Convincing performance from guest driver Alex Zanardi.
Misano. In the first night race in the history of the DTM, Timo Glock (GER, DEUTSCHE POST BMW M4 DTM), Philipp Eng (AUT, SAMSUNG BMW M4 DTM) and Marco Wittmann (GER, BMW Driving Experience M4 DTM) claimed seventh, eighth and ninth places to score points in the overall standings. In a turbulent race with two safety car periods, Eng and Augusto Farfus (BRA, Shell BMW M4 DTM) each took the lead at times before dropping back. Farfus finished in eleventh position, ahead of Joel Eriksson (SWE, BMW M4 DTM), while Bruno Spengler (CAN, BMW Bank M4 DTM) had to retire after a collision. Alessandro Zanardi (ITA, BMW M4 DTM) gave a convincing performance in difficult conditions and completed his guest drive by crossing the line in 13th position.
Most drivers started the race on wet-weather tyres as the track dried out. Farfus and Spengler went with slicks and were rewarded early on as they moved into the top positions. However, two safety car periods bunched the field and both drivers dropped back when they had to complete their mandatory pit stops. Farfus had been in the lead when the time came for his stop. Eng then took his place, having moved all the way up from an 18th-place start. He was unable to maintain his outstanding speed in the final laps. Victory went to Paul di Resta (GBR, Mercedes). Zanardi avoided risky situations in those turbulent early laps, before finding his rhythm and improving to finish his DTM debut in 13th place.
Reactions after Saturday’s DTM race at Misano.
Jens Marquardt (BMW Motorsport Director):
“That was a spectacular night race in difficult conditions, with plenty of action for the fans. Unfortunately, it ended with a sobering result for us. The strategy of going with dry tyres paid off at the start but the safety car really threw a spanner in the works. After the restart we were in a really good position with Philipp and Timo but in the closing phase, both of their cars suffered in terms of performance in some tough battles. We got three cars into the top ten – but it could have been many more. In front of his home crowd, Alex did a super job on his DTM debut. He kept out of trouble and got the car over the line in 13th position.”
Stefan Reinhold (Team Principal BMW Team RMG):
“This weekend had a bit of everything that fans want to see. The race was really spectacular. Unfortunately, we had really bad luck with Augusto. Our strategy was risky but it could have worked if the safety car hadn’t put paid to our plans. At least we did score some points with Timo and Marco.”
Marco Wittmann (#11 BMW Driving Experience M4 DTM, BMW Team RMG – qualifying result: 15th place, race result: 9th place, points: 112):
“It was an exciting race. I had an extremely good start and an extremely good first lap, which allowed me to move up to seventh place. My pace at the start was really good. Starting on wet-weather tyres was the right decision. The car did take a few bumps on the early laps. My car was suffering a bit and that meant it was quite difficult to drive, resulting in a spin for me. That effectively left me in last place. The safety car periods worked in our favour in the end. I made up a few places at the restarts. Scoring two points after starting from P15 is OK but if you look at the position I was in, it is a bit disappointing. In general, it was a very chaotic race.”
Augusto Farfus (#15 Shell BMW M4 DTM, BMW Team RMG – qualifying result: 9th place, race result: 11thplace, points: 40):
“We had really good pace. Our strategy and our performance were also very good, but luck just wasn’t on our side in the end. Tomorrow is a new day and we will go on the attack again.”
Timo Glock (#16 DEUTSCHE POST BMW M4 DTM, BMW Team RMR – qualifying result: 5th place, race result: 7th place, points: 107):
“That was a pretty turbulent race. Overall, we didn’t have the pace to compete with the best but we could have scored a few more points. I got stuck behind Daniel Juncadella and was caught up in traffic. That cost me the chance of a better result.”
Bart Mampaey (Team Principal BMW Team RBM):
“Philipp started from 18th place and moved right to the front but there was contact a few times, and that knocked him back. We will have to take a closer look at that. It is very probable that this caused the drop in performance. It is very disappointing for the team after having been in the lead. Bruno’s decision to start on slicks looked very good until the safety car came out. Then there was the incident on the track that cost him the race. Joel was also involved in another incident, which resulted in a drive-through penalty for him. There was nothing more he could do.”
Bruno Spengler (#7 BMW Bank M4 DTM, BMW Team RBM – qualifying result: 13th place, race result: DNF, points: 43):
“It actually looked pretty good early on. We took a risk by starting on slicks. It looked like that was the right strategy. We were faster than the cars with wet-weather tyres but then the safety car came out, for reasons that I cannot quite fathom. That effectively cost us the race. Jamie Green then drove into me on turn eight and shoved me into René Rast. My car was out for the count after that.”
Philipp Eng (#25 SAMSUNG BMW M4 DTM, BMW Team RMR – qualifying result: 18th place, race result: 8thplace, points: 87):
“My team did everything right. We had a great strategy and a super pit stop. I shot out of the pits like a rocket and posted several fastest laps. All of a sudden, I was in first place after overtaking car after car although my car did take a few hits. That is how the DTM should be. Everyone dishes it out and we all have to take it on the chin as well. The damage from those clashes made themselves known around twelve minutes before the end. I couldn’t do anything else then but it was a positive experience overall, especially after the poor qualifying session.”
Joel Eriksson (#47 BMW M4 DTM, BMW Team RBM – qualifying result: 16th place, race result: 12th place, points: 27):
“All in all, it was very difficult today and quite a chaotic race. The track was pretty wet early on but it did dry out. I had an accident with Duval and an incident with Auer. I think that Auer simply didn’t see me on the inside in the dark, with everything else that was going on. We touched and that made him spin. The race was pretty disappointing for me. But tomorrow is a new day.”
Alessandro Zanardi (#12 BMW M4 DTM, BMW Team RMR – qualifying result: 19th place, race result: 13thplace):
“The race went noticeably better for me than the earlier sessions. I was able to keep up pretty well with the speed of the other drivers, especially towards the end. That gives me confidence for tomorrow. There would have been no point in taking too many risks on the first lap and spinning out. It was important for me to get good experience for Sunday’s race here.”