Only in sport do you get stories like this.
Lausitzring (DE) — Last year, BMW Team RMG and team principal Stefan Reinhold (DE) were plagued by bad luck. Unfortunate incidents regularly prevented them from claiming good results, and the team scored only 20 points in ten races.
The 2014 season has been a different story altogether: after eight races, the team from Niederzissen (DE) has five wins to its name and, in Marco Wittmann (DE), boasts the new DTM champion. His team-mate Maxime Martin (BE) has also won a race in his first year in the DTM and is already assured of ending the season as the most successful rookie.
BMW Team RMG’s third year in the popular touring car series has been by far its most successful. Once BMW Motorsport had confirmed its intention to return to the DTM, Reinhold applied with his newly-founded company for one of the works team places. In spring 2011 he was given the go-ahead and set up base camp for his 25-strong team in Niederzissen (DE) – right in the heart of his home, the Eifel Mountains. Roughly three and a half years later, Reinhold is now the beaming team principal behind Wittmann’s DTM title success.
Everyone does everything in their power to ensure we are successful, and that has paid dividends.
“I am proud of the entire team,” said Wittmann after sealing the triumph at the Lausitzring. “They guys have done a top job all year, and that was once again the case at the Lausitzring. The drivers’ title is 100 per cent down to my guys from the Eifel Mountains. After switching teams in the winter, I immediately felt right at home with BMW Team RMG.
I was immediately on the same wavelength as my mechanics and race engineer. The chemistry is right. Everyone does everything in their power to ensure we are successful, and that has paid dividends. The team has managed to provide me with a perfect car on virtually every weekend. That is the basis which allows you to attack as a driver.”
BMW Team RMG’s preparations for the DTM adventure were short and intense. There was only a little over one year between being awarded the place as a works team and the first race of the 2012 season in Hockenheim (DE). However, thanks to the commitment of his workforce and the expertise of his team members, who despite coming from all areas of motorsport were able to form an efficient unit within a seriously limited time frame, Reinhold and his crew immediately set about challenging for top results.
The success we are enjoying this season is the result of hard work,
The reigning DTM champion at the time, Martin Tomczyk (DE), claimed the maiden podium for BMW Team RMG in only the fourth race of the 2012 season in Spielberg (AT). More podiums were to follow at the Norisring and the Nürburgring (both DE). However, Tomczyk bid farewell to any hopes of defending his title in the second half of the 2012 season, due to a number of unfortunate retirements. And BMW Team RMG and its drivers were again left waiting for the success they had hoped for in the 2013 season.
The third DTM season started with a clean slate. The team was joined by two new drivers in Wittmann and Martin, while the outfit had also drawn conclusions from the 2013 season and implemented changes to both personnel and structures – with great success. The very first race of the season ended in triumph for Wittmann and BMW Team RMG, who both claimed their maiden win in the DTM. Three further victories were to follow for Wittmann, while Martin claimed his first DTM success in Moscow (RU).
Wittmann’s sixth place at the Lausitzring means he has now wrapped up the Drivers’ title. “The success we are enjoying this season is the result of hard work,” said Reinhold after his greatest success as team principal. “After the poor results last season, we asked ourselves a lot of questions – as we still do after every race. What can we do better, what went wrong? We then tightened a few screws here and there, and continuously made little improvements.
On top of that, my two drivers were able to implement our instructions almost perfectly in qualifying and in the race. All these factors are key to the success we have enjoyed together with BMW. Despite his success, Marco Wittmann has kept his feet firmly on the ground. When he has time, he still goes back to see his father at the family chassis building company, and helps out where possible. That says a lot about what a great character he has.”
Meanwhile, the race for the title in the Team and Manufacturers’ competitions looks set to run until the season finale in Hockenheim. You would not bet against BMW Team RMG adding to its points tally with the BMW M4 DTM and its two impressive drivers in Zandvoort (NL) and Hockenheim (DE).