WTCC Brands 2: Priaulx wins and leads series

Andy Priaulx, Felix Porteiro, Brands Hatch, WTCC, 2007 | BMW MediaAndy Priaulx scored maximum points in the second WTCC race at Brands Hatch to take a vital 12-point lead in the drivers championship with four races remaining.

He had started from third on the grid, blasted past Pierre-Yves Courthals’ Seat heading into Paddock Hill bend before pole sitter Felix Porteiro let him pass at Hawthorns.

Courthals, meanwhile, plunged down the order and triggered an accident when Luca Rangoni spun trying to pass him. Rangoni was collected by Nicola Larini and the safety car came out for one lap.

When the restart was given on the following tour it seemed as if Augusto Farfus was unprepared. The Brazilian was lagging behind James Thompson ahead of him, and Alain Menu drew alongside the Brazilian to pass him coming out of Clearways.

But Farfus turned clear across Menu and crashed heavily into the pit wall. Menu continued, but was black-flagged shortly afterwards. As he hadn’t passed Farfus before the start line, it was hard to see exactly what Menu had done wrong – perhaps he was really being punished for eliminating a championship contender?

Farfus’ car was removed during another safety car period and at the restart the BMW duo at the front were untouchable. Rob Huff finished third and Colin Turkington once again benefited from Jordi Gene’s generosity, the Seat driver once again letting the BMW past so that Yvan Muller in the other Seat could also gain a place.

Jorg Muller grabbed some useful points when Gabriele Tarquini’s Seat slowed allowing the German into eighth. He then took seventh off James Thompson on lap 14.

Priaulx’s win means he has 81 points with Farfus third on 69. Yvan Muller moves up to third in the championship with 67, and Jorg Muller has 66. Priaulx’s lead is strong for now, but the ballast will be against him in the next round at Monza, and will surely keep this title battle going to the Macau finale.

BMW Media

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