BMW's return to the DTM continues at the Norisring this weekend, with Bruno Spengler chasing a fourth win around the Nuremberg street circuit.
“I claimed my first DTM victory at the Norisring in 2006,” said Spengler, who lies fourth in the 2012 standings and won earlier in the year at the Lausitzring.
“I just really like the circuit. I have won there on three occasions and have always ended up on the podium. I really enjoy braking hard and late. It is not easy to find the ideal line, although there are only a few corners. The atmosphere is just great. It is my very favourite circuit.”
A second-place finish last time out at Spielberg moved reigning champion Martin Tomczyk up into fifth place in the drivers' classification. He's chasing another top three finish this weekend.
“After last year's unforgettable, rain-dominated race, I am already really looking forward to seeing what surprises the Norisring has in store for us this year,” said the driver of the #1 machine.
“It is always a major challenge to drive on this fascinating street circuit with its two hairpins. In 2011 I managed to climb from tenth on the grid to third place by the end of the race. It would be great to be back on the podium again this year.”
Augusto Farfus has a proud record on street circuits, particularly from his time in the World Touring Car Championship, and the Brazilian is hoping for a successful debut at the Norisring.
“It was nice to be able to switch off a bit before the Norisring, as it has been six very intense months for me,” he said.
“All of us BMW guys except Bruno and Martin will be starting from scratch again at the Norisring. I am still optimistic as I love street circuits and I have won on all the street circuits I have raced on so far. I have never been there but I have watched some films of crazy races there. I am really happy we are going there and looking forward to discovering this unique circuit.”
Farfus' former WTCC teammate Andy Priaulx is also confident of a good result based upon his record of temporary tracks.
“Norisring is a legendary track and I can't wait to see it for myself,” said the Guernseyman
“I have an affinity with street circuits and just love them. I have had some of my most exciting and successful races on street circuits and so it would be great for me to keep this tradition up there. We aim to put on a good show for the fans.”
American Joey Hand claimed his first DTM points in Austria last time out and is chasing a repeat performance.
“I scored my first DTM points at the race in Spielberg,” he said.
“That has given me and BMW Team RMG a lot of confidence. I spent a lot of time with my wife and two kids during the break. My batteries are now fully charged and ready for the rest of the season. I travel to the Norisring with a lot of momentum and am determined to continue my upward trend.”
After his impressive qualifying performance at his debut race at Hockenheim, Dirk Werner is still waiting for this first DTM points.
“Although my race in Spielberg came to a premature end, I gained a lot of confidence there,” said the German.
“Ninth place in qualifying showed me we are capable of competing with the front-runners. With a bit of luck, we could have done even better. As such, I am really hoping I can have an incident-free race at the Norisring. The circuit is interesting and has a long tradition. A good performance in qualifying will once again be immensely important there.”
BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt said: “The race at the Norisring is traditionally one of the absolute highlights of the DTM season. We have strong links with this circuit, having claimed five DTM victories here in the 1980s and 1990s. Now we are returning to the Norisring with the new BMW M3 DTM.
“This circuit is special for a number of reasons. We have absolutely no past data and the track's characteristics and low level of grip will present our teams and drivers with a completely new challenge. The DTM fans traditionally flock to Nuremberg, where they create a very special atmosphere. Every one of us is looking forward to doing his best to produce another great result against this impressive backdrop.”
BMW suffered a setback at a recent test after a fire on Hand's regular chassis.
“BMW Team RMG has had to assemble a different chassis for the outing at the Norisring, following an incident at our test session,” said Marquardt. “This has not affected our preparations for the race. The car in question developed a leak in the fuel supply during the roll-out. The escaping fuel then ignited in the exhaust. Although some parts of the car can be reused, the chassis itself is no longer suitable for use in a race situation.”