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Q&A: Andy Priaulx – EXCLUSIVE.

Being given the title 'the Michael Schumacher of touring cars' by many is an indication of how well Andy Priaulx has performed on the World Touring Car stage in recent seasons.

In 2006, he overcame the challenge of a new car and a weight system that punished the successful to claim his third straight championship title – cementing his place as the touring car driver the others strive to beat.

Crash.net caught up with Andy to look back at last season and also to preview the upcoming campaign, when the Guernseyman will look to retain his hold on the WTCC title.

Q:
Andy, three titles in a row for you after the 2006 season and your second straight WTCC crown – is it not getting slightly boring winning all the time?

Andy Priaulx:
[Laughs] No, not for me! It's been really tough because it has always gone down to the last race so you never know you are going to win. With this type of championship, it is such a high level and the drivers racing in it are so good – touring car legends some of them – plus they throw in things like success ballast and reverse grids to make it harder.

The last few years I've been setting the pace which means they lump more lead on you to slow you down and the reverse grid pulls you away from the front as well. It's been three very challenging years but I feel it has taken my driving to a new level and has taken my career to a new level as well. So it's not been boring at all!!

Q:
Looking back at the last two years in particular, in 2005 it was a title season based on consistency with just the one win and then in 2006 there were more wins than anyone and the title still went to the season finale. Two very different title campaigns but two very difficult ones – how do you feel the two compared?

Andy Priaulx:
Well going back to 2004 when I won the European championship, people say I came back from twelve points behind and was lucky to win it, but the fact is I had won the most races and that is why I won the title. In the second year, they said I only won one race and I was champion so I must have been consistent, but the fact is that I was on the podium in nearly every race, lost a win at Silverstone due to a puncture on the last lap so I don't feel I was lucky to win it.

In 2006, I won five races, more than anyone else, was the heaviest car in the field, took more pole positions than anyone so I've been dominant and I won the title. Three in a row, no-one can argue with that really.

Q:
Aside from clinching the title in Macau, what would have been your highlight from 2006?

Andy Priaulx:


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Andy Priaulx - BMW Team UK BMW 320si
Andy Priaulx - BMW Team UK wins race in Macau
Andy Priaulx (GBR) 2006 WTCC Champion Macau Grand Prix, Macau, 15th-18th November 2006.
Franz Engstler - Liqui Moly BMW 320si [credit: FIA WTCC]
Tom Coronel (ROAL Motorsport BMW 320 TC) wins race 2 at Suzuka, Japan on Sunday, September 22 2013. (Photo Credit: WTCC Media)
Tom Coronel (ROAL Motorsport BMW 320 TC) wins race 2 at Suzuka, Japan on Sunday, September 22 2013. (Photo Credit: WTCC Media)
General Honda Civic WTCC team and paddock atmosphere in Japan - Sunday, September 22 2013. (Photo Copyright: Honda Europe / Naoki Kobayashi)
Castrol Honda World Touring Car Team`s Tiago Monteiro in action in race 1 in Japan - Sunday, September 22 2013. (Photo Copyright: Honda Europe / Naoki Kobayashi)
Castrol Honda World Touring Car Team`s Tiago Monteiro on the starting grid for race 1 in Japan - Sunday, September 22 2013. (Photo Copyright: Honda Europe / Naoki Kobayashi)
Castrol Honda World Touring Car Team Tiago Monteiro Sunday, September 22 2013. (Photo Copyright: Honda Europe / Naoki Kobayashi)
Castrol Honda World Touring Car Team`s Gabriele Tarquini Sunday, September 22 2013. (Photo Copyright: Honda Europe / Naoki Kobayashi)
Castrol Honda World Touring Car Team driver Takuya Izawa Sunday, September 22 2013. (Photo Copyright: Honda Europe / Naoki Kobayashi)
Castrol Honda World Touring Car Team`s Tiago Monteiro at Suzuka, Japan. Sunday, September 22 2013. (Photo Copyright: Honda Europe / Naoki Kobayashi)
Tom Coronel - ROAL BMW 320 TC [Pic credit: FIA WTCC]
Mehdi Bennani - Proteam BMW 320 TC [Pic credit: FIA WTCC]
Jose Maria Lopez - Wiechers Sport, BMW 320 TC [Pic credit: FIA WTCC]
WTCC race of Austria at the Salzburgring. Honda Racing hospitality paddock unit (Castrol Honda World Touring Car Team) Photo Credit: Honda Europe/David Noels
WTCC race of Austria at the Salzburgring. Tiago Monteiro (Castrol Honda World Touring Car Team) Photo Credit: Honda Europe/David Noels

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