Hockenheim (DE) - Bruno Spengler (CA) has fulfilled his dream of winning the DTM title in Hockenheim (DE). On the final straight of a thrilling season, the 29-year-old was able to fend off Gary Paffett (GB, Mercedes), therefore continuing BMW’s success story in the DTM.
The Canadian took on a new challenge in the 2012 season, and switched over to drive with BMW. After joining the legendary BMW Team Schnitzer, he immediately caused a sensation in his matt black BMW Bank M3 DTM sporting number 7.
However, he was first in a black BMW M3 a long time ago, so his first foray in the car didn’t occur in his test for BMW in Monteblanco (ES) at the end of 2011, or at the opening race of the 2012 DTM season in Hockenheim.
“My dad had a black BMW M3 Coupé for a long time. I was still a small boy”, the new DTM Champion remembered. “The sound of the engine alone fascinated me. My dad often had to rev it for me.”
Spengler is now a successful BMW racing driver and—with his four wins this season and his title victory—has taken up a lasting position as part of the impressive history of successes the brand continues to enjoy.
“I’m proud to represent BMW. The fact we won the title together is just sensational,” he said.
Spenger spent his first years in the DTM with Mercedes. He began his career with the manufacturer in 2005 in the previous season’s car and was impressive from the very first race.
The following year, Spengler catapulted himself forward with four victories in the DTM’s leading group and was second in the drivers’ rankings behind his team mate and DTM record-winning champion Bernd Schneider (DE).
In 2007, he fought for the title in the final race for the first time, but had to accept that the crown ultimately went to Mattias Ekström (SE, Audi). In the end, just three points separated him from victory.
In 2008 and 2009, the new champion was ranked among the top five drivers each time at the end of the season, before making a renewed attack on the title in 2010. In a dramatic final in Shanghai (CN), he lost the overall lead and had to congratulate Paul di Resta (GB) on his title win.
This year, his big moment finally came – and the number 1 was transferred within the BMW family from Tomczyk to Spengler, the racer who was born in Alsace, but who grew up in Montreal (CA).
Spengler settled into this new family quickly, and not only because of his sporting prowess. “I feel very happy with BMW, everyone has been very welcoming right from the first second I arrived”, he says.
To be allowed to drive for BMW Team Schnitzer with all its tradition is a special honour to him: “It’s a pure piece of motorsport history. That I’ve been able to continue the success story of BMW Team Schnitzer means a great deal to me.”
Team Principal Charly Lamm (DE), who was in the pit during Roberto Ravaglia’s (IT) title win in 1989, returned the praise early in the season.
He quickly noticed that, in Spengler, he had found not just a practically flawless racing driver, but had also added a very straightforward man to his ranks who was admired by his teammates, fans and colleagues alike.
“Bruno brings a lot of DTM experience to the team, which has undoubtedly done us good”, said Lamm. “At the same time, he is able to motivate the team, is always ready to listen, takes a lot of time for the fans, and doesn’t let anything upset him.”
After the festivities surrounding his title win, it will be up to Spengler to take some time out during the winter months to regain his calm and to get to grips with what he has achieved over the past ten DTM races.
His favourite place to relax is in his Canadian homeland, in the woods far away from the hustle and bustle of the racetrack.
You’ll most likely find him also on a golf course or going down trails on cross-country skiing trips. The multitalented Spengler can’t have a holiday without sport.
He knows from experience that it won’t take long until the itch sets in again and he’ll want to get back to preparing for the 2013 DTM season.
In 2013, the aim is to defend the title. And Spengler admits: “I’m even itching to start right now.”
Bruno Spengler – Milestones.
2001 5th place Formula Renault France
2002 1st place Formula Renault North America
2nd place Formula Renault Germany
2003 10th place Formula 3 Euro Series
2004 11th place Formula 3 Euro Series
2005 16th place DTM
2006 2nd place DTM
2007 2nd place DTM
2008 5th place DTM
2009 4th place DTM
2010 3rd place DTM
2011 3rd place DTM
2012 1st place DTM