Valencia: BMW qualifying report

BMW Team Germany's Augusto Farfus comes fifth in Valencia qualifying. Valencia, 30th May 2009. Augusto Farfus (BR) was the only BMW driver able to secure a top-ten grid position in qualifying for the ninth round of the FIA World Touring Car ...

BMW Team Germany's Augusto Farfus comes fifth in Valencia qualifying.

Valencia, 30th May 2009. Augusto Farfus (BR) was the only BMW driver able to secure a top-ten grid position in qualifying for the ninth round of the FIA World Touring Car Championship in Valencia (ES). With a time of 1:45.080 minutes the 25- year-old was fifth fastest for BMW Team Germany. Farfus finished 0.666 seconds behind SEAT's Gabriele Tarquini, who secured pole position for the first of the two sprint races on Sunday.

The first phase of qualifying was a close affair, with the top 14 drivers covered by just a second after 20 minutes. Unlike Farfus, the other four BMW national team drivers narrowly missed out on advancing into the decisive "Q2" session. Farfus' team-mate, Jorg Muller (DE), came 11th, just 88 thousands of a second off P10, which would have meant taking part in the second leg of qualifying. Behind Muller, BMW Team Italy-Spain's Alessandro Zanardi (IT) and Sergio Hernandez (ES) and Andy Priaulx (GB) from BMW Team UK finished 12th, 13th and 14th respectively.

Despite securing a promising grid position for tomorrow's race and being best- placed BMW driver, Farfus gave a very down-to-earth analysis of qualifying, which was, as expected, difficult for BMW. "Obviously I'm happy to be the quickest petrol car out there. However, the dominance of the SEAT turbo diesels is striking. They easily got all five of their cars into the top-ten. This just shows the effect of their engine's higher boost pressure compared to the races in Pau. My lap was not really perfect. But on this track it's really difficult to put in a flawless performance. Our team did a very good job. But it just wasn't enough to beat the diesels."

Muller quickly turned his attention onto the two races at the "Circuit de la Comunitat" after his unlucky exit in "Q1". He said: "Of course I will push hard to improve to eighth, in order to benefit from the reversed grid for race two. However, at least ten other drivers share this goal. I haven't been totally happy with my car all weekend, but still my qualifying lap was okay. It's disappointing to miss the second phase by such a small margin."

In a reversal to what happened in the free practice sessions, Priaulx was unhappy with the balance of his car in qualifying. "I couldn't find any grip," the triple world champion explained. "This made it impossible to get the most out of this qualifying session. We will now analyse the reasons for this and hopefully make the necessary changes to be more competitive tomorrow."

The ninth race of the FIA World Touring Car Championship will start at 12:50hrs local time (11:50hrs BST) on Sunday, race two will get underway at 15:05hrs (14:05hrs BST).

-credit: bmw

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About this article
Series WTCC
Drivers Andy Priaulx , Jorg Muller , Augusto Farfus , Sergio Hernandez , Gabriele Tarquini