ETCC: Brno: BMW race report

BMW claims both podiums The BMW national teams made sure the opposition didn't get a look in at the Brno race by not only winning both races, but claiming all six podium positions. In race one it was Dirk Muller in his BMW Team Deutschland car...

BMW claims both podiums

The BMW national teams made sure the opposition didn't get a look in at the Brno race by not only winning both races, but claiming all six podium positions. In race one it was Dirk Muller in his BMW Team Deutschland car that took the win in race one but it was a new name at the top of the results sheet for race two as Andy Priaulx gave BMW Team Great Britain its first win. It was not a good race weekend for Dirk's team-mate, Jorg Muller, as he was disqualified from fifth place in race one and given a drive through-penalty in race two for causing two avoidable collisions, both of which were with the Alfa Romeo of Nicola Larini. It was the best ETCC race meeting of the year for BMW Team Italy-Spain as not only did Antonio Garcia claim the marque's and the team's first pole of 2003, but he appeared on the podium for the first time and his team-mate, Fabrizio Giovanardi, was in the top three in both races.

BMW Team Deutschland Schnitzer Motorsport - Charly Lamm: "We had two very fast BMWs all weekend. Dirk used this performance to take away 16 points from Brno. Jorg was fast in both races, but lost his fifth place from race one and so had to start race two from the back of the grid and ended up not scoring any points. Both cars are still at the front of the championship, although unfortunately Jorg has lost the lead. We now have a month to work hard to come back strong for the Donington race."

Dirk Muller (GER) - Qual 2nd; Race 1 - 1st ; Race 2 - 3rd: "The first race was really great. I enjoyed racing against Antonio, it was very clean. I would like to apologise for us coming together in the second race. In the second race the Alfa was quite difficult to overtake but I finally got by. I then tried to close the gap on Andy and Fabrizio, but I would have needed one or two laps more to get to them and then I may have tried to overtake. It was a great weekend for BMW and Schnitzer. I had a great car and but for a mistake I made in race two I could have had an even better result."

Jorg Muller (GER) - Carrying 30 kilos of ballast: Qual 6th; Race 1 - 5th; Race 2 - DNF: "It was not a good weekend, there is not a lot else to say. I cannot understand the decision as there was touching and bumping everywhere. I got bumped from the rear and I couldn't go anywhere else. I don't know what happened in the second race, there were just big queues of cars and we were together. Eventually the temperature went up and I came in."

BMW Team Great Britain - RBM - Bart Mampaey: "We have had to work very, very hard to get this result. Congratulations to Andy he did a fantastic job. He has never been to Brno before and pulled out an amazing qualifying lap to be third on the grid. I think in the first race we were very unlucky and had a lot of understeer on the car for the first two laps. However, we could see in his lap times for the last eight laps and the way he was moving in on Giovanardi that the car was really competitive. For race two he made a perfect start and did an awesome overtaking manoeuvre on Giovanardi. Now we are going to Donington with 40 kilos! I want to say thank you very much to BMW Great Britain for putting their confidence in a Belgian team to run their car."

Andy Priaulx (GBR) - Qual 3rd; Race 1 - 4th; Race 2 - 1st: "It has been a great weekend for me. I have a lot to thank the team for and for everyone who has helped me get to this stage. Donington is not going to be a brilliant place to have ballast but I do know the circuit well and hopefully a bit of positive energy will give me something special. I am just taking each race as it comes and will deal with Donington as I have done the races so far."

BMW Team Italy-Spain - Ravaglia Motorsport - Roberto Ravaglia: "I am quite happy because we came back from Barcelona where we were quite competitive and worked on the performance of the car. Now we are back with a good performance. I am sorry for Antonio because he drove a really good race. It is great to see Fabrizio back on a podium for the first time since 2002."

Fabrizio Giovanardi (ITA) - Qual 4th; Race 1 - 2nd; Race 2 - 2nd: "It was great to be leading a race in a BMW. I am really happy as it is a long time since I have had two podiums. I don't think it was possible for me to win the race today because we did a lot of work on the car this weekend, but we have to do a lot more to find the best set-up for the BMW."

Antonio Garcia (ESP) - Qual 1st; Race 1 - 3rd; Race 2 - 7th: "In the first race I didn't have the best set-up so Dirk was faster than me and overtook me. Then my car started to get better and I was able to get closer to him again, but with ten laps it is difficult to recover this time. In race two there were a lot of crashes and in the first chicane I collided with Dirk. My engine stalled and by the time I re-started I had lost a lot of time. I tried to recover but again the race was too short. I would like to thank Ravaglia Motorsport as this is now the start of my season."

-bmw-

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Series General
Drivers Fabrizio Giovanardi , Andy Priaulx , Antonio Garcia , Dirk Müller , Jorg Muller , Roberto Ravaglia , Bart Mampaey , Charly Lamm