Three BMW M4 DTMs ended the first qualifying of the year in Hockenheim (DE) in the top four.
Hockenheim (DE) - BMW Motorsport has made a successful start to the 2014 DTM season. Three BMW M4 DTMs ended the first qualifying of the year in Hockenheim (DE) in the top four. Marco Wittmann (DE), at the wheel of the Ice-Watch BMW M4 DTM, clocked the second-fastest time of 1:32.419 minutes in the third and final session. The German narrowly missed out on pole position by just 0.147 seconds, with Audi’s Adrien Tambay (FR) securing the first place on the grid for tomorrow’s race.
Another two BMW M4 DTMs will start from the second row. Bruno Spengler (CA) secured third on the grid in the BMW Bank M4 DTM. He lines up alongside António Félix da Costa (PT) in the Red Bull M4 DTM, who crowned a successful DTM debut with fourth in qualifying. Martin Tomzcyk (DE) also progressed to the final qualifying session, landing the BMW M Performance Parts M4 DTM in eighth on the grid.
In an extremely tight contest, Timo Glock (DE) was unfortunate not to progress to the battle for pole position. A slight mistake resulted in the DEUTSCHE POST BMW M4 DTM missing out by just eight thousandths of a second, with Glock ultimately qualifying ninth. Augusto Farfus (BR) was 12th in the Castrol EDGE BMW M4 DTM. The second DTM newcomer in the BMW squad, Maxime Martin (BE), starts from 14th in the SAMSUNG BMW M4 DTM. Joey Hand (US) lines up in 17th on Sunday’s grid in the Crowne Plaza Hotels BMW M4 DTM.
Jens Marquardt (BMW Motorsport Director): “That was an incredibly close first qualifying with our brand-new BMW M4 DTM. We are obviously very happy with the result. Three BMW M4 DTMs in the top four, and five in the top ten – that is a very good result for us, across the board and for all the teams. Marco Wittmann produced a really great display, as did Bruno Spengler. And particularly worthy of mention is António Félix da Costa with a sensational fourth place in his very first DTM qualifying. We are looking forward to what promises to be an exciting race tomorrow, hopefully in good weather – as the track temperature also played a role today.”
Marco Wittmann (car number 23, BMW Team RMG, 2nd on the grid): “I am really happy with qualifying. Second place is a good start to the season. Sure, I would have liked to get pole position, but I have a very good starting position for the race. A lot depends on how I get through the first few corners tomorrow. I still have one place to make up. Let’s see what happens. A big thank you goes to my team, BMW Team RMG, that really deserves this result.”
Bruno Spengler (car number 9, BMW Team Schnitzer, 3rd on the grid): “It is obviously great to start the season-opener from the second row of the grid. My mechanics at BMW Team Schnitzer worked hard between free practice and qualifying, and did a lot of work on the BMW Bank M4 DTM. I was extremely happy with the car. I am now looking forward to the race. There can only be one approach: all-out attack.”
António Félix da Costa (car number 18, BMW Team MTEK, 4th on the grid): “I am a bit surprised to have finished fourth in my very first DTM qualifying. I’d like to thank my entire team, who did everything in their power to allow me to achieve this superb result. Whenever I pull on a helmet I always give 100 per cent. That is in my genes as a racing driver. It is important to keep your cool in DTM qualifying. I did that, and I am very happy with the result.”
Martin Tomczyk (car number 10, BMW Team Schnitzer, 8th on the grid): “It feels good to have made it into the final qualifying session again. Eighth place is undoubtedly something we can build on. Maybe we went out a little too early in Q3. However, the car was definitely good – and the guys at BMW Team Schnitzer did a really good job.”
Timo Glock (car number 17, BMW Team MTEK, 9th on the grid): “I am not that unhappy, although it is obviously a bit of a shame that we missed out on Q3 by so few thousandths of a second. However, I had my fate in my own hands: I had two good sectors and then made a mistake in the final sector coming into the Motodrom. I pushed a little too hard and lost some time there. That was a shame, and I have to apologise to my team, as it did a good job. Generally speaking, however, we did have the necessary pace. I now hope that we will be just as strong in the race.”
Augusto Farfus (car number 3, BMW Team RBM, 12th on the grid): “Twelfth is obviously not what I was hoping for. Unfortunately we did not find the right balance. The potential was there to make it into the top eight in qualifying. However, there is so little between the cars in the DTM. You cannot afford to make even the slightest mistake. We have to remain focussed, and I am confident we can have a good race tomorrow.”
Maxime Martin (car number 18, BMW Team RMG, 14th on the grid): “It is a great feeling to be part of the DTM. I cannot be happy with my first qualifying. I made small mistakes in Q2, which cost me a better time. However, it is all still relatively new to me. I am using my first season as a learning process. That applies to tomorrow’s race too. I hope to start the season with a good result.”
Joey Hand (car number 4, BMW Team RBM, 17th on the grid): “That is what makes the DTM so special: it is incredibly close – and it feels great when everything goes to plan and you are up there with the front-runners. However, it is also disappointing when it doesn’t quite come together – as was the case for me today. I had a bit of oversteer during free practice, and this deteriorated in qualifying. That ruled out any opportunity to set a good time. I had obviously hoped for a lot more from this weekend, but I will embrace the challenge and fight right down to the last lap.”