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DTM 2013

BMW locks out competition at 2013 DTM Race in Spielberg

After world renowned football team of Bayern Munich sealed the historic triple title win (Champions League, Bundesliga and German cup) last Saturday by beating Stuttgart 3:2 to win the prestigious German cup, the world-famous car manufacturer from Munich did it likewise and scored a triple victory in the DTM, when reigning DTM champion Bruno Spengler became the winner of the third DTM round at Spielberg held in Austria.

Together with his fellow BMW drivers Marco Wittmann and DTM newcomer and former Formula 1 driver Timo Glock, the Canadian secured a 1-2-3 for BMW. In addition to this, Marco Wittmann set the fastest lap of the race with a time of 1:25.505 minutes

This was the tenth time in the history of the DTM that the podium had been completely monopolized by BMW drivers, while BMW Team Schnitzer celebrated its 13th victory in the popular touring car series.

“This is one of these weekends that you are always dreaming of. First, second and third place is sensational, brings us many points and victory for me. It couldn’t be better,” Bruno Spengler said about his 14th DTM victory. Mike Rockenfeller, who had come to Austria as the leader in the drivers’ standings of the 2013 DTM championship, finished fourth as the best-placed Audi driver.

But not all BMW drivers were lucky on that day. Martin Tomczyk (DE) produced an excellent opening lap to move up to fifth after the first few corners. After a number of fierce duels with rivals and his first pit stop, he was spun by Mercedes driver Roberto Merhi (ES), who was subsequently penalized. It is second time, that Roberto Mehri and Martin Tomczyk clash violently.

Tomczyk retired from the race on lap 30 with a damaged car. It must be mentioned here, that this is the second race in succession where bad luck strikes the 2011 DTM champion.

In Brands Hatch, Martin Tomczyk wasn’t able to celebrate his maiden pole position for BMW for too long. After his fastest time in qualifying for the second DTM season round at Brands Hatch, it was found in scrutineering of his car that the 2011 champion’s BMW M3 DTM was underweight. By exactly 0.5 kg.

Joey Hand (US) on the other hand had to park up his BMW M3 DTM on the 11th lap when the front-left wheel came loose after his first pit stop. 3 time FIA WTCC champion (2005, 2006 & 2007) Andy Priaulx (GB), starting from last place on the grid, was unable to make the progress required to finish in the points, ending the race in 19th in the Crowne Plaza Hotels BMW M3 DTM.

Mike Rockenfeller built on his good results from the first two rounds and made the best of his five places’ starting grid penalty. In total, the Audi driver made up nine positions. “When you make it up from 13th on the grid to finish fourth in the DTM, you can be happy. Too bad that we were penalised yesterday, because today, we have seen what could have been with my Audi RS 5 DTM,” Mike Rockenfeller commented.

As a matter of fact, Mike Rockenfeller was the best of the rest, with fellow Audi driver Mattias Ekstrom securing fifth after pushing his way past the BMW of Augusto Farfus just two laps from the race finish line. It was a pretty bleak weekend for Mercedes too, who could do no better than 7th thanks to Christian Vietoris

In total, 44,000 fans came to attend the race weekend in Styria, which was supposed to take place in unstable weather conditions.

Contrarily to the forecast however, the race at Spielberg didn’t turn into a wet condition race. In dry and appealing conditions, the 22 drivers staged a highly exciting race with hard duels and entertaining overtaking maneuvers. Bruno Spengler started from pole position and dominantly made his way to his first win of the season. Marco Wittmann and ex-Formula 1 driver Timo Glock joined the new points’ leader on the podium.

“I haven’t completely arrived in the DTM, but today, I have made a big step – third place in the third race. Being able to spray champagne again after four or five years is a great feeling,” said Timo Glock, who had started from twelfth place.

The winner of the season opener at Hockenheim, Augusto Farfus (BMW), again showed a strong performance, only lost two places after a slight collision with Ekström just before the end of the race and came home in sixth place.

A good strategy allowed Christian Vietoris to make his way up to seventh. The 24-year old Mercedes-Benz driver had started from 16th place. “All in all, the race was a very good one. I was able to make up positions and I had fun. We have to improve in qualifying on Saturday and then we will be competitive again in the next two or three races,” Vietoris explained.

In the drivers’ standings, Bruno Spengler is now leading with 53 points from Mike Rockenfeller (41 points) and Augusto Farfus (33 points). The fourth round of the season will take place at Lausitzring on June 16th.

Jens Marquardt, BMW Motorsport Director: “Today is a very special day, a very special result. The last time for us to lock out first to third place was way back in 1992, when we even had a clean sweep of first to fifth place. Today, the guys have done a great job. Our forecast was rain. But when it stayed dry, we carefully considered: which tyre pressure and which strategy are we using? It looked easy from the outside, but it wasn’t. Today is a day to celebrate.”

Dieter Gass, head of DTM, Audi: “According to me, our results don’t really reflect our potential today, especially when you consider how Mike Rockenfeller and Mattias Ekström made it up to the front from 13th and 15th place on the grid. After the controversial penalty, ‘Rocky’ made the best out of his situation and remains well in the race for the title. After a good opening stage, Timo Scheider again had bad luck in the pits. We can only apologies to him for that.”

Toto Wolff, head of motorsport Mercedes-Benz: “Congratulations to BMW for a great performance. Gary Paffett had bad luck, he was penalized for a move that one can discuss about. Christian Vietoris had a good strategy and was able to make up positions. We have to see whether we have done everything right and where we can improve and we will continue to work and to fight.”

Spielberg - Cairo - Dubai

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