Difficult qualifying for BMW in Zandvoort – Dirk Werner starts from seventh in the E-POSTBRIEF BMW M3 DTM.
Zandvoort, 25th August 2012. After victory and a strong showing at the Nürburgring last weekend, BMW Motorsport endured a difficult Saturday in Zandvoort (NL). Dirk Werner (DE), at the wheel of the E-POSTBRIEF BMW M3 DTM, was the best-placed BMW driver, clocking the seventh fastest time of 1:31.767 minutes in the third section of qualifying. Pole position went to Audi driver Timo Scheider (DE) with a time of 1:32.365 minutes.
Reigning DTM champion Martin Tomczyk (DE) narrowly missed out on making it into Q3 after finishing eleventh fastest and will start Sunday’s race from the sixth row of the grid in his BMW M Performance Parts M3 DTM. Andy Priaulx (GB, Crowne Plaza Hotels BMW M3 DTM) qualified in 16th.
For the remaining BMW drivers, qualifying was over after Q1. At the start of the session, several sections of the track were still a little damp following the morning’s rainfall. The longer the session went on, the more the conditions improved. After good lap times at the start of the first session, both Bruno Spengler (CA, BMW Bank M3 DTM) and Augusto Farfus (BR, Castrol EDGE BMW M3 DTM) opted not to return to the track in the closing minutes of Q1. The teams believed their drivers would easily make it through to the second session. However, the conditions improved considerably quicker than expected. The pair dropped a long way back through the field and ultimately had to settle for 18th (Spengler) and 20th (Farfus). Joey Hand (US, SAMSUNG BMW M3 DTM) also failed to progress beyond Q1, finishing 17th.
Jens Marquardt (BMW Motorsport Director):
“After the magnificent weekend at the Nürburgring, that was not an easy qualifying for us. Dirk Werner produced a good performance to make it into the top ten again, but our top two drivers in the championship were knocked out early on in the proceedings. We had the wrong strategy. I have always said this is a learning year for us and that we would suffer the odd set-back. Unfortunately that is what happened in qualifying. However, we will learn from the mistakes we made today. Despite difficult circumstances, we will go all out on the attack tomorrow. According to the weather forecast it promises to be an exciting race, in which anything could happen. We will obviously be going all out to move up through the field. Congratulations to Audi on its strong performance in qualifying.”
Dirk Werner (car number 8, BMW Team Schnitzer, 7th):
“I am pleased about this result and am happy with my performance as a whole. The conditions were far from easy. It alternated between sun and rain, meaning we did not have a lot of time to find the perfect set-up for this circuit. What happened here in Zandvoort shows that we, as the newcomers, just did not have enough experience of this track compared to the opposition. With this in mind, seventh is a good result for me.”
Martin Tomczyk (car number 1, BMW Team RMG, 11th):
“I cannot yet put my finger on exactly what went wrong. My car felt good and, from my point of view, my flying lap was almost perfect. Despite that it was still not quite enough. We must now analyse carefully exactly where we lost the time, in order to make up places in the race. It is not over yet. Let’s see what is possible tomorrow.”
Andy Priaulx (car number 15, BMW Team RBM, 16th):
“I was actually happy with every one of my laps in qualifying, but that is the best I could do as I lacked pace. I don’t think there is a lot more I could find in the car, so we just have to sit down tonight to understand where we can find another step forward with the set-up.”
Joey Hand (car number 2, BMW Team RMG, 17th):
“This circuit is simply difficult to drive, particularly in fluctuating conditions like today. What started off at the beginning of qualifying as damp tarmac gradually dried out. It was very difficult to find the ideal racing line. Unfortunately I could not manage a better lap. That is a shame, but we’ll come back fighting tomorrow.”
Bruno Spengler (car number 7, BMW Team Schnitzer, 18th):
“We took a gamble today and assumed my time would be good enough to progress. However, the track then dried out far quicker than expected and the rest of the field moved above me. Obviously I am disappointed, but these things happen. I must now try to pick my way through the field from the back in tomorrow’s race.”
Augusto Farfus (car number 16, BMW Team RBM, 20th):
“We just made a mistake and misread the situation. When I came into the pits I was second. We thought that would be enough for Q2 so I stayed in the garage. Once we realised it was going to be tight and the track was improving we had run out of time. I am disappointed, as my pace was good and so was the car’s balance.”