The RBM Run works BMW team had a testing weekend during the opening round of the 2010 FIA World Touring Car Championship from Curitiba in Brazil.
The team, who has taken Guernsey man Andy Priaulx to three World Titles, have been selected to run a 2 car outfit for Priaulx and former Team BMW Germany driver Augusto Farfus, after BMW scaled down their involvement.
The opening sessions of the campaign saw the team and Farfus in particular, topping the times and everything pointed towards a strong weekend for the RBM outfit.
Qualifying, however, didn't go to plan, and at the end of the session, Priaulx had qualified sixth and Farfus one place behind in seventh.
A wet Race 1 saw both the RBM run BMW 320si's score points, after the team took 5th and 6th, but the lack of pace compared to the Chevrolets and Seat TDi's.
A dry race 2 however offered a better chance for Farfus and Priaulx to secure big points for the Championship. Off the line, this plan was hampered when the TDi Leon of world Champion Gabriele Tarquini made contact with the front of Priaulx's car and broke his front suspension. Andy explains what happens and how his weekend went: “Overall I’m disappointed with this outcome of the first race weekend of the season. I had a great start in race two, but then this collision with Tarquini happened. I was just a touch, but enough to damage my car and throw me out of the race. At least I managed to score some points in race one. But I could have scored a good result in the second as well.”
Farfus was able to recover some points for the team with another 6th place, but the lack of performance means the team has some hard work ahead of them. Farfus had this to say about his weekend: “The car felt great over the whole weekend and our pace in the races was okay. However, our overall performance obviously isn’t yet good enough to battle it out at the very front of the field. In the first race it was all about avoiding mistakes. At the start of race two I was pushed and lost some ground.”
The RBM Team Principle, Bart Mampaey, had this to say about the Curitiba weekend: “We had a decent first race in very tricky conditions. Andy went for a slightly different set-up to Augusto. While Augusto was quicker in the beginning, Andy was on the pace towards the end. So we finished fifth and sixth, which gave us some points and promising grid positions for the second race. With the track drying out and considering the pace we had shown in the dry earlier this weekend, our expectations were high. But both of our cars were touched by another competitor at the start. While Andy was forced to retire, Augusto was able to prove that we had good pace. But it was just not possible for him to gain more ground. This has been a difficult start to the season. We will look into this and keep on working.”
The team will look to bounce back at Marrakesh on the 2nd May, after the Puebla event was cancelled due to flooding in the local area.