Wittmann wins, ahead of Farfus, Glock and Tomczyk, to extend his lead.
Spielberg (AT), 3rd August 2014. After last year’s one-two-three, the BMW DTM teams moved up another gear at the sixth round of the season at the Red Bull Ring (AT) to claim the top four positions for the first time since the manufacturer returned to the DTM in 2012. Marco Wittmann (DE), at the wheel of the Ice-Watch BMW M4 DTM, clinched his third win of the season at the 4.326-kilometre circuit in Spielberg (AT). In doing so, he also extended his lead in the Drivers’ Championship.
Now with 95 points to his name, Wittmann has pulled 39 points clear of Mattias Ekström (SE, Audi) in second place. Augusto Farfus (BR, Castrol EDGE BMW M4 DTM) and Timo Glock (DE, DEUTSCHE POST BMW M4 DTM) came home second and third after 47 laps of racing to join Wittmann on the podium. Martin Tomczyk (DE) finished fourth in the BMW M Performance Parts M4 DTM to complete the quadruple success for BMW. This was Tomczyk’s best result since the race at the Nürburgring (DE) in 2012.
The last time BMW occupied all four top positions at the end of a DTM race was at the finale of the 1992 season at the Hockenheimring (DE). Back then BMW actually had drivers in the top places, in the form of Roberto Ravaglia (IT), Johnny Cecotto (VE), Joachim Winkelhock (DE), Franz Engstler (DE) and Emanuele Pirro (IT). BMW scored a total 71 points in Spielberg – more than at any other race since making its comeback in the touring car series in 2012.
Bruno Spengler (CA) started tenth on the slower standard tyres in the BMW Bank M4 DTM, and crossed the line in exactly the same position. Joey Hand (US, Crowne Plaza Hotels BMW M4 DTM) and Maxime Martin (BE, SAMSUNG BMW M4 DTM) were both given a drive-through penalty and went on to finish 12th and 14th. António Félix da Costa (PT) had to retire 11 laps into the race due to a technical problem on the Red Bull BMW M4 DTM. In total, 47,500 spectators followed the action at the iconic racetrack in the Styria region of Austria.
Jens Marquardt (BMW Motorsport Director): “This is a historic success for us today – the first time we have occupied all of the top four positions since Hockenheim in 1992, and the best result since our return to the series. It was a sensational race from Marco Wittmann, Augusto Farfus, Timo Glock and Martin Tomczyk – one driver from each of the four teams in the BMW M4 DTM. Today we can quite literally talk about ‘Four in a Row’. A huge compliment goes to the entire team, who produced an absolutely top-class performance. The race was very intense and close at the front, particularly just after the start.
After Marco fell back through the field a bit at the start, he did a great job of working his way back into the race. It then all calmed down at the front of the field towards the end of the race. Today is a fantastic day for us – and we are particularly delighted to have achieved this result against such a great backdrop and in front of so many spectators. We will celebrate today, and tomorrow we will start to focus on the next race at the Nürburgring, where the situation with the performance weight means we are bound to face a real challenge.”
Stefan Reinhold (Team Principal, BMW Team RMG): “We knew that it would not be easy this weekend. Together with the drivers, the whole team and engineers did a superb job to put both cars near the front in qualifying. We did not necessarily take this for granted at the start of the weekend. Marco Wittmann got off to a difficult start today, but he held his nerve and drove a very good race after that. He gradually developed his pace and maintained it right through to the finish. I feel sorry for Maxime Martin. He received a drive-through penalty and we had a bit of a problem during his pit stop. Despite this, on the whole, we are obviously very happy. I would also like to say a big thank you to BMW Motorsport, as we successfully came through a tough weekend.”
Bart Mampaey (Team Principal, BMW Team RBM): “It was important for us to get back on the podium with Augusto Farfus, and to get a good result. We saw an upwards trend in Moscow, which we were able to continue here. Augusto did a fantastic job. We were very competitive all weekend and scored 18 points. If Joey Hand had not, unfortunately, received a drive-through penalty, it could have been even better for us. It is obviously great for BMW to occupy all of the top four positions.”
Ernest Knoors (Team Principal, BMW Team MTEK): “That was a successful weekend for us. We have shown earlier in the season we have the necessary pace, but we have sometimes lacked the little bit of luck that you also require. Everything finally ran smoothly for Timo Glock. Unfortunately we were not able to make any progress with António Félix da Costa. We will have to work on that. It is very nice for BMW to have all four teams represented in the top four positions. That shows we are all as strong as each other.”
