Priaulx and Farfus win for BMW in German WTCC home races. Oschersleben, 6th September 2009. Augusto Farfus (BR) moved up to second in the drivers' standings of the FIA World Touring Car Championship after winning the 18th round of the season on...
Priaulx and Farfus win for BMW in German WTCC home races.
Oschersleben, 6th September 2009. Augusto Farfus (BR) moved up to second in the drivers' standings of the FIA World Touring Car Championship after winning the 18th round of the season on BMW's home soil in Oschersleben (DE). The BMW Team Germany driver claimed victory ahead of BMW Team UK's Andy Priaulx (GB) and SEAT driver Gabriele Tarquini (IT). This was Farfus' fourth win of the season and the 13th victory in his WTCC career.
In the first race of the day, it was Priaulx who took the chequered flag as winner in the "Motorsport Arena Oschersleben". The triple world champion won after starting from 14th on the grid, relegating Tarquini and Rickard Rydell (SE/SEAT) to second and third respectively. With a total of 18 points the driver from Guernsey scored his best result of the year. In addition, Priaulx is the first driver in the history of the series since 2005 to claim victory after starting outside the top-ten. In the second race, Farfus' team-mate, Jorg Muller (DE), and Sergio Hernandez (ES) of BMW Team Italy-Spain were also able to improve their points' tallies. Muller executed a sensational fight back from 23rd, crossing the line in fourth. Hernandez was fifth after 14 laps after taking eighth in race one, following a post-race penalty for Chevrolet's Nicola Larini (IT).
Farfus now has 90 points under his belt, so is second in the Drivers' Championship, just one point behind Tarquini. Reigning champion, Yvan Muller (FR/SEAT), follows in third with 84 points. In the manufacturers' classification BMW has scored 234 points to date, shortening the gap to SEAT to one point as well.
As expected, the first chicane turned out to be a dangerous place to be after the start of race one, as several drivers had accidents in this tight section so spoilt their chances of good results. Among them were local hero, Muller, and BMW Team Italy- Spain's Alessandro Zanardi (IT). While Muller had to retire with a broken suspension and a damaged radiator following a collision, Zanardi was at least able to finish the race in 17th.
Priaulx, however, emerged without a scratch from the first chicane, after making an excellent start which saw him improve from 14th to fifth. On the following laps the Englishman gained further ground thanks to impressive overtaking manoeuvres and finally took the lead from Tarquini on lap six, which he kept until the end. After 14 laps he crossed the line 3.939 seconds ahead of the Italian.
Farfus dropped from eighth to 13th at the start, but just like Priaulx was able to fight his way up over the course of the race. On the final lap the Brazilian improved to sixth. Due to Larinis's penalty he was classified fifth, collecting four championship points. Hernandez also celebrated a a points' finish and claimed eighth in the classification.
In race two the BMW drivers provided the fans with plenty of action. Farfus stayed in third at the start, but managed to pass Wiechers driver Stefano D'Aste (IT/BMW) for second on the lap two. Two laps later he took the lead away from Engstler. Priaulx moved up several places at the start and then also overtook Engstler on lap five. For the remainder of the race, Farfus and Priaulx remained close to each other, before the former took the chequered flag 0.644 seconds ahead of his fellow BMW driver. Hernandez fought his way up the ranks from ninth to fifth, while Zanardi retired on the very first lap.
Muller displayed his usual fighting spirit: From 23rd on the grid he literally ploughed through the field - just like Priaulx in the first race. On lap six, Muller was running in the top eight for the first time. But this was not the end of his spectacular fight back. On lap 11 he passed Hernandez as well, securing a fourth-place finish at this home event.
BMW Motorsport Director Mario Theissen:
"After a difficult qualifying session this arguably was a nearly perfect Sunday for us. Thanks to two victories we are in the middle of the title fight. Jorg's drive from 23rd to fourth also was extremely impressive. Our experience from the past year's told us that Oschersleben's track layout is almost perfect for our cars. But still it's no easy matter to claim two victories in such a competitive field."
Augusto Farfus (BMW Team Germany):
"This victory is a perfect birthday present for me. We knew that this track would suit our car well. But the disappointing qualifying session made things a bit more complicated for us. Therefore I'm really happy that I could was able to score my third consecutive win here in Oschersleben. After race one my car was badly damaged. The team did a great job, so I was able to push hard in the second race."
Andy Priaulx (BMW Team UK):
"It's been a while since I last made it to the top step of the podium. I has almost happened in many races since Pau 2008, but never worked out. Now it feels great to be there again. In the first corner I decided not to panic. It was all about keeping out of the trouble, which worked out quite well for me. Then I improved lap by lap. The car was just great. My goal for the remainder of the season is to score as many wins as possible. This one was a nice start."
Jorg Muller (BMW Team Germany):
"Following the bad luck I experienced in race one, I fought tremendously hard in the second - and this was extremely enjoyable. I'm happy with fourth, although I should have been able to claim a much better result, if only the first-corner incident hadn't happened."
Alessandro Zanardi (BMW Team Italy-Spain):
"After a good start I got turned round in the first corner. I don't blame anyone for this, as this is racing. To leave Germany empty-handed, is a big disappointment for me. But now my home event in Imola is next on the calendar. And I'm fired up to be back in the fast lane there."
Sergio Hernandez (BMW Team Italy-Spain):
"It was my goal to score some points, and that's exactly what I did. In addition, I was able to learn some interesting things when I was following Jorg in race two. That's why I'm quite happy with my race weekend."