BMW national team driver line-up confirmed for 2008 season. Munich, 12th November 2007. Prior to the season finale of the FIA World Touring Car Championship in Macau (MAC), BMW has already laid down the foundations for success in the coming...
BMW national team driver line-up confirmed for 2008 season.
Munich, 12th November 2007. Prior to the season finale of the FIA World Touring Car Championship in Macau (MAC), BMW has already laid down the foundations for success in the coming year: all five drivers that have been successful for BMW in this year's World Championship campaign will also be fighting for points and victories in the BMW 320si WTCC in 2008. This season, Andy Priaulx (GBR), Augusto Farfus (BRA), Jorg Muller (GER), Felix Porteiro (ESP) and Alessandro Zanardi (ITA) have so far clocked up eight victories and 25 podium places. Three BMW drivers can still win the Drivers' Championship, and BMW also leads the Manufacturers' Championship going into the finale.
"The previous 20 races in the World Touring Car Championship have shown that we are very well equipped with this set of drivers," says BMW Motorsport Director Mario Theissen. "Therefore, we see no reason to change anything for 2008. Ultimately, continuity is an important factor in ensuring successful cooperation between a team and its drivers. I am certain that our quintet of drivers will also play an important role in the World Championship in the coming season. For now we are concentrating 100% on this year's finale in Macau."
The partnership between BMW and Priaulx, who will once again line up for BMW Team UK, and Team Principal Bart Mampaey (BEL), will be in its sixth year. No other driver/team combination in the history of the FIA WTCC and ETCC can look back on such an impressive run of success. In 2004, Priaulx won the European Championship and followed this up by claiming the World Championship for the following two years. In addition, Priaulx has also successfully represented BMW at other events, such as the overall victory in the 24-hour race at the Nurburgring in 2005.
The link between BMW Team Germany and Muller is the evergreen relationship within the BMW national teams. Team Manager Charly Lamm (GER) has put his trust in the 38-year-old's abilities since 2002. To date, no other driver in the WTCC can boast as many victories as Muller: he has topped the podium nine times so far. His team-mate Farfus has tasted victory three times to date in his maiden season for Schnitzer Motorsport, and has integrated brilliantly into his new team. Despite only being 24 years old, this is already the second season in which Farfus will enter the final weekend with his hopes of becoming World Champion still alive.
Porteiro has also taken to the BMW 320si WTCC very quickly, and secured BMW Team Italy-Spain's first victory this season in Brno (CZE). While 2008 will only be the 24-year-old's second season driving for BMW, his team-mate Alessandro Zanardi (ITA) has already established himself as one of the big names in the World Touring Car Championship. The 41-year-old provided many unforgettable moments, including victories in Oschersleben and Istanbul.