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Norisring. Bruno Spengler (CAN) claimed the first win of the #dtm season for BMW in Saturday’s race at the Norisring (GER). The Canadian’s first victory since the 2013 race in Spielberg (AUS) was not only a special moment for him, but was also a historic one for BMW. The last BMW driver to win at the street circuit in Nürnberg (GER) was Steve Soper (GBR) in a BMW M3 back in 1992. This latest success also marked BMW’s 25th victory since returning to the #dtm in 2012. Maxime Martin (BEL) finished second to complete the 20th one-two for BMW in the #dtm. He had started the race from pole position. Marco Wittmann (GER), Timo Glock (GER) and Tom Blomqvist (GBR) came home fourth, fifth and sixth to round off an outstanding team result for BMW.
The 20-minute session at the Norisring developed into a battle for every thousandths of a second. Maxime Martin (SAMSUNG BMW M4 DTM) clocked the fastest time of 47.472 seconds on his final lap to secure pole position, 0.005 seconds ahead of René Rast (GER, Audi). This was the third pole position of Martin’s #dtm career and his first since the Saturday race at the 2015 #dtm finale in Hockenheim (GER). This was BMW’s second pole position of the season and the 58th pole for the manufacturer in the #dtm. Bruno Spengler (BMW Bank M4 DTM) was third fastest with a lap time of 47.493 seconds, earning him one point towards the Drivers’ Championship. Martin was rewarded for his pole position with three points. Tom Blomqvist (BMW Driving Experience M4 DTM), Marco Wittmann (Red Bull BMW M4 DTM) and Timo Glock (DEUTSCHE POST BMW M4 DTM) also qualified in the top ten in fourth, seventh and eighth respectively. In doing so, they rounded off the best qualifying result of the season for BMW. Augusto Farfus (BRA, Shell BMW M4 DTM) was 16th fastest.
Shortly before the start of the race, the Norisring was hit by a heavy shower, which resulted in a wet track. Bruno Spengler made a very good start on wet tyres, climbing into the lead from third place on the grid. Maxime Martin initially dropped from pole position into fourth place. However, he overtook René Rast on lap two to move into third. While Spengler was able to pull clear at the front, Martin passes Mattias Ekström (SWE, Audi) to regain second place on lap nine. After 20 laps, the track had dried out so much that all the drivers switched to slicks. Spengler and Martin retained the top two positions after the round of pit stops. Over the course of the race, Spengler pulled away from the chasing pack again. Martin fended off Ekström in a thrilling battle for second place. Marco Wittmann, Timo Glock and Tom Blomqvist worked their way through the field on slicks, ending the seventh race of the season in fourth, fifth and sixth. Blomqvist set the fastest lap time of 48.345 seconds. Augusto Farfus was forced to retire with a technical issue after 11 laps.
BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt: “It is awesome to win here at the Norisring with Bruno Spengler. This is the 25th victory since we returned to the #dtm – and after 25 years without a win at the Norisring. Furthermore, this year marks the 50thanniversary of BMW in Lower Bavaria. It has all come together perfectly. The guys did a mega job. Maxime did superbly to hold off Mattias Ekström, while the other drivers behind him also had superb races. Today showed once again that anyone who makes a mistake at the Norisring will find it very difficult. Fortunately, however, that was not the case for us today. I am very proud of the boys. That was really impressive.”
Stefan Reinhold (team principal, BMW Team RMG): “The conditions were a real mixed bag. All in all, it is a great result for BMW. Congratulations to Bart and BMW Team RBM. They pushed hard. I am very pleased for them. We worked hard until just before the start of the race, and I hope we can improve again tomorrow.”
Marco Wittmann (#11, Red Bull BMW M4 #dtm – Grid position: 7th, race result: 4th place – 63 races, 8 wins, 16 podiums, 8 pole positions, 559 points, 2 Drivers’ titles): “The race was very eventful – particularly at the start, when it started to rain just before we got underway. I made a poor start and lost some places. However, I was then able to fight my way back towards the front in the skirmishes that ensued. We were running fifth for a long time, and had very good pace. We were possibly a lap or two too early with our stop. That allowed Edo Mortara to overtake me. However, I passed him again in the end and eventually ended the race in fourth place. That is a decent result from seventh on the grid. It has been a superb day for BMW on the whole – with Bruno and Maxime finishing first and second. I would obviously have liked to have joined them on the podium. The wait for a podium result at my home race at the Norisring goes on – but perhaps it will happen tomorrow.”
