Excellent result for BMW Motorsport in Spielberg qualifying: Four BMW M3 DTMs start in the top ten.
Spielberg, 2nd June 2012. BMW Motorsport will start the fourth race of the season in Spielberg (AT) from promising positions on the grid. In qualifying at the 4.326-kilometre circuit, Martin Tomczyk (DE) of BMW Team RMG progressed to the top-four shoot-out for the first time this year, and will start from fourth on Sunday. The reigning DTM champion clocked a “Q4” time of 1:26.408 minutes at the wheel of his BMW M Performance Parts M3 DTM, just 0.237 seconds behind Audi driver Edoardo Mortara (IT) on pole.
As at the season-opener in Hockenheim (DE), BMW once again landed four of its six cars in the top ten in Spielberg. As well as Tomczyk, Joey Hand (US) also achieved his best qualifying result of the 2012 DTM season, finishing fifth. Bruno Spengler (CA, BMW Bank M3 DTM) will start alongside the American on the grid, having qualified sixth, while Dirk Werner (DE, E-POSTBRIEF BMW M3 DTM) was ninth fastest.
Augusto Farfus (BR, Castrol EDGE BMW M3 DTM) did not progress beyond the second qualifying session and will start the 47-lap race from 11th on the grid. The 28-year-old set the same time as Spengler in “Q2”. However, the man currently second in the drivers’ standings clocked his time ahead of Farfus, and so got the coveted tenth spot to take him through to Q3. Andy Priaulx (GB, Crowne Plaza Hotels BMW M3 DTM) will start from 18th on Sunday, following a difficult qualifying for the man from Guernsey.
Jens Marquardt (BMW Motorsport Director):
“That was a really impressive team performance from our three teams. Five of our six cars qualified in the top 11, with four drivers making it into the third qualifying session. We continued our run of getting at least one car in Q4 at every qualifying this season. Martin Tomczyk could actually have done even better today, but fourth is still a very good grid position. I am particularly pleased for Joey Hand, who made it into the top ten in fifth and only missed out on Q4 by a hundredth of a second. A big compliment to the whole team and congratulations to Audi on the pole position.”
Martin Tomczyk (car number 1, BMW Team RMG, 4th):
“On the one hand I am pleased with fourth place. On the other, however, I could have achieved an even better grid position. Unfortunately I made a slight mistake in the first corner of my flying lap in Q4. That cost me crucial fractions of a second. Whatever happens, I proved again today just how competitive our car is. Congratulations to Joey Hand. I am delighted he was able to show what he is capable of today. Thanks to BMW Team RMG. We have been in great shape here so far.”
Joey Hand (car number 2, BMW Team RMG, 5th):
“I am overjoyed to have made it into the top ten for the first time. Fifth on the grid for tomorrow’s race is a fantastic starting position. The track in Spielberg suits my style of driving. After the first practice was far from perfect for us, everyone in BMW Team RMG worked hard to improve the situation, and we did that brilliantly. I’d like to thank the entire crew, who always believed in me and give me a lot of confidence.”
Bruno Spengler (car number 7, BMW Team Schnitzer, 6th):
“We took a bit longer to get going here than at the three previous races. It took a while to find a good set-up in the free practice sessions. It is nothing out of the ordinary to have a more difficult weekend, however. With this in mind, sixth is a good result. A lot is possible from the third row of the grid. I will certainly be on the attack.”
Dirk Werner (car number 8, BMW Team Schnitzer, 9th):
“I can be very happy with my race weekend in Spielberg so far. We made good progress in the free practices sessions, and ninth in qualifying is a very promising result. Our car was actually capable of more than that, so I am also a little bit disappointed. Despite that, I now hope to score my first points in the race.”
Augusto Farfus (car number 16, BMW Team RBM, 11th):
“That’s DTM. Everything is super close. I did the same lap time as Bruno (Spengler) so it shows the time is there. I think we improved the car during qualifying, which was positive. Eleventh is not dramatic and I think our performance is not that far away, as we have the package to be in the top six. Here everything can happen so let’s focus now on tomorrow. We have to remember it is our first season, we are trying to find the right balance and when we do then our results will come.”
Andy Priaulx (car number 15, BMW Team RBM, 18th):
“Obviously I am disappointed as this is the first time I haven’t made it through to the next qualifying session. My first new tyre run was great, but I locked the rear wheels going into the last corner so I lost about four tenths of a second. The car felt great, so I can’t complain about its balance. My quickest lap was good, but it just wasn’t enough and I missed out by a small amount. That is the way it is, if you make the smallest mistake you are out.”