The DTM will have its customary visit to the Norisring street circuit this weekend, but this year is somewhat poignant, and holds memories specifically for BMW Team Schnitzer, as it has been just over 20 years to the day, where they won there on June 28th, 1992, with a certain Joachim Winkelhoch behind the wheel of an M3.
But returning Team Principal Charly Lamm recently spoke about many things, including the season so far, with BMW's return to the DTM, Winkelhock's win in 1992, and much more. He showed his appreciation for the fans of Team Schnitzer, saying that they “still have fond memories of us, despite our break from the DTM. The fact that the BMW M3 DTM has been competitive from the outset has obviously made our return far easier. Bruno Spengler's victory at the Lausitzring so early in the season gave us another huge boost. We really enjoy every race weekend – and we are learning a lot every day. Having the first four races within such a short time was a tough, but profitable training camp.”
But the man in charge of this iconic Munich team, was also staying grounded in respect of the efforts of the team, and that success doesn't ever come easy, and that things to do not always go to plan, and was even honest about what Team Schnitzer would have thought at the beginning of the season: “If someone had told us a few months ago we would have a win, a second place and a pole position to our name after just four races, I would have told them they were mad. We obviously want to make the most of our opportunities in every race. We have made it our goal to exhaust our full potential on every circuit. We know that set-backs can also occur.”
Lamm also goes on to say that the team is really more than happy about BMW's return to the series, and that it has always been a bed of hot competition, especially with the way that one tiny mistake can punish even the top-flight drivers, as most of the qualifying sessions have separated all 22 drivers but just a couple of seconds, which has been greatly proved, as Round 5 fast approaches.
But even with this new future of the DTM, with BMW as part of its foundation, the veteran Team Principal is truly happy as well, when it comes to talking about significant events, like the win here at Norisring for the team in 1992, as Herr Lamm looks back at what he remembers of that difficult year of racing:
“That was not an easy race weekend for Joachim Winkelhoch back then. After a poor qualifying he had to go through the qualification race, which he won. He then claimed victory in the first race, having started from 13th on the grid. Race two then produced a BMW hat trick, with Steve Soper finishing ahead of Winkelhock and Roberto Ravaglia. It was a fantastic weekend. The last time we raced at the Norisring was in the STW in 1998. Johnny Cecotto finished fourth and went on to win the title at the end of the year with the BMW 320i.”
And the reason he says that makes this street circuit so special can be summed up in one simple sentence: “The Norisring is so easy – and yet so difficult.” But as he moves on to what will possibly happen this weekend, he is clearly hopeful of how Bruno Spengler will perform on the track well, as a result of the Canadian's past record at the track, and confidence going into the event, with Dirk Werner possibly having a little more luck, as the rookie German driver competes in his fifth DTM weekend so far. So it remains to be seen, as whether BMW will yet again, show their competitiveness, or will Audi and Mercedes yet again have a bigger say in the equation. Time will soon tell.