BMW DTM driver Lucas Auer (AUT) claimed his second podium finish of the 2020 DTM season. In an eventful Sunday race at Zolder (BEL), the Austrian finished third in the BMW Bank M4 DTM. Timo Glock (GER / iQOO BMW M4 DTM), who started from pole position, eventually came home in fourth place. Marco Wittmann (GER / Schaeffler BMW M4 DTM) and Sheldon van der Linde (RSA / Shell BMW M4 DTM) also finished in the points.
Sunday began with a successful qualifying for the BMW teams. Glock set the fastest time on a drying track to secure pole position. Van der Linde joined him on the front row of the grid and started Sunday’s race from second place, completing the best BMW qualifying result of the season so far.
However, the race was packed with drama from the word go. Glock spun into a gravel bed after contact in the opening corners and dropped to the back of the field. The race then changed completely when a crash involving Robin Frijns (NED / Audi) was followed by a safety car period. The beneficiaries of that were the drivers who had already been in for their mandatory pit stop and were then able to gain positions. Those included Auer and Glock; Auer found himself on course for a podium finish, and eventually crossed the finish line in third place, followed by Glock in fourth.
Van der Linde had led the field during the safety car period, but still had to come in for his mandatory pit stop. The same went for Wittmann, who also led for several laps after the safety car period. Ultimately, Wittmann finished eighth and van der Linde tenth. Jonathan Aberdein (RSA / CATL BMW M4 DTM) and Philipp Eng (AUT / ZF BMW M4 DTM) were eleventh and 14th.
The eighth round of the season, with races 15 and 16, will take place at Zolder again next weekend.
Reactions to the 14th DTM race of the 2020 season at Zolder.
Jens Marquardt (BMW Group Motorsport Director):
“This weekend’s second race at Zolder was a real emotional rollercoaster. We had a great qualifying. Congratulations to Timo Glock and Sheldon van der Linde on the first all-BMW front row of the season. Unfortunately, the start did not run smoothly. We need to take a closer look at why our starts were not so good this weekend. The first lap was a bit chaotic, and Timo found himself way behind at the back of the field after a collision. The safety car then promoted our two cars that had come in early because they were well down the field. Towards the end, they obviously really struggled on older tyres which is why they were unable to attack the cars in front anymore. However, third place for Lucas Auer and fourth for Timo was a well-deserved result. After the safety car, the field was split in two. Marco Wittmann was able to hold his ground in the end, and managed to stay ahead of Nico Müller. We probably could have done better, but the conditions were the same for everyone. I think we gained valuable experience this weekend and laid a good foundation for Zolder II. The qualifying performance can stay as it was, but we are obviously hoping for a better start and a race without an appearance from the safety car. We will push hard again.”
Marco Wittmann (#11 Schaeffler BMW M4 DTM, BMW Team RMG, Grid: 10th, Race: 8th, Drivers’ standings: 7th, 90 points):
“In a crazy race, which was mainly influenced by the safety car, I was basically the best-placed car that had not stopped previously so I can be really happy with my race and our pace. For me personally, the safety car was a bit unlucky. After that, there was not a lot more I could have done.”
Timo Glock (#16 iQOO BMW M4 DTM, BMW Team RMG, Grid: 1st, Race: 4th, Driver’s standings: 5th, 102 points):
“It was fantastic to get pole position this morning. We timed it perfectly in difficult conditions. Unfortunately, my start was not ideal and I simply braked too late in turn one. I lost the car, hit Ferdinand Habsburg, and spun. In the end, I had a lot of luck with the safety car period, which allowed me to finish fourth. We can be happy with that, as the car was pretty damaged. On the whole, I think we laid a good foundation for next weekend.”
Lucas Auer (#22 BMW Bank M4 DTM, BMW Team RMR, Grid: 12th, Race: 3rd, Drivers’ standings: 10th, 51 points):
“I am really happy for my guys and me. We are all trying our hardest and have had some fantastic highs this season, but we have also had some lows. I am delighted to pick up another trophy. The start was super, and I got away really well. Our pit stop strategy was the right one, and we obviously benefitted from the safety car. It all kicked off again at the restart, but fortunately it all turned out well. I am happy with the way we finished the race.”
Philipp Eng (#25 ZF BMW M4 DTM, BMW Team RBM, Grid: 15th, Race: 14th, Drivers’ standings: 12th, 45 points):
“That was a day to forget. Starting from 15th, I was under no illusion that we could achieve anything big. Our car was good, but the safety car came at an unlucky time for us. I was then given a drive-through penalty for an infringement at the restart. After that, the race was all but over for me. We must now move on from that and turn things around as quickly as possible here at Zolder next weekend.”
Jonathan Aberdein (#27 CATL BMW M4 DTM, BMW Team RMR, Grid: 9th, Race: 11th, Drivers’ standings: 13th, 33 points):
“It was a very tough race again. I had a good start and was running in P6 but unfortunately we were unlucky with the timing of the safety car and that put us back to 11th place for the rest of the race. I think we definitely deserved more today but we take it on the chin, analyse and improve for next weekend.”
Sheldon van der Linde (#31 Shell BMW M4 DTM, BMW Team RBM, Grid: 2nd, Race: 10th, Drivers’ standings: 6th, 99 points):
“Race two is done and it was very disappointing. The start was quite good and also the pace was strong. I was in P3, lost the position to Robin Frijns and was in P4 for a bit but I felt comfortable in the car. Unfortunately, the safety car came out which had major influence on my race as I lost a lot of lap time so it was very disappointing for me. I think there was a lot more points potential in it. But anyway, we’ve been scoring the last eight or nine races. We need to keep that up for the next weekend, feeling confident.”