Hot on the heels of their first Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters race in 20 years, BMW are expecting a ‘demanding’ second race of the season at the Lausitzring in eastern Germany this weekend.
With a number of BMW’s cars picking up damage in the opening race at the Hockenheimring – namely Bruno Spengler and Martin Tomczyk, BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt admits the team have had their work cut out this week to have their cars ready and travel to the tri-oval circuit.
“There is no time to catch a breather between races,” said Marquardt. “Our teams all worked hard in Hockenheim, and they will have their hands full to repair the damaged cars in time for the first practice session ahead of the next race. The Lausitzring will demand a great deal from everyone. However, the whole team is motivated, as they can all see that we are heading in the right direction.
“The overall package is working well and the performance is promising. At the same time, Hockenheim showed that we still need to improve some areas. That is normal for a newcomer. We are looking forward to the second race of the season and we want to back up the fine performance at the season-opener in front of the fans at the Lausitzring.”
Andy Priaulx, who took the marque’s best result last time out with a sixth placed finish, is looking forward to his second-ever DTM race after having first tasted the a car from the German series there.
“I have very special memories of the Lausitzring,” said Guernseyman Priaulx. “It was there that I sat at the wheel of the BMW M3 DTM for the first time. The grip level is relatively low there, and there are a few bumps. The circuit offers some very good overtaking opportunities and I reckon it will be very close again, particularly in qualifying. The sixth place in Hockenheim has given me a real boost. I am ready for my second DTM weekend.”
Dirk Werner was the best BMW driver in qualifying for the previous race, before being on the receiving end of some bad luck and driving mistakes in the race. The German, also entering his second DTM race, is hoping to get up to speed quickly at the Lausitzring.
“It goes without saying that not all the experience we gained in Hockenheim can be applied at the Lausitzring,” said Werner, from Hanover. “We hardly have any time to prepare for the race. For this reason, it will be crucial to find a good set-up for the BMW M3 DTM as quickly as possible. If we manage that, we will hopefully be in good shape again. I have taken a lot of positives from Hockenheim, particularly qualifying, and am now hungry to get back out on the track.”
BMW’s two experienced drivers, Tomczyk and Spengler, had the most difficult races at the Hockenheimring with both drivers being collected by Mercedes drivers in the race and being forced to retire. However both drivers have fond memories from the Lausitzring and are keen to perform this weekend.
“The Lausitzring is one of my very favourite tracks,” said Spengler. “I have had several podium finishes there. This year, however, we are obviously entering uncharted waters with the BMW M3 DTM. That is why it is so important for me to get as many laps as possible under my belt during in free practice. I hope the car runs as well as it did last weekend.”
Reigning champion Tomczyk, who won at the circuit last year, admits that qualifying will be key this weekend.
“We will have to wait and see how the BMW M3 DTM goes at this very special track,” said Tomczyk. “The season-opener in Hockenheim showed that we are competitive. Only Saturday’s qualifying will show to what extent the same is true at the Lausitzring. I obviously hope we are quick there too.”
First practice for the DTM at the Lausitzring takes place at 1320 CET on Friday.