Wittmann claims fourth DTM win

Nürburgring (DE), 17th August 2014. Marco Wittmann (DE) took full advantage of his pole position at the Nürburgring (DE), producing an outstanding performance over 49 laps to secure his fourth win of the current DTM season. Wittmann held onto the lead at the start, and gradually pulled away from his rivals over the following laps. After the mandatory pit stop, during which he switched from prime to option tyres, the young German re-joined the race at the head of the field in the Ice-Watch BMW M4 DTM. Wittmann went on to claim the 63rd DTM win for BMW Motorsport and the manufacturer’s 15th since returning to the DTM in 2012. The 24-year-old also clocked the fastest lap time of 1:23.175 minutes en route to presenting BMW Team RMG with its fifth win in the seventh race of the year – and at the team’s home race in the Eifel Mountains.

In the Drivers’ Championship, Wittmann has now pulled 64 points clear of his closest rivals with 120 points to his name. BMW Team RMG has now amassed 159 points, thanks to Wittmann’s win and seventh place for Maxime Martin (BE, SAMSUNG BMW M4 DTM), and now leads the team competition by 67 points. BMW also tops the standings in the Manufacturers’ Championship with 302 points.

As well as the two BMW Team RMG drivers, Martin Tomczyk (DE) also finished in the points in the BMW M Performance Parts M4 DTM. Unlike Wittmann and Martin, the BMW Team Schnitzer driver started on option tyres and then worked his way through the field into eighth place in the second half of the race. The same tactic did not quite come off for Bruno Spengler (CA, BMW Bank M4 DTM), António Félix da Costa (PT, Red Bull BMW M4 DTM) and Joey Hand (US, Crowne Plaza Hotels BMW M4 DTM). They narrowly missed out on a top-ten finish, coming home 12th, 13th and 14th.

Timo Glock (DE) fell well down the field after an early collision with Gary Paffett (GB, Mercedes), leaving him no chance of a points finish in the DEUTSCHE POST BMW M4 DTM. He eventually had to settle for 17th. Augusto Farfus (BR, Castrol EDGE BMW M4 DTM) lost valuable ground through a collision with Jamie Green (GB, Audi) and ultimately retired after 36 laps.

Jens Marquardt (BMW Motorsport Director):
“That was another sensational race from Marco Wittmann. He once again produced a flawless display at the wheel of the heaviest car in the field. The fourth pole position of the season yesterday, followed by win number four today: Marco and the BMW M4 DTM are the perfect package at the moment. I am very proud of him. After the disappointing qualifying result on Saturday, a couple of our other drivers also picked up points. We witnessed fantastic, exciting fightbacks from Maxime Martin and Martin Tomczyk. Although it is looking very good for Marco in the Drivers’ Championship, we will remain fully focussed. There are still three races to come, with 75 points up for grabs. In the name of the BMW Motorsport family, I would like to dedicate this victory on this special weekend to Dieter Lamm.”

Stefan Reinhold (Team Principal, BMW Team RMG):
“I am overwhelmed. To win our home race here at the Nürburgring with BMW Team RMG is very special for the team and me. Marco Wittmann was not the only one who produced a magnificent performance. Maxime Martin also finished in the points for us. It does not get much better than this. When you look at the overall standings, we took a big step forward today. By winning here today, Marco proved emphatically that he fully deserves to lead the championship. I would like to thank the team and, of course, BMW. At this time of celebration, we are also thinking of Dieter Lamm, who is sadly no longer with us.” 

Charly Lamm (Team Principal, BMW Team Schnitzer):
“Given the events of the last two weeks, this was not an easy race weekend here at the Nürburgring for BMW Team Schnitzer. On behalf of the entire team, I would like to thank BMW Motorsport, the entire DTM and, of course, the fans in Germany and around the world for their sympathy and support. Congratulations to Stefan Reinhold and BMW Team RMG on their home win here at the Nürburgring. For us, it was nice to see Martin Tomczyk in the points after a strong race. As far as Bruno Spengler is concerned, we made a strategic error that, given the circumstances, cost him points.” 

Ernest Knoors (Team Principal, BMW Team MTEK):
“Congratulations to Marco Wittmann and BMW Team RMG on a sensational performance. Our team did a good job again, but it is obviously frustrating that hard battles so early on in the race dashed any chance Timo Glock might have had.” 

Bart Mampaey (Team Principal, BMW Team RBM):
“Congratulations to Marco Wittmann and the other BMW drivers who finished in the points. Given the high performance weights, that is a great result. In contrast, it was a disappointing race for us. The collision with Jamie Green cost Augusto Farfus any chance of a good result.” 

