Gabriele TARQUINI , Alfa Romeo Autodelta, 1st in Race 1: "I'm happy to have scored another win for Alfa Romeo, my last one was back in 1996 - many years ago. Unfortunately I'm an old driver^Ã… and experienced driver. We knew from last month's ...
Gabriele TARQUINI , Alfa Romeo Autodelta, 1st in Race 1:
"I'm happy to have scored another win for Alfa Romeo, my last one was back in 1996 - many years ago. Unfortunately I'm an old driver^Å and experienced driver. We knew from last month's testing that our car doesn't like this track very much, as it is very hard on the front left tyre. We had to work on this problem, and finally we found a set up which oversteered slightly, saving the front tyres a bit. In the first race it wasn't easy to keep Giovanardi behind me, but my car was faster on the straight and this gave me a small advantage. And my car was also good under braking. Fabrizio was faster than me, particularly coming out of the slow corners, but I made a good race, avoiding mistakes. I think that the spectators appreciated our fight, because we were very close. In the second race I benefited from the fight between Giovanardi and Larini, Fabrizio lost the line and I managed to overtake them both and score the points I needed to lead the championship."
Fabrizio GIOVANARDI , BMW Team Italy-Spain, 2nd in Race 1:
"I feel better today, because before the beginning of the season I was a bit worried about switching to a rear-wheel-drive car. But I immediately found a good feeling with the car and I managed to be competitive on my first race for BMW, which surprised me a bit. In the first race I really pushed hard to chase Gabriele and to try and force him into to making a mistake; but he didn't. However I was happy to finish second and to be amongst the leading drivers in the championship classification. In the second race I paid for my choice to go for used tyres, while the other BMWs were on new tyres. Thus they were able to push in the early stages of the race and I lost contact with them. But in the end I'm happy. I'm fourth in the Championship, only three points from the lead, and I won't have to carry any success ballast in Magny-Cours."
Antonio GARCÍA , BMW Team Italy-Spain, 2nd in Race 1:
"It was a great weekend for me: a podium on my first Touring Car race, on my home track. I confess that yesterday, after a good qualifying result, I had very worried about the race. I've never raced in such short and tight races before and I didn't know what to expect at the start. But everything went well, I made a good start and on the first laps I was even faster than Tarquini and Giovanardi who were ahead of me. I was clear-headed enough to think that it was better to follow them and wait for events to happen. I hoped that Fabrizio would have an opportunity to overtake the Alfa, but in the end we finished in the same order, which was a good result for both the team and for me. In the second race I really began to understand how much Touring Car competition differs from the other races, I found myself trapped in the middle of a group and had a long fight with Coronel. When I managed to overtake him I was very proud, because that was the first overtaking manoeuvre in my Touring Car career."
Dirk MÜLLER , BMW Team Deutschland, 1st in RACE 2:
"I'm really, really proud to be the first driver to win a race for BMW this year. I hope that more will come during the season. We need to work on the qualifying to improve our times and positions. Actually we were just focusing on the race, rather than on qualifying. All my weekend consisted of up and downs: from last in the first practice to first BMW in the second one, from a disappointing 12th in qualifying to a great win in the second race.
Luckily we found the right direction to go, changing a lot of things in the set-up that were successfully tested in the warm up. I think that this was the right way to react after the problems we experienced yesterday. I was really lucky, because everything worked well and I had the possibility to overtake a lot of cars during the first race, preparing the basis for my Race 2 win."
Jörg MÜLLER , BMW Team Deutschland, 2nd in RACE 2:
"I didn't change such a lot on my car since the Thursday testing, like Dirk did. We tested a lot, but we couldn't find the right set up. The rear end of my car remained unstable. I managed to be quick on new tyres, but just for the qualifying lap and then I was afraid to change something on my car for the race. The result was that I had again the same problem in both of the races. In the first I went out on used tyres, which were more consistent; in the second I used new tyres and the balance of the car was not really good. I think that if I would have had the chance to attack I would have done, even if Dirk is my team mate. And I was in the same situation with Priaulx behind me. But the championship is very tight, with twelve cars in the same second, and it' s not easy to overtake. You have to wait for the drivers in front of you to make a mistake."
Andy Priaulx , BMW Team Great Britain, 3rd in Race 2:
"I am absolutely delighted to be on the podium on my first appearance, because this is an extremely professional and competitive championship. I'm obviously very pleased because I managed to be at the top, amongst these great drivers. We are just going to try to keep working hard, until we manage to score our first win. This is our target, but for the moment I'm happy with the podium and the points I have scored today. We'll try to claim another good result in Magny-Cours. In the second race today I had an opportunity to chase Jörg, as he was having some oversteering. But I did not want to risk too much, in order not to lose a podium result."