Valencia (ES), 29th September 2012. Augusto Farfus (BR) will start the ninth race of the DTM season in Valencia (ES) from pole position. The BMW Team RBM driver set a time of 1:26.446 minutes in qualifying at the “Circuit de la Comunitat”.
Farfus’ team-mate Andy Priaulx (GB) produced a promising performance on Saturday, setting the sixth fastest time in the Crowne Plaza Hotels BMW M3 DTM – his best qualifying result so far in the DTM.
Dirk Werner (DE, E-POSTBRIEF BMW M3 DTM) qualified ninth to complete the trio of BMW drivers on the first five rows of the grid.
This was the fourth pole position of the season so far for BMW Motorsport. Previously, Bruno Spengler (CA, BMW Bank M3 DTM) had topped the times at the Lausitzring (DE), Nürburgring (DE) and in Oschersleben (DE). In Valencia, the 29-year-old had to settle with 12th on the grid.
In the second qualifying session, Spengler failed to progress by just six thousandths of a second.
Martin Tomczyk (DE, BMW M Performance Parts M3 DTM) came even closer to qualifying for “Q3”: the reigning DTM champion missed out on tenth and a start in the third qualifying session by just 0.001 seconds.
Joey Hand (US, SAMSUNG BMW M3 DTM) was 13th fastest on the 4.005-kilometre track.
Farfus celebrated his first pole position, having narrowly missed out at the Lausitzring at the start of the season, where he qualified second behind Spengler. He also made it into Q4 at the Norisring (DE). Farfus is also the first Brazilian in the history of the DTM to claim pole position.
BMW Team RBM has already celebrated a podium thanks to third for Farfus in the Lausitzring, and now this is another highlight for the team and its Team Principal Bart Mampaey (BE) in the DTM.
For BMW this was its 34th pole position in the series. ARD will broadcast the race in Valencia live from 13:45 on Sunday.
Jens Marquardt (BMW Motorsport Director): “That was a fantastic qualifying from Augusto Farfus. He was consistently quick and deservedly earned his first pole position in the DTM.
Compliments to everyone in BMW Team RBM: Gustl’s team-mate Andy Priaulx also achieved his best qualifying result in the DTM with sixth place.
Dirk Werner finished ninth to ensure it was another strong overall showing from BMW. We would obviously have liked to see Bruno Spengler further up the field.
He missed out on Q3 by just six thousandths of a second and must now try to pick up as many points as possible from 12th on the grid. This shows once again just how tight and unpredictable the DTM is. The fans can look forward to an exciting race.”
Bart Mampaey (Team Principal, BMW Team RBM): “This is a really good team effort with P1 and P6 and I am very happy with it. It is a track we know very well, as both the drivers and the team have raced here for many years. This was obviously in another series, but it is a familiar surrounding for us.
Both cars were immediately good, so we just kept on going and then it was a sensational lap by Augusto for pole. I really want to thank everyone in BMW Team RBM for all their efforts.
This wonderful achievement today is a big step forward for us. However, the race is still to come!”
Augusto Farfus (car number 16, BMW Team RBM, Pole): “I am speechless. This is amazing to have a pole position in my first season in DTM. This was also where I had my first pole position in touring cars in 2004, so I have a special connection to this track.
I have always felt very comfortable here and everything felt good with the car from the opening laps yesterday.
Today, the car was the key. The balance was really important: it suited my driving style and, more than anywhere else we have seen, fitted me like a glove! This pole position is the result of the hard work put in by BMW Team RBM. They have really been pushing.
We have been working closely together during the bad times and this is the result of the teamwork. I also want to say a big thank you to everyone at BMW Motorsport.
I want to enjoy this moment, but I know tomorrow’s race will be tough as there are an awful lot of fast drivers right behind me.”
Andy Priaulx (car number 15, BMW Team RBM, 6th): “I am really happy to be back up the grid again. A big thank you to everyone at BMW Team RBM as we brought everything together as a team and are making process.
I have had a difficult period, but this proves we can improve and I hope we can keep up this momentum. I hope my start can be as good as they have been in the past few races. I hope to go forward at the start and stay up there.”
Dirk Werner (car number 8, BMW Team Schnitzer, 9th): “The track conditions changed over the course of the day, so it was not easy to find the right set-up for qualifying and time the outings perfectly.
My team managed to do that well in the first two sessions, but we did not get it 100 per cent right in Q3.
Generally speaking, however, I am very happy with ninth on the grid. Maybe we could have done better, but we have given ourselves a great chance for tomorrow’s race.”
Martin Tomczyk (car number 1, BMW Team RMG, 11th): “That was a difficult qualifying for me. I did not have the pace required to be any further up the field. It is frustrating to miss out on progressing to the next session by just one thousandths of a second.
That is motor racing though. I am still looking forward to tomorrow’s race. BMW Team RMG and I will go on the attack.”
Bruno Spengler (car number 7, BMW Team Schnitzer, 12th): “I am obviously disappointed by my qualifying result. I didn’t actually make any mistakes on my flying lap, so I still don’t know what was wrong. Generally speaking, my car did not feel as good on the track as it has done in recent qualifyings.
I did not have the right level of grip on the new asphalt and was sliding a bit in places. However, on Sunday a lot is still possible from 12th.”
Joey Hand (car number 2, BMW Team RMG, 13th): “Thirteenth on the grid is not exactly what I had hoped for. However, the DTM is an unbelievably close series. I only missed out on Q3 by a fraction of a second, which is a shame.
I was familiar with the track from our tests there. However, the surface has been relayed since then, so the conditions were a bit different. That did not exactly make things easier.”