Bruno Spengler said that he “would never have expected” to qualify on pole in only BMW's second race of its DTM return, but he is unsure about how his M3 will perform in the race.
Spengler was part of a BMW 1-2 at the Lausitzring, with teammate Augusto Farfus claiming second place.
“I can hardly believe what has happened here,” said an overjoyed Spengler. “After 20 years, I am the first driver to celebrate a pole position for BMW in the DTM.
“This is a very special day for me. It is great that my fellow BMW driver Augusto Farfus will line up alongside me on the front row tomorrow. That completes this dream result for us.
“I would never have expected us to be on pole position at just the second race of our debut season. My BMW Bank M3 DTM was fantastic today. We will have to wait and see how it performs in the race tomorrow, and whether we can keep pace with the opposition over the longer race distance.
“For now, however, I am going to enjoy this amazing feeling. When the race gets underway tomorrow, I will be doing everything in my power to stay out of the turmoil. With so many cars on the track, the first three corners will be very tight.”
BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt shared his driver's surprise at their qualifying performance, labelling the result as 'phenomenal'.
“[A 1-2] is quite simply a phenomenal result for BMW,” he declared. “That qualifying session was a real thriller. It is an indescribable feeling. I am very proud that we came out on top.”
With less than a week having passed since a bruising encounter at Hockenheim, the BMW teams had a lot of work to do to get their new M3 challengers ready.
“Last week was very tough for everyone in the team,” said Marquardt. “After the many crashes in Hockenheim, our first goal was to get the six BMW M3 DTM cars up and running optimally again so they could line up here. We are all surprised that we now have two cars on the front row.
“Bruno and Augusto are not the only ones who deserve a huge compliment, however. We have three BMW M3 DTM cars in the top ten and each of our three teams has a car on the first five rows of the grid. That shows what a great all-round team performance we have produced again here. And we were justly rewarded for that effort today.
“Tomorrow’s race will be a completely different challenge again. However, this qualifying result means we will approach this challenge with a lot of momentum and the wind in our sails.”
Farfus had been off the pace compared to his BMW teammates at Hockenheim, so the former WTCC racer was delighted with his result in qualifying, particularly having topped the Q2 and Q3 segments.
“It is a great result and I had great speed all through qualifying,” said the Brazilian ace. “After the bad weekend in Hockenheim, I was really looking forward to coming to the Lausitzring and proving how fast the BMWs and I really are. Qualifying was really intense. I was really pleased to be in Q4. Second place along with Bruno's pole position is sensational. I want to thank everyone at BMW Motorsport and in my BMW Team RBM.”
While Spengler and Farfus were obviously happy, their teammates were disappointed with their results.
Defending champion Martin Tomczyk was seventh, and was unhappy that his result didn't match what the car had been shown to be capable of.
“I am not entirely satisfied with my own personal result in qualifying,” he said. “There was more in it for us today. Bruno and Augusto showed what the BMW M3 DTM is capable of. Our car has the pace to compete at the front of the field. I will now be working hard with my BMW Team RMG to find the optimal set-up for the race. If we manage that then P7 is not such a bad grid position from which to attack the opposition tomorrow.”
Three-time world champion Andy Priaulx was BMW's best finisher at Hockenheim in sixth place, but could only qualify 13th at the Lausitzring.
“That was a tough one for me,” said the Brit. “Hockenheim was much easier. The BMW M3 DTM is strong and I think we have seen this from the great result today. I can still have a good result from 13th on the grid, but I just didn't quite get the set-up I wanted today.”
American sportscar convert Joey Hand will line up alongside Priaulx in 14th, but was upset to have got caught in traffic.
“My Samsung BMW M3 DTM was good today,” stated Hand. “The problem for me was that I got stuck in traffic and lost valuable time. However, I promise the fans that I will be trying my hardest to move forward in tomorrow’s race. It will not be easy, as the DTM is possibly the toughest racing series in the world. It is unbelievable how closely matched everyone is here.”
For Dirk Werner, qualifying was a come down for him as he got left on the back row of the grid, a major difference to his third-place grid slot from one week ago.
“The whole weekend has been far from ideal for me, and I have struggled to find the perfect rhythm,” said Werner. “My first flying lap in Q1 was okay. I would have had to improve on my second lap, but then I got stuck in traffic. Tomorrow I will do my best to make up ground in the race.”