After a lacklustre season opener at Hockenheim and more of the same at the Lausitzring, Bruno Spengler was back on form at the Norisring with not only this season’s first BMW pole but also the this season’s first podium for the Bavarian manufacturer.

The crowds filling the streets of Nuremberg already got an idea that the Canadian driver was in very good shape during the Friday free practice session, when Spengler did the third best time. On the Saturday however, with a 20 minute session and a very tight grid due to the circuit’s relatively short length (2.3 kms), qualifying did not offer him the opportunity to prove himself and the top positions were a lottery, owing to the changing weather conditions. Spengler’s gamble failed to materialize and he wound up in 13th place.

On a track still wet from the rainstorm that had raged ten minutes before the race, the start offered the BMW Bank driver the opportunity to gain a good few positions and he crossed the finishing line in 5th place.

“The on-track conditions were a bit hard to manage”, explained Bruno at the end of the race, “We had to choose the right strategy before the race. My engineer opted for the slicks, which was a perfect choice. It allowed me to pick my way through the pack. I want to thank my team for the fantastic job they did. I am very happy about this round but we still have a lot of work to do”. 

The following day, Spengler outdid himself by snatching pole position at the end of qualifying. His first this year, but also BMW’s first.

I really didn’t expect this result. Our car ran really well on Friday and we were in the top three in the first free practice session. We had a good race yesterday and were able to score some good points. But, now, to be on pole… that’s huge. My car was fantastic in qualifying. A really big thank you must go to BMW Team MTEK. The beginning of the season was really hard, which is why I’m all the more pleased to have achieved pole position. But this is only half the job – we still have the rest ahead of us and it won’t be easy. The other drivers behind me are very quick. It will be tough to keep them behind me, but I will do my best. I also want to thank the fans for their excellent support. The atmosphere here at the Norisring is always amazing.”

During the race, encouraged by 130.000 spectators, Bruno managed to keep hold of his position until lap 14. Once the DRS had been enabled, he was overtaken by Robert Wickens and by a few other drivers who took advantage of their on-track battle. Down to 5th place Spengler kept fighting and the 2012 champion clawed back 4th place before putting the pressure on Mattias Ekstrom’s Audi. Little by little he managed to wrench the last place on the podium from the Swede’s grasp in a thrilling wheel to wheel finale.

“I’m really happy to have finished third however I am also a little disappointed as I would, of course, have liked to have won the race. Both Mercedes were unbeatable today. I dropped down to fifth, but I fought back and the battle for third with Mattias Ekström was a lot of fun and I found the opportunity to overtake him in the last few metres. Thank you to my team. We pitted at exactly the right time. Hitting the pit stop window correctly was difficult today. It’s also due to the great strategy that I managed to get onto the podium today.”

Spengler is now 9th in the championship rankings, with 27 points to his name.After a lacklustre season opener at Hockenheim and more of the same at the Lausitzring, Bruno Spengler was back on form at the Norisring with not only this season’s first BMW pole but also the this season’s first podium for the Bavarian manufacturer.

The crowds filling the streets of Nuremberg already got an idea that the Canadian driver was in very good shape during the Friday free practice session, when Spengler did the third best time. On the Saturday however, with a 20 minute session and a very tight grid due to the circuit’s relatively short length (2.3 kms), qualifying did not offer him the opportunity to prove himself and the top positions were a lottery, owing to the changing weather conditions. Spengler’s gamble failed to materialize and he wound up in 13th place.

On a track still wet from the rainstorm that had raged ten minutes before the race, the start offered the BMW Bank driver the opportunity to gain a good few positions and he crossed the finishing line in 5th place.

“The on-track conditions were a bit hard to manage”, explained Bruno at the end of the race, “We had to choose the right strategy before the race. My engineer opted for the slicks, which was a perfect choice. It allowed me to pick my way through the pack. I want to thank my team for the fantastic job they did. I am very happy about this round but we still have a lot of work to do”. 

The following day, Spengler outdid himself by snatching pole position at the end of qualifying. His first this year, but also BMW’s first.

I really didn’t expect this result. Our car ran really well on Friday and we were in the top three in the first free practice session. We had a good race yesterday and were able to score some good points. But, now, to be on pole… that’s huge. My car was fantastic in qualifying. A really big thank you must go to BMW Team MTEK. The beginning of the season was really hard, which is why I’m all the more pleased to have achieved pole position. But this is only half the job – we still have the rest ahead of us and it won’t be easy. The other drivers behind me are very quick. It will be tough to keep them behind me, but I will do my best. I also want to thank the fans for their excellent support. The atmosphere here at the Norisring is always amazing.”

