Andy Priaulx enjoyed a fine weekend at Okayama with a double podium in the penultimate round of the World Touring Car Championship season.
The BMW Team UK driver secured a slot on the front row of the grid at the Japanese circuit and quickly moved into the lead of the opening race as he headed a BMW 1-2 ahead of Jorg Muller.
From eighth on the grid, Priaulx avoided carnage at the start of lap two as a number of drivers fell off the circuit and jumped up to second place behind Augusto Farfus as BMW again locked out the top two steps of the podium.
“What a fantastic weekend,” he said. “I came to Japan to have good races and enjoy myself and I achieved both these aims. I want to say a big thank you to my RBM boys who gave me a great car. The weather was pretty bad, but I stayed out of trouble. In race two particularly it was a bit difficult as everything bunched together into the first corner and I picked the inside line and avoided any contact. Then Jorg was in front of me and he ran wide so I was through into second.”
Priaulx will now look to help BMW overhaul SEAT for the manufacturers' title in the season finale in Macau, with just three points separating the rivals going into the remaining two races.
“I just love the track and everything about Macau,” he said. “It is one of the most challenging in the sport and I don't think I have ever come across a driver that doesn't instantly fall in love with it. This year my performance has perhaps been the best of my career, but sadly the results have not always reflected that.
“I know I have the speed so I am heading to Macau feeling very positive for a good final two races. It is also great to see that BMW has closed in on SEAT for the manufacturers' championship. I reckon we could see two very exciting races in November.”