Brno: BMW Motorsport race notes

Jorg Muller wins for BMW at Brno - Priaulx regains Championship lead. Brno (Czech Republic), 03rd September 2006. Jorg Muller (GER) of BMW Team Germany is the winner of the FIA World Touring Car Championship's 13th round at Brno. On his 37th ...

Jorg Muller wins for BMW at Brno - Priaulx regains Championship lead.

Brno (Czech Republic), 03rd September 2006. Jorg Muller (GER) of BMW Team Germany is the winner of the FIA World Touring Car Championship's 13th round at Brno. On his 37th birthday, the experienced driver claimed victory in the first race of the day ahead of BMW Team Italy-Spain's Alessandro Zanardi (ITA) and Yvan Muller (FRA/SEAT). This is Jorg Muller's second victory this year. Second-placed Zanardi celebrated his best 2006 result to date.

Andy Priaulx (GBR) of BMW Team UK also had reason to be satisfied with his race weekend at the "Automotodrom Brno": After taking fifth place in race one he made it onto the podium in the second round, crossing the line in second position. The 32- year-old thus scored a total of 12 points in the Czech Republic and regained the lead in the Drivers' Championship, now having 58 points under his belt. Robert Huff (GBR/Chevrolet) took the win in race two, with Muller finishing third again. However, the SEAT driver pushed Zanardi off the track on the final lap. Due to a great effort by all the national teams, BMW also took the lead in the Manufacturers' Championship, leading SEAT by one point and having 170 points to its tally.

In front of 46,000 fans, the first race started turbulently: as early as the formation lap Rickard Rydell's (SWE) car had an engine problem, which ultimately meant his SEAT didn't move at the start of the race. This situation required the drivers to perform spectacular jinks. While avoiding a crash with Rydell's car, Duncan Huisman (NLD) collided with Augusto Farfus (BRA) and fell back from 11th to 22nd with damaged steering. At the front of the field, Jorg Muller and Zanardi laid the foundation for a good result by performing great starts. Both succeeded in passing pole-sitter Gabriele Tarquini (ITA). Jorg Muller gained the lead, with Zanardi trailing his brand- mate. The pairing didn't make any mistakes over the course of the 10-lap race and secured another BMW one-two victory.

Priaulx overtook Jordi Gene (ESP) at the start and launched an attack on Tarquini. The two drivers collided, and the SEAT driver spun off the track. However, Priaulx did not succeed in defending his newly won position for long: the reigning champion had to let Muller and Gene pass and finished fifth. Dirk Muller (GER) of BMW Team Germany executed a successful catch up: the 30-year-old improved to eighth position at the start, and so was on his way to secure pole position for race two. On lap nine, however, the BMW works driver was overtaken by Huff and had to make do with ninth place. Huisman took the chequered flag in 18th position.

Priaulx and Jorg Muller were the big winners at the start for race two. From fourth on the grid Priaulx passed Tom Coronel (NLD) and Yvan Muller. Behind him, Jorg Muller improved from eighth to fourth place. Over the course of the race, Zanardi also fought his way through the field. Following overtaking moves against Coronel and Muller, the Italian benefited from Jorg Muller's misfortune: when attacking Alain Menu (SUI), he had an off-track moment and rejoined in fifth place, while Zanardi took third position.

Dirk Muller also gained considerable ground. Early into the race he trailed sixth- placed Gene. On lap nine, he finally overtook the SEAT driver and gained another position on the final lap, when Zanardi was hit by Muller and put out of the race. Jorg Muller also moved up one place due to the DNF of his brand-mate. From 18th on the grid Huisman worked his way up over the course of the 10 laps, finishing in ninth place, thus just missing the points positions. At the front of the field, Priaulx made no mistakes and defended his second position right until the end of the exciting race.

Reactions:

Jorg Muller (BMW Team Germany):
"Usually I don't like very much becoming one year older. However, this victory turned my birthday into a totally nice event! My car worked perfectly throughout the whole weekend, and the balance was great in the races. I didn't have any problems regarding tyre wear. In race two I was involved in a tough fight with Alessandro and Yvan Muller. I'm sorry for Alex. But I benefited and took fourth place, thus taking some more points away from Brno. Who knows what will happen in the championship. There are six to eight drivers who are still in contention for the title."

Andy Priaulx (BMW Team UK):
"I never expected to have such a successful weekend carrying 60 kilograms here. The team did a great job, not only this weekend, but also over the past weeks since the races in Puebla. They deserve this success. I was quite happy with fifth place in race one. Robert Huff drove a brilliant second race, so I tried not to risk too much to come home in second place as I have to keep an eye on the championship. I'm back in the lead now. This is a very good result for us."

Alessandro Zanardi (BMW Team Italy-Spain):
"I am very happy with this second place. I had the impression I had something in store for Jorg later in the race. But then the tyres started to go away from me a little bit. He could go faster than me, and I did a few mistakes. Therefore, he had the chance to pull away. Nevertheless, second place is great for BMW Team Italy-Spain. Regarding the incident with Yvan Muller in race two, I can only say that it's a matter of opinion. I guess we have to let the stewards talk about it. But I think it's pretty clear."

-credit: bmw

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About this article
Series WTCC
Drivers Andy Priaulx , Dirk Müller , Tom Coronel , Jorg Muller , Yvan Muller , Augusto Farfus , Duncan Huisman , Rickard Rydell , Gabriele Tarquini , Jordi Gene