Just two races into its comeback season, BMW is back on the top step of the DTM podium: 19 years, six months and 25 days after the last triumph, Bruno Spengler (CA), at the wheel of the BMW Bank M3 DTM, crossed the finish line at the Lausitzring (DE) in first place. In a thrilling second race of the season, Spengler held off the challenge of Mercedes driver Gary Paffett (GB), who finished runner-up. Augusto Farfus (BR) came third in the Castrol EDGE BMW M3 DTM to complete a fantastic team result for BMW.
Spengler follows in the footsteps of Roberto Ravaglia (IT), who claimed the brand’s 49th victory in the DTM on 11th October 1992 in Hockenheim (DE). Back then, BMW Team Schnitzer, with Team Principal Charly Lamm on the pit wall, was responsible for the BMW M3. Almost 20 years later, the team from Freilassing (DE) once again made DTM history with BMW’s 50th victory and the first win since the company’s return to the series. The victory also represents a milestone for Spengler: the 28-year-old secured the tenth victory of this DTM career at the 3.478-kilometre Lausitzring. Spengler’s maiden win came at the Norisring (DE) on 23rd July 2006.
Reigning DTM champion Martin Tomczyk (DE, BMW M Performance Parts M3 DTM) finished seventh to score six points for BMW Team RMG. His team-mate Joey Hand (US) crossed the line 14th in his SAMSUNG BMW M3 DTM. Andy Priaulx (GB, Crowne Plaza Hotels BMW M3 DTM) and Dirk Werner (DE, E-POSTBRIEF BMW M3 DTM) came home 17th and 19th respectively. The action was watched by 72,000 motorsport fans at the Lausitzring over the course of the weekend.
Right from the first lap, BMW drivers Spengler and Farfus were involved in a thrilling duel with Mercedes’ Paffett and Jamie Green (GB). Spengler defended his lead at the start and then held onto his position at the front of the field, thanks largely to excellent work by BMW Team Schnitzer during the two pit stops. Although Farfus was passed by Paffett on lap one, the Brazilian brilliantly withstood pressure from the fourth-placed Green for lap after lap. His reward came in the form of his first podium finish in the DTM.
Jens Marquardt (BMW Motorsport Director):
“This is a very special moment – beyond our wildest dreams. Bruno Spengler’s magnificent victory is the icing on the cake at the end of an incredible week. First came our impressive comeback weekend in Hockenheim, then the first pole position yesterday and now – in only our second race – our first victory in the new DTM era. That is really fantastic, simply unbelievable. Bruno produced an outstanding performance and took full advantage of his pole position. He has added another important chapter to BMW’s success story in motorsport. On the 40th anniversary of BMW M, we have taken the number of wins achieved by the BMW M3 in the DTM to 41. That makes me extremely proud, particularly bearing in mind the hard work that everyone in the team has put in over the last few weeks and months. Despite this, we would be well advised to keep both feet firmly on the ground. We have enjoyed an almost perfect start to our comeback season. However, we still have to go to a lot of races at circuits where we have not completed a single kilometre in testing. Furthermore, the 2012 DTM is so close that the pack is reshuffled at every track. This means that form and trends can change very quickly. We wanted to be in a position to achieve a good result when the opportunity came along. That is precisely what happened today, and we grasped our chance with both hands.”