Priaulx aims to benefit from home advantage
Briton hopes to forget troubles and secure his first Touring Car win of season
Saturday 18 July 2009
Andy Priaulx is anticipating a "really exceptional weekend" as he prepares for his home round of the World Touring Car Championship here.
The Guernseyman is currently seventh in the drivers' standings and enduring a difficult campaign which has so far failed to deliver a victory. His 2009 record for BMW Team UK is in stark contrast to that of fellow Briton Rob Huff, the Chevrolet driver who has won twice already this year, but former champion Priaulx nevertheless expects the British crowd to be right behind him this weekend.
"I'm always scared to expect anything more than just a really good performance from myself. I've got a good feeling that the car is a lot more competitive, the package is stronger," he said.
Priaulx admits today's qualifying session will be likely to make or break his weekend. "We are in a good position to challenge for wins now and I think it is possible to go to Brands and have a really exceptional weekend, and that'll be down to me and the package in qualifying really," he said.
There have been nine different winners in 14 races this season, which gives an indication of the competitive nature of the WTCC, and Priaulx is adamant there is only a marginal difference between his BMW 320si and the diesel-powered Seat Leon of championship leader Yvan Muller, who is 42 points better off.
"I think when you look at how tight the championship is and the race is, they are really close," Priaulx added. "You can have people like Yvan and myself qualifying in pole or in 15th place. You only need to look at the lap times to realise there is not a lot of difference between 15th and pole."
The race at Brands is the last before a seven-week break, but Priaulx said the time before the next round at Oschersleben in Germany on 6 September would be well spent by his team.
"[We will be] testing and improving all the extra developments the team have done over the first half of the season, but we all need a bit of a rest as we've been flat out since Brazil at the end of February," he said.
Priaulx heads to his home event after achieving a little slice of history at the last round in Porto, when both he and the WTCC series celebrated their 100th race.
The 35-year-old is the only driver to have contested every round of the series since its inception in 2005, but he insists his motivation remains high and is not prepared to give up his status as Britain's leading touring car driver to Huff just yet.
When asked if Huff was his likely heir, Priaulx added: "I do have a lot of respect for him as a driver... but he has to win multiple titles consecutively for that to happen... so no!"
Arsenal and Puma unveil world's first left-footed football
Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?
WWE Raw results: Brock Lesnar suspended for post-Wrestlemania 31 rampage after losing title to Seth Rollins
WrestleMania 31: The Undertaker begins a new streak after tombstoning Bray Wyatt
Louis van Gaal: Manchester United boss reveals that being a 'slow player' made him a better manager on warts and all documentary
- 1 Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
- 2 I might be an MP, but that doesn't stop me fighting sexism with my breasts
- 3 Martha Stewart accuses Snoop Dogg of 'smoking for four hours' during Justin Bieber Roast
- 4 Google April Fools': company unveils backwards search engine and huggable digital assistant
- 5 April Fools' Day 2015: The best hoax news stories from around the internet
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans