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Difficult wet races in Sweden for BMW

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Augusto Farfus (BRA) of BMW Team Germany was the only BMW driver who walked away with a point from the FIA World Touring Car Championship races in Anderstorp. Several rain showers made for changeable conditions at the "Scandinavian Raceway", tyre choice for rounds 13 and 14 of the series turned out to be a true gamble. Chevrolet drivers Robert Huff (GBR) and Rickard Rydell (SWE) secured one win each at the 4.025-kilometre circuit.

Difficult wet races in Sweden for BMW

At the top of the Drivers’ Championship not much has changed despite the rather poor outcome of the Swedish WTCC races. BMW Team Germany’s Jörg Müller (GER) is still holding the lead having 58 points under his belt. Only one point adrift is his team-mate Farfus, who is ranked ahead of Andy Priaulx (GBR) of BMW Team UK by another point. In the manufacturers’ classification, BMW now has 177 points to its tally and succeeded in defending its comfortable lead.

Difficult wet races in Sweden for BMW

As it was the case on Saturday, the weather conditions also took centre-stage at Anderstorp on Sunday. Twenty minutes before the start of the morning race, a torrential rain shower hit the circuit. The BMW national teams had to make a choice between wet and dry tyres. With the sun coming out, the track started to dry out. However, the racing line was still extremely wet and slippery during the first half of the race. Alessandro Zanardi (ITA) of BMW Team Italy-Spain was one of the few drivers who opted for slicks. The BMW drivers running on wets faced problems with the performance of their tyres in these mixed conditions.

At the beginning they were able to match the pace of their competitors. Over the course of the sprint race, however, the tyre performance unexpectedly dropped off rapidly, representing a massive disadvantage in the fight for points. For Müller, Farfus and Priaulx, the maximum handicap weight of 60 kilograms meant a further negative factor.

Nevertheless, Priaulx was the best-placed representative of the BMW national teams by finishing 11th. Behind him his team-mate, Fredrik Ekblom (SWE), crossed the line in 12th place. Félix Porteiro (ESP) of BMW Team Italy-Spain held a promising eighth place until lap seven.

Difficult wet races in Sweden for BMW

With the track getting dryer and dryer, the cars shod with dry tyres gained the upper hand - and the 23-year-old dropped back to 14th place. Müller had to make do with 15th, despite a fantastic start which saw him improving from 20th to 11th place. Farfus finished 16th. Zanardi’s choice to take the risk of racing on dry tyres did not pay off: In turn 2, he was sent into the gravel by another driver, thus losing his tenth position. At the back of the field the 40-year-old was no longer able to convert the advantage of running on slicks into a good result and finished 20th. Another shower directly after the end of the race underlined the unpredictability of the weather conditions today.

Difficult wet races in Sweden for BMW

The teams faced a similar situation prior to the start of race two. The track was still wet after some more rain - again conditions were likely to improve over the course of the 13 lap race. This time all BMW national team drivers decided to use dry tyres. Porteiro, however, completed the formation lap on wets, only to pit afterwards to change to slicks. He started from the pit lane. In the first part of the race, the BMW drivers had a disadvantage compared to their rivals running on wet tyres. Only from lap six did the dry tyres turned out to be the better option.

Farfus made use of this small opportunity to win at least one point. Starting from 16th on the grid, he worked his way up to ninth place. As the eighth-placed driver, Robert Dahlgren (SWE/Volvo Volvo ) was not eligible to score points, Farfus managed to increase his points tally by one. One place behind him, Müller crossed the line after starting from 15th.

Difficult wet races in Sweden for BMW

Priaulx’s catch up suffered a dampener on lap eight, when he had to let two cars pass after an overtaking move against SEAT’s Yvan Muller (FRA). The defending champion came 13th. Ekblom claimed 14th position ahead of Zanardi and Porteiro.



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