The 2013 DTM season in the BMW Motorsport Review.
October 20, 2013
Munich (DE), 20th October 2013.
BMW Motorsport has completed a successful second DTM season since its return to the series last year. The BMW M3 DTM again emphatically demonstrated just how competitive it is in 2013, with five wins, four pole positions and four fastest laps. No other DTM manufacturer won more races than BMW this season.
After ten thrilling races, BMW defended the Manufacturers’ title it won last year. In total, the eight BMW drivers scored 369 points. In the team competition, BMW Team RBM came out second with 148 points. Augusto Farfus (BR) was the best-placed BMW representative in the Drivers’ Championship, finishing runner-up with 116 points. Marco Wittmann (DE) of BMW Team MTEK ended the season as the most successful DTM rookie.
In our DTM review, we take a look back at the highlights and fascinating stories from an eventful 2013 season from a BMW Motorsport viewpoint.
Successful title defence: BMW wins the 2013 Manufacturers’ Championship.
Like last year, BMW ended the 2013 season in Hockenheim (DE) as the most successful manufacturer in the DTM. BMW topped the overall standings with 369 points, 22 ahead of Audi and 103 clear of Mercedes-Benz. “It means an awful lot to us to defend our title in the Manufacturers’ Championship,” said BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt. “The DTM sees three ambitious premium manufacturers go head to head out on the track. After winning in 2012, it is fantastic to have come out on top again, thanks to a strong team performance across the board. This title is a nice reward for all the hard work that BMW Motorsport and our teams put in over the course of the year.” BMW enjoyed its most successful weekend of the season at the race in Spielberg (AT). Five BMW M3 DTMs finished in the top ten at the Red Bull Ring, amassing no less than 70 points towards the Manufacturers’ Championship – more than any other manufacturer scored on one single weekend in 2013.
Augusto Farfus: the hot shot from Curitiba.
No matter what series he has raced in, Augusto Farfus has always been one of the quickest drivers in the field within no time at all. The Brazilian won race after race for BMW in the FIA World Touring Car Championship, and proved his stamina in winning the Nürburgring 24 Hours (DE). Farfus has also made his mark on the DTM since making his debut in 2012. Last year, he started only his second race at the Lausitzring (DE) from the front row of the grid, and claimed his maiden win in only his ninth outing in Valencia (ES). His reward for an outstanding first season was becoming the most successful rookie. And Farfus announced his intentions for 2013 with victory at the opening race of his second DTM season in Hockenheim. Over the course of the year, the Brazilian started from pole at the Nürburgring and went on to win three races – one more than new DTM champion Mike Rockenfeller (DE), with whom he was involved in a duel for the title until the penultimate race in Zandvoort (NL). Farfus left empty-handed from four DTM weekends, but still emerged as “Rocky’s” fiercest rival.
Farfus is originally from Curitiba (BR), in the Brazilian state of Paraná. Although his home city has its own racetrack, his path took him to Europe at an early age as he looked to prove his talent in single-seater and then touring car racing. In 2007, BMW Motorsport signed him as a works driver for the FIA WTCC, in which he won ten races for the Bavarian manufacturer. If not already clear beforehand, the 2013 season was emphatic proof that Farfus is also among the best drivers in the DTM – as he has been in any series he has raced in so far.
51 wins for eternity: the BMW M3 in the DTM.
When Augusto Farfus crossed the finish line in first place in Zandvoort, his fourth win in the DTM was not the only great achievement to be celebrated. It was also a landmark victory for the BMW M3: the most successful touring car in the world had carried a BMW driver to victory in the DTM for the 50th time. At the season finale in Hockenheim, Timo Glock (DE) added the 51st win for the BMW M3 in this series. It had all started with Harald Grohs (DE) in Hockenheim on 29th May 1987. With the new BMW M3 making its very first appearance, the German crossed the finish line in first place, followed by eventual champion Eric van de Poele (BE) to complete a momentous one-two. That opened the floodgates for a stream of race wins, achieved by such drivers as Steve Soper (GB), Fabien Giroix (FR), Johnny Cecotto (VE), Joachim Winkelhock (DE), Christian Danner (DE) and Roberto Ravaglia (IT), who claimed the second Drivers’ title for the BMW M3 in 1989. Since BMW returned to the DTM in 2012, BMW drivers have added a further ten triumphs with the BMW M3 DTM. Bruno Spengler (CA) sensationally won the third DTM title for the iconic touring car last year. 2014 heralds a new era: BMW Motorsport will line up with a new challenger, in the form of the BMW M4 DTM.
Quick from the word go: Marco Wittmann is “Rookie of the Year”.
