By Berthold Bouman
After a successful test in Valencia, Spain, Timo Glock secured a race seat at the BMW DTM team for the 2013 season. Glock, who agreed to leave the Marussia Formula One team earlier this week, will be BMW’s eighth driver and will race alongside current DTM champion Bruno Spengler (CA), Augusto Farfus (BR), Joey Hand (US), Andy Priaulx (GB), Martin Tomczyk (DE), Dirk Werner (DE) and Marco Wittmann (DE).
BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt commented on Glock’s appointment, “We are delighted to have Timo Glock back at BMW Motorsport. Over the course of his career, Timo has proven on more than one occasion how valuable he is to any team, thanks to his driving ability and open manner.”
And he added, “The fact that he is now returning to the BMW family six years after leaving his role as test driver for the BMW Sauber F1 Team makes this appointment all the more pleasing. I am confident Timo will take no time at all to find his feet in the DTM and will give the fans a lot of pleasure.”
Timo Glock in the BMW M3 DTM car at Valencia – Photo: BMW Motorsport
Glock is looking forward to the new challenge, “I had a fantastic time in Formula One, but am now looking forward to battling for victories again with my old friends at BMW Motorsport. That is the approach I shall be taking to the challenge of the DTM. I am obviously aware I will have to adapt to a few areas. Not all former Formula One drivers have found their feet immediately in the DTM.”
The 30-year old German driver, who spent five years of his race career in Formula One, had no problems adapting to the BMW M3 DTM car , “As someone who has spent many years driving in single-seaters, it was obviously very different for me to suddenly find myself in a car with a roof over my head. Fortunately the BMW M3 DTM made it very easy for me to adapt. The same goes for the members of the BMW Motorsport team, who welcomed me with open arms.”
About the past three years with Marussia he commented, “It was not always easy to spend three years in Formula One regularly watching other drivers from behind who were sometimes doing a worse job than me, but were still way ahead as they were in better cars. You want to finally be back challenging at the front of the field again and are hungry for good results. This hunger became more intense over the winter. Now is the right time for me to make a change. I am really up for the DTM!”
Asked about his goals for his debut season he said, “Even though I will initially have an awful lot to learn, I would obviously like to be in the points and, where possible, challenge for podiums. Augusto Farfus showed in 2012 what can be achieved as a rookie. That is driving me on. I want to get the very maximum out of my package and claim the best results possible for BMW.”
The DTM season starts at May 5 at the German Hockenheimring, and will end on October 20 on the same circuit. This season there are ten races, and one show event scheduled.
By Berthold Bouman
BMW also successfully completed their first test of the 2013 season in Valencia, Spain. While Mercedes gave Robert Kubica a taste of their DTM car, BMW also had two special guests today: Formula One refugee Timo Glock and touring car driver Thomas Biagi.
Regular BMW works drivers Bruno Spengler (CA), Augusto Farfus (BR), Andy Priaulx (GB), Martin Tomczyk (DE) and Marco Wittmann (DE) were on duty at the wheel of the BMW M3 DTM the past three days at Valencia. Also new BMW team MTEK was present at the 4.005-kilometre Circuit de la Comunitat, unfortunately today’s test session was interrupted by heavy rain this morning.
BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt said, “Everyone at BMW Motorsport and all of our teams were desperately looking forward to the first test of the year. Our new team, BMW Team MTEK, enjoyed its first outing and Marco Wittmann took to the track as a regular DTM driver for the first time.”
About his guest drivers he commented, “Timo Glock and BMW Sports Trophy winner Thomas Biagi also made their debuts at the wheel of the BMW M3 DTM. That was a successful start to our preparations. However, we still have a lot of work ahead of us before the DTM season-opener on 5th May. At any rate, it is nice the new season is gaining momentum.”
Timo Glock felt at home at the BMW DTM team
After a long winter stop, 2012 DTM Champion Bruno Spengler was more than happy to get behind the wheel of his BMW again, “As soon as I stepped out of the plane in Valencia, I was immediately looking forward to getting back in the car after the long break. It was a very special feeling to drive out of the garage with the number one on my car for the first time. On the opening few laps it felt as though I had never got out of the car after the 2012 finale in Hockenheim.”
