Spengler started in third position and this became second off the line and soon, he was chasing down the leading Mercedes of Gary Paffett. Spengler was able to stay within striking distance of the British driver for the entire 97 lap race.
The last few laps saw the Canadian racer looking over his shoulder as he coped with damage to the front splitter of the #7 BMW M3 DTM and with the Audi of Mike Rockenfeller closing in, Spengler saw his advantage eaten into but he was able to hold his position.
“I am very happy with this second place,” commented Spengler. “Gary Paffett was very quick, particularly in the first stint. Despite this, I was able to hang on to his coattails. It reminded me of my win at the Lausitzring, but with the roles reversed. It was a tough race. You do not have much time to take a breather in the cockpit. The team was brilliant again. The second stop was particularly good. My front-left splitter broke towards the end of the race, which made things a bit exciting. But we did enough. The season has been great so far. The three manufacturers are extremely evenly matched, which makes it fun for us drivers as well as the fans.”
Martin Tomczyk also left Brands Hatch with more Championship points after securing his best result of the season in fourth. Tomczyk also set the fastest lap of the race, having set a 42.138s on lap 57.
The German driver dropped down the order during the early stages but was soon climbing back up the order and he took his best result of the season after his strategy and pit stops paid off.
“Generally speaking, fourth place in Brands Hatch is a good result for me and my BMW Team RMG,” added Tomczyk. “The pace of my car was very good today. I made a little mistake at the start, and my pit stops were not quite perfect. Maybe we could have had an even better result today. However, my team and I are getting better with every race. With that in mind, I am full of confidence for the challenges ahead.”
The two RBM cars of Augusto Farfus Jnr and Andy Priaulx both failed to score at Brands Hatch. Farfus finished the third round of the season just outside the top ten in eleventh while home driver Priaulx failed to finish after contact early in the proceedings.
Priaulx said about his home weekend: “I just had some contact on the first lap, the whole front splitter was damaged and that was the end of the race. It was very unlucky and a disappointing weekend for me overall. That is motor racing and you just have to take it on the chin and move on. Overall I haven’t felt really comfortable from the first laps this weekend, and I just have to understand what is going on. We will come back next year and make amends.”
The other BMW drivers’, Joey Hand and Dirk Werner also failed to trouble the top ten. Team-mate to Tomcyzk in the BMW Team RMG outfit, Hand brought the car home 13th overall while Werner brought home the sister BMW Team Schnitzer car home 16th.
Charley Lamm, BMW Team Schitzner Team Principal is pleased with the performance shown by Spengler and Werner at Brands Hatch.
“That was another really impressive race from Bruno,” explains Lamm. “We were a bit nervous towards the end when the front splitter on his car was damaged. After that he was lacking downforce, particularly in the right-handers, meaning he could not maintain his good pace. From this point on, it was all about defending his position against the cars pursuing him. It all worked out in the end though.”
Speaking about Werner’s progress, Lamm added: “For Dirk, it was important to get a solid race under his belt and again gain a lot more DTM experience, which he did. It is unbelievable that we have finished on the podium in two of the three races. BMW has built a really fantastic car. I think today’s podium finish also makes a great birthday present for Jens Marquardt.”
“I am very happy again with our third outing of the 2012 season. This is the first time we have brought a DTM car to Brands Hatch, and we found our feet very quickly. Our drivers were immediately able to compete with the front-runners,” explains BMW Motorsport Director, Jens Marquardt.
“Second and fourth achieved by Bruno and Martin are fantastic results. Bruno once again showed nerves of steel and Martin was also extremely quick and produced a flawless drive. The last few laps were particularly nerve-wracking, but our drivers and teams did a super job and all deserve a huge compliment. We have a very good record so far, with three podium finishes from three races. We barely have time to catch our breath now before the next race in Spielberg in 14 days.
“We have found a good rhythm in the DTM, so I hope that we will be as quick in Austria as we were here. However, the first few races have already shown that the 2012 DTM pack is reshuffled at every circuit. The three manufacturers are on a par with each other, making it all but impossible to predict the race weekends. This is the best possible scenario for the fans, as motor racing can hardly get any more exciting and evenly balanced than in the DTM,” concluded Marquardt.
Ahead of round four of the Championship, Spengler is the best of the BMW Motorsport drivers in the Championship. Canadian Spengler is currently second in the drivers’ Championship with 43 points, with Tomcyzk, Farfus and Priaulx seventh, eighth and ninth overall.
BMW Team Schnitzer is the best placed BMW team in the Teams’ Standings while in the Manufacturer Standings, BMW lie third with 84 Championship points. Round four of the season takes place at the Red Bull Ring in Austria over the 2nd/3rd June.