Lausitzring, 5th May 2012.
BMW Motorsport enjoyed a dream result in qualifying ahead of the second DTM race of the year: Bruno Spengler (CA) secured pole position in the deciding “top-four shootout” with a time of 1:18.777 minutes. Spengler, at the wheel of his BMW Bank M3 DTM was 0.038 seconds faster than fellow BMW driver Augusto Farfus (BR), who clocked the second best time in the Castrol EDGE BMW M3 DTM. The two BMW drivers will now start Sunday's race side-by-side on the front row of the grid.
This was the first time BMW had set the fastest qualifying time in the DTM since 18th June 1992. Back then it was Johnny Cecotto (VE) who claimed pole position in a BMW M3 at the Nürburgring. Almost 20 years later it was the turn of Spengler to add a chapter to BMW’s success story in the DTM with the twelfth pole position of his career. BMW now has 31 pole positions to its name in this series.
Martin Tomczyk (DE) also qualified in the top ten at the Lausitzring. The reigning DTM champion clocked the seventh fastest time at the wheel of the BMW M Performance Parts M3 DTM. Andy Priaulx (GB, Crowne Plaza Hotels BMW M3 DTM) and Joey Hand (US, SAMSUNG BMW M3 DTM) qualified in 13th and 14th. Dirk Werner (DE, E-POSTBRIEF BMW M3 DTM) had to settle for 21st place on the grid after a difficult qualifying session.
Just as it had been the case at Hockenheim (DE) qualifying again turned out to be a tight affair: All three DTM manufacturers brought two cars each into the top-six.
Jens Marquardt (BMW Motorsport Director):
“Bruno Spengler on pole with Augusto Farfus alongside him on the front row as the second fastest qualifier: that is quite simply a phenomenal result for BMW. That qualifying session was a real thriller. It is an indescribable feeling. I am very proud that we came out on top. Last week was very tough for everyone in the team. After the many crashes in Hockenheim, our first goal was to get the six BMW M3 DTM cars up and running optimally again so they could line up here. We are all surprised that we now have two cars on the front row. Bruno and Augusto are not the only ones who deserve a huge compliment, however. We have three BMW M3 DTM cars in the top ten and each of our three teams has a car on the first five rows of the grid. That shows what a great all-round team performance we have produced again here. And we were justly rewarded for that effort today. Tomorrow's race will be a completely different challenge again. However, this qualifying result means we will approach this challenge with a lot of momentum and the wind in our sails.”
Charly Lamm (Team Principal, BMW Team Schnitzer):
“I am delighted. Qualifying was a real emotional rollercoaster ride. With one minute of the second session remaining, Bruno had not even made it into Q3. A short while later he is on pole. He really dug in – and is one hell of a guy. It is simply unbelievable how coolly he claimed this pole position. Thank you to BMW for this fantastic car, and thank you to the whole team.”
Bruno Spengler (car number 7, BMW Team Schnitzer, 1st place):
“I can hardly believe what has happened here. After 20 years, I am the first driver to celebrate a pole position for BMW in the DTM. This is a very special day for me. It is great that my fellow BMW driver Augusto Farfus will line up alongside me on the front row tomorrow. That completes this dream result for us. I would never have expected us to be on pole position at just the second race of our debut season. My BMW Bank M3 DTM was fantastic today. We will have to wait and see how it performs in the race tomorrow, and whether we can keep pace with the opposition over the longer race distance. For now, however, I am going to enjoy this amazing feeling. When the race gets underway tomorrow, I will be doing everything in my power to stay out of the turmoil. With so many cars on the track, the first three corners will be very tight.”
Augusto Farfus (car number 16, BMW Team RBM, 2nd place):
“It is a great result and I had great speed all through qualifying. After the bad weekend in Hockenheim, I was really looking forward to coming to the Lausitzring and proving how fast the BMWs and I really are. Qualifying was really intense. I was really pleased to be in Q4. Second place along with Bruno’s pole position is sensational. I want to thank everyone at BMW Motorsport and in my BMW Team RBM.”
Martin Tomczyk (car number 1, BMW Team RMG, 7th place):
“Firstly, I’d like to congratulate my team-mates. It is great to see two BMWs on the front row. I am not entirely satisfied with my own personal result in qualifying. There was more in it for us today. Bruno and Augusto showed what the BMW M3 DTM is capable of. Our car has the pace to compete at the front of the field. I will now be working hard with my BMW Team RMG to find the optimal set-up for the race. If we manage that then P7 is not such a bad grid position from which to attack the opposition tomorrow.”
Andy Priaulx (car number 15, BMW Team RBM, 13th place):
“That was a tough one for me. Hockenheim was much easier. The BMW M3 DTM is strong and I think we have seen this from the great result today. I can still have a good result from 13th on the grid, but I just didn’t quite get the set-up I wanted today.”
Joey Hand (car number 2, BMW Team RMG, 14th place):
“My SAMSUNG BMW M3 DTM was good today. The problem for me was that I got stuck in traffic and lost valuable time. However, I promise the fans that I will be trying my hardest to move forward in tomorrow's race. It will not be easy, as the DTM is possibly the toughest racing series in the world. It is unbelievable how closely matched everyone is here.”
Dirk Werner (car number 8, BMW Team Schnitzer, 21st place):
“The whole weekend has been far from ideal for me, and I have struggled to find the perfect rhythm. My first flying lap in Q1 was okay. I would have had to improve on my second lap, but then I got stuck in traffic. Tomorrow I will do my best to make up ground in the race.”