ROAL Motorsport’s Tom Coronel in his BMW 320 TC finished second in the final race of the World Touring Car Championship season in Macau, leaving him fourth in drivers’ points, while Engstler Racing’s Kristian Poulsen, who scored seventh and thirteenth place finishes in Macau in his 320 TC, won the Yokohama trophy, awarded to competitors on independent teams.
In many ways BMW was a footnote to this year’s WTCC title chase. The big story over the course of the season was the domination of the Chevrolet Cruze, and the headline story at Macau was the battle for the overall drivers’ championship between Chevrolet’s Yvan Muller and Rob Huff. (Text continues after photos)
Huff closed the gap on Muller with a win in the first sprint on the streets of Macau, a race in which only four of the eleven laps were run under green flag conditions. Muller finished on his teammate’s tail. Coronel leapt into the lead from the second row in race two, but was overtaken by Huff on the third lap. He remained in the second position for the balance of the race. Muller needed only to finish fifth to secure his second consecutive championship; he finished third.
The combined BMW customer teams finished second in manufacturers’ points to Chevrolet, the only factory team in the series this season.
ROAL Motorsport principal Roberto Ravaglia said, "We are really satisfied for ending the season in fourth position; that is the best result in our team's history in FIA WTCC. Coronel is the first driver in the final classification being lined up by a private team: this success is due to the commitment of all members of the team that I want to thank. We ended the season with a victory, four podiums and no retirements due to technical problems out of twenty-four races run; these figures confirm that we worked on the right direction.”
The 2012 WTCC season begins in Italy, with a race at Monza in March. The series will make its first-ever appearance in the USA on September 23, when it runs at Infineon Raceway.—Brian S. Morgan, motorsports editor, bmwcca.orgBack to News