Timetable change will not affect BMW title contenders' preparation. Macau, 15th November 2007. There will be a revised timetable for the final race weekend of the 2007 FIA World Touring Car Championship in Macau (MAC) after several teams only ...
Timetable change will not affect BMW title contenders' preparation.
Macau, 15th November 2007. There will be a revised timetable for the final race weekend of the 2007 FIA World Touring Car Championship in Macau (MAC) after several teams only received their final boxes of equipment on Thursday. Both free practice sessions and qualifying will now take place on Saturday, which is normally a day off from the track action for the touring car drivers at the "Guia Circuit".
Following logistical issues with part of the shipment several teams, including BMW Team Germany and BMW Team Italy-Spain, had very little equipment to work with. Spare parts, tools and garage cladding were not delivered in time into the former Portuguese colony. To make sure all the competitors had equal opportunities in the fight for the World Championship, the organisers changed the timetable for the weekend. Because of this the 45-minute qualifying session will now start at 16:10hrs local time on Saturday.
"Due to this modification the season finale will be even more intense," says Andy Priaulx (GBR) of BMW Team UK. "The schedule change definitely is the right step. The title fight has to be decided in a fair way. This would not have been the case if some teams had less time to get their cars prepared than others. We know how good our car is. I wouldn't mind kicking off the weekend with qualifying straight away."
Priaulx is leading the Drivers' Championship, and is on equal points, 81, with SEAT's Yvan Muller (FRA). Augusto Farfus (BRA) of BMW Team Germany and his team- mate Jorg Muller (GER) are also among the six title contenders. "The situation in the championship hasn't changed much," comments Farfus, who is third in the classification with 71 points. "It doesn't matter for us drivers if we are on the track on Friday or Saturday. More important is that the teams have enough time to set up the cars - and this is the case now." Muller, currently fifth in the championship, adds: "All teams are used to this way of doing things from the normal race weekends, and we are well enough prepared for this change not to affect us at all."
BMW's aim is not only to win the drivers' title for the third consecutive time, as going into the two sprint races on the 6.120-kilometre track, the brand is also leading the Manufacturers' Championship with 237 points. The first race will start as planned on Sunday at 12:00hrs local time (4:00hrs GMT).