World Touring Car Champion Andy Priaulx has returned to the head of the championship standings after securing a win and an eighth place finish from the second round of the season at Magny-Cours.

Having qualified in ninth place at the French circuit in his new BMW 320si, a replacement for the car written off in his race two accident at Monza, the Briton produced a solid display with 45kg of ballast on board to take eighth place in the opening race - a result that was good enough to give him pole position for race two under the reverse grid regulations.

Using the rear wheel drive on the BMW to full effect at the start of race two, Priaulx was able to get away in the lead and pulled out an advantage as his rivals battled behind. Although Dirk Muller was able to break away from a train of five SEAT Leons, the BMW Team Deutschland driver was unable to launch an attack on the champion, allowing Priualx to take a second win of the year - already surpassing his win total last season when he claimed the title despite taking just a single win at Oschersleben.

"Quite obviously I am delighted with the win and the fact that I could gain the championship lead," Priaulx said. "Due to my 45 kilos handicap weight, I had expected to experience a kind of a difficult weekend. Magny-Cours is a circuit the team and I tend to struggle at but we improved throughout the weekend and after race one I used the reverse grid to help me. When I was fighting for seventh with Thompson in race one it would have been nice to steal the extra point because my starts are good anyway and starting second would have been fine. But if I had pushed too hard I could have lost everything.

"If you'd told me I'd get an eighth and a win last weekend I would have said, 'yes, I'll take that'. I am really looking forward to racing at Brands Hatch. Many of the big names in this championship have raced there before so it is going to be great for the spectators. The WTCC is growing from strength to strength and I am pleased to be a part of it right now."


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