In preparation for the 2015 DTM season, BMW Motorsport traveled to Jerez de la Frontera (ES) this week, where it completed a three-day winter test. The BMW DTM teams used four BMW M4 DTMs over the course of the test. DTM champion Marco Wittmann (DE), Augusto Farfus (BR), Maxime Martin (BE), Bruno Spengler (CA), Timo Glock (DE) and António Félix da Costa (PT) were all in action.
During the three-day test, BMW Motorsport also offered many other drivers the opportunity to gain a first taste of the DTM. These included Tom Blomqvist (GB), Jack Harvey (GB), Alex Lynn (GB) and Sam Bird (GB). BMW works driver Lucas Luhr (DE), Robin Frijns (NL) and Richie Stanaway (NZ) also took to the track at the wheel of the BMW M4 DTM.
The drivers and teams used the three days from Tuesday to Thursday to perform comprehensive chassis and tires tests. The conditions at the circuit were good, with sun and temperatures reaching 17 degrees Celsius. In total, the drivers completed 1,735 laps and 7,683 kilometers of testing in the four BMW M4 DTMs. The crews also practiced new procedures, which have been tailored to suit the new DTM itinerary. From next season, two races will be held at each event – one on Saturday and one on Sunday.
“It was a good test. It was nice to get back in the car after over six weeks, before we head into the Christmas break. We completed a lot of laps, in order to test a few details and gather data, which we will then analyze during the winter break. We were quick, although lap times do not play a major role during testing. Your job is more to try out different things. Our programme worked well. From that point of view, it was a positive and productive test.”
“It was really good. We had a long day of testing and good conditions with the sun. It is always good to be back in the car after the season and to start the preparations for next year. The work we did here was very positive. Of course, the winter is still long and it is difficult to draw any conclusions at this stage, but I think that we are heading in the right direction.”
“It is always great to be back in the car. It has been a good test. We tested a lot of things and completed a good programme. Everything went well, we did 600 kilometres without any issues. I am happy. Now we will go into the winter break and I am looking forward to getting back in the car next year.”
“It is always fun to be sat in the car. It has been a while since the last race, so I was really excited when I woke up in the morning, knowing that I was going to climb back into the BMW M4 DTM and put my foot down out on the track. I enjoyed it very much. I had a lot of fun and the weather also played ball. We made good progress and learned a few things. I drove a lot of laps and also did a long run. It was a successful test day, and I am looking forward to the next test in the new year.”
“It was great to get back behind the wheel of the car, particularly in good weather. The forecast was initially for it to rain on my test day, but we were fortunate and it stayed dry. I was very happy with the test. We had a tight schedule, but did a very good job of getting through all the points we wanted to work on. It was great fun and I completed a lot of laps. I now hope that Christmas and the winter break will fly by, so we can get back in the car soon and continue our work out on the track. We obviously still have a few things planned, and need to ensure that we improve a bit for next year.”
António Félix da Costa:
“It was really nice to be back in the BMW M4 DTM. I always feel a lot of happiness and enjoyment when I am driving this car. These three days of testing before the winter break were very important in order to prepare well for the 2015 season. I am quite happy with how the test went. We had a lot of items to try out, and we completed our test programme. Overall, I did 122 laps, which is always good.”
“The downforce on this car is impressive. You feel it immediately, and it is far greater than the cars I know from my time before in the DTM. I have spent a lot of time driving LMP1 sports cars in the past and, when it comes to downforce, the BMW M4 DTM is very close, if not at a similar level. I was very pleased to have the opportunity to drive a car like that. I had a lot of fun and hope I was able to help the guys prepare for the coming season a little by giving them my impressions.”
“I enjoyed it a lot. Sure, you need to adapt to the car, you have a roof over you and the car moves a bit more than a single-seater, but I think the test went quite well. The most important thing is that I enjoyed myself and that it was fun to be here. I was surprised how direct the BMW M4 DTM is. It is really sharp, just like a single-seater. It is like a Formula car with a roof on.”
“Having driven the BMW M3 DTM back at the end of 2011 it is fantastic to get another chance to test for BMW and I am really grateful for the opportunity. The BMW M4 DTM is such a nice car to drive, so the test was a great pleasure. Working with BMW again was a good experience. We had some good runs and I did a good amount of laps. This season I raced in Formula and GT series, and it was nice to drive a car which has characteristics of both. It was also great to drive a touring car with so much downforce and performance. I really enjoyed it.”
“It was absolutely unbelievable. I have never driven a car with a roof before so this was a new experience for me and I really loved it. It is very different to what I did in the past but something I could get used to, for sure. I had a great time. I was very impressed by the braking efficiency of the BMW M4 DTM. I have never driven with carbon brakes before, and the braking efficiency was much more than I had expected. I just feel very privileged to be here, because I could think of a lot of other people who would also like to be here. I feel pretty proud to even be considered to participate in the test and I want to thank BMW and BMW Motorsport for giving me the chance. They have been incredible days.”
“I really enjoyed it and first of all I want to thank BMW for giving me that opportunity. I think I made a quite good progression. In the beginning it took me some time to get used to the car. This season, I was driving in Formula 3, where the car is quite light and has no power-steering. So the biggest challenge was to get used to the weight and the power-steering of the BMW M4 DTM. But after some time on the track I had learned how I had to drive it and I had a lot of fun.”
“The BMW M4 DTM is an amazing car, and it has been a privilege to drive a car like that. Compared to the other cars I have driven in my career so far it is really nice to drive a car which is built with the purpose to race against other manufacturers, with the attention to so many different details. The downforce is really impressive. Coming from single-seaters it honestly does not feel like you are driving a touring car. The grip is unbelievable, especially in the high-speed corners. And the braking capability as well is like from another planet. It was a fantastic day and I am really happy that I have been given the chance to drive a car like that.”
“I really enjoyed working with BMW. The people were great and the car is extremely impressive. This season I am doing Formula E, which is completely different to driving a BMW M4 DTM. You have to adapt to the car, as it requires a particular driving style. You need to be spot on. The downforce and the braking efficiency are very impressive. The only tin-top car I have driven before was a GT car, but the BMW M4 DTM has a lot more downforce and much better braking capabilities. It has been a really good experience, which I hope I can learn from.”