During the race, encouraged by 130.000 spectators, Bruno managed to keep hold of his position until lap 14. Once the DRS had been enabled, he was overtaken by Robert Wickens and by a few other drivers who took advantage of their on-track battle. Down to 5th place Spengler kept fighting and the 2012 champion clawed back 4th place before putting the pressure on Mattias Ekstrom’s Audi. Little by little he managed to wrench the last place on the podium from the Swede’s grasp in a thrilling wheel to wheel finale.

“I’m really happy to have finished third however I am also a little disappointed as I would, of course, have liked to have won the race. Both Mercedes were unbeatable today. I dropped down to fifth, but I fought back and the battle for third with Mattias Ekström was a lot of fun and I found the opportunity to overtake him in the last few metres. Thank you to my team. We pitted at exactly the right time. Hitting the pit stop window correctly was difficult today. It’s also due to the great strategy that I managed to get onto the podium today.”

Spengler is now 9th in the championship rankings, with 27 points to his name.

Après avoir manqué de réussite lors des quatre premières manches de la saison, à Hockenheim et sur le Lausitzring, Bruno Spengler a signé son retour aux affaires de belle manière sur le circuit du Norisring, où il a signé la première pole de BMW cette saison, mais également le premier podium du constructeur allemand.

Le pilote canadien avait déjà démontré sa bonne forme dans les rues de Nuremberg en signant le 3e temps des premiers essais libres du vendredi. Avec 20 minutes de séance seulement, et des écarts extrêmement serrés en raison du faible développement du circuit (2,3 kilomètres), la séance de qualification s’est avérée indécise et aléatoire. A ce jeu, Bruno Spengler manquait de réussite, et se classait finalement 13e.

De sa 7e ligne sur la grille de départ, le pilote BMW Bank effectuait une belle remontée, se hissant finalement au 5e rang sur la ligne d’arrivée alors que la piste était humide lors des premiers tours en raison de l’orage qui s’était abattu dix minutes avant le départ.

« Les conditions de piste étaient compliquées à gérer », expliquait Bruno à l’issue de la course. « Nous devions choisir la bonne stratégie avant la course. Mon ingénieur a choisi les slicks, ce qui était précisément le bon choix, et cela m’a permis de bien remonter dans le peloton. Un grand merci à mon équipe, qui a fait du bon boulot, je suis heureux du déroulement de ma course, mais je sais que nous avons encore du travail devant nous ».

Le lendemain, Bruno Spengler hausse encore le ton lors des qualifications et signe la pole position à l’issue de la séance. Sa première pole position de la saison, mais aussi la première pour BMW.

« Je ne m’attendais pas à ce résultat », s’enthousiasmait-il après la séance. « Notre voiture était vraiment bien vendredi et nous étions dans le top 3 dans la première séance d’essai, samedi nous avons fait une bonne course et nous avons pu marquer de bons points. Mais là, en pole, c’est énorme. Ma voiture était fantastique en qualifications, un grand merci à l’équipe BMW Team MTEK. Le début de saison était vraiment difficile, et cela me rend encore plus heureux de signer ce résultat. Mais ce n’est que la moitié du travail, nous en avons encore beaucoup devant nous et cela ne sera pas facile. Les autres pilotes derrière moi sont très rapides, ce sera difficile de les garder derrière moi, mais je ferai de mon mieux. Je veux également remercier les fans pour leur soutien ».

En course, devant près de 130 000 spectateurs enthousiastes, Bruno conserve sa première place au départ, mais il devra céder le commandement au 14e tour. Les poursuivants profitent de la bagarre pour passer également dans la foulée, et le Canadien chute au 5e rang sur quelques centaines de mètres. Mais le champion 2012 ne renonce pas, il remonte en 4e position, puis met la pression sur l’Audi de Mattias Ekström pour le gain de la 3e place. Après s’être montré très pressant derrière le Suédois, Bruno trouve l’ouverture dans l’avant-dernier des 78 tours au programme, pour arracher sa place sur le podium.

« Je suis très heureux de finir sur le podium, même si j’aurais bien sûr préféré remporter la course, mais les Mercedes étaient intouchables aujourd’hui. J’ai chuté au 5e rang, mais je suis revenu à la bagarre, et la lutte pour la troisième place avec Mattias Ekström était très plaisante. Je lui ai mis longtemps la pression et j’ai fini par trouver une petite ouverture au premier freinage à deux tours de l’arrivée. Je remercie à nouveau mon équipe, nous avons observé notre arrêt exactement au bon moment. Choisir la meilleure fenêtre d’arrêt aux stands était difficile aujourd’hui, et c’est aussi grâce à la bonne stratégie de l’équipe que j’ai pu accéder au podium aujourd’hui ».

Au classement du championnat, Bruno réalise une belle opération puisqu’il remonte au 9e rang, avec 27 points.