Marco Wittmann starts from the fourth row at BMW’s home race – Tough qualifying for the BMW DTM teams.
Norisring (DE), 28th June 2014. Qualifying for the fourth DTM race of the season at the Norisring (DE) did not go entirely to plan for the BMW teams. Local favourite and DTM leader Marco Wittmann (DE) was the best-placed BMW driver, qualifying eighth in the Ice-Watch BMW M4 DTM. The 24-year-old overcame the disadvantage of an additional five kilograms of ballast, added to his car as a result of his recent success, to progress to the third qualifying session. He now goes into Sunday’s race with every chance of adding to his points tally. Fellow BMW Team RMG driver Maxime Martin (BE) landed his SAMSUNG BMW M4 DTM in 11th place on tomorrow’s grid.
Timo Glock (DE, DEUTSCHE POST BMW M4 DTM), Joey Hand (US, Crowne Plaza Hotels BMW M4 DTM), Augusto Farfus (BR, Castrol EDGE BMW M4 DTM) and Bruno Spengler (CA, BMW Bank M4 DTM) followed in positions 13, 14, 15 and 16. Martin Tomczyk (DE, BMW M Performance Parts M4 DTM) in 19th and António Félix da Costa (PT, Red Bull BMW M4 DTM) in 22nd failed to progress beyond the first qualifying session. Tomczyk missed out on Q2 by just one thousandths of a second.
The race begins on at 13:30 Sunday (live on ARD).
Jens Marquardt (BMW Motorsport Director):
“We are obviously not happy with this qualifying result. It was once again extremely close here. In the first qualifying session, just four tenths of a second separated first from 23rd place. That shows how incredibly evenly-matched the drivers and manufacturers are on this short circuit. It looked pretty good for us at first, but unfortunately qualifying then went the wrong way for us. A great performance from Marco Wittmann has at least given us some reason for optimism looking ahead to tomorrow’s race, with regard to the Drivers’ Championship too. We still have to take a close look at the exact reasons behind the poor result. The Performance Weight definitely played a role here. One way or another, we are looking forward to an exciting race tomorrow, especially as rain is forecast. We hope local favourite Marco can come up with a good result in front of his home fans. Congratulations to Robert Wickens and Mercedes on a strong display.”
Marco Wittmann (car number 23, BMW Team RMG, 8th):
“Even after free practice we could kind of predict that we would not be right up there in dry conditions. The Performance Weight obviously makes a difference on this circuit, where every fraction of a second counts. We were quick in the middle sector, but the others were ultimately better than us today. I will have to try to get off to a good, clean first lap tomorrow, and stay out of any trouble. Then we will wait and see what the Nürnberg weather has in store for us. If it rains, it will be a case of adapting quickly to the wet conditions. My goal is to have a good race and pick up plenty of points.”
Maxime Martin (car number 24, BMW Team RMG, 11th):
“I am the second highest-placed BMW driver, which is not bad for my first qualifying here at the Norisring. Starting from 11th on the grid is basically okay. On the whole, however, the BMWs were not as strong today as we had hoped to be. Marco Wittmann did a good job.”
Timo Glock (car number 17, BMW Team MTEK, 13th):
“I think that was as good as we could have hoped for today. We saw all day that we did not really have the pace. However, I must say that my guys at BMW Team MTEK did a very good job and gradually improved the car. We were heading in the right direction. Personally, I have struggled all weekend to understand how to drive the last corner. That is where I had the most problems, as the car was always sliding a bit. Starting from 13th, we are right in the midst of all the chaos. And if it rains tomorrow, it could be a bit tricky.”
Joey Hand (car number 4, BMW Team RBM, 14th):
“In actual fact, that was almost better than expected for me. It is a tough weekend for us. BMW Motorsport and BMW Team RBM have really worked hard. We had a new schedule today. It is great fun having two practice sessions, and it is better for the fans. However, this does mean a lot of work between sessions for our guys. I am now looking forward to the race. It will be a real battle, and it could be a wet one. We are ready for it.”
Augusto Farfus (car number 3, BMW Team RBM, 15th):
“We saw that all the BMWs are very evenly matched. We are lacking a bit of pace here. The balance of the car between the tyres was not quite right. That is why we came up that little bit short today. It is a shame, but rain is forecast for tomorrow and it is a very long race. If it does rain, the tide could turn in our favour.”
Bruno Spengler (car number 9, BMW Team Schnitzer, 16th):
“That was not our day today. It is hard to say what it is down to. We must analyse it closely now, in order to be able to push in tomorrow’s race. That will be difficult for me from 16th on the grid. I don’t believe in miracles. All that can help now is hard work. We will do our very best to make up places tomorrow. Let’s see what kind of weather we have. Maybe that will help us.”
Martin Tomczyk (car number 10, BMW Team Schnitzer, 19th):
“That is obviously not the result I was looking for. However, we saw that it was difficult for all the BMWs today. Despite this, there was more in it for us with our car. Given the qualifying result, the fact that it is due to rain tomorrow is good news.”
António Félix da Costa (car number 18, BMW Team MTEK, 22nd):
“After the second free practice we went in the wrong direction with the set-up. After that, we simply were not quick enough. The gaps between the cars are very small, and another half a second quicker would have put me in Q2. It is a shame, as I like the track. I will now sit down with the team and see how we can improve tomorrow. If it rains, we actually have a good set-up, so let’s wait and see.”
Facts and figures from Norisring:
|Circuit / Date||Norisring, 29th June 2014|
|Laps / Distance||83 laps, 2.3 km|
|2014 Pole Position||Robert Wickens (CA), 47.883 seconds|
|2013 Winner||– (Mattias Ekström disqualified)|
|2013 Fastest Lap||Christian Vietoris (DE), 48.572 seconds|
|>Team||BMW Team RBM||BMW Team RBM||BMW Team Schnitzer||BMW Team Schnitzer||BMW Team MTEK||BMW Team MTEK||BMW Team RMG||BMW Team RMG|
Standings after 3 of 10 races.
1. Marco Wittmann (50 points), 2. Mike Rockenfeller (31), 3. Edoardo Mortara (27), 4. Miguel Molina (26), 5. Adrien Tambay (26), 6. Christian Vietoris (25), 7. Bruno Spengler (23), 8. Mattias Ekström (20), 9. Augusto Farfus (14), 10. Paul di Resta (12), 11. Timo Glock (10), 12. Maxime Martin (8), 13. Martin Tomczyk (8), 14. Timo Scheider (8), 15. Jamie Green (6), 16. António Félix da Costa (4), 17. Gary Paffett (4), 18. Joey Hand (1).
1. BMW Team RMG (58 points), 2. Audi Sport Team Abt (53), 3. Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline (46), 4. Audi Sport Team Phoenix (39), 5. Original-Teile Mercedes AMG (37), 6. BMW Team Schnitzer (31), 7. BMW Team RBM (15), 8. BMW Team MTEK (14), 9. Audi Sport Team Rosberg (6), 10. EURONICS / FREE MAN’S WORLD Mercedes AMG (4.).
1. Audi (144 points), 2. BMW (118), Mercedes-Benz (41).
4th May – Hockenheim (DE), 18th May – Oschersleben (DE), 1st June – Budapest (HU),29th June – Norisring (DE), 13th July – Moscow (RU), 3rd August – Spielberg (AT), 17th August – Nürburgring (DE), 14th September – Lausitzring (DE), 28th September – Guangzhou (CN), 19th October – Hockenheim (DE).