We knew this day would come but just not this soon. Today BMW claimed it ‘s first victory since it ‘s DTM comeback. Huge congrats from all of us at BimmerFile to the BMW BMW DTM team.
Official Release: Just two races into its comeback season, BMW is back on the top step of the DTM podium: 19 years, six months and 25 days after the last triumph, Bruno Spengler (CA), at the wheel of the BMW Bank M3 DTM, crossed the finish line at the Lausitzring (DE) in first place. In a thrilling second race of the season, Spengler held off the challenge of Mercedes driver Gary Paffett (GB), who finished runner-up. Augusto Farfus (BR) came third in the Castrol EDGE BMW M3 DTM to complete a fantastic team result for BMW.
Spengler follows in the footsteps of Roberto Ravaglia (IT), who claimed the brand’s 49th victory in the DTM on 11th October 1992 in Hockenheim (DE). Back then, BMW Team Schnitzer, with Team Principal Charly Lamm on the pit wall, was responsible for the BMW M3. Almost 20 years later, the team from Freilassing (DE) once again made DTM history with BMW’s 50th victory and the first win since the company’s return to the series. The victory also represents a milestone for Spengler: the 28-year-old secured the tenth victory of this DTM career at the 3.478-kilometre Lausitzring. Spengler’s maiden win came at the Norisring (DE) on 23rd July 2006.
Reigning DTM champion Martin Tomczyk (DE, BMW M Performance Parts M3 DTM) finished seventh to score six points for BMW Team RMG. His team-mate Joey Hand (US) crossed the line 14th in his SAMSUNG BMW M3 DTM. Andy Priaulx (GB, Crowne Plaza Hotels BMW M3 DTM) and Dirk Werner (DE, E-POSTBRIEF BMW M3 DTM) came home 17th and 19th respectively. The action was watched by 72,000 motorsport fans at the Lausitzring over the course of the weekend.
Right from the first lap, BMW drivers Spengler and Farfus were involved in a thrilling duel with Mercedes’ Paffett and Jamie Green (GB). Spengler defended his lead at the start and then held onto his position at the front of the field, thanks largely to excellent work by BMW Team Schnitzer during the two pit stops. Although Farfus was passed by Paffett on lap one, the Brazilian brilliantly withstood pressure from the fourth-placed Green for lap after lap. His reward came in the form of his first podium finish in the DTM.
Jens Marquardt (BMW Motorsport Director):
“This is a very special moment – beyond our wildest dreams. Bruno Spengler’s magnificent victory is the icing on the cake at the end of an incredible week. First came our impressive comeback weekend in Hockenheim, then the first pole position yesterday and now – in only our second race – our first victory in the new DTM era. That is really fantastic, simply unbelievable. Bruno produced an outstanding performance and took full advantage of his pole position. He has added another important chapter to BMW’s success story in motorsport. On the 40th anniversary of BMW M, we have taken the number of wins achieved by the BMW M3 in the DTM to 41. That makes me extremely proud, particularly bearing in mind the hard work that everyone in the team has put in over the last few weeks and months. Despite this, we would be well advised to keep both feet firmly on the ground. We have enjoyed an almost perfect start to our comeback season. However, we still have to go to a lot of races at circuits where we have not completed a single kilometre in testing. Furthermore, the 2012 DTM is so close that the pack is reshuffled at every track. This means that form and trends can change very quickly. We wanted to be in a position to achieve a good result when the opportunity came along. That is precisely what happened today, and we grasped our chance with both hands.”
Driver & Team Reactions
Charly Lamm (Team Principal, BMW Team Schnitzer):
“This is simply fantastic. The DTM is so challenging and the bar has been set so high. Despite this, however, we first claimed pole and then clinched the first victory in only our second race – that is indescribable. It was an unbelievably exciting race. Bruno was consistently under pressure and could not afford to make a single mistake. It is sensational what he did out there. He has nerves of steel. I said in the past that it would come down to stability, strategy and pit stops. That was the case today, and it all worked perfectly for us. Thanks not only to Bruno, but also to every single person in the team. This success is the reward for the hard work they have put in in recent months.”
Bart Mampaey (Team Principal, BMW Team RBM):
“Congratulations to BMW on a fantastic first and third. We had a really great race with Augusto, who had to defend very hard against Jamie Green. We had two good pit stops and managed to get ahead of him after the second tyre change. Augusto drove brilliantly all weekend. At the end of the day, I think narrowly missing pole position yesterday is what cost us the victory. Bruno did a great job. Congratulations to Schnitzer and BMW.”
