With one day to go before the traditional season review in BMW Welt in Munich (DE), BMW Motorsport has already set the direction it will be going in for the coming season. In the DTM, two new drivers are being given the opportunity to get behind the wheel of the new BMW M4 DTM. Maxime Martin (BE) is promoted from test and development driver to a regular seat, while BMW Motorsport will also send António Félix da Costa (PT) into action as one of its eight DTM drivers.
“After his impressive year as test and development driver, Maxime Martin is now ready to prove himself in the DTM. He showed in the DTM tests and his successful outings in the BMW Z4 GT3 that he will be a valuable addition to our driver line-up,” said BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt. “António Félix da Costa really convinced us what a talented driver he is during his tests in the BMW M3 DTM, and through his previous success in single-seater racing. I am looking forward to following his development in the DTM.”
Twenty seven-year-old Martin has been particularly successful with the Marc VDS Racing team from Belgium. In 2012 and 2013 he finished runner-up and third overall in the Blancpain Endurance Series. Last season he was instrumental in BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS claiming second place at the Nürburgring 24 Hours (DE). In 2013 Martin also raced for BMW Team RLL in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS), claiming GT victory in Long Beach (US) alongside Bill Auberlen (US). “It was always my goal to use my year as test and development driver to put forward my case for a DTM seat,” said Martin. “I am very proud to have achieved that goal. Thank you very much to BMW Motorsport for the very informative past year and for their faith in me. I will do my very best to be successful in the DTM.”
Twenty two-year-old Félix da Costa arrives in the DTM with a wealth of experience in single-seater racing. Having raced in the Formula 3 Euro Series and GP3 Championship, the Portuguese driver joined the Red Bull Junior team in 2012. He crowned his 2012 season by winning the legendary Formula 3 race in Macau (CN). In 2013 Félix da Costa finished third overall in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series and took part in Formula One testing. “It is an honour for me to drive for such a big manufacturer as BMW,” he said. “Switching from single-seater racing to touring cars is a new experience, but the cars are great to drive. The DTM is a top-class racing series – and I can’t wait to get stuck into this challenge.”
Andy Priaulx (GB) and Dirk Werner (DE) will no longer line up in the DTM in 2014, but remain as works drivers and members of the BMW family. Priaulx is switching to BMW Team RLL and will race in the new United SportsCar Championship (USCC) in North America. Werner will be the spearhead of the BMW Motorsport endurance programme, which will see him in action in the BMW Z4 GT3 at events including the Nürburgring 24 Hours.
“BMW Motorsport is involved in numerous racing projects, and the boundaries between these projects are not set in stone,” said Marquardt. “Moving Andy Priaulx and Dirk Werner allows us to further upgrade our commitments in North America and on the endurance circuit. Both drivers will be valuable members of their new teams, thanks to their wealth of experience.”
“I had two great years with BMW Team Schnitzer and will always have fond memories of this time,” said Werner. “I am obviously disappointed to no longer be driving in the DTM. However, it is nice to remain part of the BMW family. I felt right at home on the endurance circuit prior to my time in the DTM. I am looking forward to seeing a lot of familiar faces again.”
Priaulx added: “The DTM was a fantastic experience for me. I had some great moments – and went out in style with my third place on the grid at the season finale in Hockenheim. However, I did miss standing on the podium. That is something I am now determined to achieve on a regular basis again with BMW Team RLL in the USCC. I still know the guys from my victory at the 12 Hours of Sebring in 2011 and am looking forward to this new and exciting challenge.”
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