As a former champion and one of the longest serving drivers, from 2001 to 2016, Martin Tomczyk is one of the trademarks of the DTM championship. However, his DTM career came to an end in 2017, when he switched to GT racing and joined BMW Team RLL in the IMSA SportsCar Championship.
During his DTM career, Tomczyk scored eight wins and 31 podiums. He was driving for Audi from 2001 to 2011, switching to BMW in 2012. Tomczyk was a champion in 2011 and third in 2007.
Martin Tomczyk was born on December 7, 1981, in Rosenheim, in Upper Bavaria, Germany. As a boy, Martin raced in karting, then moved on to Formula BMW and Formula 3, but the results weren’t brilliant and not so many people believed that Tomczyk will make a success in the world of racing.
He left the open-wheel racing and switched to Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters in 2001, driving an Audi TT for Abt Sportsline Junior team. In his rookie season, he finished 13th overall with a second place in qualifying race at Nurburgring as a season highlight. He didn’t have to wait too long for the maiden victory in DTM. In the opening race of the 2002 season, Tomczyk won at Hockenheim, but that was only a qualifying race and did not count towards the overall score. He managed to be second at Donington Park, but by the end of the year, his form dropped and Martin ended at 11th position.
For the 2003 season, DTM format has changed to one race per weekend and that allowed more experienced drivers to have an advantage against youngsters. Tomczyk scored only once and 16th place overall at the end of the season wasn’t a proper indicator of his qualities and potential. He did much better in 2004, especially in the second part of the season, driving a new Audi A4. In the last four races, he finished as a runner-up on three occasions what pushed him up in the rankings, eventually finishing 5th in the Drivers’ championship.
Tomczyk results were like a yo-yo. For a good season, downfall was almost certain. That was confirmed in 2005 when Rosenheim-born guy stayed without a single podium finish from 11 starts. After a disappointing year, the improvement was expected and it arrived. Tomczyk clinched the first victory at Catalunya Circuit, had another two podium finishes and scored points in ten out of eleven races that year, to finish 4th in the championship.
A ’yo-yo’ tradition was broken the following year, when Martin managed to finish in the impressive third spot. His wins at Hockenheim and Brands Hatch, followed by those at Zandvoort and Nurburgring, announced that he could be a DTM title contender in 2007, and if it was not for the three retirements, who knows what might have happend. The following year, he wasn’t any close in the terms of results. A mere second place at Oschersleben was his best result in 2008, the year in which Tomczyk was 7th overall. In 2009 he managed move up one position, but that was far from impressive. That year he won a race at Nurburgring, finished third in three races, but also retired in three races. At the end, it was enough only for a 6th position in the most popular German racing series.
The year 2010 was Tomczyk’s last with Abt Sportsline team. He earned points in eight out of eleven races, but he never rached a podium that year. Already knowing championship inside-out and having more than enough experience, Martin Tomczyk moved to Phoenix Racing, but was still behind a wheel of an Audi 4. The change proved to be good, as he had the best season in his DTM career.
Victories at Red Bull Ring, Lausitzring, and Brands Hatch, as well as a second place at Hockenheim, third places at Zandvoort, Norisring, and in Valencia, were enough to secure first DTM championship crown for Martin, who finished the season 20 points clear of Mattias Ekstrom.
In 2012, Tomczyk faced another change. After a long spell with Audi teams, he switched to a new manufacturer, BMW, and Team RMG. Unfortunately, the change wasn’t as good as the previous one. In his first year in the new BMW car, Martin was 8th while in 2013 he was 19th what is his worst result in the DTM series. Since then, despite his fighting spirit, Martin is without a win in DTM.
After a long time, he managed to secure one podium place in 2014, finishing third at Zandvoort, this time as a member of Schnitzer Motorsport. The same year, he earned points in seven races eventually finishing 6th overall. For the 2015 campaign, DTM format again was changed. Two races per weekend were introduced again, but that wasn’t helpful for the driver of BMW M4 DTM. It was another year without a podium finish, so Tomczyk took 18th position in the championship.
In 2016 Tomczyk again was behind a wheel of BMW M4 DTM. It was a pretty disappointing campaign for Martin who picked only 16 points before finishing 21st overall. In September he announced retirement from DTM at the end of the year, saying that he wants to focus on GT racing.
At the same time, Tomczyk debuted in ADAC GT Masters, driving a BMW M6 GT3 for Schubert Motorsport in two rounds and managed to score 14 points. He also appeared as a guest in the two races of Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup, driving for Rowe Motorsport and BMW Team Italia.
In 2017, Tomczyk joined BMW Team RLL to drive the #24 BMW M6 GTLM in the IMSA SportsCar Championship, sharing a car with John Edwards. They scored their only victory in the penultimate round at Laguna Seca, finishing seventh in the final standings of the GTLM class. Tomczyk joined BMW Team Schnitzer at Nurburgring 24 Hours, finishing fourth in a BMW M6 GT3.