BMW Team RMG wins the Team competition and Martin is ‘Rookie of the Year’
Zandvoort (NL), 28th September 2014. In the first race since Marco Wittmann (DE) was crowned DTM Drivers’ champion, BMW Team RMG sealed the Team title in Zandvoort (NL). Team principal Stefan Reinhold’s (DE) outfit ended the penultimate race of the season with Wittmann in second place – his fifth podium of the year – and sixth place for Maxime Martin (BE, SAMSUNG BMW M4 DTM).
With 193 points to its name, BMW Team RMG now goes into the season finale in Hockenheim (DE) with an unassailable lead. Martin is also assured of the “Rookie of the Year” title, making him the successor to team-mate and new DTM champion Wittmann.
At the end of a turbulent 43-lap race at the “Circuit Park Zandvoort”, with four safety car periods, Wittmann brought the Ice-Watch BMW M4 DTM home 7.4 seconds behind winner Mattias Ekström (SE, Audi). Third place went to Martin Tomczyk (DE) in the BMW M Performance Parts M4 DTM. The BMW Team Schnitzer driver stepped onto the podium for the first time since the race at the Nürburgring in 2012.
I am proud that we are now also Team champions after winning the Drivers’ Championship.
The remaining BMW drivers missed out on the points. Bruno Spengler (CA) crossed the finish line eighth in the BMW Bank M4 DTM, but was handed a penalty for a collision shortly before the end of the race and has thus been classified in 17th place. Joey Hand (US) made a good start in the Crowne Plaza Hotels BMW M4 DTM, but was unable to hang on to a top-ten position. The American had to settle for 11th.
BMW Team MTEK drivers Timo Glock (DE, DEUTSCHE POST BMW M4 DTM) and António Félix da Costa (PT, Red Bull BMW M4 DTM) came home 13th and 14th. Glock was unfortunate when his car remained stationary at the start of the installation lap and had to start the race from the very back of the grid.
The race was over after just 18 laps for last year’s winner Augusto Farfus (BR). His Castrol EDGE BMW M4 DTM was hit from behind by a rival and spun off into the barriers. Farfus was unhurt, but had to leave his car in the gravel bed.
Quotes after race
Jens Marquardt (BMW Motorsport Director): “That was an extremely eventful race. The many safety car periods made it difficult to keep track of what was going on at times. We were constantly having to change our strategy, and the last few laps came down to a sprint. We are obviously happy to have two drivers on the podium. Marco Wittmann and Martin Tomczyk produced great performances and kept cool heads at all times. I am particularly pleased for Martin. He earned his reward for all his hard work today. At the same time, he confirmed the continuous improvement in his performances in recent races, and ended his long wait for a podium.
Maxime Martin also had a great race and has already earned the title of ‘Rookie of the Year’. We are also delighted for BMW Team RMG, who won the Team competition today with one race to go. Congratulations to Mattias Ekström and Audi on their win.”
Stefan Reinhold (Team Principal, BMW Team RMG): “After the race at the Lausitzring, today was another of this season’s highlights. We are all overjoyed. This is the reward for all the hard work of the last few weeks, months and years. We also showed that we can land both cars near the front of the field. Marco Wittmann has obviously been outstanding this year. However, Maxime Martin has also performed very strongly as a rookie in 2014, and not only at his win in Moscow. He fought back very well today and also scored a superb result. We will now continue to push hard to ensure that BMW still leads the Manufacturers’ Championship after the finale in Hockenheim.”
Charly Lamm (Team Principal, BMW Team Schnitzer): “This podium feels really good, especially after the recent races. It was an absolute joy to see Martin Tomczyk on the podium, and I am overjoyed for him and the entire team. Everyone worked very hard for that. It is also important, with regard to the Manufacturers’ Championship, that we were able to support BMW with Martin’s points. Furthermore, our crew also performed the fastest pit stop of the entire race on his car.
Our guys can be proud of that. Luck was not on Bruno Spengler’s side. He was on a very promising strategy, given the many safety car period. He was on course to finish in the points, but then came the incident with Jamie Green and the ensuing penalty. Congratulations to Stefan Reinhold and his team, who have now crowned a great season with the Team title.”
Bart Mampaey (Team Principal, BMW Team RBM): “We had a big crash with Augusto Farfus, and Joey Hand was also driving a damaged car. Our strategy worked really well for him. We switched from options to the harder prime tyres early on. However, you soon find yourself dropping back through this close field, in which DRS is used for overtaking, if your pace is no longer 100 per cent. Congratulations to BMW Team RMG on winning the Team title. They have had a sensational season.”
