BMW Team RBM drivers make it to Q2 after turbulent session - WTCC drivers still waiting for top-10 shoot-out at the Guia Circuit
(lifePR) (Macau, )Four red flags, many incidents and the postponement of the second phase to Saturday: The first part of qualifying for round 21 of the FIA World Touring Car Championship in Macau (CN) was a thriller. Despite being involved in his own accident, BMW Team RBM's Andy Priaulx (GB) finished eighth, so advancing into "Q2". The triple world champion set his lap time of 2:33.331 minutes on his first flying lap round the 6.117-kilometre circuit. Priaulx was 0.279 seconds faster than his team-mate, Augusto Farfus (BR), who came ninth, therefore also making it into the second session. Due to darkness falling, Q2, which determines the grid positions, was suspended following the almost two hours long first session. Therefore, the top-ten drivers need to go out again on Saturday at 9:00hrs to fight for good positions for Sunday's grid.
The BMW Team RBM drivers had just completed their first flyers when SEAT's Tom Coronel (NL) hit the crash barriers, which caused extensive repair work. It took the marshals almost one hour before the qualifying session could be resumed. After the re-start Priaulx also hit the barriers in the "R-Bend", damaging the left front of his BMW 320si WTCC. Also thanks to two more red flags, which gave the mechanics some extra time, the BMW Team RBM squad managed to send the BMW 320si WTCC back on the track before the end of the session. However, the two BMW drivers' lap times clocked during their first stints were good enough to secure them a place in "Q2". Following another incident, "Q1" was finally red-flagged and not re-started shortly before the official end of the 30-minute session that, in the end, took almost two hours.
Bart Mampaey (Team Principal):
"This session was a difficult one. We were fortunate enough to put in quick laps at the very beginning of qualifying. These times proved to be the benchmark for our two cars, and meant we proceeded to Q2. Once again the qualifying in Macau turned out to be unpredictable. There were many accidents, and in the end the darkness caught us out. We are happy we made into the second session under these circumstances."
Andy Priaulx (Car Number 11):
Qualifying 1: 8th, 2:33.331 min - Qualifying 2: postponed - Weight: 1,198 kg
"I ran a little wide and the tyre wall on the exit just pulls you in. The conditions were getting worse and worse as we were delayed, and so we were pushing hard. My lap back into the pits on three wheels was pretty slow and a long way, as I was near the start of the 6.117-kilometre track. However, I made it back and the team was amazing as I was able to go out and do an exploratory lap five minutes before the end of the session."
Augusto Farfus (Car Number 10):
Qualifying 1: 9th, 2:33.610 min - Qualifying 2: postponed - Weight: 1,198 kg
"This has really been an amazing qualifying. I was in the car for more than two hours, which doesn't happen too often in a qualifying session. It's great we were able to put in lap times that were good enough to proceed to Q2. Once again Macau proved today that anything can happen at this track."