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BMW Team RMG celebrate first podium

BMW Team RMG were celebrating their first-ever podium in the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters on Sunday as Martin Tomczyk took himself and the newly-formed team to second in Austria.

Tomczyk’s podium is the first-ever for the team which was only formed in Summer 2011. The result was made even sweeter by the fact that the team’s second driver, American Joey Hand, also took his first-ever points in the DTM with a ninth-placed finish.

“I am very proud of my whole team,” said Team Principal Stefan Reinhold, who has F1 and GT experience. “Our crew had done a sensational job. Martin implemented the strategy perfectly and climbed from fourth to second. He showed everyone that he is a true champion today. Second place here is fantastic. We practiced countless pit stops this week to ensure that it would work in today’s race. This effort paid dividends. Joey also put in a great performance – today is a good day for BMW Team RMG.”

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Tomczyk started from fourth on the grid and was able to make good progress at the start of the race, passing Mattias Ekström on the opening lap. However the reigning champion found himself unable to find a way past eventual winner Edoardo Mortara, despite finishing just 1.068 seconds behind.

“That was a close and exciting race,” said Tomczyk. “Even at the start I really had to push hard in order to hold my ground. After that I was able to pull off a few nice overtaking manoeuvres and move into second. The race strategy employed by my BMW Team RMG really bore fruit and our pit stops were simply perfect. They helped me to move up through the field.”

The result moves Tomczyk up into fifth in the championship, with 36 points to his name and as the second-best BMW driver in the standings, after BMW Team Schnitzer’s Bruno Spengler.

“With a little bit of luck we could even have scored a victory,” added Tomczyk. “After the Safety Car phase I had to fight for lap after lap, but it worked out excellently. My team-mate Joey Hand also picked up valuable points for BMW and our team. It was another fantastic weekend at the Red Bull Ring for me because right from the outset, everything came together perfectly. Long may it last.”

American Hand claimed his first-ever points in the German series with a ninth placed finish. However the 33 year-old had started from fifth on the grid and admitted that he is not yet happy with his pace, despite having improved in each race in 2012 so far.

“That was a tough race, but the thing that makes me feel better is that we had a great turnaround and it was a real team effort,” explained Hand. “In free practice one I was 21st and then the very next morning third! I feel really good in BMW Team RMG as these guys always stick with me. We sort of expected this as I am new to everything. It is not where I want to be, however, as I plan on being a serious contender soon and I think we have really turned a corner this weekend. We had both our cars in the points and that is a great improvement for our new team.”

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