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BMW experiences difficult Lausitz qualifying

Photo by BMW AGFor the second year in a row BMW struggled in qualifying for the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters at the EuroSpeedway Lausitz, with only championship leader Marco Wittmann making it through to Q3.

On an unusual day in the DTM, which saw all sessions prior to qualifying affected by fog and ultimately cancelled, BMW once again struggled at the Lausitzring.

Despite topping the short 15 minute practice session before qualifying with Augusto Farfus, BMW drivers failed to find their feet in qualifying at the circuit south of Berlin.

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Champion elect Wittmann once again proved his class as the top BMW driver, placing his M4 in seventh. The 24-year-old admits that as a result of the conditions the day had been unpredictable and hard to find the ideal setup.

“Today was a lottery to see who had the best set-up from the word go,” said Wittmann. “Nobody had time to fine-tune their set-up in the short practice, which is why everyone pretty much started from scratch in qualifying. We were not particularly well positioned.

“They were difficult conditions – I made it through to Q3, and that was important. Tomorrow I will look to get a good start and drive a good race. Then we will see where we end up at the finish.”

BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt praised Wittmann’s dependability to achieve strong qualifying results and adds that he believes Sunday’s weather will have just as much in store as Saturday’s in deciding the outcome of the weekend.

“The weather conditions made that a very difficult qualifying,” said Marquardt. “After a short free practice, we were immediately confronted with qualifying. Unfortunately only one of our cars made it through to the third part of qualifying. That does not reflect what we are really capable of.

“You can depend on Marco Wittmann and he has every chance tomorrow from seventh on the grid. The weather could be the great unknown again on Sunday, which means a lot can happen in the race.

“Timing was key today – and it goes without saying that additional weight was noticeable. Congratulations to Pascal Wehrlein and Mercedes on pole position. A huge compliment goes to the fans: they stuck it out, although we were only able to offer then a 15-minute practice before qualifying. If tomorrow we show the pace we did in free practice today, then a lot is still possible in the race.”

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