Glock, who agreed to end his contract with the Marussia Formula One team, was positive about his run with a, for him, unknown car. “My first impressions of the BMW M3 DTM were very positive. It did not take me long to get used to the car, and I came to understand it better with every lap. The fact that we were able to test in all conditions, from wet to dry, was perfect,” said the 30-year old German.
He felt very much at ease at the BMW DTM team, and a very relaxed Glock said, “I have been given a sensational welcome by everyone in the BMW Motorsport team, and even knew a few people from my time as a test driver for the BMW Sauber F1 Team.”
For the other guest driver Biagi, his outing in the BMW M3 was a dream come true. “Ever since I first heard that BMW Motorsport was returning to the DTM, I have dreamed of one day driving this BMW M3 DTM. That dream came true today. I knew I would enjoy this moment. But now, after 66 laps at the wheel of this unbelievable car, I’m simply speechless,” said the Italian driver.
And he added, “I would like to say a big thank you to BMW Motorsport for giving me this chance, and for the great support that privateers like me receive through the BMW Sports Trophy.”
Neither Glock nor Marquardt have made any comments about a possible BMW race seat for 2013, but BMW will compete with eight cars this season, if this test went well for Glock, surely Marquardt will find a place for him in one of his BMW teams.
All Photos: BMW Motorsport
By Berthold Bouman
After his sudden departure from the Marussia Formula One team, Timo Glock will this week test a BMW M3 DTM car . The 30-year old German driver will test the BMW M3 on the Circuit de la Comunitat in Valencia, Spain.
In a statement BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt said, “We are pleased to be able to offer Timo Glock the opportunity to get to know our BMW M3 DTM in Valencia. Timo has demonstrated his driving ability over many years, particularly in Formula One. It is made all the nicer by the fact that he is, to a certain degree, returning to his roots in testing for BMW Motorsport.”
Glock, who yesterday hinted he already had made some plans for the future, was of course happy with the opportunity given by BMW. “I have fond memories of my time with BMW Motorsport and am very excited about testing the BMW M3 DTM,” said Glock. “Furthermore, I am bound to see a few familiar faces in Valencia from my previous time with BMW. I am really looking forward to it,” said the German.
Glock and BMW already worked together in 2000 and 2001, and won the Formula BMW ADAC title in 2001.
Glock is a very experienced driver, he drove for Jordan four times in 2004 to replace Giorgio Pantano, and then spent one year in the American Champcar Series in 2005 — where he finished the season in eighth place — before he tried his luck in the GP2 series in 2006 and 2007. In 2007 he not only won the GP2 title, but he also re-started his Formula One career in 2007, as he was also appointed as the official test driver of the BMW Sauber Formula One team.
In 2008 Glock moved to the Japanese Toyota Formula One team, and did a pretty good job as he finished tenth in the Drivers’ Championship in 2008 and 2009. In 2010 he started his three-year stint with Marussia, then Virgin Racing (2010), and later Marussia Virgin Racing (2011).
Yesterday Marussia and Glock announced they would part company although he had a valid contract until the end of 2014.
By Berthold Bouman
Alessandro Zanardi drove the BMW M3 DTM car at the German Nurburgring today, the 46-year old Italian drove 36 laps in a special gold painted BMW as part of a three-day celebration to mark the 40th anniversary of BMW M, and of course to celebrate their successful return to the DTM series.
Zanardi, who won two gold and one silver medal on his handbike at the Paralympic Games in London, didn’t need much time to get used to the car and according to BMW driving the technically complex DTM car proved to be no obstacle for the Italian, who lost both legs during a ChampCar accident in 2001 on the German Lausitzring.
BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt said about Zanardi, “I am delighted we have taken on this adventure successfully with Alessandro Zanardi. For years he has been a valued member of the BMW Motorsport family and is a great role model for us all. Despite his handicap, he approaches every challenge with great optimism and passes every test with flying colours.
“His medals at the Paralympic Games in London are fine examples of this, as are the four race victories he achieved in the FIA World Touring Car Championship for BMW Motorsport. As we have seen today, the challenge of driving the technically complex BMW M3 DTM also proved to be no obstacle for him.”
“I am overjoyed to have been given the opportunity to drive the BMW M3 DTM today,” said Zanardi. “This is a very special day for me, and one I will always remember fondly. I would like to thank everyone at BMW who has helped make this special moment possible for me. It was a challenge to modify the car to meet my requirements and I am surprised just how quickly the BMW Motorsport engineers managed to complete the necessary modifications.
