BMW Weaker Than Expected at Hockenheim

This weekend’s opening rounds of the 2015 Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters were both won by the Audis of Jamie Green and Mike Rockenfeller, but the season opener wasn’t as good for BMW as they had hoped.

After winning the 2014 championship, Marco Wittmann went into the 2015 season hoping for a win over the weekend, but he could only manage 9th and 5th, missing out to rivals Audi and Mercedes in both races.

“I think we got as much as possible out of the first two races of the season,” said Wittmann, of BMW Team RMG. “I finished in the points on Saturday and Sunday. We were just lacking a bit of pace in the dry in both races. At the moment, the opposition is simply quicker than us. Generally speaking, Sunday’s race was obviously much better for me. Having started from third, I actually led for a brief moment after a great lap. Unfortunately our tyre pressures were a little too low in the wet when the rain set in. At this point we were unable to match the speed of the cars in front. It goes without saying that we had hoped for more than this from the opening weekend. However, we are confident ahead of the next races at the Lausitzring.”

Reigning champion Marco Wittmann led briefly at the start of Sunday’s race, but couldn’t match the pace of Ekström’s Audi. (Credit: DTM)

Martin Tomczyk retired from Saturday’s race due to a crash at the hairpin, but came home 4th on Sunday’s race as the top BMW.

“It was a mixed race weekend for me personally,” commented the BMW Team Schnitzer driver. “I had obviously hoped for more from the first race. We were not where we needed to be in qualifying. The second race had a bit of everything: dry conditions, rain, but above all a good grid position. And that paid off in the end, despite it being a difficult race. Unfortunately fourth was as good as I could hope for today. It was quite a tough race for me, but it was also great fun.”

Bruno Spengler, of BMW Team MTEK finished 11th and 9th, but remains optimistic: “The new race format in the DTM is superb. Two lots of qualifying and two races – that is fun, particularly for the fans. The atmosphere at the Hockenheimring was awesome again. I did not have a great result in Saturday’s race. However, I was able to score valuable points on Sunday. Today’s race was a hard battle. I got off to a great start and made up a few places. Our pit stop also came at exactly the right moment. Compliments to the team. We had a great strategy, which got me up to sixth. Unfortunately the car was not so good in the rain. I had hardly any grip. However, I did have some really good, fair battles and came home ninth. We now move on to the Lausitzring, a circuit I have particularly fond memories of.”

BMW will hope for more success at the Laustizring on May 30/31.