BMW Team Schnitzer claims fourth-place finish in Spa LMS round.
Spa-Francorchamps, Dirk Müller (DE), Andy Priaulx (GB) and Augusto Farfus (BR) finished fourth in the LM GT2 class in the second round of the 2010 Le Mans Series in Spa-Francorchamps (BE) for BMW Team Schnitzer. Their no. 79 BMW M3 GT2 crossed the line one lap behind the winning Porsche pairing of Marc Lieb (DE) and Richard Lietz (AT) after six hours of racing. For Jörg Müller (DE), Dirk Werner (DE) and Uwe Alzen (DE) a top-three finish was in reach, but the number 78 car then dropped back following two “Stop and Go” penalties and an accident, eventually taking the chequered flag in 12th.
The 1000-kilometre race in Spa-Francorchamps was a turbulent affair with safety car periods, red flags due to an electrical blackout and rain at the start and in the final part of the race. However, BMW Team Schnitzer kept its cool and celebrated its best result to date in the 2010 Le Mans Series.
Charly Lamm (Team Manager):
“Today we narrowly missed out on our maiden podium finish. The progress of the no. 78 BMW M3 GT2 was first hampered by the penalties and then later in the race we suffered a puncture. This is a shame, as the car had been running flawlessly up to that point. I’m really happy that car number 79 was running well in what was its very first race. We were only able to finish this BMW M3 GT2 quite late, so it’s just great that it celebrated such a debut in a challenging 1000-kilometre race.”
Andy Priaulx (Car Number 79):
“The overall result is okay, although we could have made it on the podium today. The rain towards the end of the race didn’t really play into our hands. I was involved in a thrilling fight with the two Ferraris on the last laps though. Following the rain shower they were able to pull away, but then I could close the gap again. Unfortunately I didn’t manage to get past on the final lap.“
Dirk Müller (Car Number 79):
“The start of the race was chaotic. I didn’t take the slightest risk, as we had planned to do as many laps as possible here to gain more experience. In addition to this, the track was still damp in some places. However, some of our competitors were in a very aggressive mood and I cannot really understand this in such a long race. The car ran without any problems.“
Augusto Farfus (Car Number 79):
“This race was good fun today. I did a double stint and found a good rhythm. The whole team did a fantastic job. Following the re-start Jörg and I were coming in at the same time for our stops – and the crew managed to send us out again without making the slightest mistake. It’s a pity we didn’t make it on the podium.”
Jörg Müller (Car Number 78):
“We were punished after I had to go into the run-off zones on a few occasions. The penalties made it impossible for us to challenge for top positions. For quite a while we were running in the top-3 so it’s disappointing to leave Spa empty-handed.“
Dirk Werner (Car Number 78):
“I completed two stints at the start. Our performance was good, and I coped really well with the car. At one stage we were running in second and third with our two cars which proves that we can be competitive in this championship. But we still need to make improvements in order to be in a position to battle it out with the top teams in Le Mans. We will work hard to achieve that.”
Uwe Alzen (Car Number 78):
“In my final stint a prototype outbraked himself behind me and cut one of my rear tyres with a piece of bodywork. I had to complete a full lap with the puncture to make it back to the pits but all chances for a better result had already gone before that point. In the rain our competitors were just faster than us today.”
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