Brazilian debut in Valencia (ES): BMW Team RBM’s Augusto Farfus has won his first DTM race at the “Circuit de la Comunitat”. The 29-year-old, at the wheel of the Castrol EDGE BMW M3 DTM, crossed the finish line 8.406 seconds ahead of Adrien Tambay (FR, Audi) to become the first Brazilian in the history of the DTM to celebrate on the top step of the podium. He had previously claimed his first pole position in the series on Saturday.
Farfus was not the only BMW driver who could be happy with the result after 46 laps of thrilling racing in Valencia. Having completed a drive-through penalty on lap six for a jump start, Bruno Spengler (CA) worked his way through the field from 12th to sixth. Andy Priaulx (GB, Crowne Plaza Hotels BMW M3 DTM) and Dirk Werner (DE, E-POSTBRIEF BMW M3 DTM) also picked up points, coming home in eighth and ninth respectively. This was the first time since the race at the Norisring (DE) that BMW Motorsport had ended the race with four drivers in the top ten. Spengler also set the fastest lap of the race with a time of 1:27.116 minutes.
BMW Team RMG had a disappointing race: Martin Tomczyk (DE) had to retire immediately after the start when his BMW M Performance Parts M3 DTM was damaged, through no fault of his own, in the turmoil of the first few corners. His team-mate Joey Hand (US, SAMSUNG BMW M3 DTM) retired on lap 44, having also been hit and damaged by a rival car during the opening stages of the race.
Farfus’s triumph in Spain underlined emphatically the speed with which he has found his feet in the DTM. Going into the season finale in Hockenheim (DE) he is already assured of ending the year as the most successful rookie. Farfus first stepped onto the podium courtesy of a second place at the Lausitzring (DE). BMW has now claimed four victories in the 2012 season and now has 53 DTM triumphs to its name. Having previously won three titles and countless races in the FIA World Touring Car Championship, BMW Team RBM can now celebrate its first triumph in the DTM.
Despite the difficult race, Spengler (124 points) has reduced Gary Paffett’s (GB, Mercedes) lead in the drivers’ standings to just three points. The race for the drivers’ title will now be decided at the finale on 21st October. Tomczyk is seventh with 69 points. Farfus remains eighth with 54 points. Werner (19), Priaulx (18) and Hand (2) follow in 12th, 14th and 20th respectively.
Jens Marquardt (BMW Motorsport Director):
“That was an unbelievably exciting and intense race. Augusto Farfus was consistently quick all weekend and brought home his first DTM victory. He was able to dominate the race from pole position and, as a DTM rookie, fully deserved the win. Compliments to him and BMW Team RBM, as Augusto’s team-mate Andy Priaulx also produced a strong performance to finish eighth and pick up points for the third time. Unfortunately BMW Team RMG was unlucky, as both drivers were involved in accidents through no faults of their own. Conditions had changed dramatically since the first practice session on Friday. It was hotter in the race than it had been all the rest of the weekend. Despite this we still managed to land four cars in the top ten – and that in spite of having to contend with tyres that were wearing fast. Bruno Spengler set the fastest lap time and did not let the early drive-through penalty put him out of his stride. He dropped down to P15 during the race, but fought his way back to sixth, and in the process reduced the gap to the leader in the overall standings to just three points. The fans at the season finale in Hockenheim in three weeks can look forward to a really exciting weekend.”
Bart Mampaey (Team Principal, BMW Team RBM):
“It is fantastic. That was a great victory in a race, in which Augusto Farfus was impressively quick. He got off to a great start, had a wonderful first lap, and then controlled the entire race. Our strategy was right. However, that is relatively easy when a car has that much pace. I would like to thank everyone in BMW Team RBM for the hard work. This was only our ninth DTM race – and, unbelievably, we won it. Andy Priaulx also did a very good job. He drove a strong race, fought right to the end, and finished in the points. That is a great team result.”
Charly Lamm (Team Principal, BMW Team Schnitzer):
“We are obviously happy with the result of this exciting race. Bruno Spengler did not allow the drive-through penalty to knock him out of his stride and showed fantastic fighting spirit. Our team’s pit stops and our strategy were perfect, which allowed him to fight his way into sixth over the course of the race. Dirk Werner had problems with the balance of his car from the middle of the race. The fact that he still finished in the points is a nice reward for the team’s hard work. It will be really exciting in Hockenheim now. Congratulations obviously to Augusto Farfus and BMW Team RBM.”
Stefan Reinhold (Team Principal, BMW Team RMG):
“We have a difficult weekend with two retirements behind us. That is the third time in a row Martin Tomczyk has had to park up before the end of the race. The footage shows Martin was knocked out of the race by Robert Wickens, through no fault of his own. This obvious move, in which no body else was involved, went unpunished. It is all the more frustrating for Martin, as he was severely punished for a similar incident in Zandvoort. Joey Hand’s race also came to an end ahead of schedule after Gary Paffett drove into his car. It was still a successful day for BMW, thanks to Augusto Farfus’s win. Congratulations to BMW Team RBM.”
Augusto Farfus (car number 16, BMW Team RBM, 1st):
“A win in my first DTM season. That is just awesome! However, this is not just my triumph. This success belongs to BMW Team RBM and BMW Motorsport. Thank you very much. I had a super car in qualifying yesterday, so I was confident ahead of today’s race. We all know, however, that races are sometimes not as easy as they look in the DTM. I had some quick Audis behind me, but a good start and an ideal first stint meant I had done the hard work. I decided to apply pressure right from the outset. The final lap was very emotional. I have to admit I had tears in my eyes as I crossed the finish line and almost cried. We have had a tough season.”
Bruno Spengler (car number 7, BMW Team Schnitzer, 6th):
“The fact that I still finished sixth despite the drive-through penalty is absolutely sensational. After the penalty I thought briefly my race was basically over. However, my team encouraged me and really stepped on it in the pit stops. That was one of the keys to my good result. It was important I left the last stop until quite late. That meant I had good tires right to the end of the race and was able to attack again late on.”
Andy Priaulx (car number 15, BMW Team RBM, 8th):
“After a very good start I had a bit of contact with another car in turn one. Apart from that I quickly found a good rhythm. On the exit from turn six on the 42nd lap I was attacked by Rahel Frey, who tried to overtake me on the outside. Bruno Spengler was able to take advantage of this duel and pass on the inside. Despite this, I am very happy to have finished in the points. I am pleased for Augusto Farfus and the team. BMW Team RBM deserved that win after all the hard work it has put in this year.”
Dirk Werner (car number 8, BMW Team Schnitzer, 9th):
“It is nice I was also able to pick up points in Valencia. I had a few problems with the tires, particularly after my first pit stop. From that point on I could no longer drive at the pace required to try to move up through the field. Then I made a mistake in turn 12, went too wide and had to fight hard to keep the car under control. That cost me places, but it was ultimately good enough to finish in the points.”
Joey Hand (car number 2, BMW Team RMG, 15th):
“Gary Paffett hit me hard after the start and damaged my car. The car was off balance after that and I was unable to attack. The problems intensified over the course of the race. In the interest of safety I parked up in the garage shortly before the end of the race. It was a real shame, as up to that point I had been having one of my better weekends this year.”
Martin Tomczyk (car number 1, BMW Team RMG, DNF):
“Unfortunately Robert Wickens drove into my car straight after the start. As a result of this collision, I skidded into the gravel bed and could not continue. That is frustrating, particularly as this is my third retirement in a row.”