Andy Priaulx gave the Belgian team that runs his BMW Team Great Britain car its first ever ETCC pole. While Andy was able to use RBM's local knowledge on home ground to good effect, he still surprised the opposition by setting a time seven tenths...
Andy Priaulx gave the Belgian team that runs his BMW Team Great Britain car its first ever ETCC pole. While Andy was able to use RBM's local knowledge on home ground to good effect, he still surprised the opposition by setting a time seven tenths faster than his nearest rival, BMW Team Deutschland's Dirk Müller. Tonight the other four drivers for the BMW national teams will be studying their data to try and find out where they lost time, but they were all still in the top eight in qualifying. None of them could claim any major problems or mistakes and so they are now hopeful of being closer in what promises to be an exciting race.
Positions for the BMW drivers are: 1st: Andy Priaulx - 2nd: Dirk Müller - 5th: Fabrizio Giovanardi - 6th: Jörg Müller - 8th: Antonio Garcia.
BMW Team Deutschland - Schnitzer Motorsport - Charly Lamm: "We are happy to be back at Spa, which has a special place in our history with touring cars and the 24 hour race. After qualifying we have the first six cars in the championship in the first six places on the grid, though not in championship order. It was a question of how best to use the tyres to get a good grid position, and on the other hand save them for tomorrow's race. We went for the optimum race strategy and let's hope this will pay for us tomorrow."
Dirk Müller (GER) (1m 32.948s) (carrying 10 kilos ballast): "Congratulations to Andy, this time is really impressive. I was one of the first out on new tyres in qualifying and when I saw my time I was a bit surprised how quick I was at this point. Then Andy set his pole time. I think without him in front of me I would have been satisfied, but now we definitely need to look deeply into the data. I am happy as the team gave me a good car, like at all the other races."
Jörg Müller (GER) (1m 33.871s (carrying 40 kilos ballast): "I am happy with my car. As usual we had some fine tuning to get the best set-up, but now it feels quite good. In qualifying we used just one set of tyres so we have two for the races. I am happy to be sixth on the grid even though I feel my qualifying lap was not perfect. I have two Alfas in front of me, which I need to pass, and then will see how my tyres drop off during the race, as the forty kilos makes them a little more difficult to use."
BMW Team Great Britain - RBM - Bart Mampaey: "I am very pleased tohave this first pole for RBM in our ETCC career. We knew we would have a competitive car here as we have been testing at the track. Andy has been very positive on his feedback so we have been able to improve the car. I want to thank everyone in the team for the hard work they did after Donington. I can only congratulate them."
Andy Priaulx (GBR) (1m 32.217s): "I am extremely pleased as we just had a good day. The team is very experienced here. They know the circuit very well and gave me a very good car, which has made my job easier. We learnt something from each change we made, moved forward in a positive way and have been well prepared. It was a good lap on the new tyres, one of those laps when you thought maybe you could go a bit faster but if you tried you would probably overdo it."
BMW Team Italy-Spain - Ravaglia Motorsport - Roberto Ravaglia: "I like this circuit as a driver. However, I am not very happy because of the gap between us and the BMW of Andy Priaulx. It is a little bit too much. I don't know why and now we have to try and find out the reason. However, I want to congratulate Bart Mampaey as him and his team have done a great job."
Fabrizio Giovanardi (ITA) (1m 33.754s): "It is difficult to say what happened today as for me the car was fantastic. The chassis and the set up were very good. I don't know why I set this time as being a second and a half from the first BMW is strange for me as I drove hard without any mistakes. I shall try to push more in the race."
Antonio Garcia (ESP) (1m 34.522s): "We are both in the same situation as with the first set of tyres we set almost the same time. On the second set I lost about seven tenth in the last chicane, but I think Fabrizio got the best out of the car. We have still lost one and a half seconds here and I don't know where."