Marco Wittmann (car number 23, BMW Team RMG, 1st):
Tyres: Option-Prime
 
“Pole position and victory made it a perfect weekend at the Nürburgring for me and the team. I had a very good start, led going into turn one, and was able to pull away quickly. My pit stop was also quick and flawless, and that allowed me to stay out in front. The team did a fantastic job. I made a slight mistake in the middle of the race. I braked too late and had to swerve through the chicane. Fortunately that hardly cost me any time. My tyres started to wear towards the end of the race, and I came under pressure again from Mike Rockenfeller. However, I was able to defend my lead and clinch the win at BMW Team RMG’s home race. I am delighted to have been able to give my guys this gift. I would like to dedicate this success to Dieter Lamm, who introduced me to the BMW Motorsport family a few years ago.” 

Maxime Martin (car number 24, BMW Team RMG, 7th):
Tyres: Option-Prime

“Starting from P12 and finishing seventh – I would say that was a good race. It was quite tough in the beginning, but then I found a good rhythm. In my second stint on prime tyres I suffered a little bit, but at the end we are scoring points for the team and for BMW. Now let’s see for the next race.” 

Martin Tomczyk (car number 10, BMW Team Schnitzer, 8th):
Tyres: Prime-Option
 
“It obviously feels superb to come through from towards the back of the grid to finish eighth. All in all it was a tough weekend for the entire team. But it was not easy for anyone at BMW Motorsport. For this reason, I would particularly like to congratulate Marco Wittmann. He came up with the goods for BMW today.” 

Bruno Spengler (car number 9, BMW Team Schnitzer, 12th):
Tyres: Prime-Option

“That was a weekend to forget for us. We only really had the pace on the option tyres in the race. Unfortunately a mistake with the strategy also cost us more positions. We will have to put this race behind us quickly and concentrate on the remaining three rounds. BMW Team Schnitzer has been through a tough time. Despite the disappointing result today, I am proud of the team. And congratulations to Marco Wittmann and BMW Team RMG on their home win.” 

António Félix da Costa (car number 18, BMW Team MTEK, 13th):
Tyres: Prime-Option
 
“P13 is not a dream result but I have to say that this was probably one of my best races in the DTM, even though it does not look like it and we are pretty far away from the points. Today, for the first time, I felt really good in a long stint. But obviously it will always be difficult when you start from quite a long way back on the grid. I had some good fights on the track and the car was really good.” 

Joey Hand (car number 4, BMW Team RBM, 14th):
Tyres: Prime-Option

“The race was quite chaotic. I made a good start and gained some places on the first lap, but the car did not feel right at the start and we struggled with the balance. I lost some places as a result, but then the problems disappeared and I was actually really quick at the end of my first stint. The car also felt good on the option tyres. However, it is not easy to make up a decisive number of places when you are in such a close bunch of cars in the DTM.” 

Timo Glock (car number 17, BMW Team MTEK, 17th):
Tyres: Prime-Option 

“My race was pretty much over after three corners. I collided with Mattias Ekström and seriously damaged my car in the process. I then had the battle with Gary Paffett later in the race, during which we made contact a few times. That must have been nice for the spectators, but it did not do me any good. I must ensure I get back to starting from further up the grid in the coming races. It is always tight in the pack. Congratulations to Marco Wittmann on his fourth win of the season. Respect to his performances this season.” 

Augusto Farfus (car number 3, BMW Team RBM, DNF):
Tyres: Option-Prime
 
“I am very disappointed. Jamie Green was on the inside and once we touched he kept pushing me outside all the way out of the track limits. I think there was no need for that, but I want to take the time to see the footage before I can judge if it was a fair or an unfair manoeuvre.  Anyway, it cost me my race. We had so much damage on the car, but we tried to keep it out on the track in case the weather changed. That did not happen, so we retired.”
 

Facts and figures from the Nürburgring:  

Circuit / Date 
Nürburgring, 17th August 2014

Laps / Distance 
49 laps, 3.629 km

2014 Pole Time 
Marco Wittmann (DE), 1:22.780 minutes

2014 Winner 
Marco Wittmann (DE), BMW

2014 Fastest Lap 
Marco Wittmann (DE, 1:23.175 minutes
 

DTM standings after 7 of 10 races. 

Drivers’ Championship.

