Following Marco Wittmann’s (GER, Schaeffler BMW M4 DTM) victory on Saturday, Philipp Eng (AUT, ZF BMW M4 DTM) came home fifth as the best-placed BMW driver in the Sunday race at Brands Hatch (GBR). After a difficult qualifying for BMW, he showed good race pace to climb through the field, but narrowly missed out on a podium finish after 42 laps of racing. Sheldon van der Linde (RSA, Shell BMW M4 DTM) and Wittmann came home seventh and tenth. Victory went to René Rast (GER, Audi).
Issues in qualifying meant that all the BMW M4 DTMs were forced to start the twelfth race of the DTM season from the middle of the grid. A strong race pace and clever strategy allowed Eng, in particular, and van der Linde to make up ground. Eng found himself in touch with the leading group after his late pit stop, but was unable to pass Loic Duval (FRA, Audi) in the closing stages as he set his sights on the podium.
Wittmann, who started from twelfth on the grid following his victory and pole position on Saturday, risked a second pit stop, in an attempt to make as much progress as possible on fresh tyres, however, the strategy did not ultimately pay dividends. Timo Glock (GER, JiVS BMW M4 DTM) was twelfth, while Bruno Spengler (CAN, BMW Bank M4 DTM) and Joel Eriksson (SWE, CATL BMW M4 DTM) failed to finish due to technical issues.
Jens Marquardt (BMW Group Motorsport Director):
“Following Marco Wittmann’s magnificent victory yesterday, it was clear from the sobering qualifying session that it was not going to be easy to come through to the front of the field. However, our guys did a great job in the race, both out on the track and strategically. Compliments to Philipp Eng, who showed a very good race pace to finish fifth in these difficult circumstances. Sheldon van der Linde and Marco Wittmann did at least finish in the points. Despite this, it is still not a good haul. We were possibly a little faster than Audi in the race, but today showed quite clearly that you have to qualify higher up the grid in order to be able to turn that race pace into results. We must now examine very carefully why we did not achieve that this time, and must rectify the situation by the next race weekend at the Lausitzring. Congratulations to René Rast on the win.”
Bart Mampaey (BMW Team RBM Team Principal):
“We resolved to qualify better than yesterday, but unfortunately we did not manage that. We had the pace and strategy to have finished on the podium in the race itself, but when you have so many rivals in front of you at a circuit like Brands Hatch, where it is difficult to overtake, then it is extremely difficult to get to the front. Despite this, Philipp Eng and Sheldon van der Linde showed fantastic speed, particularly in the first stint. Unfortunately, Joel Eriksson had a technical issue again. I feel very sorry for him.”
Philipp Eng (#25 ZF BMW M4 DTM, BMW Team RMR, Grid: 9th, Race: 5th, Drivers’ standings: 4th, 129 points):
“Given our grid position, that was a really good race. I was happy with the package in both stints, particularly the first. In the second stint, I simply could not get past Loic Duval. At a certain point, the advantage of the fresh tyres disappeared. Despite that, it is still a good result.”
Joel Eriksson (#47 CATL BMW M4 DTM, BMW Team RBM, Grid: 14th, Race: DNF, Drivers’ standings: 10th, 43 points):
“We had to retire due to a technical issue today. I think the electronics failed. I could not really do anything about it. That is racing. We have to stay focussed and concentrate on the challenges ahead.”
Sheldon van der Linde (#31 Shell BMW M4 DTM, BMW Team RBM, Grid: 13th, Race: 7th, Drivers’ standings: 12th, 36 points):
“Seventh place might not sound that great, however you have to consider where we started from – namely 13th. Qualifying was tough. I am happy I managed to finish in the points in both races this weekend. We have found a good rhythm and are becoming more and more accustomed to the DTM. I am now looking forward to the Lausitzring.”
Stefan Reinhold (BMW Team RMG Team Principal):
“We were lacking performance today, particularly in qualifying. We then took a big risk with Marco Wittmann’s strategy in the race, which did not ultimately pay off. That is why the points haul is a little meagre today.”
Marco Wittmann (#11 Schaeffler BMW M4 DTM, BMW Team RMG, Grid: 12th, Race: 10th, Drivers’ standings: 3rd, 147 points):
“We started badly in qualifying. We had no pace compared to Audi. It is obviously a big handicap when you have eight Audis on the first eight places on the grid. The race was basically a similar story. They were able to cover us, no matter what strategy we opted for. My second stop was definitely a mistake. We were running sixth to that point, and had to settle for tenth in the end. We were not able to make up the time we lost. It was worth a try, but we missed out on a lot of points. That is disappointing.”
Bruno Spengler (#7 BMW Bank M4 DTM, BMW Team RMG, Grid: 16th, Race: DNF, Drivers’ standings: 8th, 77 points):
“The car was a little better today than it was yesterday. Our focus was more on the race than qualifying. That worked, too. We had good pace and an aggressive strategy. Unfortunately, I had an engine issue and had to park up in the garage. That is frustrating, as we could have been looking at a points finish. We must analyse the weekend and try to come back even stronger as a team.”
Timo Glock (#16 BMW M4 DTM, BMW Team RMR, Grid: 11th, Race: 12th, Drivers’ standings: 13th, 33 points):
“We actually had really good pace, but unfortunately I got stuck in traffic. Then we decided to go for another fresh set of tyres and hope for a safety car. Unfortunately, however, that was not the case. It has been another weekend that did not pan out as we had hoped.”