Priaulx’s DTM Adventure

British Hillclimbing’s greatest export, certainly in recent memory, has to be 1995 British Hillclimb Champion Andy Priaulx.

Andy Priaulx

Andy Priaulx at Prescott Hillclimb during his Championship year (thanks to Steve Wilkinson)

 

The talented Guernseyman was clearly a step ahead of the rest during his BHC title year and he quickly moved on to roundy-roundy racing, initially in Formula Renault.

After struggling with money during the late nineties and all but giving up the dream, Priaulx was picked up by Renault and replaced some bloke called Button in the works Renault Prometecme F3 team.

A one-off BTCC race with Vauxhall was followed by a season with Honda in the same series before the big break came.

Priaulx was signed to the illustrious BMW Motorsport squad for the European Touring Car Championship.

Following a learning year in 2003, Priaulx claimed the title in 2004. The series was renamed the World Touring Car Championship in 2005 and Priaulx won again, and again in 2006, and 2007  to become arguably the most successful touring car driver of the modern era.

Andy was co-opted into the Schnitzer BMW Le Mans GT2 program for 2010 & 2011, but the long-term plan was always for BMW’s long anticipated return to the DTM.

That finally happened this year and Andy was put into the RBM team along with WTCC team-mate Augusto Farfus.

Unfortunately Andy’s smooth, economical driving style doesn’t seem to be best suited to the rough & tumble of the DTM and it’s slightly unusual race format so far.

 

He persevered during the season and managed to claim points but not be able to challenge for the podium, and ultimately could only manage to finish 13th overall in the series.

We are sure that the highly competitive Guernseyman will have been disappointed with that, but we are also sure that the talent and adaptability that made the MP57 & MP58 dance in the mid-90s will surface soon.

Here’s to a better run in 2013!

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