Hockenheim (DE) - During the 2012 DTM season, Bruno Spengler (CA) gave everyone a surprise on more than one occasion.
Few would have expected him to get another chance to fight for the drivers’ title in the final race at Hockenheim (DE) in his BMW Bank M3 DTM.
In an interview, the Canadian spoke about his preparations for the last racing weekend of the year, about his experiences with difficult title deciders in the past, and about the differences between the start of the season and the final in Hockenheim.
Bruno, what do you and BMW Team Schnitzer know today that you didn’t know before the opening race in Hockenheim? “Because the cars were homologated before the start of the season, the possible range of technical changes was limited.
But it’s, of course, a different matter altogether when it comes to the set-up of the car. In this respect, we quite simply have a lot more experience than we did half a year ago.
That’s a really important factor. We can now react much better and more flexibly to the conditions. That’s definitely the biggest difference between Hockenheim I and Hockenheim II.
Obviously I hope not to be taken out of the race by a competitor like last time. I would have liked to have the points I lost in Hockenheim and later on in Spielberg in the bag. However, that’s racing.”
How are you coping with having the chance of winning the title for BMW? “I’m always a little nervous before a race, and it’s no different this weekend. Nerves are simply a part of motorsport.
I’ve also prepared myself like I do for any other race, and right now I’m just very happy that we’re finally ready to get started. The stands are going to be full of spectators again. It’s going to be another great goose-pimple-inducing atmosphere.”
What did your preparations look like? “Last week, I was in Oschersleben at the Drive like Bruno event. It was great fun because I had the chance to properly meet some of the fans.
The days after that were somewhat quieter, and I’ve done a lot of fitness training. Then, on Thursday, I came to Hockenheim. From now on, I’m in racing mode.”
What rituals do you have on a race weekend? “Before qualifying I do a lap of the track in my head with my eyes closed. People watching on TV will probably have seen me doing this from time to time.
Apart from that, I always put my left racing shoe on before my right. I do that before every race.”
You’re fighting for the title in the last race for the third time in your career. What are your memories of the season finals in 2007 and 2010? “They were two completely different situations.
In 2007, I dropped out of the race twice at the start of the season and then continually worked to catch up with Mattias Ekström. In 2010, I had been in the lead for a long time and then had a great deal of bad luck in the last race.
In total, this is the fifth time in my career I’ve had a chance at winning the title. All of these past experiences have been pure motivation for me. They give me a positive feeling going into this weekend.”
Do you prefer to be the hunter or the hunted? “I like both roles. This time I’m the hunter – and I feel ready for it. I’m not thinking about how the past races went at all.
I’m going into the final in neutral and—as always—I’ll give the best performance I can together with BMW Team Schnitzer. Then we’ll see what comes out of it at the end. We can all be very happy with what we’ve already achieved in 2012.”