Tomczyk and Félix da Costa also in the points.
Hockenheim (DE) - A successful 2014 DTM season for BMW Motorsport drew to an end in Hockenheim (DE). Marco Wittmann (DE), who was crowned the youngest German DTM champion of all time at the eighth race of the season, ended a superlative year with fifth place. Starting from 13th on the grid in the Ice-Watch BMW M4 DTM, he fought back spectacularly to end the race as the best-placed BMW driver.
He and BMW Team RMG, with team principal Stefan Reinhold (DE), were summoned onto the podium after the race, where they were honoured for winning the titles in the Drivers’ Championship and Team competition.
We did win the Drivers’ and Team competitions. We have every reason to be proud of our performance this season.
Martin Tomczyk (DE) once again showed his outstanding fighting spirit: the BMW Team Schnitzer driver climbed 13 places from 20th on the grid, eventually crossing the finish line in seventh in the BMW M Performance Parts M4 DTM. The result at the season finale propelled Tomczyk into sixth in the Drivers’ Championship, making him the second best-placed BMW driver of the year. DTM rookie António Félix da Costa (PT) of BMW Team MTEK ended the race in tenth to pick up one point.
Augusto Farfus (BR) produced a strong drive from fourth on the grid, but dropped out of the points in an eventful final phase of the race. A late safety car period resulted in the field bunching together again. Farfus was then involved in a collision after the restart, and ultimately crossed the finish line 17th in the Castrol EDGE BMW M4 DTM.
The BMW M4 DTM is an awesome car. I will go racing again next year extremely motivated.
Timo Glock (DE, DEUTSCHE POST BMW M4 DTM), Bruno Spengler (CA, BMW Bank M4 DTM) and Joey Hand (US, Crowne Plaza Hotels BMW M4 DTM) came home 12th, 13th and 16th in the final race of the season. Maxime Martin (BE, SAMSUNG BMW M4 DTM) failed to finish.
Audi finished first, second and third with Mattias Ekström (SE), Mike Rockenfeller (DE) and Jamie Green (GB) in Hockenheim, a result that proved enough to hand them the title in the Manufacturers’ Championship.
Dr. Herbert Diess, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Development: “The third year since our return to the DTM has once again been extremely successful, winning as we did the Drivers’ and Team titles. The 2014 season was again packed with fantastic motorsport and thrilling entertainment for the fans. We once again impressed within a very competitive environment. The teams and drivers – particularly BMW Team RMG and Marco Wittmann this year – deserve utmost respect for their performances. The DTM is, and will remain, the right platform for BMW, on which to demonstrate how competitive our models are in a premium environment against our core competitors.”
Jens Marquardt (BMW Motorsport Director): “That was a tough way to end what has otherwise been a magnificent season. Given the situation we found ourselves in after yesterday’s qualifying, we are pleased to have finished in the points with three cars. Try as we might, there was nothing more in it for us today. Marco Wittmann and Martin Tomczyk produced great displays, and António Félix da Costa also picked up a point. This year is the first time since our comeback that we have not won the Manufacturers’ Championship. Despite this, we are obviously very happy with two of a possible three titles this season.
We have now won six of the nine titles up for grabs since our return to the series in 2012, and have had the champion driver in our ranks on two occasions – that is a fantastic record. This evening we will celebrate the successful season together, before turning our attention to the preparations for next year tomorrow.
I would like to thank all the fans, partners and sponsors again for their great support this season. And it goes without saying that a big thank you also goes to all the staff at BMW Motorsport and our teams, who have all played a part in this success. Congratulations to Mattias Ekström on his race win today, and to Audi on winning the Manufacturers’ title.”
Stefan Reinhold (Team Principal, BMW Team RMG): “Receiving the trophy for the best team of the year on the podium alongside Marco Wittmann as champion driver was obviously a very special moment. I am sure the trophy will look good back at our place. Only then will we really comprehend what we have achieved in 2014. I am delighted for the guys and everyone at BMW Motorsport. Marco did today what he has done so often this year: finish in the points, even when faced with tough conditions. We could certainly have expected similar pace from Maxime Martin if not for the incidents. It was a crying shame that he was basically fighting a losing battle after the first lap. We will now see out the season with a nice party.”
Charly Lamm (Team Principal, BMW Team Schnitzer): “After what was a pretty miserable qualifying for us, we are pleased to have finished in the points again in Hockenheim with Martin Tomczyk. I am pleased that he was able to continue the upwards trend he has shown in recent races. As far as Bruno Spengler is concerned, the overall situation with BMW battling for the Manufacturers’ Championship meant we tried our luck a little with the strategy. We sent him out on option tyres and then brought him in very early to switch to primes. Unfortunately that did not pay dividends.
Although we did not achieve our goal of winning the Manufacturers’ title, it has still been a magnificent year for BMW. Congratulations again to Marco Wittmann, Stefan Reinhold and his team. They did a fantastic job and deserved to win the titles in the Drivers’ and Team competitions. Our crew deserve particular praise: the guys working on Bruno’s car did the fastest BMW pit stop of all today. That is something the team can be proud of.”
