Norisring. A chaotic Saturday race, with many retirements, saw Philipp Eng (AUT) finish fifth and score valuable points for the Schubert team. The outfit from Oschersleben (GER) continues to lead the Team competition. On Sunday, Marco Wittmann (GER) drove a strong race to finish fourth at his home event. The two-time champion came home fourth, narrowly missing out on another podium after his third place at Imola (ITA). BMW M again celebrated its 50th anniversary as Presenting Partner of the weekend at the Norisring. Franciscus van Meel, CEO of BMW M GmbH, and Andreas Roos, Head of BMW M Motorsport, attended the event to mark the occasion. In the DTM Classic Cup, BMW M works driver Bruno Spengler (CAN) made a successful guest appearance at the wheel of a BMW 320i STW.
Wittmann bounced back strongly with third place in Sunday morning's qualifying session having been caught up in a mass crash in the first corner of Saturday's race, after which he was unable to continue. In Sunday's race, Wittmann defended third place until the pit stop, during which he lost one place. That meant he ultimately came home fourth in front of his home fans. His team-mate at Walkenhorst Motorsport, Esteban Muth, also crashed out through no fault of his own on Saturday. Although he was fortunate enough to emerge unhurt, his BMW M4 GT3 was so badly damaged that he was unable to start on Sunday.
Philipp Eng finished fifth on Saturday to score ten points for the Schubert team. That ensured the team successfully defended its lead in the Team competition, now with 111 points. On Sunday, Eng crossed the finish line in eleventh place, narrowly missing out on more points. Sheldon van der Linde (RSA) left the Norisring empty-handed. Like Wittmann, he was a victim of the collision in turn one on Saturday. On Sunday, he fell out of the top ten after a late pit stop and eventually had to settle for 15th place. As a result, van der Linde had to give up his lead in the Drivers' Championship. He now lies second with 80 points.
BMW M is Presenting Partner of the DTM at the Norisring.
On the occasion of its 50th anniversary, Presenting Partner BMW M GmbH was very prominent in the paddock of the Norisring, which appropriately was hosting its 50th DTM race. BMW M CEO, Franciscus van Meel, and Head of BMW M Motorsport, Andreas Roos, were at the circuit to follow the action and chat to drivers, teams, media and partners. The M Town event area provided plenty of spectacle with its organ. With a host of talks, and an exhibition of BMW M production vehicles, it was a real centre of attraction for fans. The brand was also well represented by the paddock of the BMW M2 Cup, while there were also strong BMW presences in the starting fields for the DTM Trophy and DTM Classic Cup.
Bruno Spengler was making a guest appearance in one of the vintage cars. He raced for the Schnitzer Classic team in the BMW 320i STW, in which Johnny Cecotto (VEN) was crowned champion in 1998. In Saturday's opening race, Spengler finished fifth after fighting back strongly from 13th on the grid. Spengler then started race two from pole position. He went on to finish runner-up and take his place on the podium - a place he is very familiar with from his five victories in the DTM, making him the record winner.
Quotes on the DTM weekend at the Norisring.
Marco Wittmann (#11 BMW M4 GT3, Walkenhorst Motorsport): "Firstly, the atmosphere here at my home race in Nuremberg was once again fantastic - thanks in no small part to the Schaeffler Green Wall. We have done a lot of promotions, and it is nice to get so much back from the fans. From a sporting perspective, I head into the summer break with mixed feelings. Saturday was very disappointing, with the crash. However, the pleasing result on Sunday was very good. Third place in qualifying, my best DTM grid position ever at the Norisring, was particularly great. We also had strong pace in the race, but unfortunately lost time in the pit stop. In the end, it was fourth place, and some valuable points."
Philipp Eng (#25 BMW M4 GT3, Schubert Motorsport): "Saturday was super. I stayed clear of all the chaos and attacked at exactly the right moments. I was rewarded for that with a good points haul. Unfortunately, I had a slight issue in qualifying on Sunday, otherwise I could have been looking at far more than tenth place. In the race, we soon realised that we did not have the same pace as Saturday. Despite that, on the whole I am satisfied with the weekend."
Sheldon van der Linde (#31 BMW M4 GT3, Schubert Motorsport): "I am disappointed to have failed to score points at a weekend for the first time this season. Up until now, I had actually been in the points in every race. However, it did not go to plan at all here. We now have plenty of time during the summer break to analyse what went wrong, plus we will prepare for the second half of the season with some tests. I am very confident that we will return to form after the break."
Esteban Muth (#10 BMW M4 GT3, Walkenhorst Motorsport): "That is definitely not how we envisaged the weekend playing out. Compared to the other BMW M Motorsport drivers, my pace was really good this time. I was able to match them, but unfortunately I was then hit by another car, which I had just overtaken, and had a hefty crash. I am okay, but the car was unfortunately very badly damaged. We now go into the summer break, after which we will do everything we can to back up the positive trend we have seen here."
Bruno Spengler (BMW 320i STW, DTM Classic Cup): "That was an incredibly cool weekend. I had loads of fun! Thank you to BMW Group Classic, BMW M Motorsport and the Schnitzer Classic team for allowing me to take part in this event and drive such a fantastic car at this circuit. These vintage cars are very special. I was also thrilled to see so many fans again and to receive so much encouragement. To then finish runner-up and be able to celebrate on the podium was the perfect end to the weekend."