Munich (DE), 26th May 2015. It has started: With an action-packed race weekend and two gripping races, the DTM kicked off the 2015 season at the Hockenheimring (DE) at the beginning of May. This weekend sees BMW Motorsport compete with its rivals on the Lausitzring (DE) for the second time this year.
BMW has a special connection with the track 130 kilometres south of Berlin (DE): Marco Wittmann (DE) made history last season when, before the end of the season, he finished sixth in the Ice-Watch BMW M4 DTM to become the youngest ever German champion. It was also here that Bruno Spengler (CA) celebrated the 50th BMW win in the DTM and the first win since its DTM comeback in 2012.
The DTM visits the Lausitzring for the 16th time. The spectators literally sit in the front row at this track: From the imposing stand near the start-finish straight, you can almost see the entire track. The DTM competes on the 3.478-kilometre loop that is made up of sections of the tri-oval and the circuit.
Like last season, the International German Motorcycle Championship SUPERBIKE*IDM will be part of the supporting programme for the DTM. Numerous BMW riders will line up on the starting grid on the BMW S 1000 RR, including the 2013 champion and current overall leader, Markus Reiterberger (DE).
Four BMW DTM drivers were back in action on 16th and 17th May: Maxime Martin (BE) competed alongside Lucas Luhur (DE), Markus Palttala (FI) and Richard Westbrook (GB) at the Nürburgring 24 Hours (DE), where he finished runner-up. Augusto Farfus (BR) was also driving for BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS, and secured pole position in the team’s second BMW Z4 GT3. He and fellow drivers Jörg Müller (DE), Nick Catsburg (NL) and Dirk Adorf (DE) went on to finish fourth in the race. In contrast, the endurance classic came to a premature end for Wittmann and Martin Tomczyk (DE), whose cars were forced to retire after crashes involving their team-mates.
Quotes ahead of the second race weekend of 2015 at the Lausitzring.
Jens Marquardt (BMW Motorsport Director):
“Naturally we have a few great memories of the DTM at the Lausitzring: Bruno Spengler got the win in only the second race after our return to the series – celebrating BMW’s 50th DTM victory. In 2014, sixth place was enough for Marco Wittmann to clinch the DTM title. However, this track is also particularly demanding. Our rivals delivered a strong performance in Hockenheim, so we are by no means expecting the races to be easy. Nevertheless we are confident we will be stronger at the Lausitzring than we were at the season opener. The new format with two rounds per weekend definitely lived up to our expectations in Hockenheim. The fans are treated with a truly fantastic on-track programme in the 2015 DTM season. We are particularly looking forward to the SUPERBIKE*IDM, with many BMW Motorrad bikes on the grid, being part of the supporting programme. There’s no doubt that for the fans, the appearance of the motorcycles rounds off an already action-packed race weekend with two DTM qualifying sessions and two races.”
Stefan Reinhold (Team Principal, BMW Team RMG):
“Naturally, after Marco Wittmann won the title there in 2014, the Lausitzring is special to us. But looking back is irrelevant now. At the opener in Hockenheim we saw that we have a challenging season ahead of us and that we and the other BMW teams need to raise our game if we want to be up there at the front again. Which is why we worked hard to prepare for the Lausitzring and hope we will deliver a stronger performance there.”
Charly Lamm (Team Principal, BMW Team Schnitzer):
“The Lausitzring is always good for a surprise. In 2012 we got the DTM win at the first attempt. However, the Lusatia races were mixed for us in the last two years. Martin Tomczyk’s fourth place in the second DTM race in Hockenheim showed us that we are on the right track and we want to go on like that with both drivers at the Lausitzring.”
Bart Mampaey (Team Principal, BMW Team RBM):
“Generally we had a good pace at the opener in Hockenheim – which is why we are confident heading into the second race weekend. However, the Lausitzring isn’t exactly what you would call a BMW track. Nevertheless we want to pick up points and be rewarded for the hard work over the past few weeks. As Hockenheim didn’t go our way it is something of a second start to the season for us.”
Ernest Knoors (Team Principal, BMW Team MTEK):
“I think the two races at Hockenheim have given the DTM fans appetite for more. There’s no doubt that the new format was a challenge for us as a team. However, when you see how much action is on offer this weekend, it is fantastic. We picked up a few points at the start of the season. It was a solid start, on which we want to build at the Lausitzring.”
Marco Wittmann (car number 1, BMW Team RMG):
“Naturally I am looking forward to returning to the Lausitzring, after all I celebrated the biggest success of my career there in 2014. The track has a little bit of everything – narrow corners, fast sections and long straights. I’m sure once again there will be plenty of action on offer for the fans.”
