Oschersleben -- The “Motorsport Arena Oschersleben” (DE) has once again proven to be a happy stomping ground for BMW Motorsport in qualifying for the eighth round of the 2012 DTM season: Bruno Spengler (CA) secured his third pole position of the year in the BMW Bank M3 DTM with a time of 1:20.916 minutes.
His BMW Team Schnitzer team-mate Dirk Werner (DE), at the wheel of the E-POSTBRIEF BMW M3 DTM, will start Sunday’s race from the second row of the grid having qualified in fourth place.
In temperatures of around 17 degrees Celsius and overcast skies, but dry conditions, four BMW drivers fought their way into the top ten on the 3.696-kilometre track. Martin Tomczyk (DE, BMW M Performance Parts M3 DTM) clocked the sixth fastest time.
However, a penalty received following an incident in the last race in Zandvoort (NL) means the reigning DTM champion is relegated five places on the grid and will start his 120th DTM race from 11th. As a result, Augusto Farfus (BR, Castrol EDGE BMW M3 DTM) moves up a position and starts from ninth.
Starting next to Tomczyk on the grid is Andy Priaulx (GB, Crowne Plaza Hotels BMW M3 DTM), who qualified 12th. Joey Hand (US) faces a tough task to fight his way back up the field in his SAMSUNG BMW M3 DTM: the American had to settle for 20th place.
BMW now has 33 pole positions to its name in the DTM, with three of these coming this season courtesy of BMW Team Schnitzer and Spengler. Tomorrow’s race will be the 14th pole of the 29-year-old’s DTM career. The Schnitzer team, under the leadership of Team Principal Charly Lamm (DE), will start a DTM race from pole position for the 11th time.
Werner achieved his second top-four qualifying result, and his first since the opening weekend in Hockenheim (DE). In Q3 the 31-year-old clocked the fastest time of all in any qualifying session – 1:20.632 minutes. The best time in Q1 went to Spengler, while Tomczyk was the fastest man in the field in Q2.
Jens Marquardt (BMW Motorsport Director): “We are obviously very happy with this qualifying result. It is the third pole position for Bruno and BMW, we have two cars in the top four and four drivers in the top ten: it could hardly have gone better for us today. Dirk Werner also clocked the fastest time of the weekend so far in the third qualifying session.
Congratulations to BMW Team Schnitzer too. The team has produced the best qualifying of the year. The other two BMW teams also made it into the top ten. Unfortunately Martin Tomczyk has to drop back five places on the grid. We are now looking forward to tomorrow. It will be a long race, but we start from a good position.”
Charly Lamm (Team Principal, BMW Team Schnitzer): “This is obviously a dream result for BMW Team Schnitzer. Both cars in the top-four qualifying and our third pole position of the year: that is fantastic. Bruno Spengler has once again surpassed himself. He sneaked into the final qualifying session as the fourth fastest driver, and then put together another unbelievable lap.
However, Dirk Werner also deserves a huge compliment. He led the field in Q3 to make it into Q4 for the second time after Hockenheim. He is improving from race to race and is now right at home in the DTM. I am just very proud of the drivers and our entire team.”
Bruno Spengler (car number 7, BMW Team Schnitzer, Pole): “I am very happy with that. Today has been sensational again. I am obviously very proud of my third pole position of the season. My car was really quick and I drove a flawless lap. That gives us a great base on which to build tomorrow.
However, you certainly cannot take the race for granted. In claiming pole I have only done half of the job. My rivals will be doing everything in their power to make my life as difficult as possible. The first corner is sure to be a tight affair. I expect a tough race, but it is looking very good at the moment.”
Dirk Werner (car number 8, BMW Team Schnitzer, 4th): “I am incredibly happy and very satisfied with my fourth place in qualifying. Maybe I could have done even better in Q4, but unfortunately I made a small mistake that cost me crucial fractions of a second. I’d like to thank BMW Team Schnitzer.
My car has been super quick all weekend. Congratulations to my team-mate Bruno Spengler on his pole position. We must now take advantage of the good starting position and score as many points as possible in the race.”
Martin Tomczyk (car number 1, BMW Team RMG, 6th): “I am a bit annoyed that it was only sixth place in the end. I was on top after Q1 and felt very comfortable in the car. Then it was not quite to be in Q3. Despite that, I’d like to thank my team. After an incident in free practice, everyone worked very hard to get my car up and running again.
Everything worked brilliantly. My penalty means I will start from 11th tomorrow. It will obviously be difficult to fight my way to the front. First and foremost I will try to get through the opening laps undamaged. We’ll see what happens then.”
Augusto Farfus (car number 16, BMW Team RBM, 10th): “I am very disappointed because we had a problem with the car in Q3 and I could not get a lap in. When I left the pit lane I knew there was something wrong with the car. It is very frustrating not to get a lap in as, although we were not the fastest car, I think fifth or sixth was possible. It is difficult to overtake here so now we have to rely on a good strategy for the race.”
Andy Priaulx (car number 15, BMW Team RBM, 12th): “I am much happier with my performance today after my recent qualifying sessions. I feel I have come from a long way back so am happy. Twelfth place is a position you can build on. It is incredible what a difference just a tenth of a second can make in this series.
My speed was good and the pace was strong. Now I believe I can do a good race from this position on the grid and hopefully come home with some points at the end of the weekend.”
Joey Hand (car number 2, BMW Team RMG, 20th): “I really cannot say what went wrong today. Even in the free practice I could not find the necessary pace. I am sorry for everyone in my team. The guys do their very best to provide me with a perfect car, and they were not rewarded for all their hard work today.”