DTM action at home away from home
Munich (DE) – Two weeks after occupying the top four positions in Spielberg (AT), the BMW DTM teams will compete in the seventh race of the season at the Nürburgring (DE) on 17th August. For BMW Motorsport, the race weekend will be overshadowed by the death of Dieter Lamm. For many decades the twin brother of team principal Charly Lamm celebrated countless successes with BMW Team Schnitzer. The eight BMW M4 DTMs will take to the track sporting black ribbons in the Eifel Mountains.
BMW and the iconic circuit in the Eifel region of Germany have always enjoyed a close relationship: the Bavarian manufacturer has not only celebrated countless victories there, but also puts its production vehicles to the test at the Test Center there.
The Nürburgring is a special circuit, and I always enjoy racing there.
BMW has won nine times in the DTM at the Nürburgring, most recently when BMW M GmbH celebrated its 40th anniversary during the comeback season in 2012. The man behind the wheel of the first car across the finish line back then was one Bruno Spengler (CA), who will contest his 100th DTM race this weekend. Last year two BMW drivers started from the front row of the grid, in the form of Augusto Farfus (BR) and Marco Wittmann (DE). Farfus finished runner-up to earn a spot on the podium.
This year the BMW drivers arrive at the Nürburgring with the wind in their sails, having won four of the season’s six races so far. However, this success also means they will race at round seven carrying a large amount of performance weight. The maximum ten kilograms of additional weight must be loaded onto the BMW M4 DTMs driven by Wittmann, Farfus and Spengler. The remaining BMWs will also all be heavier than the opposition cars.
BMW has enjoyed an extremely successful season so far, and consequently leads all three competitions in the DTM. Wittmann tops the Drivers’ Championship with 95 points. The BMW Team RMG driver holds a 39-point lead over Mattias Ekström (SE, Audi). Spengler currently lies third with 42 points to his name. BMW Team RMG leads the Team competition with 128 points. In the Manufacturers’ Championship, BMW is currently first with 267 points, followed by Audi (251). Qualifying at the 3.629-kilometre variant of the Nürburgring gets underway at 13:45 on Saturday. The 49-lap race begins at 13:30 on Sunday.
Jens Marquardt (BMW Motorsport Director): “For us, the race at the Nürburgring will be overshadowed by the death of Dieter Lamm, who was a member of the BMW Motorsport family. It will be extremely difficult for us to focus solely on the sporting side of things. I would like to take this opportunity to say this on behalf of everyone involved.
On the sporting situation: We have shared a common history with the Nürburgring that stretches back several decades. Nineteen wins at the 24-hour race, the BMW Ring-Taxi and the BMW M Test Center at the foot of the Nürburg: BMW and the Ring are simply a perfect fit. Although the Nürburgring is over 500 kilometres from Munich, our close association with the track means the weekend will feel like a home race – thanks also to the fact that BMW Team RMG has its headquarters not far from the racetrack. The historic quadruple success in Spielberg is in the past. We would obviously like to defend our leads in the Eifel Mountains, but the performance weight our teams must carry on board the cars will play a key role and will definitely make our life much more difficult. Despite this, the layout of the Nürburgring ought really to suit our BMW M4 DTM. We are looking forward to the weekend, and really hope that, despite the surrounding circumstances, Bruno Spengler can taste success on what is a landmark weekend for him.”
Bart Mampaey (Team Principal, BMW Team RBM): “We had a very good weekend at the Nürburgring last year. Augusto Farfus secured pole position and finished runner-up to claim a spot on the podium on the Sunday. The race was part of the incredible end to his season, which resulted in us finishing second in both the Drivers’ Championship and team competition. We have also seen a clear upwards trend this season since the race in Moscow. We hope we can continue this, despite the high performance weight.”
Ernest Knoors (Team Principal, BMW Team MTEK): “Like last year, we claimed our first podium of the 2014 season in Spielberg. This time we had to wait until the sixth race of the year. We are now hopeful that we have cracked it and can carry on at the Nürburgring where we left off at the Red Bull Ring. Last year we were on the front row of the grid with Marco Wittmann. Unfortunately we then had a rather unlucky race. If we can get everything together this year, I am confident that we can be right up there at the front of the field again.”
Stefan Reinhold (Team Principal, BMW Team RMG): “To compete at our home race in the Eifel Mountains leading both the Drivers’ and Team competitions is a huge motivation for everyone in the team. We have had a very good season so far, but we will not take our foot off the gas for one second. The Nürburgring will present us with some major challenges, particularly given the high performance weight that our cars will have to carry. Despite this, we would obviously like to get a good result for the entire team. That is what we will all be working so hard for this weekend. Racing at the Nürburgring always means a lot to me personally.”
Augusto Farfus (car number 3, BMW Team RBM): “We had a strong weekend at the Nürburgring last year. I started from pole position and finished runner-up in the race. We have developed nicely so far this season, and have once again got the car to a point where it is competitive. We are definitely heading in the right direction. The Nürburgring is a special circuit, and I always enjoy racing there.”
Joey Hand (car number 4, BMW Team RBM): “The Nürburgring is a famous circuit. It is one of those tracks, on which every driver in the field wants to get a good result – just because it is the Nürburgring. We were showing good pace there last year, but unfortunately our race was over in the very first corner. This time I would like to score some good results as the season enters the finishing straight, preferably starting in the Eifel Mountains.”
Bruno Spengler (car number 9, BMW Team Schnitzer): “The Nürburgring is a fantastic circuit, and the race there is always one of the highlights of the season for me. The crowds are awesome. The people are really passionate about the DTM. I won there on the anniversary of BMW M in 2012. Last year I did not have such a great race. The key will be to find a good set-up in practice. The BMW Bank M4 DTM is usually really quick on tracks like this. It is hard to believe that this will be my 100th DTM race. It doesn’t feel like it.”
Martin Tomczyk (car number 10, BMW Team Schnitzer): “The Nürburgring is a great circuit, and one of the most iconic we have in Germany. It is still great fun racing there. I have already driven there this year, in the 24-hour race on the Nordschleife. Now I return to the Eifel Mountains with the DTM. The Nürburgring is an institution and it is hard to imagine the calendar without it.”
Timo Glock (car number 17, BMW Team MTEK): The Nürburgring is a track, on which I have enjoyed some successful races in the past. I was going well last year too, until I was spun a couple of times. This race is steeped in history. I hope we can pick up plenty of points for BMW again there.”
António Félix da Costa (car number 18, BMW Team MTEK): “I like the Nürburgring. I have always been quick there and have won races in the Eifel Mountains in the past. Therefore, I am looking forward to returning there. I like the layout. We may be racing on the shorter version, but that also offers a nice combination of intermediate and quick corners, which will make life interesting.”
Marco Wittmann (car number 23, BMW Team RMG): “We are all very excited about the Nürburgring. It is the home race for BMW Team RMG – and the season has panned out really well so far for the team, me and Maxime Martin. For this reason, we hope to give Stefan Reinhold and the entire crew a nice gift at the Nürburgring. I have nice memories of last year, when I was next to Augusto Farfus on the front row of the grid.”
Maxime Martin (car number 24, BMW Team RMG): “I know the Nürburgring very well from GT racing. However, GT and the DTM are obviously two completely different species. Because of this, I will have to adapt to the unique requirements of the DTM and, to a certain degree, relearn the circuit. I am looking forward to the challenge – I just love the Nürburgring. Belgium is not too far away, so a few people will come down and cheer me on.”