“However, the guys have done a great job. I had great fun out on the track. When I first saw the golden car I was overwhelmed. I still have a passion for racing.”
But whether Zanardi will make a race return in the DTM series still remains uncertain, and Zanardi commented, “However, I’m not sure whether our demonstration drive will be anything more than just that, as the level in the DTM may possibly prove to be too high for someone of my age. As such, my main focus is on something completely different after today’s drive: I felt that the BMW family is still behind me and loves me. They showed that once again today.”
Canadian Bruno Spengler took the 2012 DTM crown for BMW after a 20-year absence, BMW also took the 2012 DTM manufacturer’s title, while BMW Team Schnitzer ended the season at the top of the team standings, and to top it off, BMW driver Brazilian Augusto Farfus was crowned Rookie of the Year 2012.
By Berthold Bouman
Today was a memorable day for the German BMW car manufacturer, after their comeback to the DTM series, the Bavarian marque took three titles at Hockenheim today: Bruno Spengler won the 2012 Drivers title, BMW Team Schnitzer topped the Teams’ standings and BMW won the Manufacturers’ title as well.
Augusto Farfus left from pole today at the Hockenheimring, but knew he had to support Spengler, and the Brazilian driver didn’t make it very difficult for the experienced Canadian and let him past at the famous Spitzkehre, Spengler won the race while Farfus took third place. Dirk Werner took fifth place for BMW, and with Andy Priaulx in seventh place and Joey Hand in eighth place, BMW had five of their six cars in the top ten today.
More than 128,000 spectators had turned up for the tenth and last venue of the 2012 DTM season, but the most notable guest in the BMW garage was Alessandro Zanardi, the Italian ex-Formula One and ChampCar driver told he still had a special bond with BMW, as he made his racing return with BMW in the World Touring Car Championship in 2005.
BMW wrote history today, after Volker Strycek (DE, 1984), Eric van de Poele (BE, 1987) and Roberto Ravaglia (IT, 1989), Spengler won the championship by finishing first, four points ahead of his Mercedes rival Gary Paffett, who couldn’t find the right speed today and had to be satisfied with second place.
Spengler commented after the race, “I can hardly believe we have won the title with BMW in our first year back in the DTM. Thank you to BMW Team Schnitzer. My team did a great job all season. Once again, everything went exactly to plan today. In a race, in which we were under extreme pressure, the team did another amazing job on the pit stops. You never win on your own — only as part of a team.
“I am totally confused and have no idea how I should be feeling. Standing on the top step of the podium, raising the trophy to the sky and seeing all the many fans cheering for me is an amazing experience. I have waited for this for so many years. It is simply sensational!”
BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt said after the race, “Sensational. Awesome. Unbelievable. I still cannot believe what has just happened here. Massive congratulations to Bruno Spengler and BMW Team Schnitzer on winning the Drivers’ and Team titles. This is a big day for everyone at BMW Motorsport.
We returned to the DTM after an absence of almost 20 years and wanted to be competitive as quickly as possible. Now we are here in Hockenheim, and I am talking about winning three titles in our comeback season. BMW Motorsport has written another chapter in motorsport history today. I am unbelievably proud of my team. It is going to be a long night.”
And the German added, “Our goal for the opening year was to learn and become competitive as soon as possible. That we have achieved far more than this and won three titles is testimony to the outstanding job done by the whole team — whether at BMW Motorsport in Munich, among our three teams, or in the cockpit by our drivers.”
And the reaction of Charly Lamm, Team Principal of BMW Team Schnitzer, “I am speechless. This is a very big moment in the motorsport history of BMW Team Schnitzer. To win the title in a final race like that — in such a close battle that came down to Bruno’s nerves and perfect pit stops — fills me with an incredible amount of pride. It still hasn’t sunk in what just happened here.”
And last but not least, the reaction of Farfus, who was so generous to put his own objectives aside and helped BMW to achieve the seemingly impossible today. “Congratulations to Bruno Spengler on winning the title. BMW’s return to the DTM has been awesome. Having five cars in the top ten in today’s race was crucial to winning the Manufacturers’ title. And to top it all off I was the best DTM rookie. Everything is perfect today. Ending the season on the podium is just fantastic!”