Hernández wins Independents' Trophy with the BMW 320si WTCC
(lifePR) (Macau, )The BMW Team RBM drivers added some more points to their tallies at the season finale of the FIA World Touring Car Championship in Macau (CN) on Sunday. In the 22nd race of the season, Augusto Farfus (BR) crossed the finish line in fifth at the "Guia Circuit". His team-mate, Andy Priaulx (GB), put in an impressive fight back from 22nd on the grid, after he was hit at the start of race one and subsequently dropped to the back of the field. He scored six points in the second encounter of the day by finishing seventh. In the first race on the classic street circuit, Farfus came sixth, with Chevrolet's Robert Huff (GB) scoring victory. SEAT's Norbert Michelisz (HU) won the final round of the year.
The two final races of the year were turbulent affairs - as is usual in the former Portuguese colony. In the first race the safety car was deployed twice, while race two had to be red-flagged following a huge first-lap pile-up involving no less than 12 cars. Only after the marshals had cleaned the track again, was the race able to be re-started behind the safety car.
Priaulx finished fourth in the drivers' standings, boasting a points total of 246. For the second time since 2008, title honours went to Chevrolet's Yvan Muller (FR). Farfus has collected 167 points in the past 22 races, coming seventh in the overall classification. In the Manufacturers' Championship, BMW finished third with 580 points, while Chevrolet claimed its maiden title.
With the 2005, 2006 and 2007 world titles to its name, BMW remains the most successful manufacturer in the history of the World Touring Car Championship. The brand can also look back on plenty of successful races in 2010. In addition to Priaulx's impressive six season victories, Colin Turkington (GB) of Team WSR added another win in Japan. In total, BMW drivers scored 13 podiums, two pole positions and clocked six fastest races laps.
For the fourth time a BMW privateer triumphed in the Independents' Trophy: Scuderia Proteam Motorsport's Sergio Hernández (ES) won this category, claiming his second title with the BMW 320si WTCC after his first in 2008. He notched up 156 points, relegating his fellow BMW driver Franz Engstler (DE) to second. Kristian Poulsen (DK), also running a BMW, finished third. A total of seven BMW privateers made it into the top-10.
BMW Motorsport Director Mario Theissen:
"This has been a spectacular conclusion to a very demanding season. Macau once again lived up to its reputation. Andy was taken out of the competition shortly after the start of race one. However, he managed to make it back to the pits on three wheels. The team was able to repair the car in time for the second round. He started race two from the back of the grid and fought his way up in an impressive manner, recording the second-fastest race lap in the process. This proves what would have been possible for him from a better grid position. Race two was a defensive battle for Augusto. Although his car was damaged, he showed his fighting sprit and finished fifth. Our customer team of Proteam Motorsport experienced a perfect weekend: Sergio Hernández claimed his second title in the Independents' Trophy. A big thank you for their efforts in the past season go to Bart Mampaey, his RBM team and our drivers, Andy and Augusto. Following the opening races of the season it looked as if they wouldn't be in a position to fight for the championship. But they didn't give up and successfully fought back. Our title chances were only over after the exclusion from the results following the races in Okayama. Up to that point, Andy was still in with a chance of winning the title. We congratulate Yvan Muller and Chevrolet on winning the Drivers' and Manufacturers' Championships."
Bart Mampaey (Team Principal):
"This was all we could do in this season finale. Andy's hopes for a good result in race one were already over after the start, when he was hit by another driver. His car suffered quite severe damage, but the team was able to make the necessary repairs during the race and the following break. In race two Andy put in a sensational performance, and the pace of the car was good. However, our competitors still had a obvious advantage regarding top-speed, which was clearly proven by Augusto's races. In these circumstances he couldn't join in the fight for the top positions. Many thanks to the drivers, the team and BMW Motorsport. Everyone gave their all in 2010. Congratulations to Chevrolet and Yvan Muller."
Augusto Farfus (Car Number 10):
Race 1: 6th, 2:34.820 min - Race 2: 5th, 2:35.323 min - Car weight: 1,198 kg
"These have been two really hard races in which we had to fight for every single position. Of course we had hoped for a better result to finish this season, but this just wasn't possible today. I constantly had to defend. The fact the rear bumper of my car was loose for most of the race after I was hit by some other cars didn't make it any easier for me. In terms of results this hasn't been my best year, but the cooperation with Andy and the team worked perfectly well."
Andy Priaulx (Car Number 11):
Race 1: 22nd 2:34.585 min - Race 2: 7th, 2:33.461 min - Car weight: 1,198 kg
"Race one didn't turn out good for us. Somebody hit me very hard from behind and spun me around. I had no chance and was turned around before the corner. Then for race two my car was hooked up - it was superb. The great thing is I am with a world class team and we all give it a hundred per cent. We must be proud of what we have achieved with our six wins this year. Despite being disappointed about the lost title chance, it is a great feeling and a great end to the season driving round Macau in a car that felt like this."