1. Marco Wittmann (120 points), 2. Mattias Ekström (56), 3. Edoardo Mortara (56), 4. Mike Rockenfeller (53), 5. Bruno Spengler (42), 6. Christian Vietoris (41), 7. Maxime Martin (39), 8. Adrien Tambay (36), 9. Augusto Farfus (33), 10. Timo Glock (33), 11. Jamie Green (28), 12. Robert Wickens (27), 13. Miguel Molina (26), 14. Paul di Resta (24), 15. Martin Tomczyk (24), 16. Timo Scheider (19), 17. Pascal Wehrlein (15), 18. Daniel Juncadella (10), 19. Nico Müller (10), 20. Joey Hand (7), 21. António Félix da Costa (4), 22. Gary Paffett (4). 

Team Championship.

1. BMW Team RMG (159 points), 2. Audi Sport Team Abt (92), 3. Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline (82), 4. Audi Sport Team Phoenix (72), 5. BMW Team Schnitzer (66), 6. Original-Teile Mercedes AMG (65), 7. BMW Team RBM (40), 8. Audi Sport Team Rosberg (38), 9. BMW Team MTEK (37), 10. EURONICS / FREE MAN'S WORLD Mercedes AMG (31) , 11. gooix Mercedes AMG (15), 12. Petronas Mercedes AMG (10). 

Manufacturers’ Championship.

1. BMW (302 points), 2. Audi (284), Mercedes-Benz (121).. 

2014 calendar.

4th May – Hockenheim (DE), 18th May – Oschersleben (DE), 1st June – Budapest (HU), 29th June – Norisring (DE), 13th July – Moscow (RU), 3rd August – Spielberg (AT), 17th August – Nürburgring (DE), 14th September – Lausitzring (DE), 28th September – Zandvoort (NL), 19th October – Hockenheim (DE).

Brandon Phan's Z3 M Coupe

I’ve always been drawn to BMWs. Maybe it was the aesthetic appeal, or because my parents have always had one or two in the garage as I grew up. 

My M Coupe was the longest relationship I had with a car. Before it, my E39 touring lasted a few months and then the E46 only 9. I was always intrigued by the “clown shoe” and desired to own one eventually in my life. As the car seemed to appreciate over the years, the wait for one would be longer I thought. 

It was the beginning of summer 2013 when I started to feel bored of the E46. I was stumbling through Craigslist and saw a listing for a 2000 Estoril over Estoril M Coupe. It was priced within reach and it only got me more excited thinking I could own one. After a few weeks of discussing with the owner, we agreed on a trade, my E46 plus cash for the car. 

The car seemed a little neglected when I first acquired her, but after some attention to the paint, and a good cleaning, she was presentable. I told myself that I would keep the car stock as long as I owned it, but after a year, I began to itch. 

First was tint. I thought I could stop there, but the temptation from browsing stance blogs and having these large wheel arches, I just had to. I just had to do something. Right about that time, I was reading all about these Fortune Auto built coilovers called Broadway Statics. Everyone was raving about the ride and how low they could go. I knew those were the ones for me after seeing some of the results on the E36 builds. I contacted them and I was able to decide that I would be going with 16k fronts and 18k rears. My set was the first M Coupe set from them and after being the guniea pig for 9 weeks, we got it right. Next was wheels, I wanted to be different. I didn’t want to put a set of CCW Classics on there or BBS RS’s. I wanted a set of HRE 505s or Rotiform TMBs but they were out of my budget. Conveniently, CCW had just released their LM5Ts. Now for the measurements. I wanted to push something more aggressive than what had already been done, so I consulted with my friend James. Some of you may know him as Floss. We settled on the 18x10" et19 up front and 18x12.5" et15 out back. And for tires, 225/40 and 295/30.

While spending so much money on modifications, I neglected crucial maintenance. BMW has always been known for a weak cooling system and I got to experience that the hard way. One day while driving to work I noticed my AC had stopped working and then the temperature gauge sprung to red... I immediately pulled over. I looked in my rear view mirror and billows of smoke was exiting from my exhaust. I knew something bad just happened. Next I checked my oil dipstick, and when I pulled it out, it was like chocolate milk. My head gasket was compromised. 

At the time I couldn't afford to have that kind of work done by a shop, so I had to learn to do it on my own. With the help of some great friends and my dad in my garage at home, I was able to get her back on the road.

The urge to do more to it was dangerous. I had done most of the maintenance and aesthetic modifications I envisioned, but being me it wasn't enough. I wanted to do a metal wide body and turbocharge it. After planning out the finances for such work, it broke me. 

I loved my M coupe, but as time passed, I matured. For me, this was all the car I could ever want, but it was the wrong time. I'm not somewhere in my life where I am financially stable enough to pursue my dreams of traveling and own this car. There can always be another M Coupe for me down the road, but my youth and travels won't.