Andy Priaulx again impressed for West Surrey Racing in the most recent Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship meeting at Knockhill, but says that he will miss the next event at Rockingham in early September,
The triple World Touring Car Champion netted his second pole position of the season in last weekend’s visit to Fife, the first time he competed at the track since winning in BTCC back in 2002 for Honda.
Fighting results of third, fifth and third again came the way of the in-form BMW driver, although the last of those became fourth after a 3.5s penalty was imposed on him following contact with Aiden Moffat‘s Mercedes.
“Overall I’ve had a stonking weekend,” said Priaulx to media including The Checkered Flag, now just a point behind team-mate Sam Tordoff who lies sixth in the standings.
“I’ve had two podiums, although one’s now a fourth, but hey it’s two points, and I’ve closed the lead in the championship. I think in the last four races I’ve been the championship contender and had I not had those DNFs at the start of the year it’d look really juicy right now.”
The recent performances of Priaulx have made him the form man of the past three meetings, although he confirmed that he will be missing out on the next round at Rockingham on 5/6 Spetember, instead focusing on the European Le Mans Series crown at Paul Ricard which he sits fourth in.
In a statement, Priaulx said: “Whilst gut wrenching to miss any racing, my works programme was defined long before we committed to BTCC, naturally we would want to win both championships for BMW and we still can, however I will be racing at Paul Ricard continuing my commitment to bring home the ELMS trophy”
A replacement will be announced for the third WSR BMW, Priaulx adding: “This does not mean a lack of commitment to BTCC and even missing Rockingham we will have a suitable replacement to help us in our challenge for the manufacturers trophy.”
Prior to the decision, Priaulx told TCF that he intends to challenge for the BTCC title in the future, saying: “I want to keep BMW happy, I have to be honest, they’ve been brilliant to me for the past 15 years, if I could be in two places at once I would. But hey, which car to drive – what a lovely problem to have!
“I think I have a really good chance in the future to fight for the title and I’ve proved that in the last four races.”
Andy Priaulx Last Nine Races: