Spengler “not worried” about excessive tyre wear

by James Eagles
Bruno Spengler - DTM - 2019 Zolder

Bruno Spengler says BMW Motorsport needs to find a solution to its tyre wear problems, but says that he’s not overly concerned with the matter.

BMW and Audi Sport have struggled to keep to a one-stop strategy in some rounds of the 2019 DTM Series, with more powerful cars playing a part in the issue.

The Aston Martin-affiliated R-Motorsport squad has generally been kinder on the Hankook tyres in its first year in the series and managed to finish higher up the order in the second race at Assen – a race that was dominated by tyre talk.

Spengler, who won his first DTM race in two years at the Norisring two rounds ago, admitted that he has no problem with the high-degradation spec tyres – believing it rewards the drivers who can manage the wear through consistent pace.

“I’m not worried, but it’s something we need to work on,” Spengler told The Checkered Flag.

“Audi also has high tyre wear, so I think it’s a trend this year.

“The car is more demanding on the tyres because they have more power – the power doesn’t come in as lineally as it used to, so it’s much tougher on the tyres.

“I like it, I have to say. I find it more fun with more degradation because some have more wear than others and you see difference in car pace.

“In the past, it was more or less the same for everyone but now it’s good, the guys who manage it best in the race have a big advantage.

“But at the moment, I think we have some work to do in order to be better.”

When asked whether he was concerned about the start procedure on Brands Hatch‘s distinctly cambered pit straight, Spengler said that “it’s not a bother” but something that needs to be taken into consideration.

The DTM’s technical regulation changes for ’19 saw the handbrake-type electromagnetic start valve system removed from the cars and the introduction of a new turbocharged engine formula.

The revisions have put more of an emphasis on starts and increased the potential for error through wheelspin and clutch control.

“Depending on where you start [at Brands], you’re going to be more angled than some others,” he said.

“We’re not allowed to use a handbrake before, which we used to have all the time, so the car is not going to be locked as well as it was before.

“You might see cars creeping, it’s going to be trickier than other years.

“But on other tracks, it’s been much more difficult to do a proper start this year.

“Luckily we have one practice start [on Saturday] after Free Practice – normally we have two but this year it’s only going to be one, so we’ll see.

“Hopefully it all goes well, but it’s going to be tough.”

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