Maxime Martin (car number 36, BMW Team RMG):
“Last year was the first time I contested a DTM race at the Lausitzring. Now I am much more familiar with the track. It is difficult to say what the balance of power will be like on this circuit. In any case, my aim is to pick up points, just like at Hockenheim.”
Martin Tomczyk (car number 77, BMW Team Schnitzer):
“The Lausitzring is a track that we know well in principle. And we know that we can be fast there. But the challenge will be unlocking this potential when it matters. Our competition is strong. But we have also shown in the past that we can do well at the Lausitzring.”
António Félix da Costa (car number 13, BMW Team Schnitzer):
“Last year’s race was difficult for me, as it was my first race in the BMW M4 DTM on the Lausitzring. Now I come back and have a much better idea of what to expect. I hope that helps me to have a good pace from the beginning. The Hockenheim weekend was disappointing for me as far as results are concerned, but I showed a good pace in qualifying on Sunday. So I know I can be really quick if I get everything right. That’s the goal for the weekend.”
Augusto Farfus (car number 18, BMW Team RBM):
“It’s great to be back at the wheel of my Shell BMW M4 DTM after the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring. We showed a very good pace at the opening DTM weekend in Hockenheim, but weren’t able to get the results we had been aiming for. I have some good memories of the Lausitzring as I stepped on the podium there for the first time in my DTM career in 2012. Let’s hope for another good weekend there.”
Tom Blomqvist (car number 31, BMW Team RBM):
“My very first DTM race weekend was fantastic. I learned a lot and now feel well-prepared for the second event at the Lausitzring. Our pace was good in Hockenheim, but we couldn’t capitalise on this to score some good results. I definitely want to change this at the Lausitzring.”
Bruno Spengler (car number 7, BMW Team MTEK):
“Although the last two races at the Lausitzring have not been ideal for me, I always have fond memories when I return to the circuit. I will never forget that first victory with the BMW Bank M3 DTM in the 2012 season. That was an awesome experience for me. This year, it is important for us to qualify higher up than we did in Hockenheim. I am certain we will be able to get some good results again then.”
Timo Glock (car number 16, BMW Team MTEK):
“I am glad to finally go racing again after a three-week break. We obviously hope that the Lausitzring will suit us better than it has done in the past, and that we can return to form there. It would be nice to come away with some points again.”
Length: 3.478 km
2014 winner: Pascal Wehrlein, Mercedes
2014 pole: 1:17.547 minutes (Pascal Wehrlein, Mercedes)
Top BMW in 2014: Marco Wittmann, 6th
DTM debut: 2000
BMW wins: 1
BMW pole positions: 1
BMW fastest laps: 0
BMW podiums: 2
Statistics for the BMW DTM drivers.
2015 DTM Calendar.
1st-3rd May – Hockenheim (DE), 29th-31st May – Lausitzring (DE), 26th-28th June – Norisring (DE), 10th-12th July – Zandvoort (NL), 31st July-2nd August – Spielberg (AT), 28th-30th August – Moscow (RU), 11th-13th September – Oschersleben (DE), 25th-27th September – Nürburgring (DE), 16th-18th October – Hockenheim (DE).
- Edoardo Mortara (30 points), 2. Mattias Ekström (25), 3. Jamie Green (25), 4. Pascal Wehrlein (22), 5. Mike Rockenfeller (18), 6. Paul di Resta (15), 7. Gary Paffett (15), 8. Martin Tomczyk (12), 9. Marco Wittmann (12), 10. Nico Müller (8), 11. Maxime Martin (6), 12. Robert Wickens (6), 13. Timo Glock (5), 14. Bruno Spengler (2), 15. Augusto Farfus (1), 16. António Félix da Costa (0), 17. Tom Blomqvist (0), 18. Miguel Molina (0), 19. Timo Scheider (0), 20. Christian Vietoris (0), 21. Adrien Tambay (0), 22. Daniel Juncadella (0), 23. Maximilian Götz (0), 24. Lucas Auer (0).
- Audi Sport Team Rosberg (33 points), 2. Audi Sport Team Abt (30), 3. Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline (25), 4. gooix/Original-Teile Mercedes-AMG (22), 5. SILBERPFEIL Energy Mercedes-AMG (21), 6. Audi Sport Team Phoenix (18), 7. BMW Team RMG (18), 8. EURONICS/BWT Mercedes-AMG (15), 9. BMW Team Schnitzer (12), 10. BMW Team MTEK (7), 11. BMW Team RBM (1), 12. PETRONAS Mercedes-AMG (0).
- Audi (106 points), 2. Mercedes (58), 3. BMW (38).