Andy Priaulx has seen his hopes of retaining the World Touring Car Championship title take a hit after he was forced out of the second race of the weekend at Monza.

Eager to bounce back from a disappointing weekend at Imola, the BMW Team UK driver produced a fine drive in the opening race of the weekend at the home of the Italian Grand Prix as he took the flag just shy of the podium in fourth place, but was then given third when Rickard Rydell was hit with a penalty for cutting the first chicane.

However, the second race turned out to be a disappointing one for the defending champion after he suffered a puncture caused by debris from an accident involving Andrei Romanov and Takayuki Aoki at the Parabolica.

As a result, Priaulx now lies 34 points behind leader Yvan Muller in the standings, with just 40 points left to play for in the final two rounds of the year.

"We optimised everything we could with the team," he said. "It's great to work together with fellow BMW drivers but we had to overcome a huge deficit to the diesel engine. The car was fantastic.

"Obviously I'm disappointed with the puncture. Six cars ran over the same piece of debris in front of me and were fine but that's just the way this season has gone."



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