Valencia: BMW Motorsport preview

Gripping WTCC title fight continues at the "Circuit de la Comunitat". Munich, 02nd October 2006. The FIA World Touring Car Championship is entering its decisive stages. This weekend, rounds 17 and 18 of the series are scheduled to take place in...

Gripping WTCC title fight continues at the "Circuit de la Comunitat".

Munich, 02nd October 2006. The FIA World Touring Car Championship is entering its decisive stages. This weekend, rounds 17 and 18 of the series are scheduled to take place in Valencia. Following the two races in Spain, the BMW national teams will travel to Macau, where the championship will be decided on 19th November.

However, before the former Portuguese colony will host the season finale, the final event of the WTCC's 2006 European season will be held at the "Circuit de la Comunitat". The situation in the Drivers' Championship could hardly be more exciting and promises thrilling races at the 4.005-kilometre track. BMW Team UK's Andy Priaulx (GBR) is still leading the championship and has 58 points under his belt, despite leaving Istanbul - the venue of rounds 15 and 16 - empty-handed. However, his rivals seized the opportunity to close the points' gap to the reigning champion. Runner-up in the standings is SEAT driver Gabriele Tarquini (ITA), who is just one point behind. Dirk Muller (GER) was also able to score valuable points in Turkey, thus improving his position in the title race. His BMW Team Germany team-mate, Jorg Muller (GER), is lurking in seventh position having scored a total of 46 points.

In the manufacturers' classification, BMW is currently ranked second with 192 points, ten points behind SEAT. The drivers of the BMW national teams want to gain lost ground in Spain. On this mission, the great shape Alessandro Zanardi (ITA) is in could be an important ace up the sleeve. In Istanbul, the 39-year-old claimed victory in the 15th round of the season for BMW Team Italy-Spain, celebrating his second WTCC win after his triumph in Oschersleben last year. Additionally, Duncan Huisman (NLD) is also travelling to Valencia with a big sense of achievement: While his team- mate, Zanardi, won the race, the 34-year-old finished fifth, scoring his maiden four points of the season. Both drivers are full of confidence for their team's home event.

Alessandro Zanardi (BMW Team Italy-Spain):
"My victory in Istanbul was just great. However, Valencia is a completely different challenge. In 2005, I managed to improve from 20th to 8th place in race one. That means overtaking is possible on this track. It's also the home of the Formula BMW Racing Center, where young drivers learn all what is needed for a successful career. I'm already looking forward to the Formula BMW World Final, which will be held in Valencia in late November. On Saturday, I will have a look behind the scenes of BMW ORACLE Racing. I guess it will be pretty exciting to learn more about the work of an America's Cup contender."

Duncan Huisman (BMW Team Italy-Spain):
"Despite being around in motor racing for quite a while, I have never raced in Valencia before. However, unknown tracks don't pose a major problem to professional racing drivers. It just needs a couple of laps before you can push to the limit. I will have a close look at the circuit lay-out and take a walk around the track prior to the first practice session. This is sort of a home event for our team. Therefore, I'm extra motivated to score another good result."

-credit: bmw motorsport

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About this article
Series WTCC
Drivers Andy Priaulx , Dirk Müller , Duncan Huisman , Gabriele Tarquini