The 2012 Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters resumes at the Nürburgring this weekend after a five-week break from racing, and BMW are looking to put on a particularly special show at the famous race track.
The München-based manufacturer will be celebrating 40 years of its ‘M’ brand, with a selection of iconic cars from BMW Motorsport GmbH on display. Several of the manufacturers’ cars, which have helped it to numerous victories around the ‘Ring, including eight in the DTM, will be on display.
BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt is looking forward to the weekend’s celebration of BMW M and is hoping to be able to continue BMW’s strong form from the first half of the season.
“This year, BMW M is celebrating its 40th anniversary,” said Marquardt. “We too will celebrate this birthday in a fitting manner at the Nürburgring. Furthermore, the headquarters of BMW Team RMG are just a few kilometres from the Ring, so there will definitely be a lot of BMW fans in the Eifel Mountains again.
“Over the course of the season we have proven that we are capable of finding the right set-up for the BMW M3 DTM, even at circuits that are new to us. I hope this is also the case at the Nürburgring. We can look back on a long history of success in the ‘Green Hell’, which includes eight DTM wins between 1984 and 1992, 19 triumphs at the 24-hour race, and many other victories. We are determined to put on another good show there in our DTM comeback season.”
BMW’s top driver in the championship, Canadian Bruno Spengler, has taken victory twice before at the Nürburgring and is so far the only BMW driver to have taken a race victory in 2012.
“Just thinking about the race at the Nürburgring is enough to make my spine tingle,” said Spengler. “The circuit has a long motorsport tradition – and you can sense that as a driver. The Nürburgring is one of my very favourite tracks. It has a very nice combination of fast and slow corners. I have already won twice in the Eifel Mountains, in glorious sunshine and pouring rain. We are entering new territory there with the BMW Bank M3 DTM. Despite this, I am very confident.”
With many drivers and team members taking the opportunity to go on a well-earned holiday during the summer break, reigning champion Martin Tomczyk admits he would have preferred to keep racingand carry momentum into the coming races. Tomczyk, who has had a slow start to the season, has taken two second-placed finishes in the last two races and is now searching for his first win of the 2012 season.
“Although it is nice to have a few days holiday in the summer, I would have preferred to have headed straight from the Show Event in Munich to the next race at the Nürburgring,” admitted Tomczyk. “BMW Team RMG and I have found a great rhythm and our performances are improving dramatically. I stood on the podium in Spielberg and at the Norisring, having finished runner-up in the last two races. That gives you a great hunger to be celebrating on the top step before too long. We want to take this momentum with us to the Nürburgring, where I have already tasted victory back in 2007 and 2009.”
For WTCC convert Andy Priaulx the opportunity to return to the Nürburgring is one he welcomes – having won the Nürburgring 24 Hour in 2005. Surprisingly Priaulx has never competed on the shorter circuit used by the DTM – and he admits he’ll have little time to get himself up to speed with the modern track.
“I have obviously raced around the Nürburgring, but only as part of the Nordschleife,” admitted the Guernseyman. “We won the 24-hour race there in 2005. I think our car will be very strong there and it is going to be nice to go back to a more contemporary race track. The Nürburgring is going to be a bit more about getting the set-up absolutely spot on. I am looking forward to it. Hopefully we can build on the result from the Norisring and keep the car near the front.”
The first DTM practice session takes place on Friday 17th August 2012 at 1320 Berlin time (GMT+1).