On 29th June, the BMW drivers will do battle for points and places at the iconic street race in Nürnberg (DE).
Munich (DE) - After a four-week break in race action, the 2014 DTM season resumes with the race on the Norisring (DE). On 29th June, the BMW drivers will do battle for points and places at the iconic street race in Nürnberg (DE). One driver in particular is looking forward to the fourth race of the year: Marco Wittmann (DE), who currently leads the Drivers’ Championship with 50 points. He lives just 20 kilometres from the circuit in Fürth (DE). Just as the local favourite leads the Drivers’ Championship, BMW Team RMG also occupies first place in the team competition. Team Principal Stefan Reinhold’s (DE) outfit tops the standings with 58 points.
The 2.3 kilometre Norisring is regarded as the Monaco of the DTM. Similar to the way Formula One drivers weave their way through the narrow streets in the Mediterranean principality, the DTM drivers also come within a whisker of the walls on the tight street circuit in Nürnberg. They must complete the stop-and-start circuit around the Dutzendteich 83 times before they see the chequered flag.
Last year the Norisring, which is made race-ready each year by volunteers, proved to be relatively difficult terrain for BMW Motorsport. After an eventful race in extreme heat, which also included two safety car periods, Bruno Spengler (CA) came home sixth as the best-placed BMW driver. In total, four BMW drivers finished in the top ten. Over the course of the weekend, 126,000 spectators followed the action on the Norisring, where BMW has five DTM wins to its name. These included the first ever DTM race in Nürnberg back in 1984, when Winfried Vogt (DE) triumphed in a BMW 323i.
On Sunday, fans can look forward to a very special highlight before the fourth round of the season gets underway – the BMW Motorsport “Pit Stop Chain”. Together with the many BMW employees in Nürnberg, the fans will form a human chain from the ITR stage to the BMW Z4 GT3 of BMW Brand Ambassador Alessandro Zanardi (IT), who will also be making a guest appearance at the Norisring. They will pass the four tyres for the pit stop, one after another, to the pit crew, who will then perform the tyre change. Zanardi will then head out onto the track with the BMW Z4 GT3.
A new addition to the weekend format awaits DTM fans in Nürnberg on Saturday. For the first time this season, the eight BMW M4 DTMs will go on track for two 60-minute practices. ARD will broadcast the subsequent qualifying at the Norisring live from 14:35 on Saturday. TV viewers will join the action live from 13:15 on Sunday, when the BMW drivers set off in pursuit of more points in the fourth race of the season.
Three BMW DTM drivers are travelling straight from the “Green Hell” to Nürnberg: Wittmann, Maxime Martin (BE) and Martin Tomczyk (DE) were all in action at the Nürburgring 24 Hours (DE) last weekend. While both Wittmann and Martin failed to finish with BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS, Tomczyk and his team-mates came home sixth in the number 20 BMW Z4 GT3 for BMW Sports Trophy Team Schubert.
Jens Marquardt (BMW Motorsport Director): “The new BMW M4 DTM’s debut has been very successful for us so far. Two pole positions, two wins and 118 points from three races are a more than positive yield. Furthermore, in Marco Wittmann we also have the leader in the Drivers’ Championship among our ranks. So, we have enjoyed a good start to the season with the new BMW M4 DTM. However, we will not make the mistake of resting on our laurels. You have to work hard for every single success in the DTM, and a weekend of hard work awaits us in Nürnberg this weekend. The Norisring is the perfect venue to return from the four-week break with one of the real highlights of the season. The unique atmosphere that the fans generate in the paddock and the stands is enough to give you goose-bumps. I am particularly looking forward to the many BMW employees who will be at the circuit and give us fantastic support this weekend. We will do our best to give them and all the other BMW fans further cause for celebration in Nürnberg.”
Bart Mampaey (Team Principal, BMW Team RBM): “We used the four-week break to analyse this year’s previous races and to work on improvements. At the same time, we also used the time to recharge our batteries after the intense start to the season. That has worked very well, and the entire team is now looking forward to the highlight of the season at the Norisring.”