Augusto Farfus (#15, Shell BMW M4 #dtm – Grid position: 16th, race result: DNF – 73 races, 4 wins, 12 podiums, 5 pole positions, 345 points): “It is a great shame that we were unable to implement our strategy. I was running fifth when I had to give up. I am obviously very disappointed. However, it was a great race for the other guys.”
Timo Glock (#16, DEUTSCHE POST BMW M4 #dtm – Grid position: 8th, race result: 5th place – 63 races, 3 wins, 7 podiums, 2 pole positions, 272 points): “It all kicked off around me at the start, and I took quite a big hit. However, the race pace was good after that. I was able to overtake Nico Müller, but could not get past Edoardo Mortara. I was running alright in the dry after the pit stops, then Mike Rockenfeller spun Edo. That allowed us to finish fifth and score some good points, which was important. It was a fantastic race for BMW. I am delighted for Bruno Spengler.”
Bart Mampaey (team principal, BMW Team RBM): “That was beyond anything we could have imagined. Maxime’s pole position was magnificent and a great result for BMW. But the race actually managed to top that. I would like to thank BMW and, of course, the entire team. The pit stops were good again. And what a great start from Bruno! His pace was superb after that too. Maxime initially lost a few positions, but fought his way back to the front. Running first and second allowed us to choose the optimal moment to come in for a tyre change. Maxime showed once again what a great racer he is, battling it out with Mattias Ekström. Today is a good day.”
Bruno Spengler (#7, BMW Bank BMW M4 #dtm – Grid position: 3rd, race result: 1st place – 146 races, 15 wins, 47 podiums, 17 pole positions, 801 points, 1 Drivers’ title): “I am absolutely delighted with this win. This is my fourth victory at the Norisring – and the first win here for 25 years for BMW. I am very proud to have achieved that today – and am really pleased for the whole team. They have worked so hard for this, and it has not always been easy for us. However, it finally worked out today. We can really enjoy this now.”
Tom Blomqvist (#31, BMW Driving Experience M4 #dtm – Grid position: 4th, race result: 6th place – 43 races, 1 win, 5 podiums, 1 pole position, 174 points): “The race was a great one for BMW, but we will certainly not be taking our foot off the gas. All the same, it feels great to score points in the first race. I lost a few positions at the start, but the pace was okay after that. I was right behind Timo Glock at the end, but could not find a way past him. Congratulations to the guys on the podium.”
Maxime Martin (#36, SAMSUNG BMW M4 #dtm – Grid position: 1st, race result: 2nd place – 53 races, 2 wins, 8 podiums, 3 pole positions, 284 points): “One-two for BMW: that is fantastic. It is a shame I got off to such a poor start. I don’t know whether it was due to the wet track or something else. However, I was soon able to fight my way back into second place. I was pretty quick in the wet, and was able to overtake nicely. I was also able to set a fast pace in the dry conditions. It was really tough again at the end, but I did enough – and we picked up 18 points for finishing second.”
Drivers: 1. Mattias Ekström (77 points), 2. René Rast (72), 3. Jamie Green (71), 4. Lucas Auer (69), 5. Timo Glock (59), 6. Gary Paffett (55), 7. Mike Rockenfeller (54), 8. Maxime Martin (53), 9. Paul di Resta (45), 10. Bruno Spengler (43), 11. Robert Wickens (42), 12. Marco Wittmann (36), 13. Nico Müller (35), 14. Edoardo Mortara (25), 15. Tom Blomqvist (10), 16. Maro Engel (3), 17. Augusto Farfus (0), 18. Loic Duval (0).
Teams: 1. Audi Sport Team Rosberg (143 points), 2. Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline (112), 3. Mercedes-AMG Motorsport Mercedes me (97), 4. BMW Team RBM (96), 5. Mercedes-AMG Motorsport BWT (94), 6. BMW Team RMR (69), 7. Audi Sport Team Phoenix (54), 8. Mercedes-AMG Motorsport SILBERPFEIL Energy (48), 9. BMW Team RMG (36).
Manufacturers: 1. Audi (309 points), 2. Mercedes (239), 3. BMW (201).
BMW Motorsport will offer an innovative Chatbot service for journalists for the first time in the 2017 #dtm season. This allows users to receive the latest information directly to their smartphone via WhatsApp Messenger. The information available includes driver statistics, statements and photos. You can register for the BMW Motorsport Chatbot at the following link: http://bit.ly/BMW_Motorsport_Media_Broadcast_EN
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