World Touring Car Championship makes its Czech comeback. Munich, 28th August 2006. For the time being at least, the BMW national teams in the World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) don't have to cope with further overseas races. Following the ...
World Touring Car Championship makes its Czech comeback.
Munich, 28th August 2006. For the time being at least, the BMW national teams in the World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) don't have to cope with further overseas races. Following the rounds in Brazil and Mexico, the series returns to European soil this weekend, to contest rounds 13 and 14 at Brno in the Czech Republic.
The World Touring Car Championship made a stop at the Czech circuit back in 1987. And as in those days, the BMW drivers are once again regarded as joint favourites. However, they will have to battle it out with competitive opponents. A glance at the standings proves that the championship is extremely close this year, with the top six drivers split by just six points in the rankings.
Prior to the Brno weekend, BMW Team UK driver Andy Priaulx (GBR) holds the runner-up position with 46 points after James Thompson (GBR/SEAT/49 points). BMW Team Germany driver Dirk Müller (GER) follows in sixth place with 40 points under his belt. At the 5.403-kilometre circuit, both drivers will have the chance of regaining the championship lead. However, the duo will have to make perfect use of its skills to do so, by winning on the twisty track. Priaulx is to contest the Brno rounds with 60 kilograms of handicap weight aboard his BMW 320si WTCC, while Dirk Müller's handicap weight adds up to 65 kilograms. Jörg Müller (GER), also racing for BMW Team Germany, will have to cope with a handicap of 25 kilograms. The BMW Team Italy-Spain drivers, Duncan Huisman (NLD) and Alessandro Zanardi (ITA), are the only BMW aces to contest the two sprint races without any additional weight.
For Dirk Müller and Jörg Müller, the Brno weekend represents a kind of a home race. International top-class races at the Czech circuit traditionally attract a lot of German motor racing enthusiasts. While Dirk Müller is keen on improving his championship chances by closing the gap to the leaders, or even overtaking them, Jörg wants to compensate for his two rather poor races at Puebla.
Dirk Müller (BMW Team Germany):
"I'm happy that the 2006 season continues in Europe after our summer break, and the races here take place in quicker succession. The Automotodrom is not an easy circuit. It is very technical and requires a good car set-up. Due to the weight situation I don't really believe my winning chances will be good. Nevertheless, I'm optimistic I will be able to achieve a good result."
Jörg Müller (BMW Team Germany):
"Brno is one of my favourite race tracks. The circuit features a unique layout unlike any other on our race calendar. The track is full of 90 degrees corners, which can, however, be driven very fluently. There are several right-left combinations which constantly require us to remain fully concentrated. The race outcome always depends on how much weight you're forced to carry. Since I will enter the races with only little additional weight, my goal is a podium finish."