Martin Tomczyk bags his first points of the season.
Nürburgring (DE) - The rain came down just in time for the start of the seventh DTM race of the season at the Nürburgring (DE), making it a real motorsport thriller and providing plenty of dramatic scenes. BMW Team RBM driver Augusto Farfus (BR), who had started from pole position, drove a flawless race in difficult conditions at the wheel of the Castrol EDGE BMW M3 DTM, and only lost out to the victorious Robert Wickens (CA, Mercedes). This was Farfus’ third podium of the season and the sixth of his DTM career.
Marco Wittmann (DE) got off to a good start, but the rookie from BMW Team MTEK dropped well back down the field after slipping up in the opening phase of the race. Wittmann refused to give up, however, and worked his way back to seventh in the Ice-Watch BMW M3 DTM. His team-mate Timo Glock (DE) dropped out of the points positions after he was hit and spun round by Daniel Juncadella (ES). At the end of the 47 laps, Glock finished 18th.
Just like in Moscow (RU), defending DTM champion Bruno Spengler (CA) was on the end of some rotten luck. The BMW Team Schnitzer driver was hit by rivals several times in the early laps, resulting in damage to his BMW Bank M3 DTM. As the track dried out over the course of the race, Spengler was unable to defend his position in the top ten. The Canadian finished 14th, just in front of Dirk Werner (DE, SAMSUNG BMW M3 DTM) and Andy Priaulx (GB, Crowne Plaza Hotels BMW M3 DTM). Joey Hand’s (US) race came to a premature end in the first corner following a collision.
Spengler drops down to fourth in the overall standings and is now 39 points behind championship leader Mike Rockenfeller (DE, Audi), who came home fourth at the Nürburgring. Farfus (66) now trails Spengler by just one point. BMW was able to defend its lead in the Manufacturers’ Championship and now has 251 points to its name.
Jens Marquardt (BMW Motorsport Director): “That was a dramatic and unbelievably intense race. I definitely have a few more grey hairs now. The way this race panned out, it was not easy to hold your ground at the front of the field. Therefore, I am very happy with the second place achieved by Augusto Farfus, who produced a great display in these very tricky conditions. I am particularly pleased with Martin Tomczyk’s sensational race.
Given the difficult outings endured recently, this was a huge relief to him and the entire team. Marco Wittmann also produced a great comeback after his early set-back. It was a very frustrating race for Bruno Spengler, who was hit hard on several occasions. His car was so badly damaged that he could not do much to defend himself towards the end of the race. Even great pit stops could not help him.
The bottom line, however, is that we are happy with our weekend’s work at the Nürburgring. We were able to score some valuable points towards the Manufacturers’ Championship, and the Drivers’ Championship is still not a lost cause, even though the situation in the overall standings did not improve this weekend. We will do everything in our power at the remaining three races to ensure we are still in a good position going into the finale. Congratulations to Mercedes and Robert Wickens on their win.”
Bart Mampaey (Team Principal, BMW Team RBM): “It is fantastic to be on the podium with Augusto Farfus again here at the Nürburgring. The conditions were far from easy, but he still got off to a good start. This was very important. Our strategy was right and the timing of our stops was good. Augusto fully deserved his second place, even though he was blocked by other drivers at times. We are yet to take a close look at what happened to Joey Hand in turn one. The fact is, however, he found himself stuck in the gravel and unfortunately had to retire early on. Despite this, we can be very satisfied with our performance at the Nürburgring.”
Stefan Reinhold (Team Principal, BMW Team RMG): “The Nürburgring seems to bring us luck. This is probably the happiest I have ever been with a fifth place. The curse has finally been broken and Martin Tomczyk has finished in the points again after a real barren streak. He produced a very impressive race, and our team was rewarded for its fighting spirit. Although Andy Priaulx did not fare so well in today’s rain-dominated race, we will take a lot of confidence from our home event.”
Ernest Knoors (Team Principal, BMW Team MTEK): “We picked up some points with Marco Wittmann, but all in all we lost out today. Our pace was really good this weekend, so we should really have been up there competing for the top positions. However, that was not to be. Marco made a mistake, which cost him some time, but then fought back brilliantly. Timo Glock was spun round by an opponent. After that we took a big risk with his strategy, which unfortunately did not pay off.”
Charly Lamm (Team Principal, BMW Team Schnitzer): “The infamous Eifel weather once again produced an exciting and eventful race. We are obviously bitterly disappointed with the result. Bruno Spengler’s car was badly damaged as early as lap one. He was complaining it was very difficult to drive, particularly in right-handers. At first he was able to mix it with the front-runners, but then dropped back when the track dried out.
That is obviously a shame, as we really wanted to leave here with some points. The race did not go at all to plan for Dirk Werner either. However, our pit crew does deserve particular praise: we completed the two fastest pit stops of the race. We will now move on quickly from this weekend and push hard again in Oschersleben.”
Augusto Farfus (car number 7, BMW Team RBM, 2nd): “I am very happy with second place, but would like to congratulate Robert Wickens on his maiden win. It was very difficult today, as I was not quite as quick as expected in the wet conditions. That cost me track position and, ultimately, the victory. All in all, we have to say second place in those conditions is a very good result. Trying to make the right strategic decisions was a bit of a lottery. We now have a break, which will give us time to analyse the past few races and return at full strength in Oschersleben.”
Martin Tomczyk (car number 15, BMW Team RMG, 5th): “I am obviously pleased to have finally scored my first points of the season. It is particularly nice for it to have happened at BMW Team RMG’s home race. The first lap alone was awesome. I was able to move up to ninth place. It was great fun driving in the rain. The car was really quick in the wet conditions. When the track then started to dry out, I was not entirely able to match the pace of the others and eventually crossed the finish line fifth. When you consider I started the race from 20th on the grid, I am very happy with that result.”
Marco Wittmann (car number 21, BMW Team MTEK, 7th): “I had the pace to do better than that, but unfortunately we came into the pits one lap too late. I was not able to control the car on a surface that was getting wetter by the minute, and skidded off the track. Without that one unfortunate lap, I could have been in contention for the win.”
Bruno Spengler (car number 1, BMW Team Schnitzer, 14th): “My car was badly damaged after the very first lap. I could still hold onto my place among the leaders in the rain, but was struggling as soon as the track started to dry out. That was obviously a set-back for us, but one thing is guaranteed: we will not give in. I will be back strong as a lion in Oschersleben.”
Dirk Werner (car number 2, BMW Team Schnitzer, 15th): “I think there was more in today’s race for us than that. Because of this, I am very disappointed. It was very tricky in the rain at first, but my pace was then good on slicks. All in all, however, it was not a good weekend at all. We must now pick ourselves up in time for the next race.”
Andy Priaulx (car number 16, BMW Team RMG, 16th): “I made a good start and had a good first lap, at the end of which I was up to twelfth. Then I just went backwards on the wet tyre. I had no grip at all for the whole race. It is disappointing.”
Timo Glock (car number 22, BMW Team MTEK, 18th): “That was one of the most disappointing races of my life. Having first been spun round, we then got our strategy completely wrong and switched to slicks far too early. That put paid to any hopes of finishing in the points. Congratulations to BMW and Augusto Farfus on the podium in these difficult conditions.”
Joey Hand (car number 8, BMW Team RBM, DNF): “That was the best start I have made since I started driving in the DTM. Unfortunately, however, it did not pay dividends. I was hit from behind and spun off into a gravel bed. That is very frustrating, as I had already made up three or four positions at that point.”