2013 saw another BMW driver follow in the footsteps of Augusto Farfus in receiving the “Rookie of the Year” title, which the Brazilian had won last season: at the end of the ten DTM races, Marco Wittmann was confirmed as the best newcomer to the touring car series. The BMW Team MTEK driver was consistently quick in his first year in the series. And it took just three race weekends before he was able to enjoy his first champagne shower in the DTM: Wittmann finished runner-up to join winner Bruno Spengler (CA) and his team-mate Timo Glock (3rd, DE) on the podium for the first time when BMW claimed a historic one-two-three in Spielberg. Wittmann also celebrated his first pole position this year: in qualifying ahead of the penultimate race in Zandvoort, the young German set the fastest time of 1:30.894 minutes in his Ice-Watch BMW M3 DTM to secure pole position. The flying rookie made it through to the top-four shoot-out in qualifying on three occasions in 2013. He also clocked two fastest race laps in his debut season – in Spielberg and Zandvoort. Wittmann learned his trade in Formula BMW. In 2012, the talented youngster joined the squad of DTM drivers at BMW as test and development driver, and was rewarded with a regular seat in 2013. After finishing eighth overall this year, the 23-year-old is now hungry for the coming season. He is determined to use the experience gained at this year’s ten races to continue to improve in his second season in the DTM.
Nobody does it better: BMW Team Schnitzer wins “Best Pit Stop Award”.
Precision and speed – that is what a pit stop boils down to. Every second can make the difference between victory and defeat. Therefore, it is crucial everything runs perfectly to plan during the two mandatory pit stops that must be performed over the course of a DTM race. This season’s team to beat when it came to changing tyres was the crew at BMW Team Schnitzer. Team Principal Charly Lamm’s (DE) outfit performed the fastest tyre change at five of the ten races. At the Nürburgring and in Moscow (RU) the team from Freilassing (DE) even pulled off a double success: Bruno Spengler and Dirk Werner finished first and second in the list of the fastest pit stops. Now in its 50th year of existence, BMW Team Schnitzer was rewarded for this admirable effort with the “Best Pit Stop Award 2013”, which is presented each year by tyre manufacturer Hankook. “This award means a lot to BMW Team Schnitzer,” said Lamm. “The DTM is an extremely close affair – not just on the track, but also in the pit lane. If you are able to produce better pit stops than all the other teams over the course of the year, it is a nice reward for all the hard practice you put in. I would like to say a big thank you to the team, who have really performed impressively in 2013. And, of course, thank you to Hankook on behalf of the entire team. It is nice for the mechanics to have their work recognised with the Best Pit Stop Award.”
Only being borrowed: Bruno Spengler wants the number one back in 2014.
Last year, Bruno Spengler produced the shock of the season: in his very first year in BMW Motorsport colours, he was crowned DTM champion for the first time. However, the Canadian’s aim to defend his title in 2013 did not go entirely to plan. Collisions meant Spengler was unable to finish three races in a row in the BMW Bank M3 DTM, dashing any hopes of repeating last year’s success by the time he lined up at the penultimate race of the season in Zandvoort (NL). And yet the defending champion had made a blistering start to the season. The BMW Team Schnitzer driver followed up second place at Brands Hatch (GB) with his 14th DTM victory in the next race in Spielberg (AT). Spengler dominated the race in the Steiermark region of Austria to move to the top of the Drivers’ Championship on 53 points – a lead he was able to defend until the Norisring (DE). In the end, the outgoing champion finished third with 82 points. “That is motor racing. You cannot plan for everything,” said Spengler. “I would obviously have liked to successfully defend my title, but it was just not meant to be. Mike Rockenfeller produced a sensational and flawless season and fully deserves to be champion.”
Historic triumph: BMW one-two-three in Spielberg.
Three BMW drivers made history in the third race of the season at the Red Bull Ring (AT): pole-sitter Bruno Spengler crossed the finish line first after 47 laps of the circuit in Spielberg (AT). Marco Wittmann came home second, just 1.550 seconds later. He was followed by Timo Glock (DE, DEUTSCHE POST BMW M3 DTM), who completed the first BMW one-two-three since the manufacturer returned to the DTM in 2012. Wittmann and Glock, the two BMW Team MTEK rookies, made their first appearance on the podium in only their third race in the series. This was the third time in the history of the DTM that BMW drivers had completely shut out the podium. Wittmann also clocked the fastest race lap in a time of 1:25.505 minutes. Augusto Farfus and Dirk Werner also picked up valuable points in sixth and eighth respectively. With five BMWs in the top eight, the race in Spielberg was the Bavarian manufacturer’s most successful DTM race of the year.
Triumphant finale: Glock ends debut season with a win.
Timo Glock made 91 appearances and claimed three podium finishes in Formula One before returning to BMW Motorsport to line up in the DTM in 2013. Glock embraced the new challenge, learning from race to race, and was immediately successful. After a first visit to the podium in Spielberg, the 31-year-old made the big breakthrough at the season finale in Hockenheim: He guided the DEUTSCHE POST BMW M3 DTM to his first DTM victory in the rain at the 4.574-kilometre circuit. “My car was incredibly good all weekend,” said Glock. “Thank you to my guys for the great job – particularly during the pit stops. Thanks also to BMW for giving me this chance in the DTM as a former Formula One driver. I am pleased that I was able to repay that faith today.”