6th & 7th finish at the Brickyard Grand Prix

Munich (DE), 26th July 2014. Despite both BMW Team RLL BMW Z4 GTLMs showing speed in practice and qualifying and taking their turns leading Friday’s Brickyard Grand Prix, the race ended with neither car reaching the Indianapolis Motor Speedway podium. 

Round seven of the 2014 United SportsCar Championship (USCC), the first race of the new sports car series held at the 2.435-mile, 14-turn Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, was a dramatic affair. Contact from the extremely close competition ultimately slowed both BMWs, relegating Andy Priaulx (GB) and Bill Auberlen (US) to sixth and John Edwards (US) and Dirk Müller (DE) to seventh at the end of the 105 lap, 2hr 45 min race. 

In the GTD class, the Turner Motorsport BMW Z4 GTD, driven by Dane Cameron (US) and Paul Dalla Lana (CA), experienced bad luck and finished 15th. 

Bobby Rahal (Team Principal, BMW Team RLL):

“We got caught up in some incidents at re-starts and damaged the front of the number 56 car. I think we probably lost some downforce, and we were very slow on the straights. We were missing half the front bodywork and you can’t do that and expect to win. Our pace in the beginning of the race was good until that point. The 55 car had a physical race as well. All things considered, it was a very frustrating day.” 

Bill Auberlen (Number 55 BMW Z4 GTLM):

“We were pretty much quickest in every practice session and qualified P2 and P5. I thought we had a chance here, but the problem was too much carnage on the track. Both cars got damaged and didn’t handle properly in the race. But the team was flawless and, along with Michelin, provided us with every tool we needed. The damage to the car ultimately slowed us. I feel bad for the team. We were lucky to have finished.” 

Andy Priaulx (Number 55 BMW Z4 GTLM):

“It was a tough race. We had a good first stint and were looking quite racy. Unfortunately, a prototype car hit me from behind, turned me round and damaged the car. At the re-start I was shuffled back from P1 to P6. The car was strong all weekend in terms of single lap pace, so I think there are some positives from our performance.”  

John Edwards (Number 56 BMW Z4 GTLM):

“I am trying to be optimistic, but unfortunately this was another race to forget. We were looking good at the start. The Ferrari made a mistake and we got in the lead with the 55 car in P2. With yellows bunching up the field it just became mayhem again. I lost some time in traffic, had some damage from traffic and slower PC cars.” 

Dirk Müller (Number 56 BMW Z4 GTLM):

“I had a blunt instrument for my fight today. Because of the damage at the front of the car I was down probably ten kilometers in top speed on the long straight. I found a way to drive around it and my lap times were actually quite good. At the start of the race when we were leading I thought this was our shot here, but then we got hit…”

MPact 2014

Photography by Ryan Lee

For the past couple of years MPACT has been held in Baltimore, Maryland, but this year it was hosted at Pocono Raceway in Pennsylvania. The decision to move was to break away from the standard car show and offer attendees various activities to participate in throughout the day. There was NASA High Performance Driver Education on the road course (track day) which allowed drivers to take their cars to the track with zero experience and provided an instructor to assist them on their first time out on the track. One of the sponsors Ratchet Head Racing offered ride-a-longs in their full race-prepped E46 M3. A Drift Taxi in the form of a a supercharged 5er equipped with 4 race seats was also there giving spectators drift rides around the track. 1600' side-by-side rolling start racing was held on the Tri Oval. Anyone with a tech inspected vehicle could pay and sign up to hit the professional Nascar track. There was a burnout contest, a dyno (which had technical difficulties), a judged car show, vendors, games, and give-a-ways. The day ended with an afterparty at the Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs Casino sponsored by Ideas Machine Group, AUTOCouture Motoring, Ratchet Head Racing and Euro Touring Car Challenge Series which gave attendees a chance to mingle with the sponsors outside of the event. Open bar was provided for everyone that attended.

The show has definitely come a long way and evolved into a very unique event. Unfortunately I wasn't able to make it there this year, but will make sure to go to next year's event.

Martin claims his maiden DTM win

Moscow (RU), 13th July 2014. Maxime Martin (BE) crowned a perfect weekend at the Moscow Raceway (RU) with the first win of his fledgling DTM career. After 46 laps of the 3.931-kilometre circuit on the outskirts of the Russian capital, the BMW Team RMG diver crossed the line as the comfortable winner in the SAMSUNG BMW M4 DTM. Bruno Spengler (CA) followed 4.259 seconds behind in the BMW Bank M4 DTM to finish runner-up and make his second appearance of the year on the podium. The one-two marks the 16th time in the history of the DTM that two BMW drivers have occupied the top two steps of the podium.

Saturday’s qualifying had seen Martin secure his first pole position at only his fifth DTM race weekend. Martin’s victory also presented BMW Team RMG with its third win in five races this season. The previous two victories came courtesy of Marco Wittmann (DE), who this time came home fourth in the Ice-Watch BMW M4 DTM to extend his lead at the top of the Drivers’ Championship. Team Principal Stefan Reinhold’s (DE) outfit also regained the lead in the Team competition.

Timo Glock (DE, DEUTSCHE POST BMW M4 DTM) in sixth place and Augusto Farfus (BR, Castrol EDGE BMW M4 DTM) in tenth also finished in the points at the end of an eventful race, which included two safety car phases. BMW added a further 64 points to its tally in the Manufacturers’ Championship.

António Félix da Costa (PT, Red Bull BMW M4 DTM) and Martin Tomczyk (DE, BMW M Performance Parts M4 DTM) narrowly missed out on the points, coming home eleventh and 13th respectively. Joey Hand (US, Crowne Plaza Hotels BMW M4 DTM) finished 17th.

