World Championship leader Farfus starts from the second row for BMW in Zandvoort. Zandvoort (Netherlands), 05th May 2007. The Netherlands debut of the FIA World Touring Car Championship saw Augusto Farfus (BRA) claim a good starting position for...
World Championship leader Farfus starts from the second row for BMW in Zandvoort.
Zandvoort (Netherlands), 05th May 2007. The Netherlands debut of the FIA World Touring Car Championship saw Augusto Farfus (BRA) claim a good starting position for Sunday's races. During the qualifying session at the Circuit Park Zandvoort, the driver from BMW Team Germany secured third place with a time of 1:47.519 minutes. His performance was bettered only by the two Chevrolet drivers Alain Menu (SUI) and Nicola Larini (ITA).
Behind Farfus, Felix Porteiro (ESP) from BMW Team Italy-Spain, in sixth place, and Andy Priaulx (GBR) from BMW Team UK, eighth, were the next best performers for the BMW national teams. The BMW privateer Luca Rangoni (ITA) produced the surprise of the day. In his BMW 320si WTCC, the Proteam Motorsport driver achieved a sensational fourth place. Jorg Muller (GER), joint leader in the World Championship alongside his team-mate Farfus, will start from eleventh place.
BMW Motorsport Director Mario Theissen, who has travelled to Zandvoort for these rounds of the World Touring Car Championship, said: "The additional weight we had to carry following both one-two-three victories in Brazil impacted significantly on our qualifying times. Nevertheless, five BMWs are in the first six rows of the grid. I reckon our drivers have a tremendous chance in tomorrow's races and I am looking forward to two exciting rounds. It will be interesting to see how the lap times are over the distance with the tyre wear."
Farfus went out four times during the thirty-minute session, improving his performance each time. The 23-year old set his personal best time shortly before the end of qualifying. Afterwards he commented, "I am delighted with third place. We were able to improve from one practice to the next and now we have a good starting position for tomorrow. My main focus is on collecting as many points as I can. Whether or not there is a chance for me to win is not crucial. Looking at the championship, it is much more important for me to keep on scoring world championship points."
Priaulx and Muller, who like Farfus are carrying 35 kilograms handicap weight in Zandvoort, both set their best times just before the end of the qualifying session, but were unable to improve their positions in the overall classification. The same applied to Alessandro Zanardi (ITA) from BMW Team Italy-Spain. His ninth lap saw him yet again better his previous times but at the end of the session the experienced driver had to be content with 14th place.
The conditions on the 4.3 kilometre track proved difficult. "The sand and the strong winds present a challenge to all the drivers", said Farfus, before adding, "the track is extremely slippery." The drivers can expect similar conditions on Sunday. The first race will begin at 12.05 hrs with a rolling start. The second race of the day will get underway at 15.35 hrs with a standing start.