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BMW nab Bruno Spengler off Mercedes
26th October 2011, 10:44 at 10:44 am #130416
BMW have added Bruno Spengler to their DTM line-up for 2012, joining Andy Priaulx and Augusto Farfus.
Now all they’re missing is an ex-F1 driver, preferably German, perhaps one who used to drive for their F1 team, bearded…
Here’s the press release:
“The third driver chosen to represent BMW Motorsport in the coming DTM season has been confirmed: from 2012, Bruno Spengler (CA) will drive one of the premium automobile manufacturer’s BMW M3 DTM cars.
“Spengler made his debut in the DTM in 2005, and has certainly made his mark on the series. The 28-year-old has been on the top step of the podium nine times in 74 starts. In addition, the French-Canadian has claimed 11 pole positions and set 12 fastest laps to date. Twice – in 2006 and 2007 – Spengler narrowly missed out on the DTM title, ending up second in the drivers’ classification on each occasion. In 2011 he finished third overall for Mercedes-Benz.
“‘In recent weeks we have not only been developing the BMW M3 DTM, but have also been working on the driver line-up for our return to the DTM,’ says BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt. ‘Outside our current line-up, Bruno Spengler was one of our top choices. Despite his youth he has a lot of DTM experience, which will greatly assist us during our development phase and on race weekends. For this reason, we did not hesitate when the opportunity to sign Bruno up arose. We have yet to decide which of our three teams he will drive for. That will be announced at a later stage.’
“Spengler initially made his name in Formula Renault and Formula 3 before making his debut in the DTM in 2005. He scored his first points with a sixth place at the Lausitzring (DE) and went on to claim his first win at the Norisring (DE) a year later. He followed up that victory with his first pole position at the Nürburgring (DE). He has since developed into one of the top drivers in this series.
“In 2012, BMW will be represented in the DTM by three strong teams. BMW Team Schnitzer, BMW Team RBM and BMW Team RMG will each enter two BMW M3 DTM cars. Andy Priaulx (GB) and Augusto Farfus (BR) were confirmed as BMW drivers for 2012 on 15th July 2011.”26th October 2011, 11:25 at 11:25 am #183759
Yes that move has been an open secret for some time :)
I hope they don’t hire Heidfeld though. I understand that DTM wants to increase its popularity and that teams want to attract additional sponsors by having ex-F1 drivers but these mostly fail in terms of competitiveness. I’d rather like to see more promising youngsters who might possibly make it to F1 like di Resta did.26th October 2011, 11:29 at 11:29 am #183760
Great signing for BMW.
They’ve three vacant seats left now. Presumably one will go to one of their drivers, another to a youngster (they tested Vernay, Stanaway and someone else t’other day), leaving one free, so Heidfeld’s chances aren’t exactly great. Wouldn’t be surprised if two of the three went to BMW drivers in fact.26th October 2011, 11:42 at 11:42 am #183761
Imagine if Heidfeld ended up there and started dominating the series :P
I’m not so sure on Spengler though. Seems to be turning to the Stirling Moss of DTM26th October 2011, 12:07 at 12:07 pm #183762
Well then Heidfeld at least could win something again, the last time he did that was in 1999 (F3000) :)
I would actually be very surprised if Quick Nick proved to be a quick DTM driver. On the other hand, “Mr. DTM” Bernd Schneider was first an unsuccessful F1 driver so a precedent is there.26th October 2011, 12:12 at 12:12 pm #183763
@Girts – Yes; tin tops and open wheelers seem to be very exclusive in terms of those successful in one are almost definitely not in the other. Mika wasn’t very good in DTM too though he was rather old. Didn’t Marcus Winkelhock almost become GT1 champion this year?26th October 2011, 12:29 at 12:29 pm #183764
@raymondu999 You’re right, Winkelhock has been successful there this year, he’s currently 3rd in the standings (with one race still left). But he didn’t have much success in DTM…
I think it’s often hard to tell the exact reasons why a lot of drivers succeed in one series but fail in other. I guess young drivers probably find it easier to switch between touring cars and open wheel racing as di Resta and also Edoardo Mortara have been showing recently.26th October 2011, 12:32 at 12:32 pm #183765
Yes that’s very true @Girts
I still keep wishing and wishing that Eki would move to F1 though :P26th October 2011, 13:01 at 1:01 pm #183766
It’s weird isn’t it. Gabriele Tarquini was a perennial backmarker in F1 but has consistenly been one of the top touring car drivers in the world over the last 15-20 years. Nicola Larini, Jo Winkelhock etc there’s been a few F1 rejects who are fantastic touring car drivers.
Hakkinen won a few races in DTM, I wouldn’t say he did that badly. Jean Alesi won 3 or 4 races when he was in it too, I guess it’s just hard to make the transition against people who’ve driven touring cars all their lives. They did better than Derek Warwick’s attempts at being a touring car driver anyway.
If BMW have a good car I would definitely fancy Priaulx to be up there for the title, he is a fantastic driver and knows how to win championships. Although I guess Ekstrom or Tomcyk is favourite at the moment.26th October 2011, 20:32 at 8:32 pm #183767
Hakkinen and Alesi had good runs in DTM compared with Schumacher (until this year) and Coulthard. Heidfeld would probably be better in LMPs given his ability to bring a car home, albeit at a middling pace. They’ll want a name though and he is that. Despite their comparative success levels Nick is way better known than Priaulx.27th October 2011, 1:13 at 1:13 am #183768
So, BMW have already assured third place in the championship.
I’m sorry…27th October 2011, 2:47 at 2:47 am #183769
Surely there has to be alternatives though. I’m not sure BMW would want him anymore after his performance at Renault this year and at Sauber last year27th October 2011, 6:46 at 6:46 am #18377027th October 2011, 11:23 at 11:23 am #183771
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