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BMW drivers frustrated with incidents

Despite Andy Priaulx’s sixth-placed finish, BMW’s return to the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters proved to be a difficult one – especially for the manufacturer’s German drivers Dirk Werner and Martin Tomczyk and Canadian Bruno Spengler.

Werner was running in seventh when he was collected by Mercedes’ Ralf Schumacher on the second lap – with Canadian Bruno Spengler also losing his bonnet in the process. The incident effectively spelt the end of Spengler’s race as he retired on the following lap. Werner dropped to the very back of the field having been turned around by Schumacher, who later received a drive-through penalty for the incident.

“We were having a really good weekend until the crash,” said Spengler, ninth at the time of the incident. “I had been able to overtake Adrien Tambay and was going well. Then came the collision. Ralf Schumacher braked too late and drove into Dirk Werner’s car. He took me out at the same time. It is such a shame, as we could have picked up a good result in this race.”

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Werner, who was making his début in the DTM this weekend, was left feeling disappointed with his first race in the German series. The 30 year-old had qualified in third and sensed the potential for a much stronger result.

“I did not get off to the ideal start and dropped back a number of places,” said Werner. “A few laps later someone drove into my car in the hairpin. That basically put an end to my race. The whole field overtook me. I was so far behind that I had no chance of getting a better result.

“It goes without saying that I was hoping for more from today, especially after such a great qualifying. I must now forget about that race and focus on the Lausitzring. Whatever happens, qualifying showed that we are on the right track. At the same time, there are still some areas, in which we must improve.”

Martin Tomczyk retired on the fourth lap of the race with damage to his BMW M3 after contact from Roberto Merhi forced the reigning champion off the track.

“I have never experienced anything like today in the DTM,” fumed Tomczyk after the race. “At times I felt like a passenger in my own car. Attacks and shunts came from all sides. I think some drivers were probably a bit over-motivated today. To a certain degree, that is understandable at the first race of the year. Having said that, I hope things calm down next week at the Lausitzring. We have seen that we are competitive, and will continue to work hard.”

Also making his début and having a difficult race was Brazilian Augusto Farfus. Having overshot his pit-box at the first attempt, and subsequently being forced to pit again on the following lap, he was then given a drive-through penalty for speeding in the pit lane. Farfus eventually finished in 15th, more than a minute behind the eventual winner.

“Considering all the problems we had in qualifying, I think we managed to recover in a big way for the race,” said Farfus. “Unfortunately a miscommunication ahead of the pit stop affected the result and so circumstances meant I could not do any better. It is now time to move forward. I think we have found the road we should follow and I am very happy with the car I had in today’s race.”

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