BMW head to Brands Hatch this weekend entering ‘unchartered territory’ with their BMW M3 DTM, having no set-up data and little experience of the short British circuit.
Despite having won last time out at the Lausitzring, BMW are taking nothing for granted in their return season to the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters.
“We are well aware that we are entering uncharted territory at this circuit,” said BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt. “However, the team is brimming with confidence and we are really looking forward to facing this challenge. The first two races have shown us that our BMW M3 DTM is competitive. In Brands Hatch, however, the balance of power may once again look completely different. After all, we are yet to drive a single metre there with a DTM car and still have no set-up data available.”
With overtaking notoriously difficult at the short 1.9 kilometre Brands Hatch Indy circuit, BMW Team RMG Principal Stefan Reinhold believes that qualifying will be key in deciding the outcome of the race.
“How we perform in qualifying will be crucial at Brands Hatch,” said Reinhold. “We want to improve our qualifying. A good position on the grid is key to a good result in the race.”
Charly Lamm, Team Principal of BMW Team Schnitzer, echoed the comments of his counterparts in explaining that BMW have little set-up data for this weekend’s race.
“We are under no illusion: we are pretty much starting from scratch again at Brands Hatch,” said Lamm. “Unlike our competitors, we do not have any experience at all on this track with a DTM car. We found our feet quickly in Hockenheim and at the Lausitzring – thanks in part to previous tests there. I hope that will also be the case in Great Britain.”
Only two of BMW’s drivers, Martin Tomczyk and Bruno Spengler, have experience racing in the DTM at Brands Hatch and both have emphasised the importance of a strong qualifying performance.
“I really like the track at Brands Hatch,” said reigning champion Tomczyk. “It is an extremely short circuit. This means that qualifying will be even closer than at the first two race weekends. The grid positions will determine whether or not you can challenge at the front of the field during the race. Overtaking opportunities are few and far between in Brands Hatch.”
Spengler drew attention to the importance of getting up to speed in the practice session ahead of qualifying on Saturday.
“We have never driven there with the BMW M3 DTM, so it will be important to get as many kilometres as possible under our belt during the free practice, in order to be prepared for the qualifying,” said Spengler. “Qualifying is very important at Brands Hatch, as it is very difficult to overtake during the race. It goes without saying, however, that we are full of confidence following the victory at the Lausitzring.”