Sergio Hernandez says he will look to fight for regular points and race wins as he moves into a works BMW drive for the 2009 World Touring Car Championship season.
Having clinched the Independents' title last year with Proteam Motorsport, Hernandez will now join the ROAL Motorsport-run BMW Team Italy-Spain outfit for the season ahead alongside Alex Zanardi; with Felix Porteiro effectively completing a 'job swap' by going the other way.
Impressive results in the latter stages of 2008 – most notably at Okayama – helped Hernandez to clinch the indy crown and he said he was now looking to impress in his third year in the series, kicking off this weekend in Brazil.
“I like the circuit and people of Curitiba,” he said. “Mentally the Brazilian people are similar to the Spanish. The atmosphere at this event is unique. Over the past two years I have amassed a lot of experience, which I hope to put to good use in my debut for BMW Team Italy-Spain by fighting for points and race wins.”
Team-mate Zanardi, who will run with a sequential gearbox fitted to his car this season, said he was also looking forward to the opening rounds of the season with his focus on securing a solid points haul to take back to Europe.
“I like the Curitiba circuit,” he said. “However, I would prefer it to be twice the length. Despite the lap being short, it's just all about being faster than the opposition – which is precisely what I intend being. Everybody looks forward to this event to see where they stand.
“We are well prepared, so hopefully I'll return to Europe a happy man.”