BMW strengthens its hold on the Championship Two superb wins for BMW Team Deutschland's Jorg Muller and BMW Team Great Britain's Andy Priaulx have given BMW a 53 point lead in the Manufacturers' Championship as the ETCC goes to the final four ...
BMW strengthens its hold on the Championship
Two superb wins for BMW Team Deutschland's Jorg Muller and BMW Team Great Britain's Andy Priaulx have given BMW a 53 point lead in the Manufacturers' Championship as the ETCC goes to the final four races. Before the weekend both drivers were in strong positions in the battle for the Drivers' title, and their results now mean Jorg's lead has gone from two to five points and Andy has been promoted to second. The BMW Team Italy-Spain cars also showed winning potential with Fabrizio Giovanardi leading he opening laps of race two and Antonio Garcia finishing the race behind Andy, the eventual winner, by just half a second.
BMW Team Deutschland - Schnitzer Motorsport - Charly Lamm: "It was a very good weekend for us as Jorg was able to extend his lead in the Drivers' Championship. Mission accomplished at Oschersleben, a track which suits the BMW, and now it will be a tough fight to the end of the championship."
Dirk Muller (GER) - Qual 8th; Race 1 - 9th; Race 2 - DNF : "My car was excellent, one of the best I have had this season. In race one on the first lap I had gearbox problems and I even went off the track and dropped down to 17th. It got better towards the end of the race, which I finished in 9th. In the second race I started behind Jorg and then Tarquini ran into the back of me on lap one. To avoid Jorg. I went straight over the chicane, hit something really hard and damaged the front bumper and radiator. It was okay for four or five laps but then started to leak fluid so I stopped as I did not want to risk the engine."
Jorg Muller (GER) - Carrying 30 kilos of ballast: Qual 1st; Race 1 - 1st; Race 2 - 4th : "It was a fantastic weekend for me as with thirty kilos I was not expecting a win. The first race was tough as the tyres went down on the last four or five laps, so I was lucky the guys behind me were fighting and making a few mistakes. I was not the fastest in the field, but I was the most consistent. The second race was brilliant. I am going to watch it on tv. It was good driving with Gabriele as it was very clean. There are still forty points to win in the championship battle, so it is not decided at all and the last two events are going to be as hard as it was here."
BMW Team Great Britain - RBM - Bart Mampaey: "It was a fantastic weekend for us with a superb third place for Andy in race one. He mad a great start in the second race, was in a good fight at the beginning, got into first place on lap five and took advantage of that. Antonio was very fair with him, as we were with Jorg in the first race, so I think all in all it is a very good weekend for BMW and also for BMW Team Great Britain, RBM and Andy Priaulx.
Andy Priaulx (GBR) - Carrying 10 kilos of ballast: Qual 3rd ; Race 1 - 3rd ; Race 2 - 1st: "This is a BMW circuit and I wanted to make sure I made it a BMW circuit. I got a couple of good results out of it and am very pleased. Estoril and Monza are going to be very hard but if I keep finishing races and keep having good results then the championship is wide open for everybody."
BMW Team Italy-Spain - Ravaglia Motorsport - Roberto Ravaglia: "Antonio was driving against Andy, who was fighting for the championship, and he said to me he didn't take any risks as he wanted to finish. In the first race Fabrizio had tyre problems and finished eighth and then had more problems in the second race."
Fabrizio Giovanardi (ITA) - Qual 5th; Race 1 - 8th ; Race 2 - DNF: "I had another bad weekend. I was hoping to be able to get my first good finish, but as you can see from the results this didn't happen."
Antonio Garcia (ESP) - Qual 4th ; Race 1 - 4th; Race 2 - 2nd: "We were very competitive the whole weekend. We decided to go with old tyres for the first race and I felt very confident with the car. I think I was faster than the front group as I caught them. In race two I made a mistake at the start because the Alfa and the SEAT went to the middle and the gap between them was very small, which let Andy through. I was faster than him but on this track especially it is very difficult to overtake without contact. I pushed to try and force him to make a mistake, but he didn't make one."