Spa: BMW race notes

Clean sweep for BMW in Spa-Francorchamps - exciting second race. Spa (Belgium), 30th July 2005. BMW has claimed a one-two-three victory in the eleventh race of the FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC). Dirk Müller (GER) of BMW Team ...

Clean sweep for BMW in Spa-Francorchamps - exciting second race.

Spa (Belgium), 30th July 2005. BMW has claimed a one-two-three victory in the eleventh race of the FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC). Dirk Müller (GER) of BMW Team Deutschland celebrated his third win of the season at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, while BMW Team UK driver Andy Priaulx (GBR) finished as runner-up. On the start/finish straight Jörg Müller (GER), also competing for BMW Team Deutschland, drew level with Alfa-Romeo driver Augusto Farfus jr. and pipped him to the post as he crossed the line in third place with a lead of just 22 thousandths of a second. All three podium places thus went to BMW drivers.

During the interval between the two races, a rain shower suddenly altered the track conditions. The 6.946-kilometre circuit was drying off during the second race and in these difficult circumstances numerous collisions and skids occurred. BMW Independents Trophy driver Stefano d'Aste (ITA) crossed the finish line to take what looked like a sensational win. After the race, however, he received a three-second penalty for taking a short-cut in a chicane. That meant Fabrizio Giovanardi (Alfa Romeo) was retrospectively declared the winner. The best driver among the BMW national teams was again Dirk Müller, who finished in fifth place.

Alessandro Zanardi (ITA) of BMW Team Italy-Spain was not competing following an accident on Thursday in which his BMW 320i was badly damaged. His team-mate Antonio Garcia (ESP) came seventh in the first race. On the last lap of the second race he dropped back from third to eighth position due to a multi-car collision.

In the Drivers' Championship, Dirk Müller maintains his lead with a tally of 61 points. A gap of four points separates him from his rival Giovanardi. Behind them Priaulx is in third place with 50 points. In the Manufacturers' Championship, these results enabled BMW to further expand its lead slightly over Alfa Romeo. It tops the rankings with 159 points. Second-placed Alfa (155) is followed by SEAT (113) in third place. BMW privateer Marc Hennerici (Mayen) continues to lead the Independents Trophy after the Belgian event. Tom Coronel (SEAT) is in second place with eight points.

Reactions:

Dirk Müller (BMW Team Deutschland): "Today was a very happy day for me. In the first race I had a fantastic start and fought an exciting duel with Andy. But ultimately I had the edge on him. You could right a book about the second race. Suddenly, on the very first lap, I was facing the oncoming traffic in Eau Rouge. It was a miracle nobody hit me. After that I wouldn't have expected to finish so far up. I'm glad I was able to increase my World Championship lead."

Andy Priaulx (BMW Team UK): "After yesterday's qualifying I was fairly optimistic about today's races, but unfortunately there weren't as many points in it as I had hoped for. I felt in the first race that I was faster than Dirk at the end, but I couldn't get past him. In the second race I was unlucky. In 2004 things mostly went well for me, now I'm in trouble more often. But the race for the title is still completely open."

Jörg Müller (BMW Team Deutschland): "It was certainly a good weekend for the fans. I'm not happy with my performance. My car was good enough to compete for a win in both races, but nothing came of it. The duel with Farfus at the end of the first race was fun. He was hustling me, but in the end my front wheels clearly had more grip than his."

-bmw-

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Series WTCC
Drivers Andy Priaulx , Antonio Garcia , Dirk Müller , Tom Coronel , Jorg Muller , Augusto Farfus , Marc Hennerici