9 July 2008
Andy Priaulx: Q&A - EXCLUSIVE.
On the back of the finest result of his 2008 World Touring Car Championship campaign to-date – victory around the narrow, tortuous streets of Pau – Andy Priaulx came back down to earth with a bump at Brno in the Czech Republic last time out, registering not so much as a single point.
The reigning three-time WTCC Champion, though, has absolutely no intention of throwing in the towel, and has vowed to battle back strongly at Estoril this coming weekend – and then even more strongly still in front of his adoring home fans on British soil at Brands Hatch at the end of the month, as he told Crash.net...
Well Andy, it's exciting times for you at the moment. You've recently been awarded a very special award indeed, I believe..?
Yeah, absolutely; it was really nice to get the envelope from the Queen, and to see the words 'Andy Priaulx MBE' on it is a great, unbelievable honour. I'm very proud, and it's obviously lovely for my family and my sponsors as well; they've put so much into me over the years. Unfortunately it didn't make me any quicker in Brno, but hopefully it will add to my lap time as well!
Was it very unexpected?
You can't expect something like that. You get the nod, you know, that you might get it, but it's not guaranteed, so I've got to be a good boy now until I meet the Queen and get the MBE pinned on my chest. Then I'll know I've got it.
You've also got your autobiography coming out soon. Tell us about that…
Yeah, I've written an autobiography. I wanted it to be quite inspirational, more than anything else, so it's not just about the car and the results but really about how I put my seasons together, the struggles I had, how I found the money, a little bit about where I came from. There are some funny stories and some sad ones.
It was quite an emotional rollercoaster ride actually writing the book, to be honest. I had to go back through all the feelings of when I was like Tom Ingram [BRDC Stars of Tomorrow karting star], struggling for every penny, when nobody wanted me. To then win world titles off the back of that is very special.
And nine months spent living in a caravan too I understand..?
Yeah, it was nine months here at Silverstone. I wouldn't do it again, but at least I did it. It was a very special time and I have very fond memories of it, but I would never do it again!
You mentioned Brno earlier, which was obviously the latest World Touring Car Championship round. It didn't exactly go according to plan, did it..?
Not at all, no; it was really bad. Brno was tough; it was a difficult weekend, I was carrying a lot of ballast and we didn't perform particularly well. We qualified well, but sometimes you have these weekends and you take it on the chin. Hopefully you can be determined enough to turn it around, and I don't think the championship is by any means over, so I'm going to work really hard to try and improve my performance for Estoril.
There was good news, though, for another BMW driver in Brno, Alex Zanardi. You must have been very pleased to see that..?
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