Norisring, 30th June 2012. Four BMW M3 DTMs in the top ten, all BMW drivers in Q2 and a happy Augusto Farfus (BR) in third place on the grid: in temperatures reaching 34 degrees Celsius, the BMW DTM teams kept cool heads during qualifying at the Norisring (DE) to secure promising starting positions ahead of the fifth race of the season.
Just as he did at the Lausitzring (DE), Farfus progressed nicely into the fourth qualifying session at the wheel of his Castrol EDGE BMW M3 DTM, and went on to clock the third fastest time of 49.255 seconds. The 28-year-old was just 0.116 seconds behind Mercedes driver Gary Paffett (GB) who claimed pole position.
For the first time, all six BMW drivers made it through to the second qualifying session. While Joey Hand (US, SAMSUNG BMW M3 DTM) and Dirk Werner (DE, E-POSTBRIEF BMW M3 DTM) had to settle for 15th and 16th, the battle for fractions of a second went into a third qualifying session for a quartet of BMW drivers. Martin Tomczyk (DE) will start the race from the third row of the grid having qualified sixth, while Bruno Spengler (CA, BMW Bank M3 DTM) was just behind the reigning DTM champion in seventh.
Andy Priaulx’s (GB) ninth place was his second best qualifying result in the DTM, having previously started the race in Hockenheim (DE) from seventh in his Crowne Plaza Hotels BMW M3 DTM.
Jens Marquardt (BMW Motorsport Director):
“I am very happy with the results of qualifying here on our return to the Norisring. As expected, it was unbelievably close today. In the first two qualifying sessions, the first ten cars were separated by just two tenths of a second. Despite this, we once again managed to land four cars in the top ten. The qualifying was a textbook struggle against the heat. As a DTM and Norisring rookie, Augusto Farfus produced an outstanding performance. Andy Priaulx was also back in the top ten after a number of difficult qualifyings. The crowds created a magnificent and truly unique atmosphere today. We are definitely in for an extremely exciting race tomorrow.”
Augusto Farfus (car number 16, BMW Team RBM, 3rd):
“It’s my first time driving the Castrol EDGE BMW M3 DTM on a street circuit, so this third place feels more like pole position. We were always running at the front, bud didn’t quite have the pace of the Mercedes guys, so third was the best we could really hope for. Even though I had a lock up in turn one it didn’t compromise my lap. I am happy and taking everything as a learning process. It always feels great to be challenging for a top position in the DTM – especially on such a unique circuit.”
Martin Tomczyk (car number 1, BMW Team RMG, 6th):
“I would have hoped for a bit better than sixth place on the grid. In the practice sessions we proved we can compete with the front-runners here. The high temperatures did not make it easy for us today, but the conditions were the same for everyone. BMW hasn’t race at the Norisring for 20 years. With that in mind, our overall result is a decent one. I am pleased for Augusto, who did a super job. My sixth place is a good position, from which to build on. I will go all out on the attack on Sunday.”
Bruno Spengler (car number 7, BMW Team Schnitzer, 7th):
“Qualifying did not run to plan. My wheels locked on several occasions and I had problems with my braking, which is particularly important on this circuit. We will now work hard to overcome these problems in time for the race. On Sunday I hope to finally get through the first few corners unscathed again. Then we will see what is possible.”
Andy Priaulx (car number 15, BMW Team RBM, 9th):
“I am really happy. I have never been here before and it is good for me to be up there in the top ten, especially as free practice wasn’t good for me and I lost a lot of time in the last session. I said to myself that if I could break back into the top ten this weekend it would be a good step forward. We achieved that in qualifying. It is really close out there and I just couldn’t put that last lap together as I had a lot of locking in the hairpin. Despite that I am happy with the result.”
Joey Hand (car number 2, BMW Team RMG, 15th):
“It has been rather a difficult weekend so far and I am yet to find the perfect set-up. Then I kept getting stuck in traffic on my flying laps in qualifying. But that kind of thing can happen on a circuit as narrow as this one. It will obviously be difficult to fight my way to the front from 15th on the grid, but I will do my best. The Norisring is a fantastic track. I love these street circuits. They remind me of back home in America.”
Dirk Werner (car number 8, BMW Team Schnitzer, 16th):
“I am very disappointed how qualifying panned out. Sixteenth is not what I was hoping for. We will now have to close look at what went wrong in Q2. I did not have enough grip and kept on sliding. However, anything can happen on this circuit tomorrow. It will be crucial to get through the first few corners unscathed.”
Source: BMW Group