ETCC: Oschersleben: BMW Saturday notes

First pole of the season for Jörg Müller after close qualifying Jörg Müller claimed pole position for BMW's home race after one of the closest qualifying sessions of the year. The top 13 cars on the grid are covered by less than a second and...

First pole of the season for Jörg Müller after close qualifying

Jörg Müller claimed pole position for BMW's home race after one of the closest qualifying sessions of the year. The top 13 cars on the grid are covered by less than a second and four of the five BMW national team cars will start in the top five places. The unlucky driver out of this group is Dirk Müller, in the second BMW Team Deutschland 320i, who spun into a gravel trap and so the best he could manage was eighth. Second quickest BMW driver was BMW Team Great Britain's Andy Priaulx in third, and just behind him are the BMW Team Italy-Spain drivers, Antonio Garcia and Fabrizio Giovanardi. With the championship positions so close all the signs are for a close exciting race.

Positions for the BMW drivers are: 1st Jörg Müller, 3rd Andy Priaulx, 4th Antonio Garcia, 5th Fabrizio Giovanardi, 8th Dirk Müller.

BMW Team Deutschland - Schnitzer Motorsport - Charly Lamm: "It was an exciting qualifying and both drivers made our hearts beat quicker. It ended well with Jörg putting the car on pole on his very last lap - his first of the year. Dirk was on his way to a good qualifying time, as midway through the session he was at the top of the timesheet, but then things went wrong. On his second attempt he spun into the gravel, the race director stopped the session and then Dirk's car had to go directly to parc fermé. He is eighth on the grid so all is not lost and he has to fight tomorrow."

Dirk Müller (GER) (1m 33.974s): "It was not the best qualifying I have had in my career so far. Perhaps it was the worst. I had a problem with someone trying to overtake me on the first outing. I got in traffic and so was not happy. I knew I could have done better. We made a set up change and felt the car was really good, but then I miss shifted from fourth to first, spun and ended up in the gravel. On the positive side I have two new sets of tyres for tomorrow and a good car."

Jörg Müller (GER) (1m 33.453s) (carrying 30 kilos ballast): "It is important I am in front and it doesn't matter by how much. It was a difficult session for me as I had a few offs and had a high speed spin in the double left hander. I tried taking it a bit easier for my run with new tyres. With these cars if you go smoothly you are fast, I tried that and it worked. I think the Alfas will be a strong competitors in the race and I hope there will be a few BMWs between them and me. I am going for the championship, but as there are five drivers who can win it no one is going to help me in this race."

BMW Team Great Britain - RBM - Bart Mampaey: "After a difficult weekend in Anderstorp, where we got a good overall result by being second in race two, we are very pleased to come to Oschersleben and be very competitive from the first session. Andy had a decent clear run on his first set and this put him second behind Tarquini. We waited until the end of the session to see what the other BMWs were doing and Jörg and Antonio improved on Andy's time. We put another set on and he improved on his time and was very close to pole. It is disappointing being third on the grid as there is not a lot in it."

Andy Priaulx (GBR) (1m 33.483s) (carrying 10 kilos of ballast): "Unfortunately I got it the wrong way round today and wish I had been third in the first session and quickest now. It is a good circuit that is suited to the BMW. I enjoy driving here. The set-up for my car has been good all day today, but pole position could have gone to any one of us as it was in the driver and not the car. It is three hundredths and that is very close."

BMW Team Italy-Spain - Ravaglia Motorsport - Roberto Ravaglia: "I am quite happy as the car was okay. Antonio and Fabrizio did good qualifying laps and are both in the top five so the race is open. I am happy to see Jörg in pole position in front of the Alfas. It would be better to have Tarquini behind us but that is not possible."

Fabrizio Giovanardi (ITA) (1m 33.767s): "It was much better than the last event for me. In qualifying we have five cars covered by three tenths. For tomorrow I think it will be different as at the moment we have four BMWs in the first five positions. Tomorrow we have just to be careful at the first corner. I have a bad memory from this race last year as I went off in the first corner!"

Antonio Garcia (ESP) (1m 33.668s)(carrying 20 kilos ballast): "It was a good session for me but I made two mistakes. I did almost the same time on my first and second laps on the first set of tyres because of a mistake. Then I was thinking about pole. But on the first corner on the next set I was in neutral in the corner and remained with no gears for the braking area. I thought it was too late to get a good lap, but it was even faster than the last one. I am disappointed but I think I have a good car for the race, which I know will be very tough."


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