Bruno Spengler believes honing pit stops and race strategies quickly will be crucial to BMW's chances of success in its return DTM campaign in 2012.
The German manufacturer is returning to the series after 20 years away next year, with Spengler, who finished third in the 2011 standings, switching over from Mercedes.
Speaking for the first time publicly as a BMW driver, Spengler said that perfecting pit stops, which take between two and four seconds in the DTM as opposed to the much longer stationary times in the GT contests that BMW is used to, would be a key element during the season.
"As a racing driver and as a team you always want to win races as soon as possible. With that in mind, our goal is to challenge at the front of the field, finish on the podium, and start winning races as quickly as possible," Spengler said. "Before we can even start thinking about that, however, we must first concentrate on the preparations and work our way through the winter program.
The team still has little experience when it comes to pit stops and race strategies. These are all new things that play an important role. For that reason, we must first be well-prepared before we can set ourselves the goal of winning the championship."
Spengler said he was excited about the arrival of DTM champion Martin Tomczyk as a fellow BMW driver for 2012, and that he expects to continue his friendly rivalry with the German next year.
"He has a wealth of experience and it is good to have him on our side. It does not make a huge difference to me, however. We will all be working together to push the team forward," the Canadian added. "You have to have a certain rivalry [with your teammates], as that spurs you on. You must always try to optimize the car and the performance. To do this, everyone pushes themselves to the limit and finds new areas, in which they can improve. That is how you move forward, and move the team forward.
"You obviously apply pressure, battle and drive hard against each other, but you don't drive into one another. You have to find a good mixture of rivalry and team play."