Porto: BMW ready for 100th race

100th World Touring Car Championship race for BMW since 2005. Munich, 1st July 2009. The FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) this weekend travels to Porto (PT) for the 99th and 100th races since the series made its comeback in 2005. BMW...

100th World Touring Car Championship race for BMW since 2005.

Munich, 1st July 2009. The FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) this weekend travels to Porto (PT) for the 99th and 100th races since the series made its comeback in 2005. BMW has unquestionably been the most successful manufacturer in the championship. Eighteen years after BMW driver Roberto Ravaglia (IT) scored the first WTCC title in 1987, Dirk Muller (DE) registered a hat- trick (pole position, fastest lap and overall victory) for BMW on 10th April 2005.

To date the manufacturer has claimed a further 37 wins, with Sergio Hernandez (ES) adding his name to the winners' roll by occupying the top step of the podium in Brno (CZ) for BMW Team Italy-Spain. BMW Team UK's Andy Priaulx (GB) was crowned world champion three times after winning consecutive titles between 2005 and 2007. While the driver from Guernsey in the Channel Islands won his first title with a BMW 320i, it was with the BMW 320si WTCC, introduced in 2006, that he won the others. Priaulx is the only driver who crossed started every race to date.

"BMW has an excellent record in the World Touring Car Championship," says BMW Motorsport Director Mario Theissen. "Over the past five years 12 drivers have represented the BMW national teams, and celebrated innumerable successes. Naturally our world titles in 2005, 2006 and 2007 were the highlights, and we will do everything in our power to add another chapter to our success story this year. The series provides a good platform for our Customer Sport programme, as BMW privateers are able to race wheel-to-wheel against our national teams. It is surely no coincidence that a BMW driver has won the privateer classification three times since 2005."

A glance at the statistics proves that BMW has stamped its authority on the WTCC like no other manufacturer. BMW drivers have claimed 16 race one pole positions and set fastest lap times in 45 of the 98 races to date. 1277 racing laps have been completed thus far - of which 527 were led by a BMW driver. No less than 68 races saw at least one BMW driver on the podium, with 115 top-three places falling to BMW teams. 1411 Points have been scored by BMW's drivers to date. In 14 races, a BMW driver set the fastest lap, claimed pole position and secured the victory.

Only four drivers have been able to score ten career victories in the history of the WTCC - three of which were in a BMW. Beside Augusto Farfus (BR) and Priaulx, Jorg Muller (DE) has crossed the line as the winner ten times. 14 fastest laps mean Muller tops this category, while Farfus' nine pole positions mean he started the first race of the weekend from the prime spot more often than any other driver.

The BMW national teams have not been alone in ensuring WTCC glory. Privateers, too, have been able to celebrate great success thanks to BMW race cars: Marc Hennerici (DE) won the 2005 Independents' Trophy; Stefano d'Aste (IT) and Hernandez, the current BMW Team Italy-Spain driver, managed the feat in 2007 and 2008.

The successes posted by the BMW national teams since 2005.

Beside winning three drivers' titles via Andy Priaulx, in the 98 FIA World Touring Car Championship races to date, BMW drivers have--

--claimed 3 WTCC manufacturers' titles.
--achieved 38 victories.
--celebrated 23 one-two results.
--taken 16 pole positions in qualifying.
--set the fastest lap 45 times.
--been on the podium 115 times.
--amassed 1411 points.
--covered 11,240 laps and 47,304 kilometres.
--led 527 of 1277 laps.

Milestones 2005.

20th April 2005: At Monza (IT), the BMW national teams contest the first World Touring Car Championship race since 1987. By securing pole position, winning the race and setting the fastest race lap, Dirk Muller scores an instant "hat-trick".

1st May 2005: At Magny-Cours, (FR), Jorg Muller succeeds in winning both sprint races, while Andy Priaulx gives BMW its first one-two by finishing runner-up in the first round.

8th August 2005: In the first Oschersleben (DE) round, Priaulx secures his maiden WTCC win, with Alessandro Zanardi (IT) winning race two. The Italian is the first amputee driver ever to win a World Championship race. The "Magdeburger Borde" crowd rewards him with a standing ovation.

