With Chevrolet's Yvan Muller having won the World Touring Car Championship Drivers' title before the Macau season finale, BMW are hoping to end the season with strong results. Both Andy Priaulx and Augusto Farfus have two previous wins around the historic street circuit to their name, and will be looking to add to those over the weekend.
Speaking ahead of what is believed could be the German marque's final weekend as a factory WTCC entrant, BMW Motorsport Director Mario Theissen said: “It is disappointing that, for the first time, no BMW driver is travelling to the finale of the World Touring Car Championship with a chance of winning the title. I am absolutely certain the fans would have experienced a thrilling climax. Instead, our objective at the Guia Circuit is to finish the season with good individual results.
“The ruling of the FIA International Court of Appeal was not what we expected,” he said. “The stewards in Okayama had allowed the use of the BMW 320si GBS with sequential gearbox, thus confirming our interpretation of the rules. In addition, BMW 320si GBS cars were taking part in the past four race meetings with the approval from the FIA. The fact that this decision has now been revised retrospectively, and we therefore lose the points we won in Japan, was more than a surprise for us. However, we take this decision of the FIA as it is and congratulate Chevrolet and Yvan Muller on the title.”
BMW Team RBM boss Bart Mampaey said: “As is the case every year, we will face a big challenge in Macau. It is a circuit full of extremes: apart from Monza, the drivers reach the highest speeds of the year here, while the Melco hairpin is the slowest corner on the WTCC race calendar. We have proved often enough in the past that Macau suits our drivers. We are obviously disappointed that we no longer have the opportunity to fight for the title. Anything could have happened in Macau. Despite that, our congratulations go to Chevrolet and Yvan Muller.”
Farfus explained the special challenge provided by the Macau street circuit. “The Guia Circuit in Macau is the dream of any racing driver,” he said. “The circuit is extremely demanding. Even the most minor mistake can put you in the crash barriers. However, it is a very special feeling when you achieve a fast lap there. I will go on the attack again in Macau, and am determined to end the year with a good result.”
Priaulx is looking to put the disappointment of the appeal result behind him. “It is disappointing to lose the World Championship in this manner,” he said. “Despite this, I congratulate Yvan Muller. He performed well this year, and was extremely consistent. Instead of competing for the title in Macau, I will now aim to end what had previously been a successful season for me with another top result. Macau has a special place in my heart. I have won three World Championship titles there, and was already captivated by this venue when I raced there back in my Formula 3 days. The circuit there is unique.”