Tomczyk and Hand also qualify in the top ten for BMW
Zandvoort (NL) - Marco Wittmann (DE) of BMW Team RMG produced another strong display in his first qualifying since winning the DTM title with races to spare. The 24-year-old’s fastest time of 1:30.739 minutes in the Ice-Watch BMW M4 DTM was enough to see him qualify second in Zandvoort (NL).
He came up just 26 thousandths of a second short of claiming pole, which went to Mike Rockenfeller (DE, Audi), who will start Sunday’s ninth race of the season from the front of the grid.
Tomorrow’s race will definitely not be easy, but we do start from a good position.
Wittmann was joined in the third qualifying session by Martin Tomczyk (DE). The BMW Team Schnitzer driver finished eighth fastest at the wheel of the BMW M Performance Parts M4 DTM – the second best qualifying result of the season for him. Joey Hand (US) missed out on Q3 by just 0.060 seconds in the Crowne Plaza Hotels BMW M4 DTM. The BMW Team RBM driver starts from ninth place.
Timo Glock (DE, DEUTSCHE POST BMW M4 DTM), Bruno Spengler (CA, BMW Bank M4 DTM) and Maxime Martin (BE, SAMSUNG BMW M4 DTM) will line up in 14th, 15th and 17th on the grid. Last year’s winner Augusto Farfus (BR) in the Castrol EDGE BMW M4 DTM failed to progress beyond the first session, and had to settle for 20th.
António Félix da Costa (PT) suffered a similar fate, qualifying 19th in the Red Bull BMW M4 DTM. The race at the 4.307-kilometre circuit nestled in the dunes on the North Sea coast gets underway at 13:30 on Sunday (live on ARD).
Jens Marquardt (BMW Motorsport Director): “We have witnessed another very impressive qualifying from Marco Wittmann, who missed out on pole position by the blink of an eye. He did an absolutely fantastic job once again. After all, he still has a heavier car than the opposition. That makes his performance all the more impressive. Martin Tomczyk and Joey Hand also enjoyed a good qualifying. Apart from that, we were unfortunately unable to get the maximum out of the remaining cars. There are differing reasons for that. The key now is to make the most of this situation with a good strategy in tomorrow’s race.”
Marco Wittmann (car number 23, BMW Team RMG, 2nd): “I can be really happy with second place. We still had a few problems here and there in free practice. However, we were able to solve these and now start from the front row. That is great, particularly when you consider that we are carrying extra weight compared to the other cars. I came into the pits quite early in Q3. Tyre degradation is really bad here in Zandvoort, so the tyres only work well for the first one or two laps before they start to wear. You cannot clock a quick lap time then. That was the case with me, and why we came into the pits and watched to see what on to see what unfolded. Tomorrow’s race will definitely not be easy, but we do start from a good position.”
Martin Tomczyk (car number 10, BMW Team Schnitzer, 8th): “I am very happy with eighth place in qualifying today. I did not have a fresh set of tyres in the third qualifying session. As I had old tyres on the car, I was well aware that I could not hope for any more. After a number of difficult qualifyings recently, it was important for me to get back into Q3 again. That was my goal for today, and we did it. I did not really see it coming. That is also the reason for me not having a new set of tyres left in the final session of qualifying. I always enjoy coming to Zandvoort. It will be an interesting race tomorrow.”
Joey Hand (car number 4, BMW Team RBM, 9th): “It is a real shame that I missed out on Q3 by just six hundredths of a second. However, I was still able to show that I feel very comfortable on this track. Having said that, it didn’t look great in practice. I now hope that my car will run that little bit better in the race, and that I can finish in the points.”
Timo Glock (car number 17, BMW Team MTEK, 14th): “I could have gone quicker today. The car was okay and we were fast in free practice. However, everyone else then seemed to get quicker in qualifying, while we stayed where we were. That is hard to understand, and is obviously a shame, as the car felt good. However, the lap times were not what they should have been.”
Bruno Spengler (car number 9, BMW Team Schnitzer, 15th): “I am obviously not happy with the performance in qualifying. We did not manage to find the right balance for the car. That has been a bit of an on-going story throughout the entire season. We will have to keep looking for the causes. One thing is clear: the BMW M4 DTM has the potential to be on pole. Unfortunately my team and I are not finding the right set-up. The only thing that remains for me is to push really hard tomorrow and attack the field from behind in order to finish in the points. For that to happen, however, I will have to hope for a bit of luck in the race.”
Maxime Martin (car number 24, BMW Team RMG, 17th): “P17 is definitely not the grid position we were after. We had a few minor problems with the car and were simply not able to get the most out of it. We must now take a close look at what happened in qualifying and do as well as possible from this position in the race.”
António Félix da Costa (car number 18, BMW Team MTEK, 19th): “We struggled in the free practices and knew that it was going to be difficult. We are just not getting the set-up of the car 100 per cent how I need it. Generally speaking, the circuit is great fun, even though I have not been able to mix it at the front of the field yet.”
Augusto Farfus (car number 3, BMW Team RBM, 20th): “I don’t know exactly why things are not running as well this year in Zandvoort as they did last year. I won here and proved that I am generally strong at this circuit. Looking ahead to the race, we must now determine what is going wrong this time.”