Marco Wittmann (GER) claimed his first victory of the season at the wheel of the BMW Driving Experience M4 DTM in Sunday’s race at the Hungaroring (HUN). Timo Glock (GER, DEUTSCHE POST BMW M4 DTM) and Philipp Eng (AUT, SAMSUNG BMW M4 DTM) followed him home for a BMW one-two-three. However, the race result was of minor importance at the end of a chaotic sixth race of the season. Several people were injured in incidents in the pit lane and had to be treated in hospital.
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Seven laps in, the race stewards suspended the race after several incidents occurred in the pit lane during a shower. A number of cars coming in for their tyre change were unable to stop in time on the wet and extremely slippery concrete in front of the garages. Several people working in the pit lane were injured as the cars struggled to stop. Spengler’s BMW Bank M4 DTM was one of the cars that skidded too far, hitting a BMW Team RBM mechanic who, according to the team doctor, suffered slight bruising on his foot. He was already back working on Spengler’s car by the time the cars took their place on the grid for the re-start.
Spengler eventually came home seventh. Like all the BMW drivers, he benefitted from the fact that the six BMW M4 DTMs had already completed their mandatory pit stops by the time the race was suspended. When the previous leading group came in for their tyre change after the re-start, Wittmann moved into the lead and controlled the race from that point, going on to claim his tenth victory in the DTM. Glock was second and returns to the top of the Drivers’ Championship with 90 points. BMW Team RMR leads the team competition with 131 points.
Behind Eng, who achieved the second podium finish of his fledgling DTM career, Joel Eriksson (SWE, BMW M4 DTM) and Augusto Farfus (BRA, Shell BMW M4 DTM) came home sixth and eighth.
Rudolf Dittrich (General Manager BMW Motorsport Vehicle Development):
“The race action is of secondary importance today. The most important thing is that the people involved in the incidents in the pit lane were not too seriously injured and will hopefully be back fit and well soon. Bruno Spengler’s stop was a close thing. I am very happy that nothing serious happened to anyone at BMW Team RBM. From a sporting point of view, the weekend was an emotional rollercoaster. We had a poor race on Saturday, but turned the result on its head today – thanks to our aggressive race strategy and the particular circumstances. Congratulations to Marco on his win, and to Timo and Philipp on their podiums. The way the race panned out obviously played into our hands, but we also saw that our speed was much better today than on Saturday.”
Stefan Reinhold (Team Principal, BMW Team RMG):
“We would obviously like to dedicate today’s win to everyone who was hurt during today’s race. Our thoughts and best wishes are with them. On one hand, we are pleased that yesterday’s hard work paid off today, and that we were able to claim a one-two with Marco and Timo. On the other hand, you would rather win under different circumstances. Despite that, it is obviously a very good result for us.”
Marco Wittmann (#11 BMW Driving Experience M4 DTM, BMW Team RMG – qualifying result: 14thplace, race result: 1stplace, points: 51):
“My team brought me in for my tyre change on the right lap when it started to rain and the conditions were deteriorating. The pit lane was very slippery. I too went slightly too far. I saw photos and videos of the accidents afterwards. That obviously takes the shine off the win. I hope the guys are doing ok, under the circumstances, and that they have not suffered any serious injuries. That aside, my team pulled off a masterstroke with the timing of the pit stop. In the end, the race suspension and the re-start played into our hands. To score 25 points from 14thon the grid today, after yesterday’s result, is mega.”
Augusto Farfus (#15 Shell BMW M4 DTM, BMW Team RMG – qualifying result: 12thplace, race result: 8thplace, points: 6):
“We stopped too early, which possibly cost us an even better result. One positive we will definitely take with us is that we were quick in the race. It is a great shame, but at least we picked up a few points. I’d like to send my best wishes to everyone who was hurt in today’s incidents.”
Timo Glock (#16 DEUTSCHE POST BMW M4 DTM, BMW Team RMR – qualifying result: 8thplace, race result: 2ndplace, points: 90):
“We had good pace out on the track, and the racing gods were on our side in the end too. It was all very chaotic from the start. It all started with the spin on lap one. That dropped me to the back of the field and is why I stopped so early. Then we had the rain, which we were actually no longer expecting. Then there were the accidents in the pit lane. I hope the marshal, who is here as a volunteer and a big motorsport fan, recovers quickly. The same goes for everyone involved. That kind of thing is particularly tragic, and nobody wants to see bystanders get hurt.”
Bart Mampaey (Team Principal, BMW Team RBM):
“Fortunately, none of our mechanics were seriously hurt during Bruno’s pit stop. I hope that all the other people who were hurt get well soon. We knew that the pit lane here can be very slippery, but when it rains as heavily as it did then, the drivers do not have a chance on slicks. You can see how professional my team is: despite the incident, they still performed a normal tyre change on Bruno’s car, and we even went on to score points. Congratulations to Marco, Timo and Philipp on the BMW one-two-three. We could not have seen that result coming.”
Philipp Eng (#25 SAMSUNG BMW M4 DTM, BMW Team RMR – qualifying result: 15thplace, race result: 3rdplace, points: 41):
“The most important thing is that, given the circumstances, everyone involved is doing ok. I wish everyone involved a speedy recovery. The race itself was a tactical masterstroke from us – particularly the engineers. We stopped on exactly the right lap and fitted the right tyres. After that I had good pace. In the end, it was good enough for third place.”
Bruno Spengler (#7 BMW Bank M4 DTM, BMW Team RBM – qualifying result: 18thplace, race result: 7thplace, points: 29):
“First of all, I would like to apologise to my mechanic. Although I was already driving much slower than usual, the wheels locked. As a result, I could not avoid hitting him. I am very sorry. Fortunately, nothing serious happened. We should probably have come in a lap earlier and switched to wet-weather tyres. Maybe the pit lane would have been drier then too. However, it is not easy in those chaotic situations. After Saturday’s result, it was important for BMW to score heavily today.”
Joel Eriksson (#47 BMW M4 DTM, BMW Team RBM – qualifying result: 17thplace, race result: 6thplace, points: 23):
“The circumstances of this race were obviously far from pleasing. We ultimately benefitted from having already stopped when it started to rain. As a result, we were able to score valuable points, although we did not actually have the pace to finish sixth.”