BMW Motorsport looks ahead to the first trip away from Germany this season, as the DTM heads to the Kent countryside for round 2 of the 2013 calendar this coming weekend. The 1.929km Brands Hatch track provides close racing around a track where Mercedes-Benz’s Gary Paffett dominated last year, on a field that was split by around 2 seconds during qualifying.
But now the rollercoaster-style Indy circuit, with Paddock Hill Bend providing a spectacle for both drivers and fans, will have the drivers circulating for 98 laps, where the fastest lap of the race last year was set by a clearly determined Martin Tomczyk, who set a time of 42.138 seconds during a very closely-fought event in 2012. BMW have a wealth of drivers including Tomczyk, who finished 4th, with Bruno Spengler nursing his damaged BMW M3 DTM to second, in front of Audi Sport’s Mike Rockenfeller.
You might have to factor in both Augusto Farfus and Andy Priaulx as well this time, who have raced around the full Grand Prix layout of the circuit during their time in the WTCC and won behind the wheel of a BMW 320I WTCC. These two drivers are using their touring car experience over many years to help their cause to progress in their second season in the series.
Priaulx, himself, is the home hero, and looks to make sure his result on home turf makes the miserable maiden outing at Hockenheim a distant memory, as the Guernsey driver’s car suffered damage, before a technical problem forced him out of the race. His main goal is to get up to the same performance that he showed in Hockenheim, as well as get some points to his name with Team RMG this coming weekend, but as always, there is some added pressure: “Being a home race can be an added pressure, but one I feel has to be converted into something positive, which means I want to give my fans and family something to cheer about. I never tire of racing on this track and, without doubt, Paddock Hill Bend is up there with my list of the most demanding corners in motorsport.”
BMW are not just the only ones wondering about just what kind of effect the DRS and option tyres will have on one of the shortest tracks on the calendar, but this could provide the deciding factor that could change the monotonous regularity of last year’s race, with Tomczyk being the clear exception, who had this to say of what the tyres could bring to the party: “We can expect a similarly exciting race at Brands Hatch to the one we saw in Hockenheim. Under certain circumstances, the option tyres will provide the odd opportunity to overtake – and that would be a revolution at Brands Hatch.”
But for both Tomczyk and Farfus, they will be switching their focus to the Nürburgring 24 Hours as soon as the action in Kent has finished, as they, along with BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt will be heading off to the Nordschleife to uphold the honour of the BMW brand over 24 hours of hard racing and fierce competition.
Timo Glock may have raced at Silverstone in Formula One, but the Team MTEK driver has a new challenge ahead of him, as there are unchartered waters, as he is aware that the more track time he has, the better chance both he and the team have at qualifying. He was not a slouch in the race at Hockenheim until his botched pit stop, running as high as P2, but he is clearly enjoying his new surrounding in the DTM: “Although not everything went entirely to plan at the opening race in Hockenheim, I have taken a lot of positives from my first DTM weekend. The DTM is a fantastic racing series, and I am looking forward to my second appearance.”
“The Ultimate Driving Machine” and its alumni are looking to carry the run of good form here in the UK, as the track provides its challenges for all, but with the eight V8-powered M3 DTMs soon to line up against their rivals, the lights will go out, and then the race to the finish begins…