Schnitzer BMW drivers Bruno Spengler and Dirk Werner came away from the DTM race at the Norisring ‘disappointed’ with their performances after finishing in fifth and 11th positions respectively.
Having qualified in second on Saturday, Canadian Spengler had been hoping to challenge for his fourth Norisring victory. However the reigning champion lost out during the race on strategy, crucially being beaten by main championship rival Mike Rockenfeller. Spengler originally crossed the finish line in sixth, but was promoted to fifth following the exclusion of initial winner Mattias Ekström.
“Sixth is disappointing for me,” admitted Spengler after the race. “When you start from second on the grid, you obviously want to be in contention to win the race. Qualifying was very good, and we actually had good pace during the race too. The pit stops were also good. We were just unlucky with the strategy today. Neither of the two safety car periods played into our hands.”
However Spengler remains optimistic of his title chances after leaving the Nürnberg circuit, lying second in the championship just two points behind Rockenfeller.
“I am still up there near the top of the Drivers’ Championship,” added Spengler. “That is important. However, I had hoped for more on my favourite circuit.”
Team Schnitzer Team Principal Charly Lamm lamented the unfortunate use of the safety car which affected the Canadian’s tyre usage, putting the result down to bad luck.
“You obviously want to be up there with the front-runners when you start the race from the front row,” said Lamm. “However, the safety car periods meant Bruno was not able to make full use of the option tyre. You never get back the time you lose during this period.”
Werner originally finished the race in 11th, just outside the points, but was promoted to tenth following Ekström’s exclusion. The German also expressed his frustration at how his strategy did not work out in the race.
“I lost a lot of time during the second safety car period,” explained Werner. “Christian Vietoris was allowed through in front of me, but I was not. That rather ruined my race. I will be aiming to get back in the points again at the next race in Moscow.”
Scnitzer’s Norisring results see them drop to second in the team’s championship, 18 points behind the leading HWA Mercedes team.