Bart Mampaey (Team Principal, BMW Team RBM): “We started the race with Augusto Farfus in fourth place. Unfortunately we were not able to match the pace of the opposition in the race. We tried to hold our own, but it was not to be. To make matters worse, an opponent drove into Augusto’s car at the end of the race, meaning we finished outside the points. It was a similar story with Joey Hand. His car was damaged early on in the race, after which he never had the pace to make any progress through the field. Despite this, we did everything in our power to win the Manufacturers’ Championship for BMW. Unfortunately we came up short. All the same, it has been a fantastic season for BMW.”
Ernest Knoors (Team Principal, BMW Team MTEK): “We did not achieve the position we needed to in qualifying, in order to mix it at the very front of the field. Then we were also unlucky on the opening lap. António Félix da Costa was unable to defend his position and dropped back. After that Timo Glock, who was setting sensational lap times towards the end of the race, and António, who was rewarded with a point, were able to work their way forward. On the whole, my team did a superb job. We risked a lot with the pit stop and called both cars in on the same lap. But it all ran smoothly. Compliments to my guys.”
Marco Wittmann (car number 23, BMW Team RMG, 5th): “Today went quite well for me. I had a bad day in qualifying yesterday, and only finished 13th. Therefore, we knew that the race would not be easy for us. I am very happy with fifth place. The pace was good. I had some great battles out there on the track. It was great fun. Unfortunately we were not able to defend the title in the Manufacturers’ Championship. Having said that, we did win the Drivers’ and Team competitions. We have every reason to be proud of our performance this season.”
Martin Tomczyk (car number 10, BMW Team Schnitzer, 7th): “That was one of the best races I have driven this season. I even end the year as the second-best BMW driver in the Drivers’ Championship. All that is missing was a better performance in qualifying, in order to put us in a better position going into the race. If we could have achieved that, I would have been right up there with the front-runners. Despite this, it was still a good end to the season for me. However, we will have to work hard during the winter to ensure that we grow in strength as a team and are able to put more BMWs in the top ten.”
António Félix da Costa (car number 18, BMW Team MTEK, 10th): “That was an eventful race for me. I got off to a superb start, but was hit by another car in the very first corner and lost a number of places. I almost lost control of the car. After that I was able to put together a great fightback – then Robert Wickens forced me off the track. He then took out Augusto Farfus. Without these incidents, we would definitely have scored more points for BMW.”
Timo Glock (car number 17, BMW Team MTEK, 12th): “It was clear from the start that it would be a difficult race for us, starting from 19th on the grid. However, we still tried to make the best of the situation. The speed of the car was actually not bad, but I had difficulty asserting myself against my opponents – particularly on the straights. Generally speaking it has not been an easy season for me. Despite this, I would like to thank my team, which has always done its very best.”
Bruno Spengler (car number 9, BMW Team Schnitzer, 13th): “I made a great start and fought my way right up to sixth place on the option tyres. Then we stopped a little too early. I was not able to match the pace of the opposition on the harder compound and lost quite a lot of time. The whole season has not panned out as I had hoped. But that is racing for you. I must put that out of my mind now. This marks the end of a fantastic year for BMW. The BMW M4 DTM is an awesome car. I will go racing again next year extremely motivated.”
Joey Hand (car number 4, BMW Team RBM, 16th): “After the bad luck in qualifying I had to start from the back of the field – and that is tough. I tried to fight my way through the field and damaged the car in a lot of little battles. That meant I did not have the pace to go with the others. A fantastic season is over for BMW Motorsport. Personally, I have struggled a bit. Most of the time we had a good car, but also a lot of bad luck. I am particularly impressed by the team spirit the guys in BMW Team RBM have shown. We have stuck together, even when things have not been going to plan. That is what makes BMW Motorsport so special.”
Augusto Farfus (car number 3, BMW Team RBM, 17th): “The safety car did not really help us. Quite the opposite: we lost the advantage we had established on the option tyres. On top of that, I was once again forced off the track- this time by Robert Wickens. That kind of manoeuvre is unacceptable. Unfortunately the season has not gone to plan. Our performance was not as good as expected. We must improve over the winter and get the speed we know it has out of the car. Marco Wittmann showed as the champion just how quick the BMW M4 DTM is. We will focus on 2015 now and go on the attack again next season.”
Maxime Martin (car number 24, BMW Team RMG, DNF): “A magnificent season draws to a close for my team and me. We are Team champions, and I was crowned ‘Rookie of the Year’. We could never have dreamed of that coming into the season. Unfortunately things did not work out so well in the final race at the Hockenheimring. I was hit several times on the opening lap and then had a pretty big impact. My car was damaged and undriveable, which left me no option but to retire. However, this season has made me hungry for more. We will push hard again next year.”