Brands Hatch- Martin Tomczyk’s (DE) joy at claiming his first DTM pole position for BMW at Brands Hatch (GB) lasted just four hours. Having initially set the fastest time in the all-important Q4, the 31-year-old BMW Team RMG driver was subsequently excluded from the second qualifying of the year by the race stewards.

During a routine inspection of the car on Saturday evening, it was determined it was 2.5 kilograms below the permitted total weight. That means Tomczyk’s car was 0.5 kilograms below the tolerance limit.

Because of this, Tomczyk must now start the race from 22nd on the grid. His seven fellow BMW drivers, meanwhile, each move up a place. Augusto Farfus (BR) now lines up in second place, in front of Joey Hand (US) in third. Bruno Spengler (CA) starts the second race of the season from fourth. Marco Wittmann (DE), Andy Priaulx (GB), Timo Glock (DE) and Dirk Werner (DE) start from sixth, seventh, tenth and 14th respectively.

Jens Marquardt (BMW Motorsport Director):

“It is obviously a shame to lose out on pole position as a result of a mistake like this. However, we accept the decision of the race stewards. You are always at the limit in motor racing. We will now analyse what the cause was, to ensure this kind of thing never happens again.”

Stefan Reinhold (BMW Team RMG, Team Principal):

“Our team appears to have made a mistake. I would like to apologise to Martin Tomczyk for that. We will now perform a detailed analysis to see how this could possibly have happened.”

Martin Tomczyk (BMW Team RMG):

“That is a major disappointment for me. The season-opener in Hockenheim showed that it is possible to fight back from 22nd on the grid and finish in the points. However, I also know it is almost impossible to pull off a fightback like that on the short circuit at Brands Hatch.”

Original Release:

Martin Tomczyk (DE) on pole for BMW, two BMW Team RBM drivers in the top four and six BMW M3 DTMs on the first four rows of the grid: qualifying for the second DTM race of the year at Brands Hatch (GB) was the most successful for BMW since it returned to the series in 2012. British motorsport fans were treated to a number of firsts. Tomczyk, at the wheel of the BMW M Performance Parts M3 DTM, clocked the fastest time of 41.158 seconds in the all-important fourth qualifying session. In doing so, the 2011 champion claimed his first pole position in BMW colours and the ninth of his DTM career. It was also the maiden pole for BMW Team RMG and team principal Stefan Reinhold (DE).
Tomczyk was joined in the fourth qualifying session by fellow BMW drivers Augusto Farfus (BR, Castrol EDGE BMW M3 DTM) and Joey Hand (US, BMW M3 DTM). The two BMW Team RBM drivers qualified third and fourth and will line up next to each other on the second row of the grid on Sunday. Only Audi driver Mike Rockenfeller (DE) was able to split the BMW drivers, finishing second. Hand could be well satisfied with the best qualifying result of his DTM career.
Saturday’s qualifying is the first time since BMW’s return to the DTM in 2012 that six BMW M3 DTMs have qualified in the top ten. Bruno Spengler (CA) will start the second race of the season from fifth place in the BMW Bank M3 DTM, while rookie Marco Wittmann (DE, Ice-Watch BMW M3 DTM) was just behind the defending champion in seventh. Local favourite Andy Priaulx (GB) also secured a good starting position for Sunday’s race, qualifying eighth at the wheel of the Crowne Plaza Hotels BMW M3 DTM. Timo Glock (DE, DEUTSCHE POST BMW M3 DTM) coped well on his maiden appearance at Brands Hatch and will start from 11th. Dirk Werner (DE, SAMSUNG BMW M3 DTM) will look to mount an assault from 15th on the grid.

Jens Marquardt (BMW Motorsport Director):

“That was a fantastic qualifying for us. Congratulations to Martin Tomczyk and BMW Team RMG. Last year, Martin and his team were constantly knocking on the door, and now they have finally got their pole position. They really deserved that. BMW Team RBM has once again done a magnificent job and, in Augusto Farfus and Joey Hand, has both its drivers in the top four. And we can obviously be more than happy with six BMW M3 DTMs on the front four rows of the grid. Qualifying was as close as expected, however. Mike Rockenfeller, in particular, really pushed us today. However, we are undoubtedly in a good position for tomorrow.”

