple world champion clocked a lap time of 2:09.563 minutes in the decisive second session and finished fourth at Porto's "Circuito da Boavista".
Augusto Farfus (BR) of BMW Team Germany also managed to claim a top-ten result in the 50th qualifying in WTCC history. He will start seventh in the first of the two sprint races on Sunday. SEAT's Gabriele Tarquini (IT) took pole position, running 0.255 seconds quicker than Priaulx. Chevrolet driver Robert Huff (GB) and Yvan Muller (FR/SEAT) came second and third respectively.
Alessandro Zanardi (IT) narrowly missed out on the second part of qualifying for BMW Team Italy-Spain after finishing 11th in the first phase. BMW Team Germany's Jorg Muller (DE) followed in 12th. After hitting the barriers during his second outing, Zanardi's team-mate Sergio Hernandez (ES) had to make do with 17th in "Q1"
"The saying goes: He who dares wins. Today we dared, but didn't quite win," said Priaulx after the two exciting sessions at the 4.720-kilometre street circuit. "I pushed a bit too hard on my second run. Without a little off towards the end of the session, we could have qualified even further up on the grid. Nevertheless it's great to make it onto the second row considering where we came from after the test and the two practice sessions. My team did a fantastic job and the set-up was perfect."
Following promising lap times in the practice sessions, Farfus had hoped for a better grid position for the WTCC's second visit to Porto. "But we just couldn't exploit the peak of the tyres," the 25-year-old explained. "We will analyse this problem now, in order to be more competitive tomorrow. In general my car was great, but I was not able to make full use of its potential. However, coming from seventh on the grid, a good result is still possible, especially regarding the reverse grid for race two."
In the first phase of qualifying two runs were enough for Priaulx to set the fourth- fastest lap time and to easily advance into the top-ten shoot out. Farfus qualified for "Q2" on his ninth lap by improving to ninth. In the all-important second leg, both BMW drivers pushed hard, especially during their final outings. But Farfus' chances for an improvement were virtually over when he hit the barriers at the wheel of his BMW 320si WTCC in turn 8. Priaulx also missed the opportunity to set a better time than the one posted on lap 2 during his very last attempt.
The 13th race of the FIA World Touring Car Championship will start at 11:35hrs on Sunday, race two will get underway at 16:50hrs.