Britain has a new World Champion in the form of BMW touring car star Andy Priaulx.
The Guernsey-man wrapped up the revived FIA World Touring Car Championship in the final round at Macau after a season-long fight against fellow BMW 320i ace Dirk Muller and Alfa Romeo talisman Fabrizio Giovanardi.
It was the second successive tin-top title for Priaulx, who won the European Touring Car Championship — out of which the World series evolved — in 2004. In both years he was driving the BMW Great Britain car run by Belgian team Racing Bart Mampaey.
As he did 12 months ago, Priaulx again followed a title success with a run-out for the Williams Formula One team. The Briton helped out the Grove squad at Barcelona as it began to get to grips with the new Cosworth V8 engine.
Priaulx has now pledged to shoot for an F1 test role with the team, which may lose 2005 reserve driver Antonio Pizzonia to American racing. He says he wants to be “the Michael Schumacher of touring cars and an F1 tester.”