Stefan Reinhold (BMW Team RMG, Team Principal):

“I am extremely happy. BMW Team RMG has worked very hard for this result over the past weeks and months. We did not always have luck on our side in 2012, and things did not go to plan at the opening race of the season in Hockenheim. However, the team did not let that get it down and showed real fighting spirit. We are obviously now hoping for a successful race tomorrow.”

Martin Tomczyk (car number 15, BMW Team RMG, 1st):

“I have finally claimed my first pole position for BMW. We knew after practice we would have a good chance in qualifying here. But then everything has to come together on a circuit like Brands Hatch, in order to finish right on top. Every thousandth of a second counts here. BMW Team RMG has done a sensational job and earned this pole position. Our car was very good here right from the first lap. In qualifying, it was just a matter of not making any mistakes. That worked out brilliantly. It feels great to be back at the very front of the grid. We will now go all out for the win in tomorrow’s race.”

Augusto Farfus (car number 7, BMW Team RBM, 3rd):

“We worked very hard for this third place and changed a lot on the car over the course of the day. This allowed us to gradually push the car closer and closer to the limit. A good starting position is imperative at Brands Hatch if you want to be among the front-runners in the race. We have achieved that goal. BMW Team RBM once again did a great job. It is fantastic to be starting tomorrow’s race alongside my team-mate Joey Hand on the second row. My goal is now to score plenty of points again on Sunday.”

Joey Hand (car number 8, BMW Team RMG, 4th):

“I am really satisfied with that result as it is my first time in the top four shoot-out. In the first practice session when I was P18 the car was not good to drive. My engineer and the crew got together and just kept pushing. It was small change after small change and the car got better and better.It is very difficult to get the perfect lap here and I know in Q4 I made two mistakes. Despite this, I am happy. I think it will be a good race for me.”

Bruno Spengler (car number 1, BMW Team Schnitzer, 5th):

“In qualifying, you always have a really good idea of where you are losing valuable time. I struggled a bit with turn two today. Despite this, we actually still did pretty well. In Q3 I wanted to push a bit harder at that point, but it did not work out. Nevertheless, fifth is definitely a result I can build on. I will push hard tomorrow, as always.”

Marco Wittmann (car number 21, BMW Team MTEK, 7th):

“Although I am far further up the grid than I was after my first qualifying in Hockenheim a fortnight ago, I am rather disappointed. My pace was really good in practice and the first two qualifying sessions, and I was right up there among the front-runners. Then it was no longer quite right in Q3. Despite this, I am obviously generally pleased with seventh, and really looking forward to Sunday’s race.”

Andy Priaulx (car number 16, BMW Team RMG, 8th):

“That was a really good step in the right direction for me and I was pretty happy with the car. Unfortunately I had to use two sets of tyres in Q2, as I had a quick lap that was disallowed because I went outside the track limits. I only had one run in Q3, but I was happy with my time. I had a little bit of rear locking in the hairpin which cost me the tenth of a second I needed to go through. I am really determined to put on a good show on Sunday for my fans here at Brands Hatch.”

Timo Glock (car number 22, BMW Team MTEK, 11th):

“Generally speaking, that was a good qualifying for me. This is my first time at Brands Hatch, and the track is a real challenge. However, I am really enjoying driving here. I was pretty quick in Q1 and was fourth. The pace was there in the second session too. I am now fully focussed on tomorrow’s race. I want to make up a few places, although that will obviously not be easy at this circuit.”

Dirk Werner (car number 2, BMW Team Schnitzer, 15th):

“I just could not get the times needed to progress in Q2. The gaps are very small on this track, and it is always going to be close if you don’t produce a perfect lap. I am obviously disappointed now – particularly after I was fifth fastest in Q1. Let’s see whether I can put together the same kind of fightback as I did in Hockenheim. I will certainly do my very best.”