Joel Eriksson (SWE) finished third in race seven of the DTM season at the Norisring (GER) on Saturday. In doing so, the BMW Team RBM driver, at the wheel of the CATL BMW M4 DTM, claimed his third podium in the DTM. Bruno Spengler (CAN, BMW Bank M4 DTM), Philipp Eng (AUT, ZF BMW M4 DTM) and Marco Wittmann (GER, Schaeffler BMW M4 DTM) came home fifth, seventh and eighth to score points in a race won by René Rast (GER, Audi). Sheldon van der Linde (RSA, Shell BMW M4 DTM) and Timo Glock (GER, JiVS BMW M4 DTM) failed to finish.
Eng remains the best-placed BMW representative in the Drivers’ Championship in third place with 91 points. He trails championship leader Rast by 27 points. BMW lies second with 301 points in the Manufacturers Championship.
Reactions to the seventh DTM race of the 2019 season at the Norisring.
Jens Marquardt (BMW Group Motorsport Director):
“That was another of those races which only the Norisring can produce. We once again had exciting scenes in the very first corner – and the safety car again turned everything on its head. René was last, then out came the safety car and suddenly he was leading. Despite that, congratulations to René Rast on his win. Our guys tried really hard to make the most of the situation. Bruno and Philipp had the pace to match the front-runners. The extent to which Marco’s tyres were wearing made it very difficult to finish the race. There was not much left of his tyres. Joel had had a good race until he lost second place in the final corner. Maybe he could have made himself a bit wider there. His podium is a positive but, on the whole, we did not score enough points. We must try to show the pace that Bruno and Philipp had from the start tomorrow, and to qualify at the front, in order to score maximum points.”
Bart Mampaey (BMW Team RBM Team Principal):
“It was another special race here in Nuremberg; nother safety car and a scenario that leaves you with mixed feelings. In my opinion, Philipp Eng’s penalty after a great qualifying was not justified. However, we still went into the race full of motivation and wanted to make the best of the situation. In the end, we finished on the podium with Joel and were seventh with Philipp, which is a good result on the whole. However, we had the potential for it to be even better.”
Philipp Eng (#25 ZF BMW M4 DTM, BMW Team RMR, Grid: 2nd, Race: 7th, Drivers’ standings: 3rd, 91 points):
“It was a bit of a tough day for me. I had a super qualifying, with P2, before I was given a penalty that I cannot really understand. Despite this, I had a good start and was able to climb into third place. Unfortunately, the safety car period turned the race on its head. Hopefully we will have a little more luck tomorrow.”
Joel Eriksson (#47 CATL BMW M4 DTM, BMW Team RBM, Grid: 6th, Race: 3rd, Drivers’ standings: 9th, 43 points):
“We had a good strategy and showed good pace throughout the whole race. I had a few great battles with Nico Müller. It was fair racing and great fun. I did not expect him to stick it up the inside in the final corner. However, I think he would have passed me in the last corner anyway, even if I had closed the door on him completely, as he still had DRS available. His tyres were also in better condition than mine at the end of the race. That is a shame, but we will continue to push. We scored some important points today.”
Sheldon van der Linde (#31 Shell BMW M4 DTM, BMW Team RBM, Grid: 12th, Race: DNF, Drivers’ standings: 11th, 25 points):
“I found myself sixth after a good start. Then came the safety car period. After the re-start, it all got a bit too tight for me in turn four. I made light contact with Timo. That was my fault. I am very sorry. And I would obviously like to apologise to Timo.”
Stefan Reinhold (BMW Team RMG Team Principal):
“Another race decided by a safety car period. There was more in it for us today. We must now ensure that we have even better pace for tomorrow, and that we can make the most of it. I’d like to thank the team, who once again gave it everything.”
Marco Wittmann (#11 Schaeffler BMW M4 DTM, BMW Team RMG, Grid: 7th, Race: 8th, Drivers’ standings: 4th, 72 points):
“That was obviously a disappointing race. We took a big risk and stopped on lap two. The safety car did come, but unfortunately we did not have the same pace as Audi. In the end, the tyres were completely on their knees and I dropped back to eighth place. In the end, that is not the result I had hoped for in my home race. However, we have a second day tomorrow.”
Bruno Spengler (#7 BMW Bank M4 DTM, BMW Team RMG, Grid: 4th, Race: 5th, Drivers’ standings: 6th, 51 points):
“I have once again lost points as a result of bad luck with the safety car. That obviously hurts. Despite that, I was again able to make up a lot of ground today, as my car was consistently quick. The team did a great job, both in preparing the car and during the pit stop. I am now just hoping that I might perhaps have a bit of luck with the safety car.”
Timo Glock (#16 BMW M4 DTM, BMW Team RMR, Grid: 14th, Race: DNF, Drivers’ standings: 12th, 21 points):
“It is just not meant to be at the moment. Qualifying was tough enough. Although we only made a slight change, the car was completely different to drive compared to yesterday. Then we had a good first lap, but no luck with the safety car, which it seems will decide the championship this year. In the end, it is obviously not nice to be hit by your own team-mate. However, I don’t blame Sheldon. That kind of thing can happen.”
Press release BMW Motorsport ; picture Audrey Perriard/Sport-Auto.ch