Nürburgring. Two BMW drivers were able to celebrate on the podium after the 15th round of the 2019 DTM season at the Nürburgring (GER). At the BMW Team RMG home event, Bruno Spengler (CAN, BMW Bank M4 DTM) and Marco Wittmann (GER, Schaeffler BMW M4 DTM) claimed second and third places. While Spengler defended his grid position throughout the race, Wittmann was able to move up from eleventh to finish in the top-three. A total of five BMW M4 DTMs finished in the points as victory went to René Rast (GER, Audi).
Sheldon van der Linde (RSA, Shell BMW M4 DTM) reached seventh place in the Eifel mountains, followed by Joel Eriksson (SWE, CATL BMW M4 DTM) and Timo Glock (GER, JiVS BMW M4 DTM) in eighth and ninth positions. Philipp Eng (AUT, ZF BMW M4 DTM) had to make do with 14th place in the race after struggling with gearbox issues in qualifying.
These were the 50th and 51st podiums for BMW Team RMG in the DTM. Spengler also reached a milestone: he has now scored more than 1,000 DTM points (1017) in his career. Wittmann celebrated his sixth podium finish of the year, while Spengler reached the top-three for the second time in 2019, having previously claimed victory at the Norisring (GER).
Wittmann remains the best-placed BMW driver, in third place with 182 points. However, he was able to reduce the gap to second place and is now 33 points behind Nico Müller (SUI, Audi).
Reactions to the 15th DTM race of the 2019 season at the Nürburgring.
Jens Marquardt (BMW Group Motorsport Director):
'It was an exciting race here at the Nürburgring with plenty of duels. I am delighted for Bruno Spengler, who was able to celebrate his second podium finish of the season. He is now one of just ten drivers to have passed the 1,000-point milestone in the DTM. That is impressive. It was also a very good result for Marco Wittmann. Qualifying did not go so well for him, but moving up from eleventh place to finish third really was another super performance. Congratulations to BMW Team RMG, on the occasion of their 50th and 51st DTM podiums. We managed to get a total of five cars in the top ten today to record a very good, compact result - at our home race. Unfortunately, Philipp Eng struggled with gearbox problems in qualifying. All in all, this is a result that we can be satisfied with, and we can continue to build on that. Maybe we can do a bit better tomorrow. We will certainly be approaching Sunday with plenty of confidence. Congratulations to René Rast.'
Stefan Reinhold (BMW Team RMG Team Principal):
'Qualifying did not go well for us but the way the race finished made things better. Bruno delivered a great performance to defend his second place throughout the race. Marco Wittmann was also able to battle onto the podium and Timo Glock finished in the points. Everyone went at full throttle for our home race - and that really paid off. I am very proud of my entire team. We want to record another good result tomorrow and then prepare really well for Hockenheim.'
Marco Wittmann (#11 Schaeffler BMW M4 DTM, BMW Team RMG, Grid: 11th, Race: 3rd, Drivers' standings: 3rd, 182 points):
'You have to be pleased with finishing third after starting from eleventh position. We had a good race, with a good strategy and a good pit stop. It is great for BMW Team RMG to have two drivers on the podium at our home race.'
Bruno Spengler (#7 BMW Bank M4 DTM, BMW Team RMG, Grid: 2nd, Race: 2nd, Drivers' standings: 8th, 99 points):
'I am really happy. It was a tough battle, especially at the start. I was trying to overtake Mike Rockenfeller but I didn't quite manage it. After that, the Audis put me under some pressure and they were really fast, but the very good strategy chosen by my team helped me to defend second place and bring it home. I am delighted for BMW Team RMG. Having drivers in second and third places is a great result. The team really earned that after all their very hard work.'
Timo Glock (#16 BMW M4 DTM, BMW Team RMR, Grid: 7th, Race: 9th, Driver's standings: 13th, 35 points):
'The start was really the problem today. I didn't get away and I had too much wheelspin. That pretty much finished off the race for me. The pace was actually OK overall. Congratulations to the BMW Team RMG on a great overall result.'
Bart Mampaey (BMW Team RBM Team Principal):
'Congratulations to René Rast, Bruno Spengler and Marco Wittmann on their top performances today. We had a technical problem with Philipp Eng that we will have to take a closer look at. We reached the points with Sheldon van der Linde and Joel Eriksson. We managed to overcome some less-than-ideal qualifying results to improve during the race. Sheldon had a bit of back luck as he performed very well in qualifying and in the race. I am not sure if the right decision was made about the incident with Loic Duval. Overall, we are heading in the right direction.'
Philipp Eng (#25 ZF BMW M4 DTM, BMW Team RMR, Grid: 17th, Race: 14th, Drivers' standings: 4th, 140 points):
'I was well off the pace today. It was a shame to have that problem in qualifying. This is now the second time that I have had to start from the pit lane. If you're playing catch-up from the start, you have no chance of getting a good result.'
Joel Eriksson (#47 CATL BMW M4 DTM, BMW Team RBM, Grid: 13th, Race: 8th, Drivers' standings: 11th, 51 points):
'Taking our grid position into account, that was a good race. Our pace was good and the car worked really well. We lost a bit of time during the pit stop but that can happen. We will concentrate on taking a step forward in qualifying tomorrow. Our race pace certainly gives us reason for optimism.'
Sheldon van der Linde (#31 Shell BMW M4 DTM, BMW Team RBM, Grid: 6th, Race: 7th, Drivers' standings: 12th, 42 points):
'You could see what might have been possible today. The pace at the start was really good. Unfortunately, our pit stop was not perfect and we did lose a bit of time. Then I got stuck in traffic, so that was a bit disappointing. But I am very happy for BMW. Congratulations to Bruno Spengler and Marco Wittmann.'