Final sprint in the DTM: Special race for Martin Tomczyk.
After Bruno Spengler’s (CA) triumph and the highest yield of points this year so far in Oschersleben (DE), BMW Motorsport heads into the ninth DTM weekend of the year full of confidence: going into the race at the “Circuit de la Comunitat” near Valencia (ES), the fourth and final overseas stop in the 2012 series, Spengler has scored 116 points in his BMW Bank M3 DTM and is currently second in the overall standings, just eleven points behind leader Gary Paffett (GB, Mercedes).
With a population of over 800,000, Valencia is the third largest city in Spain after Madrid and Barcelona. While the Formula One race is held on a street circuit around the harbour area, the DTM holds its event on the permanent racetrack located about 20 kilometres to the west of the city. This is the only track on the calendar that is driven in an anti-clockwise direction, which poses its own unique challenges to the drivers’ fitness. Another key factor in Valencia is the weather. The summery temperatures still present in autumn need only change slightly to have a dramatic effect on the amount of grip offered by the track. This makes it even more difficult for the teams to find the perfect set-up for qualifying and the race.
However, Valencia was the scene of some pre-season testing, meaning all the teams are familiar with the properties of the circuit. The race at the “Circuit de la Comunitat” is a real highlight, particularly for the crowds: the winding layout and grandstands surrounding the track make for a real stadium atmosphere.
Jens Marquardt (BMW Motorsport Director): “After our third win of the season in Oschersleben, and the most profitable DTM weekend of the year so far in terms of points, we head to Valencia with a lot of momentum. The entire team is looking forward to the trip to Spain – and has obviously set its sights high for the penultimate race of 2012. We have already tested the BMW M3 DTM on this track, so we start the weekend already in possession of some important data, on which we can build. Our performances so far have played a large role in making this DTM season so exciting and providing the fans with fantastic entertainment. We will do our best to ensure that it remains exciting right through to the season finale in Hockenheim.”
Stefan Reinhold (Team Principal, BMW Team RMG): “After two rather mediocre weekends for our team in Zandvoort and Oschersleben, we are keen to go all out on the attack again in the remaining two races. Our goal is to score as many points as possible and bring what has already been a successful debut season to a fitting close. It would be nice if Martin Tomczyk could get back on the podium in Valencia and make up a few places in the drivers’ standings. Joey Hand produced his best race in the DTM so far in Oschersleben and showed unbelievable fighting spirit. He really deserved to finish in the points. I hope he can follow on from that great performance in Valencia and claim his second top-ten finish of the season.”
Charly Lamm (Team Principal, BMW Team Schnitzer): “The success in Oschersleben has obviously given everyone at BMW Team Schnitzer another boost. It was our best team result of the season. We have only had a short amount of time to prepare for the next race in Valencia, but that suits us. The team is really hungry to get started in Spain. We have experience of Valencia through testing the BMW M3 DTM there. However, the surface of the track has been completely relayed since then, meaning we will have a lot to learn there again.”
Bart Mampaey (Team Principal, BMW Team RBM): “It is another track we know quite well from the WTCC. We are probably looking at one of the most sensitive tracks that exists for the series, with regard to track temperature and the performance of the car. I am expecting a very difficult weekend, during which we will have to learn a lot from the track and the way it changes between the morning and the afternoon – so between free practice and qualifying. We will put all our efforts and knowledge into bringing providing our two drivers with the best possible cars. Hopefully we can score big points again one round before the end of the season.”
Martin Tomczyk (car number 1, BMW Team RMG): “After the difficult weekend in Oschersleben, I want to go on the attack again in Valencia. I only have good memories of the circuit in Spain. I secured the DTM title there with a third place last year. We have also done some testing there, so I believe we should be well prepared. My car has good pace and I want to use that to get good results and pick up as many points as possible at the last two races.”
Joey Hand (car number 2, BMW Team RMG): “For me there has been no track until Valencia this season where I have driven a DTM car. It is exciting for me because, even though I pick up race tracks fast, the little idiosyncrasies that come from driving a DTM car at any race track – where you put the car, the track limits all this stuff – is what I now know from testing in Valencia. I can leave the pit lane and hopefully make more progress with the race car handling wise and not have to get used to the track first. I am hoping it turns the season around for me even though there are only two races to go.”
Bruno Spengler (car number 7, BMW Team Schnitzer): “Valencia is a very special and extremely interesting circuit. As well as one quick corner, it is primarily made up of slow sections. The circuit is technically demanding and poses a real test for us drivers. The surface does not offer much grip in high temperatures and you have to be careful not to slide off the track when braking. It will be crucial to find the right balance for the car. If we achieve that, I am sure I can attack at the front of the field again.”
Dirk Werner (car number 8, BMW Team Schnitzer): “Fourth place in Oschersleben has given me a lot of additional confidence. Together with my BMW Team Schnitzer I have worked hard to improve at each DTM race. I know Valencia from the tests and like the circuit. As far as I am concerned, things can continue exactly as they were at the Motorsport Arena last weekend. I can’t wait to get back into the car.”
Andy Priaulx (car number 15, BMW Team RBM): “Valencia is quite tough. It can be one track in the morning for free practice and a whole new track in the afternoon for qualifying. When I raced there in the WTCC it was always challenging. It is going to be like in Oschersleben, really tight and close, and I think we are going to have to make sure we put everything together perfectly, get everything right, improve the car over the course of the weekend and try to aim for a good solid points finish. There is a little bit of an overtaking opportunity into turn one, so that is good, and maybe into turn six and the last corner. I think you have more opportunities to overtake in Valencia than in Oschersleben.”
Augusto Farfus (car number 16, BMW Team RBM): “I like the city of Valencia because it has a latin mentality. It is not Brazil but it is one of the places where I feel close to Brazil. I also like the circuit itself. It is the circuit where I had the opportunity to test a Formula One car so of course it will stay close to my heart forever. It feels like a stadium with all these grandstands around and hopefully in DTM we shall see a lot of Spanish people supporting us and watching the race.”