Anytime us BMW enthusiasts hear that BMW is racing at the Nürburgring it should pique some interest, as there is a long storied past between the brand and the track. Unlike the famed 24 hour race, the DTM race takes place on the GP Circuit (not the longer North Loop). The GP Circuit is modern with grandstands and luxury boxes (thanks F1) and it’s far from the grass roots experience that takes place up the road but awesome in its own right.
With over 89,000 fans making the trip to sit in the stands as record high temperatures baked the track and competitors, BMW put on a show and celebrated M GmbH’s 40th anniversary. We were trackside and experienced the hard work of the teams and drivers first hand. Their efforts were worth every ounce of sweat, it is hard to put into words how hot it was down on the track but we’d guess over 120 degrees. Read on for the recap and our full gallery from trackside.
Gallery: 2012 DTM Nürburgring →
BMW’s second victory of its comeback season: Bruno Spengler (CA) won the sixth DTM race of the year at the Nürburgring (DE). The 28-year-old, at the wheel of the BMW Bank M3 DTM, crossed the line 6.703 seconds ahead of runner-up Edoardo Mortara (IT, Audi). Martin Tomczyk (DE) came home in third in his BMW M Performance Parts M3 DTM.
After the triumph at the Lausitzring (DE) in just the second race back after a 20-year absence from the DTM, Spengler, who started from pole, once again led from start to finish in the Eifel Mountains. Thanks to two immaculate pit stops by BMW Team Schnitzer and a flawless 49-lap drive, the Canadian presented BMW with its 51st victory in the DTM – and the perfect close to the festivities marking the 40th birthday of BMW M. As well as the win and pole position, Spengler also clocked the fastest race lap in a time of 1:25.185 minutes. It was his 11th triumph in the DTM. BMW Team Schnitzer claimed its 19th win in the series. When BMW last tasted success in the DTM at the Nürburgring on 3rd September 1990, courtesy of Emanuele Pirro (IT) in a BMW M3, Charly Lamm was again on the pit wall as Team Principal. Since 1984, BMW has won nine times in the DTM.
BMW Motorsport rounded off the sixth race weekend of the year by celebrating podium finishes numbers seven and eight of the season. Tomczyk climbed onto the podium for the third time in a row, following two second places in Spielberg (AT) and at the Norisring (DE). In the drivers’ standings, Spengler has moved into second place thanks to his victory. He now has 83 points to his name and has reduced the gap to the leader, Gary Paffett (GB, Mercedes), to 20 points. Tomczyk remains in fourth place with 69 points.
Augusto Farfus (BR), at the wheel of the Castrol EDGE BMW M3 DTM, crossed the line in tenth to pick up one point. Spengler’s team-mate Dirk Werner (DE) ended the race in 12th in the E-POSTBRIEF BMW M3 DTM. Joey Hand (US, SAMSUNG BMW M3 DTM) and Andy Priaulx (GB, Crowne Plaza Hotels BMW M3 DTM) finished 18th and 19th respectively. This coming weekend, the three BMW teams head to Zandvoort (NL) for the seventh round of the year.
Jens Marquardt (BMW Motorsport Director):
“That is an absolute dream result for us. Bruno Spengler’s second victory for BMW after yesterday’s pole position, coupled with third place for Martin Tomczyk, were the icing on the cake on a perfect race weekend. I am unbelievably proud of the whole team. We could hardly have wished for a better present on the 40th birthday of BMW M. Bruno controlled the race from start to finish. Martin was able to fight his way onto the podium from fifth on the grid, thanks to a great strategy and a nice overtaking manoeuvre. The pit stops worked perfectly. BMW Team Schnitzer and the Nürburgring are simply a perfect match for each other. A Schnitzer BMW M3 was also responsible for the most recent BMW win in the DTM on this track almost exactly 22 years ago. That was our ninth DTM triumph at the Nürburgring, and one that we will celebrate accordingly.”
Charly Lamm (Team Principal, BMW Team Schnitzer):
“I am almost lost for words. Pole position and then leading the race from start to finish – absolutely unbelievable. This is one of the nicest triumphs for BMW Team Schnitzer. It was not an easy weekend. Initially, the car was not how our drivers wanted it to be. However, we managed to find the right set-up for today’s conditions. A huge compliment goes to the BMW engineers and our team. The pit crew also produced a flawless performance today. We just like the Nürburgring and have experienced countless moving moments here. The fact we have notched up another such moment in the DTM is very special.”