Charly Lamm (Team Principal, BMW Team Schnitzer): “Firstly, congratulations to Marco Wittmann on his win – and to BMW Motorsport on this fantastic result. We are obviously also delighted that Martin Tomczyk, after some difficult races, was able to challenge at the front of the field again and to finish fourth. That gives me a lot of confidence ahead of the rest of the season. Unfortunately we had to settle for one point for tenth place with Bruno Spengler. He made a good start to the race, but was then stopped in his tracks by traffic after his pit stop. This prevented him from putting in the kind of performance he would have been capable of. These things happen sometimes in motor racing. All in all, however, it is definitely a great day for BMW.”
Marco Wittmann (car number 23, BMW Team RMG, 1st):
“To be honest, I made a pretty poor start. I lost a few positions and dropped back down the field. However, it was important to keep calm, hold my nerve and avoid contact. I tried to move back up through the field, but the leading group was very evenly matched up until the pit stop. It was a good race, and I knew that everything was still possible. For this reason, I tried to look after my tyres and not push too hard, while the others were battling against each other quite a lot. The car had a very good balance after the pit stop and I was able to work my way forward again. To have four BMWs in the first four places is a great result for us all.”
Augusto Farfus (car number 3, BMW Team RBM, 2nd):
“This second place feels like a win to me. It is good to be back on the podium and to see that our car is back among the front-runners. I was one of the quickest all weekend. I was just a little bit slow in Q3 in qualifying yesterday, otherwise I would have been on pole. But I proved today that we are quick enough. Thank you to BMW Team RBM – we never give up. Congratulations to Marco Wittmann and BMW on this top result.”
Timo Glock (car number 17, BMW Team MTEK, 3rd):
“It is obviously nice to be stood on the podium. Having been on course for a podium in Moscow, but unfortunately dropped back due to a problem, we were able to show our pace here. Maybe we lost a bit of ground on the leaders at the start, because we were slightly out with our tyre pressure strategy. However, I was then able to set my sights on the cars ahead of me. I am obviously pleased for the guys at BMW Team MTEK, who did a very good job. I feel sorry for my team-mate António Félix da Costa. He failed to finish, but under normal circumstances he would also have been up there at the front of the field.”
Martin Tomczyk (car number 10, BMW Team Schnitzer, 4th):
“BMW’s pace was definitely there today, and we showed that on the track. We can be extremely happy with today. I always knew we were never lacking speed in the race, but I never started from a good enough position. It was a different story this time – and look what the result was. I still have problems in qualifying, and we must continue to work on this. Today I came through from 11th to fourth. If I can start from even further up the grid, then I can also look to finish even higher. Because of this, I am now looking forward to the next race.”
Bruno Spengler (car number 9, BMW Team Schnitzer, 10th):
“My start was very good. I climbed two places, but was blocked towards the end of the first stint – sometimes quite strongly. This caused me to lose a lot of time and one position. I was outbraked and overtaken, although I was actually quicker. I don’t want to criticise, as it was clever tactically. But it is also down to us. We simply were not good enough in yesterday’s qualifying. If we start from higher up the field, we should have a good chance in the race.”
Joey Hand (car number 4, BMW Team RBM, 12th):
“We definitely had good speed today, but were unlucky with the drive-through penalty I received as a result of the yellow flags. It did not affect just me, but some of the other drivers too. It is a real shame, as we were quick today and had a good car. That was bad timing, but these things happen.”
Maxime Martin (car number 24, BMW Team RMG, 14th):
“Congratulations to Marco Wittmann, he did a great job. The team also produced another fantastic performance, claiming its fourth win in six races this season. And the fact that BMW occupied the top four positions is awesome. As far as I am concerned, I got off to a poor start. And when that happens, it makes it a difficult race. I was delayed by traffic. But we have to take the positives away with us, and that is that I completed the race and gained more experience. We will now focus on the next race.”
António Félix da Costa (car number 18, BMW Team MTEK, DNF):
“I was forced onto the grass on lap two, after which the air inlets for the engine and brakes were full of grass. Things went downhill from there. I started to lose power and the brakes were gradually giving up. When the engine overheated, my race was run.”