Ernest Knoors (Team Principal, BMW Team MTEK): “It has been a rather disappointing season for our team, as we always have a quick car and do a good job, but are lacking the necessary slice of luck in the races. Sure, we have also made mistakes, but we now need that little bit of luck to get the results that are actually possible. Congratulations to BMW Team RMG on winning the Team title. They have done a superb job, and you could see that everything works nicely when you are on a run. BMW now has a good chance to seal the Manufacturers’ title in Hockenheim. We want to do our bit.”
Marco Wittmann (car number 23, BMW Team RMG, 2nd): “It was a crazy race with a lot of safety car periods. I got off to a great start and pulled ahead of Mike Rockenfeller. However, my option tyres degraded very quickly after that, and I was unable to maintain my pace. I then made a mistake braking into turn one, so Rocky was able to pass me again. After that my team did an awesome job and brought me into the pits early for the tyre change. That was absolutely the right decision. You obviously also need a bit of luck when there are that many safety car periods.We had that.
I am proud that we are now also Team champions after winning the Drivers’ Championship. That is the reward for the great job we’ve done this season. Congratulations to my team-mate Maxime Martin on the ‘Rookie of the Year’ title. I am happy with second place in today’s race. That is a great day. The Manufacturers’ title is still up for grabs at the finale in Hockenheim. I am very motivated and want to end the year with a good result.”
Martin Tomczyk (car number 10, BMW Team Schnitzer, 3rd): “It is very satisfying to get back on the podium after such a long time. I have had some tough times. Today, I was finally able to prove that I can still make it onto the podium when everything comes together. Thank you to BMW and BMW Team Schnitzer for the support I have always had here. I am very happy to have turned things around here in Zandvoort, at one of my favourite circuits. It was a spectacular race, particularly for the spectators. The pace was good throughout the entire race. To finish third today is almost a form of redemption.”
Maxime Martin (car number 24, BMW Team RMG, 6th): “That is a magnificent day for me and my team. The weekend did not exactly get off to a great start for us. We had a minor technical problem in qualifying. In contrast, we had a bit of luck on our side in today’s race. However, you need that in motor racing. We scored important points and have been crowned Team champions with a race to spare. I am delighted for the guys at BMW Team RMG.
After the two difficult years the team had behind it, I am very happy that they have finally been rewarded for their efforts. My team-mate Marco Wittmann is DTM champion. I won the ‘Rookie of the Year’ title today. I am proud to be recognised as the best newcomer in this fiercely-contested series. All that is missing now is the Manufacturers’ title for BMW. We want to seal that in Hockenheim.”
Joey Hand (car number 4, BMW Team RBM, 11th): “It was a difficult day. Even at the start we did not have the right pace on the option tyres, and I found myself stuck in the pack. You are vulnerable when you are constantly having to defend, and that was the case with me today. I was hit relatively hard after the first safety car period, when I was still on the options. That caused damage to my car, and it was very difficult to drive after that. I was then just trying to stick with it, as you can never give up. Despite all the problems, I was still determined to finish – with all the retirements today, I could even have ended up in the points.”
Timo Glock (car number 17, BMW Team MTEK, 13th): “We actually had a good car this weekend, but we were completely lacking the luck we needed to convert our performance into a good result. I could not find first gear at the start of the installation lap. I had to let the entire field past. It was very eventful after that, but unfortunately we did not benefit from that either. Congratulations to BMW Team RMG on winning the Team title, but also to Martin Tomczyk on a strong race. He really deserves this success.”
António Félix da Costa (car number 18, BMW Team MTEK, 14th): “It was another character-building race. I have learned a lot for the future. Our pace was promising on the option tyres. I had the feeling that I was competitive and could catch the guys ahead of me. However, I had problems with the balance again when we switched to primes. We now have a bit of time before the season finale. Hopefully we can solve our problems and enjoy a successful final race of the season.”
Bruno Spengler (car number 9, BMW Team Schnitzer, 17th): “I didn’t actually have a bad race – apart from my penalty after the collision with Jamie Green. I don’t understand it. We have had similar situations in previous races, for which no penalties were handed out.”
Augusto Farfus (car number 3, BMW Team RBM, DNF): “I was hit from behind by Daniel Juncadella. It was a really big impact, and I think he got his braking completely wrong. The incident was a shame and brought my race to an early end. I was lucky: when I saw the wall coming towards me I thought I was going to hit it head on. Fortunately, however, I hit it side on.”