ETCC: Donington: BMW Motorsport race report

Hard work rewarded with a victory. The Donington weekend could not have started in a worse way for Jörg Müller when his car was almost destroyed in a free practice crash which forced him to start race one from the back of the grid. However, ...

Hard work rewarded with a victory.

The Donington weekend could not have started in a worse way for Jörg Müller when his car was almost destroyed in a free practice crash which forced him to start race one from the back of the grid. However, it could not have finished in a better way when he won the second ETCC race of the day and put himself back to second in the Drivers' Championship. The ETCC racing lived up to its reputation of being fast, competitive but controversial and hours after the chequered flag had fallen there were still arguments going on as to who had caused which incident.

Several BMW drivers were involved in this and sadly for BMW Team Italy-Spain Antonio Garcia had a badly damaged car from race one and Fabrizio Giovanardi finished both races way out of the points. Unfortunately it was not the best of home events for BMW Team Great Britain as Andy Priaulx suffered a blown tyre in race one, but salvaged some pride by driving from near the back of the grid to fifth in race two.

BMW Team Deutschland - Schnitzer Motorsport - Charly Lamm: "It has been a fairy tale weekend for us. After what happened to Jörg on Friday it was great to see how the team worked to get his car not only back on the track, but also rebuild it to such a high standard that he was able to win race two. I also want to thank everyone at Sytner BMW in Nottingham who helped us with the repair of the chassis. It was good to see Dirk on the podium, but unfortunate that he was forced to pit for a new tyre in race two. These races are always very hard fought and I am delighted that Jörg and Dirk are now back to second and third in the Drivers' Championship and BMW leads the Constructors' Championship by 35 points at this halfway stage."

Dirk Müller (GER) - Carrying 40 kilos of ballast: Qual 3rd ; Race 1: 3rd ; Race 2: 16th: "It was good being on the podium in race one, but the big winner this weekend is our team. They worked all night long on Jorg's car and I think we had the best team here this weekend. I was confident at the beginning of race two as my car was perfect. Unfortunately on about the fourth lap I felt the puncture and then eventually the tyre exploded. I was happy not to lose the car as I was in fourth gear at the time.

Jörg Müller (GER) - Qual No time; Race 1: 4th; Race 2: 1st: "I have to say a big thank you to everyone at the Schnitzer team for rebuilding my car after my accident on Friday. We had started the weekend well as I only did ten laps in free practice and was on the pace immediately, and it was positive that I was driving without weights. It was a brilliant finish, thank you so much to my mechanics who worked all last night without any sleep."

BMW Team Great Britain - RBM - Bart Mampaey: "Andy made a good start in race one, passed Colciago on the inside through the Craner Curves, but then he took him off at the old hairpin and we lost six places. He pushed very hard, flat spotted the tyre and it blew. We had to change everything on the front left side and only just got out before the pit lane closed for race two. From16th on the grid Andy made a good start and finished fifth. All in all not a good weekend. I am very disappointed about what happened with Colciago but that is racing. At least we are third in the Championship."

Andy Priaulx (GBR) - Qual 8th ; Race 1: 16th; Race 2: 5th: "In race one I could not believe what was happening in my home race. I made a good start, got up the inside of Colciago in the Craner Curves, got what I thought was a clear entry to the Old Hairpin and he lunged up the inside and took me out. I recovered but then my tyre blew. For the second race I started from the back, made another good start and was able to make progress as I had made a few changes to the car between the two races."

BMW Team Italy-Spain - Ravaglia Motorsport - Roberto Ravaglia: "I do not want to say anything about what happened today as I am very upset and disappointed."

Fabrizio Giovanardi (ITA) - Qual 4th; Race 1: 18th; Race 2: 11th: "I don't think Donington is kind to me. I am sorry for what happened with me and Dirk and think it is not good to lose a result and valuable points this way."

Antonio Garcia (ESP) - Qual 6th ; Race 1: DNF; Race 2: DNS: "Over the weekend I felt I improved, found a very good car set up and was confident after the warm up. I made a good start but sadly my race finished when I was hit in the back on the drive down to the Old Hairpin. I spun, remained in the middle of the corner and Francia hit me. I was sorry about this as he could not do anything to avoid me."


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