David Coulthard, watch out!
Andy Priaulx, the WTCC driver who will be partnering Jenson Button to represent England in the Race of Champions to be held at Wembley Stadium in December, has just boosted the team’s credentials even further.
The three-times touring car champion has added a fourth title to his impressive collection after winning the 2007 WTCC series at Macau this weekend.
He picked up victory in a nailbiting season finish after his title rival Yvan Muller found himself at the side of the track with a fuel pump failure and his BMW team-mate Augusto Farfus crashed out on the last lap of the first race.
In the second race he was able to hold off the only other title contender, Alfa Romeo’s James Thompson, to score enough points to win his third consecutive WTCC title and the manufacturers’ title for his BMW team.
After the race, he said: “We knew we would need something special to happen and today was my lucky day.”
With Jenson Button’s 2008 fortunes receiving a huge boost from the news that former Ferrari technical supremo Ross Brawn will be joining his Honda team, the English team’s morale should be absolutely top notch going into the December 16 event.
It is being held in London after three years in Paris and pairs drivers from racing and rallying series well as bringing veterans like Michael Schumacher and Jean Alesi back to the track.
David Coulthard, driving for Scotland alongside Colin McRae’s brother Alister, has thrown down the gauntlet to his English counterparts, saying earlier this year: “Obviously, Wembley’s quite an auspicious venue for any Scotsman.
“We’ve had some pretty good moments there, not least beating England in 1967 and 1977… now it’s 2007 so I think it’s time for another victory for the Celts!”
Button, taking part in his maiden RoC, countered: “”It’s fantastic for me that this year’s event is being held in London and it will be great to race in front of my home crowd twice in one season.
“I’m very proud to be representing England against some of the world’s best drivers. We’re especially hoping to beat the Scottish team led by my fellow F1 driver and friend David Coulthard!”
Priaulx, in his second year, added: “It’s a great show, great for fans because they can see the whole lap and all the drivers are on a level playing field.
“It’s a tough race; you don’t get a second chance. Now I’ve done it once, though, I know what to expect and I love it; it’s great fun.”