2nd October 2005: In the 18th round, held at Valencia (ES), Muller gives BMW its tenth fastest race lap.

20th November 2005: At Macau (MO), BMW secures the Manufacturers' Championship while Priaulx wins the WTCC drivers' title at the "Guia Circuit" with a total of 101 points to his tally. At the end of the season, the BMW national teams have secured a total of nine race wins, four pole positions and set eleven fastest race laps.

Milestones 2006.

2nd April 2006: Reigning champion Priaulx kicks off the second WTCC season by winning the first race, held at Monza, in the brand-new BMW 320si WTCC from pole position. It's the tenth WTCC triumph for BMW.

3rd September 2006: At Brno (CZ), Muller and Zanardi give BMW its tenth World Touring Car Championship one-two.

19th November 2006: Both Priaulx and Muller win a round in the season finale in Macau to finish first and second in the championship. Priaulx secures his second consecutive world championship title with a lead of just one point, while BMW also defends the Manufacturers' Championship with 254 points to its tally. This year, the brand's record book features eleven race wins, three pole positions and five fastest race laps.

Milestones 2007.

11th March 2007: By winning one round apiece, at Curitiba, Muller and his new team- mate, Augusto Farfus, make for a successful kick-off to the season. By finishing runner-up in both rounds, Priaulx completes the excellent BMW result.

17th June 2007: At Brno, Felix Porteiro (ES) celebrates his maiden WTCC win for BMW Team Italy-Spain, with Muller winning the second round of the weekend. In the first race, all top-four positions are secured by BMW drivers. At the same time, Muller's success represents the 25th WTCC race win for BMW.

29th July 2007: At Anderstorp (SE), Zanardi gives BMW its 25th fastest race lap.

23rd September 2007: At Brands Hatch (GB), Priaulx and Porteiro make for the 20th BMW one-two.

18th November 2007: In Macau, Priaulx secures his 25th podium, and thanks to his triumph in the final round of the season, wins the World Touring Car Championship for the third consecutive time. With 255 points, BMW also celebrates its third consecutive Manufacturers' Championship title. The BMW national teams can look back on nine race wins, two pole positions and nine fastest race laps.

Milestones 2008.

18th May 2008: At Valencia, Muller sets the tenth fastest race lap of his WTCC career.

1st June 2008: Pau's (FR) wet street circuit suits Farfus and Priaulx better than anybody else and consequently they both leave the French track with a race win under their belts. Farfus secures his win with the biggest lead in WTCC history by crossing the finish line 17.861 seconds ahead of the runner-up, Yvan Muller (FR, SEAT).

15th June 2008: In the first of the Brno rounds, Zanardi and Porteiro give BMW Team Italy-Spain a one-two. In the second race, Zanardi is pipped in the battle for the win and crosses the line just tenths of a second behind the winner. In qualifying, Zanardi secured his maiden WTCC pole - representing the tenth for BMW.

27th July 2008: At Brands Hatch, Muller secures his only win of the 2008 season, though it's the tenth of his WTCC career. With this triumph he draws level with WTCC record holder Priaulx.

5th October 2008: Following the second round at Monza, BMW has amassed more than 1,000 Manufacturers' Championship points.

16th November 2008: Having scored 274 points, BMW finish runner-up in the Manufacturers' Championship. Priaulx is the best of the BMW drivers finishing fourth in the Drivers' Championship. Over the course of the season, the brand secured six race wins, four pole positions and set 13 fastest race laps.

Milestones 2009.

31st May 2009: In Valencia Farfus scores BMW's first win of 2009. His team-mate Muller's second place perfects another one-two finish.

21st June 2009: For the first time in 2009 both races in a weekend go to BMW. In Brno Zanardi scores his fourth WTCC victory; Sergio Hernandez celebrates his first WTCC triumph.

-credit: bmw

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About this article
Series WTCC
Drivers Andy Priaulx , Dirk Müller , Jorg Muller , Yvan Muller , Augusto Farfus , Sergio Hernandez , Felix Porteiro , Mario Theissen