BMW drivers Tomczyk and Spengler on the podium at the Norisring – Weather adds to the excitement in the fifth round of the DTM.
Norisring, 1st July 2012. A dramatic race at the Norisring (DE) saw Martin Tomczyk (DE) and Bruno Spengler (CA) celebrate another two podium finishes for BMW in the 2012 DTM season. In front of the very enthusiastic fans who numbered 135,000 over the weekend, Tomczyk crossed the finish line after 78 laps and the maximum race time of 75 minutes as runner-up his BMW M Performance Parts M3 DTM, just 0.687 seconds behind winning Mercedes driver Jamie Green (GB). Spengler followed in third place at the wheel of the BMW Bank M3 DTM. This is the second time this season BMW has had two of its drivers on the podium, with the first being the race at the Lausitzring (DE). Tomczyk repeated his excellent result from Spielberg (AT), where he finished second four weeks ago.
Rain started to fall heavily just before the start of the race. The surface did dry out for a while before another shower soaked it again shortly before the halfway mark. Tomczyk led the fifth race of the season on a wet track right until the final lap. However, the reigning DTM champion was ultimately unable to hold off the challenge of Green, who had moved into second place by overtaking Spengler on lap 76. Green launched the decisive attack on Tomczyk in the Dutzendteich corner on the 78th lap and secured victory just metres from the finish. Although the two BMW drivers narrowly missed out on the second triumph for BMW this year, they were able to increase the number of podium finishes claimed by the BMW teams to six.
Andy Priaulx (GB, Crowne Plaza Hotels BMW M3 DTM) and Dirk Werner (DE, E-POSTBRIEF BMW M3 DTM) also enjoyed a successful race, despite the difficult conditions on the iconic circuit in Nürnberg (DE): Priaulx finished seventh to pick up his first points since the season-opener in Hockenheim (DE). Werner was pleased to score his first point in the DTM having crossed the line in tenth. Four BMW drivers finished in the points for the first time since the manufacturer’s return to the series.
Joey Hand (US, SAMSUNG BMW M3 DTM) finished 14th in BMW’s first appearance at the Norisring for 20 years. Augusto Farfus (BR), who started the race from third on the grid in his Castrol EDGE BMW M3 DTM, had to retire after just 15 laps following a collision shortly after the start.
Post Race Reactions:
Jens Marquardt (BMW Motorsport Director):
“I am very happy with our first outing at the Norisring for 20 years. Despite extremely difficult conditions, we had two drivers on the podium and four cars in the points this time. We would obviously have liked to celebrate our second win this year with Martin Tomczyk – especially in this unique atmosphere – but that is just how it goes sometimes in motor racing. Jamie Green was simply quicker in the closing stages. All the same, second and third for Martin and Bruno is a very good result. I am also pleased for Andy Priaulx and Dirk Werner: Andy had a few difficult races and returned to the points thanks to a good performance here in Nürnberg. Dirk broke the spell and scored his first DTM point in the fifth race. This round showed once again that we have a very good squad of drivers. We are now really looking forward to our home event in Munich’s Olympic Stadium.”
Stefan Reinhold (Team Principal, BMW Team RMG):
“I have mixed feelings about this result. We produced a fantastic race and claimed another great result for BMW. On the other hand, Martin and the team would obviously have liked to have won. However, the whole team can be proud of the second place. The mechanics and Martin put in a fantastic performance.”
Charly Lamm (Team Principal, BMW Team Schnitzer):
“After our mediocre qualifying, we came away from our return to the Norisring with a good result. That is the first time both drivers have finished in the points. Bruno Spengler has stood on the podium every time he has completed a race. I am very happy about this. After the congestion in the first corner, Dirk Werner fought back brilliantly and was rewarded with his first DTM point. The team also deserves praise. All four pit stops were really good today.”
Bart Mampaey (Team Principal, BMW Team RBM):
“Another mixed result. We had a superb qualifying yesterday from both cars, and especially Augusto Farfus. Unfortunately he was unlucky in the famous first corner, where he was pushed into another car. We tried to continue, but we didn’t have the potential in the car due to the damage to the front right so decided to retire. Andy had a good race and kept out of trouble at the start. This was a good race for him and, after the races he missed in Spielberg and Brands Hatch, it was important to get a full race for him. Thank you to the team and congratulations to BMW for another double podium finish.”
