Brands Hatch (GB), 18th May 2013. Martin Tomczyk (DE) on pole for BMW, two BMW Team RBM drivers in the top four and six BMW M3 DTMs on the first four rows of the grid: qualifying for the second DTM race of the year at Brands Hatch (GB) was the most successful for BMW since it returned to the series in 2012. British motorsport fans were treated to a number of firsts. Tomczyk, at the wheel of the BMW M Performance Parts M3 DTM, clocked the fastest time of 41.158 seconds in the all-important fourth qualifying session. In doing so, the 2011 champion claimed his first pole position in BMW colours and the ninth of his DTM career. It was also the maiden pole for BMW Team RMG and team principal Stefan Reinhold (DE).
Saturday’s qualifying is the first time since BMW’s return to the DTM in 2012 that six BMW M3 DTMs have qualified in the top ten. Bruno Spengler (CA) will start the second race of the season from fifth place in the BMW Bank M3 DTM, while rookie Marco Wittmann (DE, Ice-Watch BMW M3 DTM) was just behind the defending champion in seventh. Local favourite Andy Priaulx (GB) also secured a good starting position for Sunday’s race, qualifying eighth at the wheel of the Crowne Plaza Hotels BMW M3 DTM. Timo Glock (DE, DEUTSCHE POST BMW M3 DTM) coped well on his maiden appearance at Brands Hatch and will start from 11th. Dirk Werner (DE, SAMSUNG BMW M3 DTM) will look to mount an assault from 15th on the grid.
Update: Tomczyk stripped of pole position in Brands Hatch
Martin Tomczyk’s (DE) joy at claiming his first DTM pole position for BMW at Brands Hatch (GB) lasted just four hours. Having initially set the fastest time in the all-important Q4, the 31-year-old BMW Team RMG driver was subsequently excluded from the second qualifying of the year by the race stewards.
During a routine inspection of the car on Saturday evening, it was determined it was 2.5 kilograms below the permitted total weight. That means Tomczyk’s car was 0.5 kilograms below the tolerance limit.
Because of this, Tomczyk must now start the race from 22nd on the grid. His seven fellow BMW drivers, meanwhile, each move up a place. Augusto Farfus (BR) now lines up in second place, in front of Joey Hand (US) in third. Bruno Spengler (CA) starts the second race of the season from fourth. Marco Wittmann (DE), Andy Priaulx (GB), Timo Glock (DE) and Dirk Werner (DE) start from sixth, seventh, tenth and 14th respectively.
Jens Marquardt (BMW Motorsport Director): “It is obviously a shame to lose out on pole position as a result of a mistake like this. However, we accept the decision of the race stewards. You are always at the limit in motor racing. We will now analyse what the cause was, to ensure this kind of thing never happens again.”
Stefan Reinhold (BMW Team RMG, Team Principal): “Our team appears to have made a mistake. I would like to apologise to Martin Tomczyk for that. We will now perform a detailed analysis to see how this could possibly have happened.”
Martin Tomczyk (BMW Team RMG): “That is a major disappointment for me. The season-opener in Hockenheim showed that it is possible to fight back from 22nd on the grid and finish in the points. However, I also know it is almost impossible to pull off a fightback like that on the short circuit at Brands Hatch.”