BMW plays down Brands Hatch hopes despite Lausitz victory
|By Jamie O'Leary||Thursday, May 17th 2012, 11:59 GMT|
BMW is not expecting to continue its winning form when the DTM comes to Brands Hatch this weekend.
Bruno Spengler gave the manufacturer its 50th series win last time out at Lausitz in what was only its second race back after a 20-year absence.
But motorsport director Jens Marquardt said that he was not getting his hopes up about a repeat on Sunday and that a lack of familiarity with the 1.2-mile Indy circuit will hamper BMW's progress.
"We are well aware that we are entering unchartered territory at this circuit," said Marquardt. "We have yet to drive a single metre there with a DTM car and have no set-up data available.
"The first two races have shown us that the M3 DTM is competitive, but the balance of power could look completely different this weekend."
Defending champion Martin Tomczyk, who joined the RMG BMW team during the winter, won last year's wet Brands Hatch race on his way to a surprise title success.
He believes that any performance deficit to rivals Mercedes and Audi will be highlighted in qualifying, with the shortness of the circuit meaning that an even closer than normal gap between the cars is expected on Saturday.
"It is an extremely short circuit and this means that qualifying will be even closer than at the first two race weekends," said the German.
"The grid positions will determine whether or not you can challenge at the front of the field during the race, and overtaking opportunities are few and far between in Brands Hatch."
BMW's British hopes lie with Andy Priaulx, who is eighth in the championship after a strong sixth-placed finish at the Hockenheim season-opener.