ETCC: Spa 24: BMW Saturday notes

Priaulx hands his team a home win. The Spa weekend ended in the best possible fashion for Belgian based RBM, who run BMW Team Great Britain, with Andy Priaulx claiming victory in the second race of the day. It was also a great weekend for BMW ...

Priaulx hands his team a home win.

The Spa weekend ended in the best possible fashion for Belgian based RBM, who run BMW Team Great Britain, with Andy Priaulx claiming victory in the second race of the day. It was also a great weekend for BMW Team Deutschland as podium finishes for both Dirk and Jorg Muller helped reduce Gabriele Tarquini's lead in the Drivers' Championship to just two points. BMW continues to lead the Manufacturer's Championship and the lead over Alfa Romeo has now been increased to 35 points. The event produced two exciting races and BMW were the quickest cars with Andy setting fastest lap in race one and Jorg in race two.

BMW Team Deutschland - Schnitzer Motorsport - Charly Lamm: "We had two exciting races today and I am very pleased to have scored so many points. It was our target to come to Spa and get closer to Gabriele Tarquini in the championship battle, and we achieved this with both drivers. Now we can have a rest and see where we are when we come back to the championship in Sweden in September."

Dirk Muller (GER) - Carrying 10 kilos of ballast: Qual 2nd ; Race 1 - 2nd; Race 2 - 3rd : "It was a brilliant weekend for me. In one way I am happy and the other not so as I think I had a chance to win the first race, so was sorry I didn't do it. In race two there was so much action in every corner you never knew what was going to happen next. I had an incident with Rydell, who hit me in the side, but I was able to keep going as I had a good car. I want to thank Jorg for letting me by, which was a great thing. I pushed hard to get by Nicola but just couldn't do it."

Jorg Muller (GER) - Qual 3rd; Race 1 - 3rd ; Race 2 - 4th : "It is very important to score points, especially when you have forty kilos in your car. The cars at the moment are quite different and I am sure there will be some great fights in the next few races. Some circuits suit the BMWs better and some the Alfas. The only bad thing I see is the last race is in Monza, and that is definitely an Alfa Romeo circuit. In race two I let Dirk by as I saw he was coming up very fast and thought he would probably have a better chance of getting by Larini."

BMW Team Great Britain - RBM - Bart Mampaey: "In my career with the team this is the most sensational victory I have ever had. In race one we had a bad start because of a handbrake problem. Andy lost nine places so went from pole to tenth, but it was obvious from the lap times he had the car to win here. He finished sixth in a close but fair battle with Giovanardi. What a second race he then had from third on the grid! He overtook Duncan and then just drove away from everybody."

Andy Priaulx (GBR) - Qual 6th; Race 1 - 6th; Race 2 - 1st : "All credit to my team this weekend, they have been tremendous. I have had an excellent car. We have worked very well together. At this level all the drivers are very good and it makes the difference when you are with a good team. They have done well and I have rewarded them with a good result. I needed that good result after the first race when I made a mistake and left the handbrake half on. I had to get my head down and make the best of a bad situation. In the second race I knew I had the speed to win. I made a good start, got by Duncan and then was able to pull away."

BMW Team Italy-Spain - Ravaglia Motorsport - Roberto Ravaglia: "Fabrizio did a good first race. In the end I feel we were not as competitive on this circuit as the other BMWs. I don't want to make excuses, but perhaps it was because we were the only team not to test here."

Fabrizio Giovanardi (ITA) - Qual 5th; Race 1 - 5th; Race 2 - 16th: "It was not a good weekend. I was not so disappointed because the first race was good. It was interesting as I was able to fight with other drivers until the end of the race. I don't know why in the second race with new tyres I immediately had difficulties. I kept losing time and the last two laps of the race were very difficult. Eventually I spun because I had a collision with Huisman. I know from this position I cannot win the championship."

Antonio Garcia (ESP) - Qual 17th ; Race 1 - 17th ; Race 2 - 12th : "I was quite confident for the first race as after the warm up we made a few changes to the set- up. At the start of race one I had some Alfas in front of me and when the lights went to green they were stopped and, with nowhere to go, I went on the grass. I didn't think this was a problem as I was trying to avoid a crash at the start, but I was given a drive through penalty for this. Without this I think I could have been in the top eight. In the second race I had a problem with the quickshift and this dropped me back. We are not as competitive as we have been in the past so now we have to work on this for the next races."


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