After a four-week break from racing – the longest of the 2012 DTM season so far – the three BMW teams return to action on 1st July: the only street circuit on the race calendar awaits BMW Motorsport at the Norisring in Nürnberg (DE).
The DTM event at the Norisring casts a spell over fans and drivers alike with its unique atmosphere. Right in the heart of Nürnberg, the public streets around the concrete stands and the Dutzendteich lake are converted into a racetrack. Every millimetre of the 2.3-kilometre circuit is crucial. The DTM cars get closer to the crash barriers here than anywhere else on the calendar. The different road surfaces, which offer little grip, are an additional challenge.
Bruno Spengler’s (CA) name appears three times in the list of winners at the Norisring. He claimed his first DTM victory at his favourite circuit in 2006. BMW has emerged victorious there on five occasions. The last winner at the wheel of a BMW M3 at the Dutzendteich lake was Joachim Winkelhock (DE), who triumphed for BMW Team Schnitzer on 28th June 1992.
Jens Marquardt (BMW Motorsport Director):
“The race at the Norisring is traditionally one of the absolute highlights of the DTM season. We have strong links with this circuit, having claimed five DTM victories here in the 1980s and 1990s. Now we are returning to the Norisring with the new BMW M3 DTM. This circuit is special for a number of reasons. We have absolutely no past data and the track’s characteristics and low level of grip will present our teams and drivers with a completely new challenge. The DTM fans traditionally flock to Nürnberg, where they create a very special atmosphere. Every one of us is looking forward to doing his best to produce another great result against this impressive backdrop. BMW Team RMG has had to assemble a different chassis for the outing at the Norisring, following an incident at our test session. This has not affected our preparations for the race. The car in question developed a leak in the fuel supply during the roll-out. The escaping fuel then ignited in the exhaust. Although some parts of the car can be reused, the chassis itself is no longer suitable for use in a race situation.”
Stefan Reinhold (Team Principal, BMW Team RMG):
“We are clearly on the up, following Martin Tomczyk’s second place in Spielberg. The good result there has given us an enormous amount of confidence for the tasks ahead. Joey Hand was also finally able to show what an exceptionally good driver he is. Unfortunately we lost one of our cars at the test at the Lausitzring. However, the other chassis will certainly be ready in time for us to go on the attack again at the Norisring.”
Charly Lamm (Team Principal, BMW Team Schnitzer):
“The Norisring is a real treat for DTM fans – and something of a home event for us. It is no coincidence that the race is also known as the Bavarian Grand Prix. You can feel the tradition everywhere you turn. We have some good memories of the Norisring, particularly our win with Joachim Winkelhock back in 1992. That was a long time ago, but the Norisring has lost none of its unique character.”
Bart Mampaey (Team Principal, BMW Team RBM):
“Being a DTM rookie we have heard a lot of stories about the Norisring being a major event of the year. It is obviously in Bavaria so it is a home race for BMW. It is a very special track with a lot of history, and one of the best crowds of the year along with Hockenheim. We are really looking forward to experiencing it for ourselves.”
Martin Tomczyk (car number 1, BMW Team RMG):
“After last year’s unforgettable, rain-dominated race, I am already really looking forward to seeing what surprises the Norisring has in store for us this year. It is always a major challenge to drive on this fascinating street circuit with its two hairpins. In 2011 I managed to climb from tenth on the grid to third place by the end of the race. It would be great to be back on the podium again this year.”
Joey Hand (car number 2, BMW Team RMG):
“I scored my first DTM points at the race in Spielberg. That has given me and BMW Team RMG a lot of confidence. I spent a lot of time with my wife and two kids during the break. My batteries are now fully charged and ready for the rest of the season. I travel to the Norisring with a lot of momentum and am determined to continue my upward trend.”
Bruno Spengler (car number 7, BMW Team Schnitzer):
“I claimed my first DTM victory at the Norisring in 2006. I just really like the circuit. I have won there on three occasions and have always ended up on the podium. I really enjoy braking hard and late. It is not easy to find the ideal line, although there are only a few corners. The atmosphere is just great. It is my very favourite circuit.”
Dirk Werner (car number 8, BMW Team Schnitzer):
“Although my race in Spielberg came to a premature end, I gained a lot of confidence there. Ninth place in qualifying showed me we are capable of competing with the front-runners. With a bit of luck, we could have done even better. As such, I am really hoping I can have an incident-free race at the Norisring. The circuit is interesting and has a long tradition. A good performance in qualifying will once again be immensely important there.”
Andy Priaulx (car number 15, BMW Team RBM):
“Norisring is a legendary track and I can’t wait to see it for myself. I have an affinity with street circuits and just love them. I have had some of my most exciting and successful races on street circuits and so it would be great for me to keep this tradition up there. We aim to put on a good show for the fans.”
Augusto Farfus (car number 16, BMW Team RBM):
“It was nice to be able to switch off a bit before the Norisring, as it has been six very intense months for me. All of us BMW guys except Bruno and Martin will be starting from scratch again at the Norisring. I am still optimistic as I love street circuits and I have won on all the street circuits I have raced on so far. I have never been there but I have watched some films of crazy races there. I am really happy we are going there and looking forward to discovering this unique circuit.”
Photo: to: Christian Urban/Nordbayern.de