Tomczyk’s wild ride to the points
There are days when you’d better stayed in bed. And Martin Tomczyk certainly will have wished that he’d done so on several weekends of the 2015 DTM season. The 2011 champion made it to the points in just four races and with 28 points on his tally, he’s just 18th in the championship. The 33-year old used to give his very best but more often than not, he was anything but lucky. And the eight race weekend, at the Nürburgring turned out to also be one of these weekends. Once again, Tomczyk seemed to be tilting at windmills, with problem being followed by problem. This time, however, all his commitment was rewarded by a small success. He started into the Sunday race from a virtually desperate position – to make it to the points, nevertheless.
Team Schnitzer had to cope with the first difficulties as early as on Friday. In the morning session, Tomczyk completed his laps as scheduled – but his lap times already left a lot to be desired. He was about a second slower than the quickest and consequently had to cope being last but one on the time sheets. In the second practice session, Tomczyk was hampered by technical problems and could complete just 11 laps. In addition, he was penalised by the stewards. The engine sealing of his BMW M4 DTM had been removed due to repair works and as a result, he was relegated to the last position on the grid. But he even had to cope with another turn of the screw. The problems on his car proved to be so massive that the 33-year old completed just one qualifying lap and wasn’t able to contest the race at all.
On Sunday, however, things ran better for him. The car was running properly again and Tomczyk could contest the race. But his penalty still was in force and so, he had to start from the last grid position. And did so in impressive style. Driving on the inside, he avoided getting involved in the first-corner turmoil and passed quite bunch of cars in one go. And at the end of lap one, he had worked his way up from 24th to 14th position. And he kept on going strong. At first he overtook António Félix da Costa and a short later he passed Maxime Martin for 12th place. A position he still held after the pit stops but this wasn’t the end of it. He continued his great comeback behind Mattias Ekström. On lap 26, Timo Glock who was driving in front of Ekström received a drive-thru penalty after having attacked Daniel Juncadella – and Tomczyk was 11th. Then, on lap 34, Mattias Ekström attacked Juncadella in the chicane, resulting in a close encounter of the two drivers. Tomczyk used his chance, passed them both in one go, thus moving up to ninth – and crossed the finish line in this position.
After the race, the often buffeted former champion finally had a reason to beam again. “I just can’t thank my team enough for their hard work on my car. I hope I was able to slightly reward them for all their efforts, with my Sunday race. From my point of view, today’s race was a proof for the motor-racing maxim that you never should give up. Having missed the Saturday race completely and having been last on the Sunday grid, having battled my way up to the points represents a very special ray of hope, for me. I experienced great motor racing in fantastic car. I’m really delighted.”