Brands Hatch (GB), 19th May 2013. Following the successful season-opener in Hockenheim (DE), the podium at the second DTM race of the year again featured a BMW driver: BMW Team Schnitzer driver Bruno Spengler (CA) crossed the finish line in second place in the BMW Bank M3 DTM at the 1.929-kilometre “Brands Hatch Circuit”, a repeat of last year’s result.
The second best-placed BMW driver was Marco Wittmann (DE) from BMW Team MTEK in only his second DTM race. The 23-year-old was fourth in the Ice-Watch BMW M3 DTM, ahead of BMW Team RBM driver Joey Hand (US) in fifth. This marked the best result of both drivers’ DTM careers.
Augusto Farfus (BR) was extremely unlucky. Running second, the winner of the opening race of the season in Hockenheim (DE) had no choice but to retire after 65 laps due to a technical problem on the Castrol EDGE BMW M3 DTM.
Dirk Werner (DE), Timo Glock (DE) and Martin Tomczyk (DE) finished 12th, 13th and 14th. Having been stripped of his pole position, Tomczyk had at one point managed to fight his way back into the top ten from last place on the grid. However, he was then forced off the track in a bumper-to-bumper duel, dashing any hopes of finishing in the points. Like both Tomczyk and Glock, Andy Priaulx (GB) was also involved in an incident and eventually crossed the line in 19th.
The new leader in the Drivers’ Championship is Rockenfeller with 29 points. Spengler trails Rockenfeller by just one point. Farfus is third, courtesy of the 25 points he received for winning race one. BMW Team Schnitzer has taken over at the top of the team competition followed by BMW Team RBM. In the Manufacturers’ Championship, BMW still leads with 101 points to its name.
Tomczyk and Farfus have another opportunity to secure a good result this weekend. Immediately after the race at Brands Hatch, the two BMW drivers set off for the Nürburgring-Nordschleife (DE), where they will join up with BMW Team Schubert and take to the track in the BMW Z4 GT3 on Sunday evening.
Jens Marquardt (BMW Motorsport Director): “Generally speaking, we can be happy with the second race of the season. Three drivers in the top five is a very good result at any race. However, when you start the race with six drivers in the top ten, you have to admit it could have been even better. Runner-up Bruno Spengler and his team did an excellent job. I am also delighted for Marco Wittmann, whose fourth place in only his second DTM race shows what huge potential he possesses. Joey Hand, who finished fifth, also produced an impressive performance all weekend. Augusto Farfus, on the other hand, was unlucky. Like at Hockenheim, he was clearly on course for a podium finish before he had to retire with a technical problem. A number of manoeuvres out on the track were right on the edge, and our drivers were the ones who suffered. Congratulations to Audi and Mike Rockenfeller on their victory.”
Charly Lamm (Team Principal, BMW Team Schnitzer): “Bruno Spengler’s podium is a nice birthday present. We are very happy that the good start and a great strategy allowed him to work his way forward into second place. Dirk Werner was always going to struggle to finish higher than 12th. It is very difficult to make up ground in heavy traffic on this track. Our team scored valuable points – and that is very important in this tight series.”
Ernest Knoors (Team Principal, BMW Team MTEK): “Our drivers and the team did a good job today. Marco Wittmann got off to a superb start. That was the key to him finishing an impressive fourth. Timo Glock could also have finished higher than 13th. The start was not ideal, and we will take a closer look at how to improve that. However, he fought hard and produced a good race. Furthermore, we are always learning as a team. And the results here in Brands Hatch are proof we are on the right track.”
Bart Mampaey (Team Principal, BMW Team RBM): “Augusto Farfus made a good start but was then unable to put Mike Rockenfeller, who was very quick out front, under any serious pressure. Therefore, we concentrated on defending second place. Our pace was definitely good enough. Unfortunately a gearbox problem then put a spanner in the works. We will carry out a detailed analysis to find out exactly what caused the problem. His car suddenly had no drive. Joey Hand came home fifth to score heavily for the team. That was a really impressive performance.”