Stefan Reinhold (Team Principal, BMW Team RMG):
“First I have to thank all the supporters we had here. It was fantastic and a great experience for everyone in the team. Martin did a great job again. He is still the champion and we see that every race as for the third consecutive time he is on the podium. Also thanks to Joey, as it was really difficult for him and he had a lot to do this weekend. Next weekend in Zandvoort I expect things to be better for him, as we learnt a lot here with him. Congratulations also to BMW Team Schnitzer on its victory.”
Bart Mampaey (Team Principal, BMW Team RBM):
“It was a fantastic victory for BMW so congratulations to Bruno and Martin. After 40 years of M it could not have been a better result for BMW. For our team, we have to analyse the start of the race because we lost a lot of positions in the first couple of corners for Augusto. Then it became a strategic race with Timo Scheider and Filipe Albuquerque. We finished tenth with one point and there was not a lot more we could do. With Andy, again he made up some positions at the start, which was good. Unfortunately he was never able to find a rhythm because he was hit by Christian Vietoris on lap five so he lost a lot of time. All credit to Andy that he finished the race. We gave him an old set of tyres for the last stint so the pace is not representative of the pace of the package. We wanted to give him the mileage and just to get him to the end of the race, but I know they were very difficult conditions for him.”
Bruno Spengler (car number 7, BMW Team Schnitzer, 1st):
“I wake up every morning and think about how I can win the next race. That is what I live for – my passion – and then I actually win on this weekend, which is so special for BMW. It is unbelievable. We are celebrating 40 years of BMW M. Martin, with his third place, and I have given BMW a nice birthday present. My car was fantastic today. I had to push unbelievably hard, particularly in the first stint, as the opposition really applied pressure. However, I was able to defend my lead. I’d like to say a big thank you to BMW Team Schnitzer. The team once again showed what it is capable of this weekend.”
Martin Tomczyk (car number 1, BMW Team RMG, 3rd):
“I am very proud of my third place. To move up from fifth to third in the race is simply excellent. Everything came together. The weekend did not begin so well for us. However, everyone in the BMW team gave their all to make the car faster on this track. We achieved that very well. I am very happy with our performance here and hope we can cause a few more surprises. Thank you to BMW Team RMG and congratulations to Bruno!”
Augusto Farfus (car number 16, BMW Team RBM, 10th):
“It was a very hot and difficult race. The start was very, very tricky so it cost me a lot of places. Then afterwards the race was pretty much dictated by the traffic. I think we could have optimised the race strategy, but it is important at this stage to just carry on and finish all the races to learn the weaknesses and the strengths of our package. I am obviously happy to pick up the point for tenth place.”
Dirk Werner (car number 8, BMW Team Schnitzer, 12th):
“It was not easy today. At the start I was on the inside for turn one and I was stuck a little, then for turn two I was on the outside, which was the wrong side. I then got a hit on my left rear and I had to go into the dirt and lost a couple of places. I think I came back in 11th and then we tried everything we could with the pit strategy and pushing as hard as I could. For me personally I am disappointed, but for the team I am really happy. It is great for BMW with Bruno winning again and Martin on the podium. So I think overall for BMW it is an unbelievable result and it is great to be part of the team.”
Joey Hand (car number 2, BMW Team RMG, 18th):
“I think this was perhaps the worst race and the toughest day of my career. It wasn’t good from the word go. I knew this on the laps before the race, as the car still didn’t feel right. We tried some stuff at the start, but I was just a sitting duck. I had a good start – probably my best start all year – and then got bumped and moved around and just couldn’t hold position. I went to the very back and then tried to fight with the car but could do nothing.”
Andy Priaulx (car number 15, BMW Team RBM, 19th):
“I had a good start and felt very racy and positive at the beginning. The car felt brilliant when I went out for the reconnaissance laps and I was very happy with the balance on the first five laps until Christian Vietoris hit me and then my race was over as there was damage to the right rear. I don’t know exactly what was wrong, but my steering was out and the aerodynamics were broken. Under normal circumstances I could have finished further up the field, so I am disappointed as I ended up at the back. Despite that, it is a fantastic day for BMW.”