BMW enters uncharted territory at Brands Hatch.
Munich, 11th May 2012. Following the first victory of its comeback season, BMW Motorsport now heads to Brands Hatch (GB) for the third DTM race of the year on 20th May 2012. Bruno Spengler, at the wheel of the BMW Bank M3 DTM, claimed BMW’s 50th triumph in the DTM at the Lausitzring (DE). Augusto Farfus (BR) finished the thrilling race in third place to become the first Brazilian in the history of the DTM to step onto the podium.
After two events in Germany, the DTM now moves on to Great Britain. The “Brands Hatch Circuit” is synonymous with the long tradition of British motor racing. At just 1.929 kilometres, the Indy variant of the circuit, located south-east of London, may be the shortest track on the race calendar, but it still represents a major challenge to the drivers. The winding roller-coaster demands great courage and is unforgiving of even the slightest mistake. The spectacular Paddock Hill corner is the circuit’s showpiece. Coming at the end of the start-finish straight, the drivers swing right into a dip at great speed.
The DTM does not allow us to take a break – and that is a good thing.
One BMW DTM driver in particular cannot wait for the race at Brands Hatch: Andy Priaulx (GB) of BMW Team RBM. The three-time World Champion currently has eight points to his name. After a difficult race at the Lausitzring, the driver from the Channel Island of Guernsey is keen to go back on the attack in front of his home crowd. Brands Hatch is located near the town of Dartford (GB), which is home to 60,000 residents, and Priaulx knows the circuit like the back of his hand: he won on the “Grand Prix Circuit” for BMW in the World Touring Car Championship in both 2007 and 2010. Farfus has also tasted victory there with the BMW 320si WTCC. The two BMW Team RBM drivers now return to the scene of their successes with the BMW M3 DTM.
Reigning DTM champion Martin Tomczyk (DE) also has good memories of Brands Hatch. He climbed onto the top step of the podium after last year’s 98-lap race, taking his total to three podium finishes at the circuit. Spengler finished sixth in 2011, having crossed the line in second place the year before.
Jens Marquardt (BMW Motorsport Director):
“The DTM does not allow us to take a break – and that is a good thing. After the historic weekend for BMW Motorsport at the Lausitzring, everyone in the team is highly motivated to get to know Brands Hatch and celebrate a successful debut there with the BMW M3 DTM. We are well aware that we are entering uncharted territory at this circuit. However, the team is brimming with confidence and we are really looking forward to facing this challenge. The first two races have shown us that our BMW M3 DTM is competitive. In Brands Hatch, however, the balance of power may once again look completely different. After all, we are yet to drive a single metre there with a DTM car and still have no set-up data available. At the same time as our outing in Great Britain, we are also represented by a strong contingent at the Nürburgring 24 Hours. Schubert and Vita4One between them are running four works-supported BMW Z4 GT3 cars, while many more BMW Customer Racing cars will also line up in a wide range of classes. Apart from myself, those responsible at BMW Motorsport will be on-site for this important race. Unfortunately it won’t be possible for me to follow the endurance classic in person due to logistical reasons, but I will obviously be following the action in the Eifel Mountains very closely from Brands Hatch. I will have my mobile phone switched on for all of the 24 hours.”
Stefan Reinhold (Team Principal, BMW Team RMG):
“After Bruno Spengler’s win at the Lausitzring, our team is obviously very motivated. We now know what potential the BMW M3 DTM really has. That is an enormous boost for the whole team. How we perform in qualifying will be crucial at Brands Hatch. We want to improve our qualifying. A good position on the grid is key to a good result in the race.”
Charly Lamm (Team Principal, BMW Team Schnitzer):
“The win at the Lausitzring has given us extra motivation. It was a great reward for the team’s hard work over the past few months. However, we are under no illusion: we are pretty much starting from scratch again at Brands Hatch. Unlike our competitors, we do not have any experience at all on this track with a DTM car. We found our feet quickly in Hockenheim and at the Lausitzring – thanks in part to previous tests there. I hope that will also be the case in Great Britain.”
Bart Mampaey (Team Principal, BMW Team RBM):
“Brands Hatch is the first circuit in this DTM season on which our team has already gained a lot of racing experience in the past. Previously, however, we have always raced on the Grand Prix Circuit. Furthermore, the BMW M3 DTM obviously requires a completely different set-up. That will be a challenge, and is part of the learning process we are currently going through in the DTM. Brands Hatch is a demanding and hilly circuit. It will be a very special race for Andy Priaulx, as he will be racing in front of his home crowd.”
Martin Tomczyk (car number 1, BMW Team RMG):
“I really like the track at Brands Hatch. It is an extremely short circuit. This means that qualifying will be even closer than at the first two race weekends. The grid positions will determine whether or not you can challenge at the front of the field during the race. Overtaking opportunities are few and far between in Brands Hatch. My goal is obviously to move forward with the BMW M Performance Parts M3 DTM. We have already seen that the car is competitive.”
Joey Hand (car number 2, BMW Team RMG):
“My team and I are making good progress. I am feeling more and more comfortable with my SAMSUNG BMW M3 DTM. With that in mind, I hope to be able to attack at Brands Hatch. I am always optimistic and have a good feeling about the trip to Great Britain. A good qualifying will be key. The cards will be re-shuffled once again in the race. I am ready for Brands Hatch.”
Bruno Spengler (car number 7, BMW Team Schnitzer):
“This circuit has its very own character. It is constantly undulating, like a roller-coaster. At just under two kilometres in length, a lap of Brands Hatch is very short. We have never driven there with the BMW M3 DTM, so it will be important to get as many kilometres as possible under our belt during the free practice, in order to be prepared for the qualifying. Qualifying is very important at Brands Hatch, as it is very difficult to overtake during the race. It goes without saying, however, that we are full of confidence following the victory at the Lausitzring.”
Dirk Werner (car number 8, BMW Team Schnitzer):
“Brands Hatch is one of the circuits, at which I have never driven before, so the race in England will be a big challenge for me. As the track is so short, the times in qualifying will be very close. For this reason, I cannot afford to make a single mistake on my flying lap. Although I did not get the greatest result at the Lausitzring, I have a good feeling ahead of Brands Hatch. My team-mate Bruno Spengler’s win has put the wind in my sails. Our car is capable of winning – and that gives me an enormous boost.”
Andy Priaulx (car number 15, BMW Team RBM):
“I can’t wait to drive Brands Hatch for the first time in my Crowne Plaza Hotels BMW M3 DTM. As we are racing on the Indy circuit it will be a really intense sort of lap. There are going to be a lot of laps in the race so there is not going to be much space between the cars. The circuit at Brands Hatch is obviously fantastic for the fans, as they get to see the cars a lot during the race. It will be fun. It is going to be interesting with the pit lane being so small and tight. As I know from experience, there is always a high chance of rain at Brands Hatch, so we will have to get our wet lines ready.”
Augusto Farfus (car number 16, BMW Team RBM):
“I am looking forward to going to the UK and obviously it will be the first time for me racing in the DTM outside Germany. I think the race there will be a lot of fun, but also very tough for us drivers. I have had some very good results at this track in the World Touring Car Championship, but I only know the GP circuit and not the Indy one. It will be a nice challenge so let’s hope for good weather – Brazilian weather rather than British weather!”