Brands Hatch: BMW qualifying report

Priaulx and Farfus lock out second row for BMW at Brands Hatch. Brands Hatch, 18th July 2009. In qualifying for the 15th round of the 2009 FIA World Touring Car Championship at Brands Hatch (GB), BMW Team UK's Andy Priaulx (GB) claimed third ...

Priaulx and Farfus lock out second row for BMW at Brands Hatch.

Brands Hatch, 18th July 2009. In qualifying for the 15th round of the 2009 FIA World Touring Car Championship at Brands Hatch (GB), BMW Team UK's Andy Priaulx (GB) claimed third place. The local hero clocked a personal best time of 1:33.670 minutes in the second phase of qualifying, finishing just 0.149 seconds behind Chevrolet driver Alain Menu (CH), who took pole position from his team-mate Robert Huff (GB) on the classic Brands Hatch Circuit. BMW Team Germany's Augusto Farfus (BR) will also start from the second row of the grid after finishing fourth.

Last year's race one winner, Jorg Muller (DE), also made it into the top-ten for BMW Team Germany. He will start the first of the two sprint races on Sunday from eighth. BMW Team Italy-Spain, however, experienced a less successful afternoon: Sergio Hernandez (ES) and Alessandro Zanardi (IT) were eliminated in "Q1" and had to make do with 15th and 18th respectively.

Priaulx was satisfied with third following the two exciting sessions. "It's not the worst thing in the world to approach turn 1 on the inside here at Brands Hatch," said the triple world champion. "This was a close and difficult qualifying. Track conditions changed several times. That's also what happened towards the very end of Q2, when the track suddenly allowed even faster lap times. I will give my all tomorrow to claim another win on home soil."

In the first phase of qualifying it was Farfus setting the pace at the 3.703-kilometre track. In the dying moments of the 20-minute session the 25-year-old posted the best time of 1:33.836 minutes, and also pushed championship leader Yvan Muller (FR, SEAT) out of the top-ten. Muller had to make do with a place on the sixth row of Sunday's grid. "Obviously I want to use this chance to gain ground on the front- runners in the drivers' classification," commented Farfus. "As conditions constantly improved, it was a question of who could leave it the latest to set his fastest time. Maybe I did my lap a bit too early. Still we are in a promising position for tomorrow's races."

The decisive top-ten qualifying session culminated in a last-minute fight for pole- position. First Priaulx relegated Farfus to second place, then the two Chevrolet drivers managed to pass the BMW pairing on the timesheets. Muller failed to improve significantly on his last run, after getting on the grass with one wheel on his third lap. He said: "I had to deal with some oversteer and was driving on the edge. That's a must in our championship, as the field is so close together. Maybe I pushed a bit too much. But I'm still in the top-ten - and this is the most important thing."

The 15th race of the FIA World Touring Car Championship will start at 11:50hrs on Sunday, race two will get underway at 14:05hrs.

-credit: bmw

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Series WTCC
Drivers Andy Priaulx , Jorg Muller , Yvan Muller , Alain Menu