Spengler fights back from 18th to sixth.
Zandvoort, 26th August 2012. Two Safety Car periods, showers, and a feast of action: a fighting performance from BMW Motorsport in the seventh DTM race of the year was rewarded with valuable points in Zandvoort (NL). Following a difficult qualifying, Bruno Spengler (CA) launched a formidable fightback at the wheel of his BMW Bank M3 DTM. Starting from 18th on the grid, the Canadian crossed the finish line in sixth after 43 laps of racing. Dirk Werner (DE, E-POSTBRIEF BMW M3 DTM) and Augusto Farfus (BR, Castrol EDGE BMW M3 DTM), who started from 20th, also finished in the points, coming home in eighth and ninth respectively. Victory went to Audi driver Edoardo Mortara (IT).
Andy Priaulx (GB) finished 13thin the Crowne Plaza Hotels BMW M3 DTM, with Joey Hand (US, SAMSUNG BMW M3 DTM) one place further back in 14th. For many laps, Martin Tomczyk (DE) was embroiled in a thrilling struggle for third with Mattias Ekström (SE, Audi) and Gary Paffett (GB, Mercedes). However, his BMW M Performance Parts M3 DTM collided with Paffett’s Mercedes on lap 28, resulting in Tomczyk retiring from the race moments later.
Spengler got off to a very good start in the 80th DTM race of his career, cutting through the field from 18th to 13th. Thanks to consistently quick lap times and two immaculate pit stops by BMW Team Schnitzer, the Canadian, who celebrated his 29th birthday on Thursday, was able to set his sights on the top ten and valuable championship points. During one of the showers, several drivers had difficulty coping with the slippery surface. Spengler, took full advantage of the situation to move into sixth – a position he was able to defend through to the finish.
In the drivers’ standings, Spengler is now third with 91 points – 18 points behind leader Paffett. Tomczyk (69 points) follows in fifth. Farfus (19), Priaulx (14), Werner (5) and Hand (2) occupy places 9, 12, 18 and 19 ahead of the next race weekend. The venue for the eighth round of the season on 16th September is Oschersleben (DE).
Jens Marquardt (BMW Motorsport Director):
“That was an unbelievably intense race with a lot of incidents. With three drivers in the top ten, we managed more than damage limitation following the difficult qualifying on Saturday. Bruno Spengler made up 12 positions, in Augusto Farfus’s case it was 11. Dirk Werner also produced a flawless race. One of the key incidents was the contact between Martin Tomczyk and Gary Paffett. Martin’s wheels locked as the rain started to fall and he slid into Gary’s car. While Gary was able to continue, Martin was forced to retire. He has apologised to Mercedes-Benz and Gary. We are now looking forward to Oschersleben.”