Stefan Reinhold (Team Principal, BMW Team RMG): “We made a mistake yesterday – and were punished again for it in today’s race. It is always risky driving in the midst of all the turmoil here at Brands Hatch. I feel sorry for my two drivers. Incidents meant they did not get the results they deserved. Compliments to our pit crew, however: the stops were really excellent today.”
Bruno Spengler (car number 1, BMW Team Schnitzer, 2nd): Tyres: Option-Standard-Standard - “That was not an easy race today. That makes me all the happier with my second place and the fact we were able to score important points. My team provided me with a superb car and the pace was very good. It was also important we had a perfect strategy for the race and made the pit stops at the right time. Of course I would have liked to win. However, my second place is a nice birthday present for Charly and Dieter Lamm. I now have my fingers crossed for my fellow BMW drivers Martin Tomczyk and Augusto Farfus at the 24-hour race.”
Marco Wittmann (car number 21, BMW Team MTEK, 4th): Tyres: Option-Standard-Standard - “I think I can be quite happy with the result. I had a really good start and jumped from sixth to fourth. I tried to overtake Bruno on the outside in the second corner, but did not want to crash with him so dropped back. I was really happy with my first lap, as I was able to pull out a gap ahead of Timo Scheider. I think my first pit stop was probably a bit late, so we lost some time there, but in general it was a good race. There was a little bit of traffic as well and that is why I lost a position to Wickens. He went for a gap that wasn't there and that is why I went a bit wide. Prior to the race I had set myself the goal of finishing in the top five. I achieved that.”
Joey Hand (car number 8, BMW Team RBM, 5th): Tyres: Option-Standard-Standard - “The race flew by, which is always a good sign. I told my guys over the radio that I gave myself a mini high five for finishing every lap of my DTM career. Not a super big high five for my start, as that is where it all went wrong and we were definitely a podium car. You can't blame the race car or the crew. I did my best, as usual, but am still finding my way here. I am pretty happy with how the weekend went. This is not the easiest place from a handling aspect or from a driving aspect, and it surely isn't an easy place to finish a race as there is a lot going on. I am happy to take my fifth place points and run.”
Dirk Werner (car number 2, BMW Team Schnitzer, 12th): Tyres: Standard-Option-Standard - “That was a very difficult race. I was right in the middle of all the turmoil, and it was almost impossible to move through the field from there. I lost a few places after the start. After an early stop, however, I at least had clean air ahead of me for a few laps. I then lost time again in traffic. I simply have to do better in qualifying next time, then I can go on the attack again in the race.”
Timo Glock (car number 22, BMW Team MTEK, 13th): Tyres: Standard-Option-Standard - “My start was not so great, as I had a problem with the clutch. That cost me two places, which I was able to take back on the first lap. We then had the problem during the first pit stop, when the car dropped off the jack briefly. The final result is not great, but my race was ruined when an opponent forced me off the track. I think our strategy could have put us in the points. Hopefully things will work out better in the next race.”
Martin Tomczyk (car number 15, BMW Team RMG, 14th): Tyres: Option-Standard-Standard - “It was a tough race, and despite everything I finished without any points. It was nice racing at the beginning and the first third of the race was great. I really enjoyed it and then I got pushed out by another driver. From there on I just concentrated on finishing my race.”
Andy Priaulx (car number 16, BMW Team RMG, 19th): Tyres: Option-Standard-Standard - “Obviously this is disappointing, in so much as I could have had a reasonable race, but I got hit by Adrien Tambay. He has apologised, but it doesn't really help me. I am unhappy with the blue flags, as I don't feel they were used in the right way – some came out too early and some not at all. But the most important thing is I have to look at the race data and try to work out what I need to do for the next race. I am very hungry for points and felt a few were on offer after our good qualifying.”
Augusto Farfus (car number 7, BMW Team RBM, DNF): Tyres: Option-Standard-Standard - “The race was pretty good and I was running a strong second. After my second stop I had a gearbox failure and I could not shift up or down, as I was stuck in third. I tried to stop the car on the track hoping to get a gear again, but it was impossible. It is disappointing to be running second and then have to stop with a mechanical failure. I ran ten races last year without any mechanical failures and this was the first one. It is a shame to give away 18 points as I certainly felt this was possible.”