Martin Tomczyk (DE) is the reigning DTM champion, and his form for BMW Team RMG has improved steadily over the course of the 2012 season. After finishing fourth at Brands Hatch (GB), the 30-year-old is fully motivated and looking forward to the race in Spielberg (AT), where he took the checkered flag as winner last year. In an interview, Tomczyk speaks about his BMW Team RMG, the strength in depth in the DTM, and this weekend’s race at the “Red Bull Ring”.
Martin, does the impression that you are feeling more and more at home in the BMW M Performance Parts M3 DTM flatter to deceive?
Martin Tomczyk:“No. That is true. My BMW Team RMG is completely new to the DTM, so it is only to be expected that we should have a lot to learn together. We have improved consistently in the races so far. We are all benefitting from the fact the team is learning quickly, as proven by the fourth place in Great Britain.”
Could you have come away from Brands Hatch with an even better result?
Tomczyk: “There is no point in speculating like that in motor racing. I made a small mistake in qualifying and strayed too far from the racing line. That cost us a better grid position than fifth. Then, in the race, one of our pit stops was not quite perfect. Despite this, the result was a positive sign. It shows we are moving in the right direction.”
How are you able to put your many years of DTM experience into practice?
Tomczyk: “This is my twelfth year in the DTM. My experience means I am able to provide the team with input in certain areas. That worked very well during the preparations for the season. In the race, we are always faced with unforeseeable situations. I try to draw on my experience to give advice on what procedure and strategy might be beneficial to us. BMW Team RMG is doing a fantastic job. It is great fun working and making progress with this team.”
What are the team’s strengths, and in which areas do you feel there is still room for improvement?
Tomczyk: “The whole structure in BMW Team RMG is absolutely perfect. Engineers, mechanics, drivers: everyone works hand in hand – and at a very high, professional level. We are doing everything in our power to make the BMW M3 DTM even better and to get the very best out of it during the race. I don’t think there are any definite weaknesses. I see it as more of a constant learning process.”
The 2012 DTM is an extremely close affair. Did you expect the three manufacturers to be so evenly matched so early on in the season?
Tomczyk: “I thought it would get quite close. However, I did not expect there to be quite the strength in depth we are seeing in the 2012 DTM season. Huge compliments to the three manufacturers, the ITR and the DMSB. Together, they have come up with a set of regulations that have made it possible for the crowds to enjoy such exciting races."
Every thousandth of a second counts. How extreme is the pressure on the drivers?
Tomczyk: “That depends solely on the driver. Everyone deals with this situation differently. Personally, I always try to build up a certain pressure before a race, to help me perform to the best of my ability. My many years of DTM experience help here. It has always come down to the odd fraction of a second in this series, so I am used to that.”
In 2011 you climbed onto the top step of the podium in Spielberg. What is your goal for Sunday’s race?
Tomczyk: “I want to make it onto the podium – preferably the top step of course.”