BMW Team RBM are looking forward to the next round of the World Touring Car Championship as the series heads the Portuguese circuit of PortimÃ£o this weekend.
Three-time WTCC champion Andy Priaulx heads in to the event on the back of a great victory in the second race at Zolder and is now just 23 points from championship leader Yvan Muller.
Team-mate Augusto Farfus is still looking to get his championship challenge underway after a mediocre showing in the first part of the season has left him trailing the championship leaders by 75 points.
The circuit will pose a new challenge to the WTCC having never raced there before.”In PortimÃ£o we are in virgin territory, although we have tested there twice.” says Priaulx.
“However, then it rained, so the data will not necessarily be helpful. For us the weekend will be a major challenge, for the circuit has a lot of uphill sections which follow slow corners. These conditions do not really suit our car.”
Despite the tough conditions the Guernsey-born driver remains positive. “I still plan to collect as many points as possible. That is crucial, for they will keep me in the championship hunt and give me a good starting point for the races in Brands Hatch and Brno. A lot of race weekends in a short space of time now face us. We are approaching this task with total concentration and a lot of confidence.”
Farfus is looking forward to the event: “In Portugal I feel totally at home. They speak my language and the sun mostly shines. PortimÃ£o is perfect for touring cars, and I am convinced we will experience two spectacular races. It is undulating and offers a lot of overtaking opportunities.”
The Brazilian also echoed the thoughts of team-mate Priaulx. “Although it will not be easy for us, I aim to score as many points as possible in order to move myself up in the championship.”
Team Principal Bart Mampaey spoke of recent damage limitation for Priaulx before looking forward to the next round: “After we managed to get the maximum possible with Andy during the past three race weekends, we now head for a relatively unknown circuit. We had wet conditions during our two tests there, so we were only able to collect a limited amount of data we could use in the dry. ”
With a run of events coming up the RBM boss knows how important this weekend will be in the run to the championship. “We know the next few races are extremely important, for it is vital to rack up points if we are to remain in contention for the world championship. That is precisely what we are aiming for. Obviously our target is to post good results with both cars.”