ETCC: Pergusa: BMW race notes

BMW podium finish in Alfa territory Pergusa was never going to be the best race track for the BMW teams but despite this Dirk Muller claimed a podium place in race one for BMW Team Deutschland and Andy Priaulx, who had never seen the track...

BMW podium finish in Alfa territory

Pergusa was never going to be the best race track for the BMW teams but despite this Dirk Muller claimed a podium place in race one for BMW Team Deutschland and Andy Priaulx, who had never seen the track before, finished both races in fourth spot for BMW Team Great Britain. Not surprisingly the other podium places were taken by Alfa Romeo drivers, but race two winner, Gabriele Tarquini, made special mention of how fast Dirk's car was through the Schumacher chicane and said he was impressed with the overall speed of the BMW cars.

One bone of contention that was mentioned by all the BMW drivers was the starting procedure for race two. The normal sequence is the red lights go on and when they go off to signal the start. This time there were no red lights and the green lights were put on to signal the start of the race. Not only the BMW were caught out and annoyed bythis as Nicola Larini dropped from second on the grid to seventh at the finish of the first lap after remaining on the grid for several extra seconds.

BMW Team Deutschland ñ Schnitzer Motorsport - Charly Lamm: "It was a so-so weekend. It started well in the first race when Dirk had a fantastic fight with the Alfas and was only two tenths behind the winner, while Joerg put in a good performance to score points for a sixth position finish despite 40 kilos of weight. Unfortunately race two didn't go so well. Dirk had an accident after the start and Joerg had technical problems with his power steering, hit the kerbs hard and damaged a tyre. The positive aspect of Enna is this has always been a circuit that was very good for Alfa, but today we have shown we can race with them. This gives us motivation for the race in Brno. The second race started badly for us in two ways. After a problem with the starting lights Dirk was delayed on the grid, was hit by another car in the first corner and broke his rear suspension."

Dirk Muller (GER) - Qual 3rd; Race 1 - 2nd; Race 2 - DNF: "I didn't really expect to be this high on the podium. I thought we would battle for fourth place or even third so I was really happy to have such a good car. I could have attacked Roberto (Colciago) but I realised that for the championship it was important to collect points. In race two I had never seen a start like that with no red light and just a green light so I was confused and was not in gear. I lost several places, turned in on the outside for the first corner and was hit hard in the side but I am not sure what happened."

Joerg Muller (GER) - Carrying 40 kilos of ballast: Qual 9th; Race 1 - 6th; Race 2 - DNF: "I think sixth in race one was a good result considering the 40 kilos I was carrying. My result from the second race was a shame, but things like that happen. I think we could have had a few more easy points, but the alternator belt came off, the power steering then didn't work and it is very tough to drive without this. Due to this I went far off in the Schumacher chicane, flat spotted a tyre so the best thing to do was come into the pits."

BMW Team Great Britain - RBM - Bart Mampaey: "In race one Andy had a very good start, defended very well, got comfortable with the car and finished fourth. We made some changes on the car to the front and rear axle to improve it over the kerbs. This worked very well in race two and we were really competitive. Andy's best lap time of forty seven one was a very good and he improved six tenths from race one to race two. At the end of race two we were the first BMW, so we are happy for that. All in all we were very pleased have some valuable championship points and have the car back in one piece for Brno."

Andy Priaulx (GBR) - Qual 6th; Race 1 - 4th; Race 2 - 4th: "I am happy with the weekend's results as I had never seen this track before. In race one it was rewarding but hard as I had to defend my position all the way and didn't feel that comfortable with the car. In the second race it was the exact opposite. We made some massive changes to the car and we had a brilliant race car. We are really in the ball park."

BMW Team Italy-Spain - Ravaglia Motorsport - Roberto Ravaglia: "Sadly for Fabrizio the car was damaged from race one. Then he lost a lot of places in race two because of the start procedure and finally he spun. It was a good weekend for Antonio as he came from the back and did two good races to finish."

Fabrizio Giovanardi (ITA)- Qual 5th; Race 1 - 10th; Race 2 - 10th: "In race one I found it very difficult in the first couple of laps to keep up with the speed of the car in front of me and then I made a mistake. I can only say it was my fault that I crashed the car and so my race was finished as I could not fight anymore and dropped back down the field. In race two the start was incredible as they put on the green light and everyone had a surprise. Then in the race I spun. I would now just like to forget this race and look forward to Brno."

Antonio Garcia (ESP) - Qual 15th; Race 1 - 9th; Race 2 - 7th: "I didn't do so bad at my first visit to this track. I have now got more experience with the car and I was pleased to fight with and overtake Huisman and Coronel. In race two the start lights went from nothing to green, which is not normal. I didn't even have the car in first gear. I tried to go and saw some other drivers stopped, so did the same. I lost a lot of places but then fought back and scored two important points."


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Series General
Drivers Fabrizio Giovanardi , Andy Priaulx , Antonio Garcia , Dirk Müller , Gabriele Tarquini , Bart Mampaey , Charly Lamm