BMW driver Zanardi celebrates most successful WTCC weekend to date
Alessandro Zanardi (IT) claimed BMW's third win in the 2008 World Touring Car Championship at the "Automotodrom Brno". He took victory in the ninth round of the season. Félix Porteiro (ES) finished second, thus making it a one-two for BMW Team Italy-Spain. Chevrolet's Alain Menu (CH) came third. The BMW Team Germany drivers, Augusto Farfus (BR) and Jörg Müller (DE), executed numerous overtaking manoeuvres and took the chequered flag in fourth and fifth respectively. Andy Priaulx (GB) of BMW Team UK had to make do with 14th.
In the second race of the day, Zanardi came up with another stunning performance from eighth on the grid and finished second behind SEAT's Gabriele Tarquini (IT). Robert Huff (GB) came home in third in his Chevrolet. Farfus scored another fourth-place finish, while Porteiro added four points to his tally by finishing fifth. Müller came home eighth, directly ahead of Priaulx.
Following his wins in Oschersleben 2005 and Istanbul 2006, this was Zanardi's third victory in the WTCC. In the Drivers' Championship, Priaulx is still the best-placed BMW driver in fifth, with 33 points under his belt. In the manufacturers' classification, BMW regained some lost ground and is second with 116 points. BMW Motorsport Director, Mario Theissen, was on site to follow the series' Czech rounds from close range. After Robert Kubica's maiden win for the BMW Sauber F1 Team in the Canadian Grand Prix, he received the second winner's trophy for BMW from an FIA podium ceremony in just eight days.
BMW Motorsport Director Mario Theissen:
"Once again we saw two very exciting races, featuring many interesting fights and two outstanding results for Alessandro. With his win and second place he not only scored a lot of points for himself, but also for BMW. Félix also achieved the best overall result of his 2008 season. Augusto and Jörg managed to improve well in race one, but lost their chances for podium results in the second race due to the many hard-fought duels. Andy experienced a weekend to forget and, for the first time since Monza 2007, leaves a WTCC weekend empty-handed."
Alessandro Zanardi (BMW Team Italy-Spain):
"It's hard to believe how well this weekend went for us. We knew we could be strong here. But no-one really anticipated such a result. After I had passed Félix in the first race it was all about bringing a great car home safely. That's what I did. Our strong performance gives us a lot of confidence and motivation for the coming races. This has been the most successful WTCC weekend to date."
Félix Porteiro (BMW Team Italy-Spain):
"Brno is just a great place for us. Following my victory in 2007 I made it onto the podium again this year. I had a very good start in race one, but then couldn't hold Alessandro behind me. Alain Menu put a lot of pressure on me, but I successfully defended second place. It was fantastic to score points in both races."
Jörg Müller (BMW Team Germany):
"Who knows what result would have been possible today if I had qualified better. To improve from 15th on the grid to fifth is no something you can do in many WTCC races. Putting up such a chase you have to be happy if you stay on the track. The same goes for race two, which saw many hard fights for positions."
Augusto Farfus (BMW Team Germany):
"Ten points are not a bad result, although even more would have been possible. In the second race especially it was tough out there. I tried to keep out of all dangerous situations. Congratulations to Alessandro, who had a truly magnificent weekend."
Andy Priaulx (BMW Team UK):
"If you carry a lot of handicap weight and don't get the set-up 100 per cent right, such a Sunday is the outcome. We shall work hard to make sure we are back in the fight for top positions for the Estoril races."