BMW driver Augusto Farfus wins 100th WTCC race in Portugal. Porto, 5th July 2009. BMW Team Germany's Augusto Farfus (BR) claimed victory in the 14th round of the 2009 FIA World Touring Car Championship. At the "Circuito da Boavista", the ...
BMW driver Augusto Farfus wins 100th WTCC race in Portugal.
Porto, 5th July 2009. BMW Team Germany's Augusto Farfus (BR) claimed victory in the 14th round of the 2009 FIA World Touring Car Championship. At the "Circuito da Boavista", the 25-year-old took victory in front of the two SEAT drivers, Yvan Muller (FR) and Rickard Rydell (SE), who finished second and third respectively. In the 100th WTCC race since 2005 Farfus celebrated his 11th career win, thus topping the all- time winners' list in the series. BMW Team UK driver, Andy Priaulx (GB), became the only driver to have contested every WTCC race to date and scored two points by finishing seventh. Farfus' team-mate Jorg Muller (DE) came eighth.
The first sprint race of the day had to be stopped shortly after the start following a mass collision. Before the red flag came out, BMW Team Italy-Spain's Sergio Hernandez (ES) was involved in a heavy accident, when he was pushed into the wall by another competitor. The 25-year-old suffered a bruised left foot, but was able to leave hospital after a thorough medical check. After the 30-minute interruption followed by a re-start, Farfus crossed the line in eighth, and secured one point and pole position for race two, which he then used perfectly to his advantage to score his second victory of the 2009 season. As championship leader Muller scored two podium finishes in Porto, Farfus failed to close the gap in the Drivers' Championship despite his success. He now has 65 points under his belt and is third in the standings, 15 points behind the defending champion. In the manufacturers' classification, BMW has 174 points to its tally, lying second behind SEAT (191).
In the early stages of the first race, Priaulx defended fourth on the grid, while Farfus moved from seventh to sixth. Muller made a good start and improved to ninth, Zanardi dropped back to 13th. Then the events started to pile up: First LADA's Jaap van Lagen (NL) crashed into Hernandez, then Farfus touched Alain Menu's (CH) Chevrolet car under braking. Menu spun and blocked the track, causing a mass collision involving no less than nine cars, which brought out the red flags.
After the re-start behind the safety-car, Priaulx stayed fourth and put third-placed Muller under pressure. Muller and Zanardi were running in eighth and 11th respectively. Due to the collision with Menu, Farfus was penalised with a drive- through penalty that saw him dropping back to 13th on lap six. After he overtook SEAT's Tom Coronel (NL) for 12th, the four BMW drivers ahead of him let Farfus pass, thus letting him finish eighth. Priaulx, Muller and Zanardi crossed the line in ninth, 11th and 12th respectively.
The second race also saw two incidents with serious consequences: On lap three four drivers retired after accidents within a few seconds, and again the safety-car was deployed. On lap ten, WTCC's 100th race was red-flagged, after BMW privateer driver Franz Engstler (DE) and Menu crashed. All this could not distract Farfus from celebrating a lights to flag victory. He finally finished 2.295 seconds ahead of Muller after 13 laps. Priaulx collected two points and finished seventh, Muller picked up the final point in eighth. Zanardi had to make do with tenth.
Augusto Farfus (BMW Team Germany):
"Victory in the 100th round of the championship means a lot to me. Without the great support of my fellow BMW drivers it would have been difficult to achieve this. The pressure was huge in race two, but I kept my cool despite the many incidents. Thanks to this result, we haven't lost too much ground in the drivers' standings. Many thanks to my team and the other BMW drivers."
Andy Priaulx (BMW Team UK):
"Street circuits are always fun but frustrating as they are more difficult for overtaking. Well done to the organisers as the circuit is amazing and is on my list of favourite circuits in the world. I would have loved more points but that is motor racing."
Jorg Muller (BMW Team Germany):
"Today wasn't easy for us. My car was good in both races. The Chevrolets, however, carried 50 kilos less ballast, while SEAT was able to make full use of their turbo diesel engine advantage here. That's why it was really hard to attack on this track."
Alessandro Zanardi (BMW Team Italy-Spain):
"I have to say that this circuit is only good fun in qualifying, when it's only yourself against the stop watch. The races are boring, as you can hardly overtake here. I was very relieved when I heard Sergio was virtually unharmed after his accident. That was the most important news of the day."
Sergio Hernandez (BMW Team Italy-Spain):
"I'm okay, although my foot still gives me a lot of pain. The doctors say that I will be much better in a few days. The impact was really hard. But fortunately the BMW 320si WTCC is an extremely safe vehicle."