Robert Kubica was pleased to score his maiden podium in the DMT at Zolder on Sunday, even though the Pole admitted it had been an ‘unexpected’ result for him and the team.
Kubica had qualified his BMW M4 in tenth for the second race of the weekend, marking an improvement on his performance from Saturday.
But the Pole had not expected to challenge for a podium given his starting position, and in the end a number of factors fell in favour of the former Formula 1 driver.
Two separate early race incidents eliminated five of Kubica’s rivals, whilst a strong opening few laps elevated the BMW Team ART driver to sixth by the end of lap two.
Kubica then demonstrated consistent race pace, and found himself in fourth after all of the mandatory pitstops were completed.
That then became third when Ferdinand von Habsburg’s pace fell off dramatically late in the race as the WRT Audi driver struggled with excessive tyre wear.
Kubica admitted that the result was in part down to good fortune, but embraced the result nonetheless.
“I am very happy, no doubt about it,” said Kubica. “We didn’t expect this at all, but you have to take the opportunities as they come. That was the case today.
“Our strategy was perfect. Just in the pit stop, not everything worked perfectly, but nobody noted it: the lollypop didn’t go up, so at a certain point, I just drove off. Otherwise, I would still be standing there.
“Then, I had Nico Müller in front of me and was slightly faster at that stage, but at the end, it was more important to manage the tyres and bring third place home.
“This is a big moment for us, for the entire team. I am a DTM rookie, the team is new as well and the season was difficult so far. I am really overjoyed.”
Although Kubica can take comfort from being a DTM podium finisher, he remains at the bottom of the drivers’ standings of the full-season entrants with 16 points as it is only his second top ten result of the year.