Thursday, May 26, 2022

BMW M works drivers in the points at the DTM season-opener – Marco Wittmann finishes fourth to claim best result of the weekend.

Portimão. The BMW M Motorsport teams Walkenhorst Motorsport
and Schubert Motorsport have started the DTM season with some good
results. BMW M works drivers Marco Wittmann (GER), Sheldon van der
Linde (RSA) and Philipp Eng (AUT) all got off the mark at the DTM
debut for the new BMW M4 GT3 in Portimão (POR). The best result was
claimed by Wittmann, who finished fourth in Sunday’s race. Van der
Linde finished seventh and eighth, the only driver to reach the top
ten in both races. A great pursuit performance from Eng on Saturday
saw him reach ninth place from 24th on the grid. Franciscus van
Meel, CEO of BMW M GmbH, and Andreas Roos, Head of BMW M Motorsport,
were in Portugal for the race weekend. 


Van der Linde performed consistently well throughout the entire
weekend, completing both qualifying sessions as the fastest BMW M
Motorsport driver and scoring 10 points. After retiring from
Saturday’s race, Wittmann bounced back strongly on Sunday, producing
some good overtaking manoeuvres in his BMW M4 GT3 and finishing fourth
to score 12 points. After his great chase on Saturday, Eng retired
from Sunday’s race after a not-at-fault collision at the start.
Esteban Muth (BEL) crossed the line twice in 14th position in the
second BMW M4 GT3 from Walkenhorst Motorsport. The season continues on
21st/22nd May with the two races at the Lausitzring (GER).

Reactions to the DTM weekend in Portimão.

Andreas Roos (Head of BMW M Motorsport): “That was a
good, solid start for the BMW M4 GT3 in the DTM. On Sunday in
particular, the qualifying session and the race revealed just how
close the whole field is. Marco Wittmann was able to battle for a spot
on the podium but unfortunately didn’t quite make it. Overall, getting
two cars into the top ten on each occasion was a performance that the
drivers and teams can build on. However, the objective is to continue
to improve so that we can soon see a BMW M Motorsport team member up
on the podium. Congratulations to Walkenhorst Motorsport, Schubert
Motorsport and the drivers on a good performance this weekend.”

Marco Wittmann (#11 BMW M4 GT3, Walkenhorst
“After a difficult start and the retirement in
Saturday’s race, finishing fourth on Sunday was a nice way to round
off the weekend. For a while, I did hope to mount an attack on the
podium but in the end, we didn’t have the pace to reach the top three.
Nonetheless, that is a result that we can build on and those are
valuable points, looking at the season as a whole. At the moment, it’s
all about taking steps to improving our understanding of the new BMW
M4 GT3 in all conditions, and bringing it into the right window of
performance during races and in qualifying. We are moving in the right
direction. Now I am looking forward to the Lausitzring weekend.”

Sheldon van der Linde (#31 BMW M4 GT3, Schubert
“That was a pretty good start to the season for
me. Scoring points in both races is a good base. If you’d offered me
that before the weekend, I’d have taken it. I am particularly pleased
with our results in the qualifying sessions. We did pretty much as
well as we could have done. Unfortunately, I lost ground at the start
in both races, which I then had to claw back. That was very irritating
and I think that I could have a lot better than eighth on Sunday.
Nonetheless, I am pleased with the points in both races as this season
will be about being as consistent as possible.”

Philipp Eng (#25 BMW M4 GT3, Schubert Motorsport):
“After some good testing and practice sessions, we really struggled
over the race weekend, especially in qualifying. The balance of the
car changed every time we put on a fresh set of tyres. We really have
to find out why that happened, as starting way back in such a strong
field makes it unbelievably difficult to progress. We did superbly on
Saturday and we were able to finish in the points. Unfortunately, my
race ended far too early on Sunday after a rival hit my front-right
wheel at the start.”

Esteban Muth (#10 BMW M4 GT3, Walkenhorst
“The week in Portimão was a steep learning curve
for me. Finding the right balance proved to be a serious problem for
me during testing and on Saturday. Things went better during the first
race, and I was able to move up 14 places. We then took a big step in
the right direction for second qualifying. My pace was good from then
on. We now have to build on that and we will be able to battle for
points. Many thanks to the Walkenhorst Motorsport team for some
fantastic support.”

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