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Priaulx hints at possible American future.

Outgoing World Touring Car Champion Andy Priaulx has admitted that he would hope to be part of the BMW assault on the American Le Mans Series if the German marque elected to call time on its participation in the WTCC.

Priaulx saw his run as WTCC ended this season when Yvan Muller secured the drivers' title, while SEAT also clinched the manufacturers' crown for the first time – thus ending BMWs hold on the crown.

With the diesel-powered SEAT Leon proving to be the car to beat this season, and the other manufacturers unhappy about the dominance of the TDi engine, BMW has yet to commit to the series for 2009, with BMW motorsport chief Mario Theissen admitting earlier this year that works involvement would only be decided once the WTCC regulations had been made clear.

With that decision yet to be taken, Priaulx, Jorg Muller and Augusto Farfus all travelled to America this week to take part in testing of the new GT2-spec BMW M3 that will compete under the Rahal Letterman Racing banner in the ALMS and Priaulx admitted that racing the car would be of interest if the WTCC programme came to an end.

"It would be a big blow for World Touring Cars [if BMW withdrew] because BMW is a quality brand and has been extremely committed to this championship and probably helped to make it what it is,” he told BBC Guernsey. "If I don't drive in Touring Cars then I hope to do something exciting in America."

Although his title reign in the WTCC has come to an end, Priaulx said he saw it as nothing more than a loan and intends to fight to win the crown back if BMW returns to the series in 2009.

"I can't pretend I enjoyed giving up my crown, but my mate Yvan Muller is a worthy champion and if I have to loan it to anyone then I am happy with it being him," he said on his official website. "He did a great job this year, but I now give him warning I want it back!

"I am disappointed at just missing out on third in the points as I would have loved to be the highest placed petrol car driver, but again I can't complain as Chevrolet has done a great job this year. My consolation is again to be the highest placed BMW driver, and I shall have to be content with that for the time being.

"None of us BMW drivers know what the future holds for us, but I am confident that whatever happens will just be another chapter in my motor racing life."


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Andy Priaulx - BMW Team UK BMW 320si [Pic credit: FIA WTCC]
Medhi Bennani, Sebastien Loeb Racing Citroen, WTCC [Credit: WTCC media]
Nestor Girolami, Polestar Cyan Racing Volvo, WTCC [Credit: WTCC]
Tom Chilton, Sebastien Loeb Racing Citroen [Credit: XPB]
Jose Maria Lopez - Citroen Racing [credit: Florent Gooden / DPP]
Yvan Muller - Citroen Racing [credit: FIA WTCC Media]
Yvan Muller - Citroen Racing [credit: FIA WTCC Media]
Jose Maria Lopez - Citroen Racing [credit: FIA WTCC Media]
Jose Maria Lopez - Citroen Racing [credit: FIA WTCC Media]
Mehdi Bennani - Sebastien Loeb Racing Citroen
Mehdi Bennani - Sebastien Loeb Racing Citroen
Jose Maria Lopez - Citroen Racing [credit: FIA WTCC Media]
Jose Maria Lopez - Citroen Racing [credit: FIA WTCC Media]
Jose Maria Lopez - Citroen Racing
Jose Maria Lopez - Citroen Racing [credit: FIA WTCC]
Thed Bjork - Polestar Cyan Racing Volvo S60
Ma Qing Hua - Citroen Racing
Jose Maria Lopez - Citroen Racing C-Elysee   [pic credit: FIA WTCC media/Francois Flammand]

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