Jens Marquardt (BMW Motorsport Director):
“That was a fantastic race for us – the most successful of the season so far. Maxime Martin produced a dominant display and a magnificent race against a great backdrop and in only his fifth race in the DTM. He was simply unbeatable this weekend. Bruno Spengler also put in a very strong performance to finish just behind him. Despite the fact that it was, at times, hard to keep track of what was going on, this one-two was never in doubt. I feel sorry for Timo Glock: a problem with the fuel pressure meant he dropped back to sixth place shortly before the end of what had been a great race for him. Marco Wittmann also scored a lot of points and extended his lead in the Drivers’ Championship. Augusto Farfus rounded off a good result for us in tenth place. We once again leave Moscow very happy and are now looking forward to Spielberg – and we obviously have our fingers crossed for the German national team tonight.” 

Maxime Martin (car number 24, BMW Team RMG, 1st):

“I can’t quite believe it yet. It is simply incredible. To drive in the DTM was always a dream of mine. As I have never driven single-seater cars, I never paid much attention to Formula One. Instead, I always wanted to race in this series. And now here I am after five races, with a first pole position and maiden win to my name. Incredible! I would like to thank everyone at BMW Team RMG. The pit stop was awesome and the strategy was spot on. The team and, of course, everyone at BMW Motorsport really did a fantastic job.” 

Bruno Spengler (car number 9, BMW Team Schnitzer, 2nd):

“That was a good day for us. First of all, I would like to congratulate Maxime Martin on his maiden win. He did not make any mistakes and was very quick. It is a dream result for BMW. I struggled a little on the option tyres in the first stint, and lost a bit of time. However, things were much better on the primes. We scored some valuable points towards the championship. That gives me a lot of confidence ahead of the next races. BMW Team Schnitzer deserved a result like this.” 

Marco Wittmann (car number 23, BMW Team RMG, 4th):

“I was really under fire in the start phase. As such, the key for me was to get through in one piece and without making any mistakes. I managed that. Fourth place is a super result. Our team did a great job and we can be very happy. Congratulations to Maxime Martin and BMW.” 

Timo Glock (car number 17, BMW Team MTEK, 6th):

“It is a real shame, as I could obviously have been on the podium today. However, I suffered a massive drop in fuel pressure in the final stages of the race. There were signs of this happening after the safety car phase and I noticed that the engine was no longer getting the fuel it needed. In the end I had no chance at all. It is painful, as we were within touching distance of a one-two-three for BMW. However, we showed today that we had good pace – particularly on the softer tyres. I hope we will have a bit more luck at the Red Bull Ring. Congratulations to Maxime, Stefan Reinhold and his entire crew. They did a superb job all weekend.” 

Augusto Farfus (car number 3, BMW Team RBM, 10th):

“All in all, the race was ok for us. However, the safety car phases didn’t exactly help us. They meant we were on the standard tyres for a lot longer than planned. That basically destroyed our race. It could definitely have gone a lot better, but we just didn’t have any luck on our side. Congratulations to Maxime Martin on his victory!” 

António Félix da Costa (car number 18, BMW Team MTEK, 11th):

“The safety car phases could have helped us, but unfortunately they lasted far too long. We lost too many laps behind the safety car, meaning our strategy no longer came into play. It was actually fun out there. However, we simply have to ensure that we qualify further up the field for the next races.” 

Martin Tomczyk (car number 10, BMW Team Schnitzer, 13th):

“I did my very best today, and was involved in hard-fought duels for the majority of the time. The safety car phases lasted a very long time, but I just drove my own race. There was certainly no lack of fighting spirit. Congratulations to my team-mate Bruno Spengler on second place – and to Maxime Martin on his maiden DTM win, of course.” 

Joey Hand (car number 4, BMW Team RBM, 17th):

“Starting from 16th on the grid meant that we were right in the middle of all the turmoil right from the word go. When we then missed the pit stop window due to the safety car phases, our race was basically over. After that it was just a case of putting on a good show for the fans. We just weren’t quick enough here.” 

 

Facts and figures from Moscow:  

Circuit / Date: Moscow Raceway, 13th July 2014 
Laps / Distance: 46 laps, 3.931 km 
2014 Pole Position: Maxime Martin (BE), 1:28.619 minutes 
2014 Winner: Maxime Martin (BE), BMW 
2014 Fastest Lap: Miguel Molina (ES), 1:28.305 minutes

 

Standings after 5 of 10 races.  

Drivers’ standings. 
1. Marco Wittmann (70 points), 2. Mattias Ekström (50), 3. Edoardo Mortara (41), 4. Bruno Spengler (41), 5. Mike Rockenfeller (35),  6. Maxime Martin (33), 7. Christian Vietoris (31), 8. Adrien Tambay (28), 9. Miguel Molina (26), 10. Robert Wickens (25), 11. Jamie Green (24), 12. Timo Glock (18), 13. Augusto Farfus (15), 14. Pascal Wehrlein (14), 15. Paul di Resta (12), 16. Nico Müller (10), 17. Timo Scheider (9), 18. Martin Tomczyk (8), 19. Joey Hand (7), 20. António Félix da Costa (4), 21. Gary Paffett (4). 

Team standings. 
1. BMW Team RMG (103 points), 2. Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline (76), 3. Audi Sport Team Abt (69) , 4. BMW Team Schnitzer (49), 5. Audi Sport Team Phoenix (44), 6. Original-Teile Mercedes AMG (43), 7. Audi Sport Team Rosberg (34), 8. EURONICS / FREE MAN'S WORLD Mercedes AMG (29), 9. BMW Team MTEK (22), 10. BMW Team RBM (22), 11. gooix Mercedes AMG (14).

Manufacturers’ standings. 
1. Audi (223 points), 2. BMW (196), Mercedes-Benz (86).