Munich, 10th August 2012. The second half of the DTM season gets underway with the race at the Nürburgring. After the Show Event in Munich’s Olympic Stadium and a five-week break from racing, the six BMW drivers will be back challenging for points and podiums in the Eifel Mountains.
The BMW M3 DTMs will take on the shorter 3.629-kilometre Grand Prix Circuit. From fast sections to tight chicanes, this demanding and diversified track features a bit of everything. The circuit has been a permanent fixture on the DTM calendar since 1984. In the 1980s and 1990s, BMW drivers contested a number of these races on the Nordschleife, which was opened in 1927 and is over 20 kilometres long. BMW has racked up eight DTM wins so far at the Nürburgring.
The Munich-based manufacturer has also triumphed on 19 occasions at the legendary 24-hour race on the same track, with ten of those wins coming courtesy of the BMW M3. That is not the only reason BMW M enjoys a close association with the Nürburgring. The engineers put all production models to the ultimate test in the BMW M Test Center, while the BMW Ring Taxi allows motorsport fans from around the world to experience the Nordschleife at close hand from the passenger seat of the BMW M5. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the subsidiary of the BMW Group, which was formed as BMW Motorsport GmbH and is now known around the world as BMW M GmbH. This special occasion will be celebrated at the DTM event. Fans can look forward to seeing iconic cars from throughout the history of BMW M: the 320 Group 5 from 1977, two BMW M1s, the 1987 BMW M3 DTM, and the BMW 320i STW from 1995 are among those cars that will be out on track at the Nürburgring. One special feature is the BMW drivers’ race overalls, which will bear a logo with the text “40 Years of BMW M”.
The best-placed BMW driver in the Drivers’ Championship is currently Bruno Spengler (CA), whose 58 points put him in third. Martin Tomczyk (DE) is hot on his heels in fourth with 54 points. Augusto Farfus (BR, 16 points), Andy Priaulx (GB, 14), Joey Hand (US, 2) and Dirk Werner (DE, 1) follow in ninth, 12th, 16th and 18th respectively.
Jens Marquardt (BMW Motorsport Director): “The BMW M3 DTM is entering uncharted waters at the Nürburgring. However, we have enjoyed great success at this venue in the past with many other BMW racing cars. I am really looking forward to this track, with which BMW has a very special relationship, thanks in no small part to the BMW Ring Taxi, the BMW M Test Center at the foot of the imposing Nürburg Castle, and the BMW Driving Experience. This year, BMW M is celebrating its 40th anniversary. We too will celebrate this birthday in a fitting manner at the Nürburgring. Furthermore, the headquarters of BMW Team RMG are just a few kilometres from the Ring, so there will definitely be a lot of BMW fans in the Eifel Mountains again. Over the course of the season we have proven that we are capable of finding the right set-up for the BMW M3 DTM, even at circuits that are new to us. I hope this is also the case at the Nürburgring. We can look back on a long history of success in the ‘Green Hell’, which includes eight DTM wins between 1984 and 1992, 19 triumphs at the 24-hour race, and many other victories. We are determined to put on another good show there in our DTM comeback season.”
Stefan Reinhold (Team Principal, BMW Team RMG): “Everyone in our team is really looking forward to the home race at the Nürburgring. It will be a very emotional affair. I can remember standing on the Nordschleife as a fan 25 years ago. Now I am returning to the same track as Team Principal. We obviously want to produce a good performance and back up the good results we achieved in recent races. The Nürburgring is an ultra-modern circuit with the best possible working conditions for the teams. Our team is very motivated to get the second half of the season off to a good start.”
Charly Lamm (Team Principal, BMW Team Schnitzer): “BMW Team Schnitzer has fond memories of the Nürburgring and can look back on many successful races on this track. We have celebrated many victories there together with BMW. Our five wins at the 24-hour race on the Nordschleife were obviously the real highlights, the same goes for Emanuele Pirro’s victory in the 1990 DTM season with the BMW M3. Now we are looking forward to contesting the DTM race there with our BMW M3 DTMs. We scored our best team result so far at the latest race at the Norisring, with Bruno Spengler coming home in third and Dirk Werner tenth. We aim to continue this trend in the Eifel Mountains.”
Bart Mampaey (Team Principal, BMW Team RBM): “BMW obviously knows this track very well, mainly because of all the successful outings at the 24-hour race. This time, however, we will be taking on the Grand Prix Circuit in a sprint race. This is another new track for BMW Team RBM, so it is the same old story. I am really looking forward to the double header with Zandvoort just a week later. I hope we have a good test just before the Nürburgring with both drivers. We shall prepare as best we can, as we need to build on the results we achieved on the Saturday at the Norisring, when both cars qualified in the top ten.”
Martin Tomczyk (car number 1, BMW Team RMG): “Although it is nice to have a few days holiday in the summer, I would have preferred to have headed straight from the Show Event in Munich to the next race at the Nürburgring. BMW Team RMG and I have found a great rhythm and our performances are improving dramatically. I stood on the podium in Spielberg and at the Norisring, having finished runner-up in the last two races. That gives you a great hunger to be celebrating on the top step before too long. We want to take this momentum with us to the Nürburgring, where I have already tasted victory back in 2007 and 2009.”
Joey Hand (car number 2, BMW Team RMG): “I feel it’s time to turn the corner and go racing again. This will be the home race for BMW Team RMG, so it’s going to be a truly special event for my boss Stefan Reinhold and everyone in the team. I would really love to score a good result there. The Nürburgring is an iconic race track. I have never raced there, but it looks like fun. If you mention this track in the US, every fan will know it. Everyone would say: I want to go there. I cannot wait for the weekend to begin.”
Bruno Spengler (car number 7, BMW Team Schnitzer): “Just thinking about the race at the Nürburgring is enough to make my spine tingle. The circuit has a long motorsport tradition – and you can sense that as a driver. The Nürburgring is one of my very favourite tracks. It has a very nice combination of fast and slow corners. I have already won twice in the Eifel Mountains, in glorious sunshine and pouring rain. We are entering new territory there with the BMW Bank M3 DTM. Despite this, I am very confident.”
Dirk Werner (car number 8, BMW Team Schnitzer): “I have driven in a lot of races in many different series at the Nürburgring. I am really looking forward to competing there in the DTM with BMW Team Schnitzer. Having finished in the points for the first time at the Norisring, I hope I have got that monkey off my back and can continue to score good results. The fluctuating weather conditions always make the Nürburgring a bit unpredictable. However, we saw in Nürnberg that our car is also good in the rain, so I feel we are well prepared.”
Andy Priaulx (car number 15, BMW Team RBM): “We shall be going to the Nürburgring off the back of a summer break, but we won’t have time to blow the cobwebs off because this is an important race with points up for grabs. I have obviously raced around the Nürburgring, but only as part of the Nordschleife. We won the 24-hour race there in 2005. I think our car will be very strong there and it is going to be nice to go back to a more contemporary race track. The Nürburgring is going to be a bit more about getting the set-up absolutely spot on. I am looking forward to it. Hopefully we can build on the result from the Norisring and keep the car near the front.”
Augusto Farfus (car number 16, BMW Team RBM): “I love the Nordschleife, but the version of the track we will be racing on with the DTM is also a nice circuit. Our victory at the 24-hour race in 2010 will always be a special moment for me. The atmosphere at the Nürburgring is fantastic. The circuit has a lot of fast sections, as well as some slower corners. That combination is always fun.”