Smoking tires, roaring engines, enthusiastic fans: At the BMW Dealership in Nürnberg (DE), BMW Motorsport presented the motorsport program for the 2015 season in front of thousands of spectators in an entertaining show. It was the first time that the annual BMW Motorsport Car Launch had been held in Nürnberg, home of reigning DTM Champion Marco Wittmann (DE) who lives just a few kilometers away in Fürth (DE).
Wittmann and his fellow BMW works drivers thrilled the fans with rides in the current BMW race cars BMW M4 DTM, BMW Z4 GT3 and BMW M235i Racing, with taxi rides in the historic BMW M3 and the BMW M3 GT2 as well as with several autograph sessions.
“The BMW Motorsport Car Launch ahead of the DTM season has become an extremely popular tradition for us and for the fans in particular. It’s a real highlight for us to visit the home of our DTM Champion this year,” said BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt. “2015 will be another packed racing season for us – and once again BMW Motorsport will be represented in a variety of series. Naturally this includes the DTM, which we will contest as defending champions and will be the team everyone wants to beat. This also includes the races in the United SportsCar Championship in North America, as well as international GT racing classics such as the 24 Hours of Nürburgring or the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps. We will also continue our talent promotion and, as part of the BMW Sports Trophy, will continue to support privateer racing drivers and teams who will compete in races across the globe in 2015. It will definitely be an incredibly exciting year.”
One of the highlights of the BMW Motorsport Car Launch was the unveiling of all eight BMW M4 DTMs, with which Wittmann and his fellow BMW drivers Maxime Martin (BE), Martin Tomczyk (DE), António Félix da Costa (PT), Augusto Farfus (BR), Tom Blomqvist (GB), Bruno Spengler (CA) and Timo Glock (DE) will contest the 2015 DTM season. A fan assisted each of the drivers in the unveiling of their cars. “I’m delighted that the BMW Motorsport Car Launch was on my doorstep this year,” said Wittmann. “It’s another reminder of our fantastic achievement alongside BMW Team RMG in 2014. When you look at the beaming faces of the fans, you’re happy that you get to give them a little something back with this kind of show as thanks for their support. Hopefully we will be able to delight them with more sporting successes. We will definitely be giving it our all.”
As well as the eight BMW DTM drivers, BMW works drivers Dirk Werner (DE) and Lucas Luhr (DE), who compete for BMW in the United SportsCar Championship (USCC) and in endurance races in 2015, were also in Nürnberg. Last weekend Werner had claimed GTLM victory in the USCC race at Long Beach (US). BMW Motorsport Junior Victor Bouveng (SE), one of the four juniors in this year’s programme, presented himself to the fans.
Another major highlight was the appearance of BMW works driver and brand ambassador Alessandro Zanardi (IT). Together with Spengler and Glock, he will contest the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps (BE) for the first time on 25th/26th July. The BMW Motorsport engineers have modified the BMW Z4 GT3 so that Zanardi, who lost both legs in a serious accident in 2001, can share the cockpit with fully-abled drivers. “The reception in Nürnberg was fantastic. Thanks again to BMW Motorsport for giving me the chance to contest a 24-hour race for the first time in my life,” said Zanardi. “It will be an exciting challenge and I’m sure with my team-mates Timo and Bruno I will also get a good result.”
The BMW Motorsport Car Launch started the countdown to the opening of the 2015 DTM season. The first two races will be held in Hockenheim (DE) this coming weekend.