Martin Tomczyk (car number 1, BMW Team RMG, 2nd):
“It is obviously no fun for a racing driver to miss out on a possible victory on the final lap. I had already noticed that Jamie Green had been catching me consistently in the closing stages. He then managed to overtake me shortly before the finish. Immediately after the race I was extremely disappointed to have thrown the victory away. I am quite happy now though: that is my second podium in a row. I finished runner-up here in difficult conditions, just as I did in Spielberg. Today we proved we are also competitive in the rain. That is very encouraging for the rest of the season.”
Bruno Spengler (car number 7, BMW Team Schnitzer, 3rd):
“It was a long and tough race. After qualifying seventh I am very happy with third place in the race. On the other side, it is obviously bitterly disappointing to miss out on a BMW one-two on the final lap. As early as the warm-up I noticed we could also be very quick in the rain. The track conditions were extreme. The fans created a great atmosphere. For them it was exciting – for us drivers it was also very tiring. Overall we have produced another fantastic result that we can be proud of for BMW this weekend.”
Andy Priaulx (car number 15, BMW Team RBM, 7th):
“I had a good to average start. In the first corner I was up there having picked up some places, but then in the exit of turn four I spun, maybe with a little help or maybe just due to zero traction. For me to finish seventh is great. I think it could have been slightly higher up, but I will take that as a good positive performance. The team was flawless. We had two brilliant stops, a really good strategy, I can’t fault anything, so a big thank you.”
Dirk Werner (car number 8, BMW Team Schnitzer, 10th):
“That is a huge load off my mind, as it is the first time I have finished in the points this season. I got off to a good start – the best I have had so far in the DTM. Then came the inevitable chaos in turn one. A car suddenly came to a stop across the track, right in my path, and I was unable to avoid it. As a result, I dropped a long way back. After the safety car phase and the restart I pushed too hard at first. As a result I took one corner too wide and lost more ground. After that, however, my car went like a rocket and I was able to fight my way through the field. The race was a strange one, but it was quite good fun. Overall, BMW has achieved a super result this weekend, with four cars in the top ten.”
Joey Hand (car number 2, BMW Team RMG, 14th):
“Today wasn’t that great for me. I am definitely not happy with the result, as it was a struggle all day, and in fact it has been a struggle all weekend. My biggest thing was just to try and find traction. The start was a mess but I got through and then tried to hunt for some grip. The rear tyres started to go off. We put another set on I thought were better, but I still couldn’t go very fast. The same thing happened with the final set. It is not the result I am looking for. I race to win and racing for 14th is very difficult for me. However, I am still learning every weekend.”
Augusto Farfus (car number 16, BMW Team RBM, DNF):
“There was a domino effect before the collision in the first corner, in which my Castrol EDGE BMW M3 DTM was damaged. I was pushed by another driver. I was completely locked up but couldn’t stop the car and collided with the car in front. It is a shame I could not do any better from third on the grid.”
DTM standings after 5 of 10 races.
1. Gary Paffett (95 points), 2. Jamie Green (69), 3. Bruno Spengler (58), 4. Martin Tomczyk (54), 5. Mattias Ekström (47), 6. Mike Rockenfeller (39), 7. Edoardo Mortara (31), 8. Christian Vietoris (24), 9. Augusto Farfus (16), 10. Timo Scheider (16),…, 16. Joey Hand (2),…, 18. Dirk Werner (1).
1. THOMAS SABO / Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG (119 points), 2. Mercedes AMG (76), 3. Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline (63), 4. BMW Team Schnitzer (59), 5. BMW Team RMG (56), 6. Audi Sport Team Phoenix (47), 7. Audi Sport Team Rosberg (39), 8. BMW Team RBM (30), 9. DHL Paket / stern Mercedes AMG (16).
1. Mercedes-Benz (211 points), 2. Audi (149), BMW (145).