While BMW isn ‘t faring all that well in Atlanta today at the Petit LeMans, BMW ‘s DTM teams are looking strong. Augusto Farfus (BR) secured his second pole position of the season at the DTM season finale in Hockenheim (DE). Just as he did three weeks ago in Valencia (ES), Farfus left the opposition trailing in the wake of his Castrol EDGE BMW M3 DTM in the final qualifying of the year, clocking the fastest time of 1:34.140 minutes. This was BMW’s fifth pole position on the tenth race weekend of the season.
Behind Farfus, the duel for the 2012 Drivers’ Championship is reaching an exciting climax. Bruno Spengler (CA) qualified third at the wheel of the BMW Bank M3 DTM, just seven thousandths of a second behind the overall leader, Mercedes driver Gary Paffett (GB). This is the third time, after the Lausitzring (DE) and Oschersleben (DE), that BMW has had two drivers in the all-important top-four qualifying.
For the first time this season, five BMW drivers qualified in the top ten. Joey Hand (US, SAMSUNG BMW M3 DTM), Martin Tomczyk (DE, BMW M Performance Parts M3 DTM) and Dirk Werner (DE, E-POSTBRIEF BMW M3 DTM) will start from fifth, sixth and seventh respectively on the grid, rounding off BMW’s best qualifying result of the season. Andy Priaulx (GB) went out in “Q2” and will start the race from 14th in the Crowne Plaza Hotels BMW M3 DTM. All six BMW drivers progressed through “Q1” for the third time, after previously achieving this feat at the Norisring (DE) and in Valencia.
Jens Marquardt (BMW Motorsport Director):
“Once again, qualifying could hardly have been more exciting – Augusto Farfus and Bruno Spengler both produced another sensational performance. This is Augusto’s second pole position in a row and means we have started from the front of the grid on five occasions over the course of our comeback season. We have made it into the top ten with five BMW M3 DTMs. This is the first time we’ve achieved that. It was unbelievably close between Bruno and Gary Paffett, which means the fans can look forward to a thrilling finale on Sunday. We cannot wait for the final race of what has been a sensational season for us.”
Bart Mampaey (Team Principal, BMW Team RBM):
“Q4 was a real thriller. All four drivers produced very good laps, and Augusto Farfus managed to come out on top, just as he did in Valencia. It is great for BMW Team RBM, that we are in such good form at the end of the season. Augusto was very impressive in the third part of qualifying, which meant we had a small advantage with our tyres. That definitely helped a bit. However, he still had to go faster than Gary Paffett, Bruno Spengler and Mattias Ekström here in Hockenheim. That was a very impressive performance. I am proud of Augusto and the whole team.”
Augusto Farfus (car number 16, BMW Team RBM, 1st):
“I have to admit I didn’t expect to be on pole and believed a top five would be good. Then, when I made it to Q4, I realised we could try for pole, and it worked out. Many thanks to the team because we changed the car a little bit during qualifying and it worked well. This was good because we had a car that was difficult to drive yesterday, but we kept on working on it and this is the result. I feel after the first race here in April, when I was 19th on the grid, it is a big step forward.”
Bruno Spengler (car number 7, BMW Team Schnitzer, 3rd):
“First of all congratulations to my fellow BMW driver Augusto Farfus on his pole position. He showed everyone what potential he has and how quick he is. I am very happy with my third place. We had a few minor problems in practice this morning, but quickly managed to get on top of them. BMW Team Schnitzer did a great job. We can now look forward to a real showdown in the final race. It cannot get any better for the fans.”
Joey Hand (car number 2, BMW Team RMG, 5th):
“I am very happy with the final qualifying of the season, particularly after the difficult period I’ve gone through in recent weeks. However, BMW Team RMG has always supported and encouraged me. That was extremely important for me. I am proud to have bounced back with such a good result. My aim now is simply to enjoy tomorrow’s race and put on a good show for the many BMW fans.”
Martin Tomczyk (car number 1, BMW Team RMG, 6th):
“I am not entirely happy with sixth, especially when I see that two of my team-mates made it into the final part of qualifying. Congratulations to Augusto Farfus on his second pole in a row. I’m now looking forward to an exciting race on Sunday.
Dirk Werner (car number 8, BMW Team Schnitzer, 7th):
“My car was good enough to get a better result than seventh. Unfortunately my first flying lap was scratched because I left the track. That was a shame. However, seventh is a good starting position from which to score some good points again tomorrow. My team-mate Bruno Spengler is up there with the front-runners in third. It will be really exciting tomorrow.”
Andy Priaulx (car number 15, BMW Team RBM, 14th):
“The car had potential to be in the top ten and so did I, but I didn ‘t bring the middle sectors together and you only need to make a small mistake or be slightly off in this game to be out. I did my best and there is a big race ahead of us so I shall do my best in that and see where we end up.”
Source: BMW Motorsport