In their first season back in the DTM since 1993 BMW have won a clean-sweep of the 2012 Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters Driver, Manufacturer and Team crowns, with Canadian Bruno Spengler taking not only the race win but also topping the Driver’s points table after the final round at Hockenheim.
Spengler won four times during the year in his Team Schnitzer M3 and only failed to score points in two races; he’d been close to the title on four previous occasions when driving for Mercedes-Benz, but never headed the driver standings. This year he managed it for the first time –and at the crucial moment.
It’s been a phenomenal return to the DTM for BMW: they suffered no retirements due to technical problems with the new M3 DTM (though due to the door-to-door racing there have been plenty that have been accident-related) and Spengler won for BMW in just their second race. Augusto Farfus took a win at Valenica, giving BMW five victories overall.
That now gives BMW 54 victories in the series, with their first win delivered by Harold Grohs’ 635 CSI in the very first DTM race at Zolder back in 1984.
There had been an intense battle all year: perennial title-challenger and Mercedes C-Coupé driver Gary Paffett (champion in 2005) had a season-long fight at the top with Spengler and fellow Brit Jamie Green.
Paffett had led the driver standings since the opening round of 2012 but had to finish ahead of Spengler to seal the championship. Unfortunately for Paffett, Spengler made a spectacular start from third on the grid and slotted in behind pole-sitter and team-mater Augusto Farfus.
All race long Paffett pushed, but couldn’t get on terms with the M3 and had to settle for second in both the race and championship.
Mercedes’ Jamie Green came home in fourth, securing third in the overall standings.
Audi experienced a bruising opening couple of races with their new A5 DTM after so many years of success: Italian Edoardo Mortara scored the only wins for the team, though the team battled back over the course of the season to be leading the Manufacturer standings into the last round.
The future looks even brighter for the DTM as a whole after signing up to an exploratory deal with the Japanese Super GT series: this should allow Honda, Toyota and Nissan to all be represented on the grid from 2014, and in return BMW, Mercedes and Audi to compete in the top tier in Japan.
There had been on/off rumours of this tie-up for a while, but it had seemed to go cold after talks in the Summer led to nothing – the tie-up is incredibly exciting for the future of both series.
2012 DTM DRIVERS CHAMPIONSHIP
1: Bruno Spengler (Schnitzer M3 DTM) 149 points
2: Gary Paffett (HWA Mercedes-Benz C-Coupé) 145
3: Jamie Green (AMG Mercedes-Benz C-Coupé) 121
4: Mike Rockenfeller (Abt Sportsline Audi A5 DTM) 85
5: Edoardo Mortara (Rosberg Audi A5 DTM) 82
Not to be an hater...but WTF is up with the super retardo flares...? make em run on tires that will fit in the wells people jeez...other than that nice
I first said "Of course the germans did it". Then I remembered its DTM and they are all german. But can really anyone be surprised BMW pulled it off. They have such a fantastic racing background that you cant be surprised.
Mercedes is also crossing over to Australian V8 Supercars along with Nissan. Eventually, it'll be V8S, DTM and Super GT in one massive series, which will be awesome.
Good to see them on top after having gone such a long time without being in the series, that's pretty impressive.
@robzor Having the mounts on the upper side of the rear wing increases the performance because you aren't disturibing the low preassure on the underside as much.
@robzor They do! There are quite a lot of "common-parts" and cost-cutting regularities.The engine for example must be a 4l V8. Audi and Mercedes use exactly the same .. BMW was alowed to construct their own new one (though there are virtually no differences). The engines have to last a complete season (2 drivers share 3 engines)! I like that appeal actually ...The transmission comes either from Heiland or Xtrac and the brakes are AP Racing carbon-ceramic ones. As you can see on the images the electronics are Bosch and tires by Hankook.I'm not quite sure about the monocoque but i think it's the same on all cars as well .... you have to remember 2 things: One the DTM cars are no touring cars - they actually are full on race cars like formula one's or prototypes. And second: No one ever died in DTM. It's always been relatively safe!
@LavarBowers With that kind of mentality, F1 shouldnt exist (nor any other form of racing speedhunters covers, other than autocross really..)
@LavarBowers A wider track servers a significant function... There's more to the design than just looks.
@maxproof sounds like the best racing series EVER!!!!
@Ziemas I'm going to have to ask for a better explanation... There is a lot that goes into the dynamics here. The low pressure side doesn't really "suck" the wing down, but the difference in pressure results in negative lift and drag.
Now the part of it that is really confusing to me is that having it mounted the way you do would cause turbulence to the air above AND below the wing. Since the air below was already going to be experiencing turbulence i'd consider that no different, but the turbulence up top would decrease the pressure difference, and therefore decrease downforce I think...
Another odd thing is that by increasing the turbulent flow they actually decrease flow separation around the wing which would decrease drag, a good thing, but at the cost of reduced downforce.
Off my soapbox now, but it is just very odd to me, but I know that in a series like DTM they wouldnt do it without a purpose.
@maxproof Thats pretty cool! I've watched a few DTM races and thought they were pretty awesome cars but never bothered to learn anything about them!
@Ziemas Thanks for the link! I wasn't arguing at all, just FYI, just trying to understand it.
@robzor It's also done on sportscar prototypes.
"Like the Acura ARX-02a the Audi R15 features ‘swan neck’ rear wing supports. “They reduced the width to 1.6m from 2m so we had a big loss in rear down force and we had trouble with turbulence on the underside of the wing” explains Appel. “One of the solutions was not to support the wing from underneath but from above.Its not easy to do, at 250km/h you have 1000kg on it, from a structures point of view it is difficult but it is more efficient.”