Charly Lamm (Team Principal, BMW Team Schnitzer): “After the intense start to the season, with three races within a matter of weeks, the short breather before our home race at the Norisring in Bavaria has done us all good. Especially having gone into the break on the back of a success like Bruno Spengler’s third place in Budapest. We are looking forward to the outing at the Norisring. The street circuit in Nürnberg has a long tradition and is definitely a special event for us.”
Ernest Knoors (Team Principal, BMW Team MTEK): “Our performance in the first third of the season was good. My team did a superb job. We have been particularly strong in qualifying so far. All that is missing is a top result in a race. We want to achieve that as quickly as possible. I would be delighted for the team if we were to pull it off at the next race at the Norisring.”
Stefan Reinhold (Team Principal, BMW Team RMG): “We have had a very good start to the season and are obviously looking forward to Marco Wittmann’s home race at the Norisring. We are working very hard to ensure Maxime Martin and Marco remain successful. The Norisring is a unique and difficult circuit, which represents a completely new challenge for everyone after three of ten races. Because of this, we are very intrigued to discover the balance of power on this circuit. As always, it will be important that the team does not make any mistakes on the weekend. For me personally, this race is something of an anniversary: I was involved in my first Formula 3 race at the Norisring in 1994.”
Augusto Farfus (car number 3, BMW Team RBM): “On paper a lap of the Norisring looks really simple. The challenge is finding the right strategy and the perfect set-up for the race. You can soon end up with a car that is quick on the straights, but poor braking into corners. For this reason, the set-up must be 100 per cent right.”
Joey Hand (car number 4, BMW Team RBM): “Where we would normally drive off into a gravel trap at other circuits, you are straight into a wall at the Norisring. I think this really changes how people race. It is fantastic to race on a track in the middle of the city, because we are bringing the racing right to the fans. The race at the Norisring will be a great show.”
Bruno Spengler (car number 9, BMW Team Schnitzer): “The Norisring is very technical and very challenging, as you have to brake late. Because the cars pass very close to the walls, you cannot afford to make any mistakes. I have always been very successful at the Norisring. The atmosphere there is always amazing, so I am really looking forward to driving there in the DTM again.”
Martin Tomczyk (car number 10, BMW Team Schnitzer): “After the scorching race last year, which included two safety periods and was utter chaos at times, I am intrigued to see what surprises the Norisring has in store for us this time. Driving there is always a big challenge. I hope I can produce another good performance in front of the many BMW employees and fans.”
Timo Glock (car number 17, BMW Team MTEK): “The race at the Norisring is always a highlight, both for us drivers and for the DTM fans. The action there is incredible. There are a lot of battles on the track, and it is not uncommon for cars to end up in the wall or crash barrier. Although the circuit only consists of four corners, it represents a real challenge. The cars are set-up with very little downforce and dance across the bumps. It will be an exciting weekend, and one I am really looking forward to.
António Félix da Costa (car number 18, BMW Team MTEK): “I was at the Norisring in 2010 with Formula 3 and am looking forward to returning to this circuit. A lap of the Norisring is very short – and the car needs a completely different set-up to other circuits. I head to Nürnberg with a lot of confidence and really hope we can mix it with the front-runners again there.”
Marco Wittmann (car number 23, BMW Team RMG): “There is huge anticipation ahead of my home race at the Norisring. This event is the highlight of the year. It is fantastic to compete at my home race as the leader in the Drivers’ Championship. The circuit is only a few kilometres from my home. My family and friends will be there to support me and cheer me on. A good result at the Norisring would be a dream come true.”
Maxime Martin (car number 24, BMW Team RMG): “Every DTM driver wants to race at the Norisring and to put in a good performance there. The circuit itself does not look all that difficult, with just two hairpins and a chicane. However, it is a real challenge. I have yet to complete a single lap there so far, so I don’t know exactly what awaits me. For this reason, I am preparing meticulously and really looking forward to pulling out of the pit lane for the first time.”