Stefan Reinhold (Team Principal, BMW Team RMG):
“Firstly, congratulations to my two colleagues Charly Lamm and Bart Mampaey. Both have done magnificently with their teams. However, our two drivers Martin Tomczyk and Joey Hand were also able to get the maximum out of this close race. That was only our second race in the DTM. When you bear that in mind, we have done a super job so far and have picked up our first points. BMW’s return to the DTM is a fantastic project. It is simply unbelievable what we have achieved in just one year.”
Bruno Spengler (car number 7, BMW Team Schnitzer, 1st place):
“Today is a dream come true for me. I am so happy I just want to give everyone at BMW Team Schnitzer a big hug. That was a perfect weekend for me: the first DTM pole position for BMW for 20 years, then the first victory since 1992. This is one of the best days of my life. The race was unbelievable. We had a really tough battle with the Mercedes drivers, and did everything in our power to stay in front of them. Thankfully it worked. The final lap was the longest of my career. My team and I did not put a foot wrong today. That was definitely the crucial factor. One thing is certain: it is time for a celebration.”
Augusto Farfus (car number 16, BMW Team RBM, 3rd place):
“Congratulations to BMW for doing a great job and giving us this car. This is only my second DTM race and we are a very young team in the series. That makes it all the more amazing to finish on the podium at the second race. I feel really great. I had a difficult time in Hockenheim, but we have recovered brilliantly. One week later, this was a very different performance. I am very happy to be able to bring the car to the finish without any mistakes even though I had Jamie Green pushing me for a lot of laps. But I just made sure I stayed calm and made no mistakes. Thanks also to BMW Team RBM for two fantastic pit stops.”
Martin Tomczyk (car number 1, BMW Team RMG, 7th place):
“The race did not go entirely to plan for me. The basic pace of my car was ok. Maybe our pit stops and strategy cost us a better position in the race. I was able to maintain my position from qualifying, however. That gives me confidence ahead of the race in Brands Hatch. We will push on again there. Congratulations to Bruno and Augusto. This is a fantastic result.”
Joey Hand (car number 2, BMW Team RMG, 14th place):
“In actual fact, that did not go so badly. I had a difficult start, as I had Andy directly in front of me. I had to hold back, in order to avoid risking contact. In the race, the balance of my SAMSUNG BMW M3 DTM was absolutely fine. That was only my second race in the DTM, and I must continue to work on my performance. I will improve and learn a lot from race to race.”
Andy Priaulx (car number 15, BMW Team RBM, 17th place):
“Congratulations to BMW. What a great result. Sadly my weekend just never went right. I just got boxed in at the start and never seemed to be able to move forward from there. I would rather forget about it and now I am already looking forward to a better race in Brands Hatch.”
Dirk Werner (car number 8, BMW Team Schnitzer, 19th place):
“This is a fantastic day for BMW. Congratulations to Bruno and Augusto on their great performances here. For me personally it was not a great weekend. Qualifying was difficult, and I had no chance of improving my position in the race itself. It was just a matter of finishing the race and gaining some more kilometres of race experience. I am now concentrating on the next race, and look forward to going on the attack again at Brands Hatch.”
BMW DTM History
– BMW is celebrating a hat-trick of anniversaries in 2012: BMW M was founded 40 years ago, and has tasted countless successes on the racetrack over the following decades. Twenty five years ago the BMW M3 started to write its unique success story in motorsport. Even today, the racing version remains the most successful touring car of all time. And finally, it is now 20 years since BMW last appeared in the DTM with a works team. Bruno Spengler’s triumph was BMW’s 50th victory in this series.
– Spengler is the 16th driver to win a DTM race for BMW.
– Harald Grohs won the first ever DTM race in Zolder (BE) at the wheel of the BMW 635 CSi.
– Volker Strycek did not win a single race in 1984 – but was still crowned champion.
– BMW Team Schnitzer crossed the finish line in first place on 17 occasions between 1989 and 1992. Spengler has now added success number 18 for the team from Freilassing (DE).
– Charly Lamm was on the pit wall for BMW Team Schnitzer when Roberto Ravaglia triumphed back in 1989.
– In a dramatic finale, 25-year-old Eric van de Poele finished tenth in the final race of the season to win the 1987 title in a BMW M3.
– Roberto Ravaglia gave the BMW M3 a triumphant farewell from the DTM with two victories in Hockenheim on 11th October 1992.
– BMW drivers finished first and second at 15 races in the DTM between 1984 and 1992.
– As well as the BMW 635 CSi and BMW M3, the BMW 323i also has three DTM wins to its name – with Winfried Vogt at the wheel on all three occasions.