Joey Hand also in the points for BMW.
Norisring (DE) - Marco Wittmann (DE) was the best-placed BMW driver at his home race on the Norisring (DE), finishing in sixth place. Despite difficult conditions, the local favourite from BMW Team RMG still managed to pick up eight points in the Ice-Watch BMW M4 DTM and continues to lead the DTM Drivers’ Championship with 58 points. Joey Hand (US), at the wheel of the Crowne Plaza Hotels BMW M4 DTM, also produced an impressive display to finish seventh behind Wittmann on a track that was wet at first but dried out as the race progressed. Victory went to Mercedes driver Robert Wickens (CA).
The remaining BMW DTM drivers missed out on the top ten in the fourth of ten races this season. Bruno Spengler (CA) finished 11th in the BMW Bank M4 DTM. Augusto Farfus (BR) was unable to benefit from an early first pit stop, eventually crossing the finish line 14th in the Castrol EDGE BMW M4 DTM. The two BMW Team MTEK drivers, Timo Glock (DE, DEUTSCHE POST BMW M4 DTM) and António Félix da Costa (PT, Red Bull BMW M4 DTM), came home 16th and 20th.
Maxime Martin (BE) demonstrated his renowned ability in the wet during the first half of the race, climbing as high as fifth place. However, he returned to the track with wet-weather tyres on the SAMSUNG BMW M4 DTM after his first stop. When the circuit then started to dry out towards the end of the race, Martin was forced to switch to slicks and dropped back into 17th. Martin Tomczyk (DE, BMW M Performance Parts M4 DTM) was forced to retire from the race following a collision with Gary Paffett (GB).
Jens Marquardt (BMW Motorsport Director): “That was the tough race we expected. The weather made conditions very difficult, and the race was dominated by the tyre strategy. It all came down to switching from wets to slicks at just the right moment. Given the position we started from, we are not unhappy with the outcome of the race as far as the Drivers’ Championship is concerned. Marco Wittmann had a good race and managed to leave with a few more points to his name. Joey Hand also produced a great display to finish in the points. On the whole, we are obviously not satisfied.
We are not here to finish sixth and seventh. When it comes down to it, the total package was not good enough on this circuit, with its special requirements. However, we are pleased to have been able to limit the damage. We are looking ahead now, and expect to fare better in Moscow in two weeks. Congratulations to Robert Wickens and Mercedes on the win. And compliments to the many spectators: over 121,000 turned out over the course of the weekend and stuck it out in the stands despite this weather. That deserves the utmost respect.”
Stefan Reinhold (Team Principal, BMW Team RMG): “We finished roughly where we started. We are pleased with that, as it means Marco Wittmann maintains his lead in the Drivers’ Championship. Congratulations to the team on a good job on what was a difficult weekend. I must apologise personally to Maxime Martin, as it was my decision to send him back out on wets again after the pit stop. That cost him a better result.”
Charly Lamm (Team Principal, BMW Team Schnitzer): “We would obviously have liked to have done better at our home race. However, from those start positions we could not really have hoped for much more. Bruno Spengler put up a great fight, but was unfortunately not rewarded with a point. We must take a very close look and find out why we were not able to match the pace of our competitors, particularly in the second half of the race. Martin Tomczyk unfortunately hat to retire after a collision.”
Ernest Knoors (Team Principal, BMW Team MTEK): “That was a tough weekend. We just did not have the speed we needed with either car on this circuit. The situation in the pit lane, when we released Timo Glock too early, was very unfortunate. That kind of thing can happen in such a tight pit lane, but we are obviously sorry for causing the incident.”
Bart Mampaey (Team Principal, BMW Team RBM): “Both our cars actually had good pace. We decided to go for two different strategies. We finished in the points with Joey Hand, who produced a really good race. Our tactic with Augusto Farfus did not pay off. If anyone would have told me yesterday that we would have 83 laps of the Norisring on a damp or wet track without a single safety car phase, I would never have believed them. Congratulations to the entire field, who drove with great consideration in these difficult conditions.”
Marco Wittmann (car number 23, BMW Team RMG, 6th): “I think, on the whole, that we can be satisfied. We scored a few points, which was important in this race. We just weren’t competitive enough this weekend to mix it with the front-runners. We were lacking a bit of pace in the wet, and the balance was not ideal. That resulted in us losing a few positions at first. When the opposition went on the attack, it sometimes made more sense to leave the door open than to be forced into a spin. We then switched to slicks and our pace was then really good. I was able to move back up through the field again. We can now head to Moscow with new momentum.”
Joey Hand (car number 4, BMW Team RBM, 7th): “That was my best result this year. I obviously don’t compete at any race with the intention of finishing seventh. Despite this, I am quite happy with this result – particularly when you bear in mind the way we started the weekend. We had to fight hard to find the right performance on this circuit. In the rain, I had a car that really suited my driving style, although we were possibly lacking a bit of speed. I enjoyed the race though. It was a fair, clean contest on a street circuit. Today had a bit of everything. I think we put on a great show for the fans.”
Bruno Spengler (car number 9, BMW Team Schnitzer, 11th): “I am obviously very disappointed. A safety car start makes it difficult to gain positions at the start. After that the race actually went quite well, but unfortunately the front left of my car was damaged after a small contact on the opening lap. That made it difficult for me to make any progress as it started to dry out. The strategy of switching early to slicks was very good, but unfortunately the damage meant we did not have enough pace. The team and I did our best today. We must now move on from today and concentrate on the next race.”
Augusto Farfus (car number 3, BMW Team RBM, 14th): “I think we had a very strong car today, and we had a really good pace. We gambled with the strategy at the beginning of the race. But unfortunately that did not work out. It would have worked out if we had a safety car period but that did not happen.”
Timo Glock (car number 17, BMW Team MTEK, 16th): “It was working really well in the rain at the start, and I was able to climb as high as eighth place. After that I was consistently losing grip and had a spin. That was a shame, as I might have been good for the odd point or two. On the whole, we were simply not quick enough here.”
Maxime Martin (car number 24, BMW Team RMG, 17th): “I made a good start and worked my way into fifth place over the opening laps. Unfortunately we then made the wrong decision in the pit stop and headed back out onto a drying track on wet tyres. After that it was obviously tough for me to hold off the opposition on options. It is a shame, as we could definitely have done better today.”
António Félix da Costa (car number 18, BMW Team MTEK, 20th): “It was not a good weekend for us. We went the wrong way with the car from the beginning and then it was just too hard to recover from that. But we will make sure that we go home, we have a look at it, and we learn from it. We will then head to Moscow with a clear head and ready to have a great race.”
Martin Tomczyk (car number 10, BMW Team Schnitzer, DNF): “The collision with Gary Paffett was my fault. I am very sorry. We had just switched to options and I misjudged the braking point. The conditions were very tough, but it was the same for everyone.”