Barcelona (ES) - The four BMW teams have made another important step on the way to the start of the DTM season on 5th May 2013 at Hockenheim (DE).
Over the course of four days of testing at Barcelona (ES), the BMW drivers covered more than 7,000 kilometres. The other manufacturers involved in DTM also tested at the 2.977-kilometre version of the “Circuit de Catalunya”.
Reigning DTM champion Bruno Spengler (CA) tested with his BMW Bank M3 DTM on Tuesday and handed over the wheel of the car to Martin on Wednesday. Meanwhile, Augusto Farfus (BR), Martin Tomczyk (DE) and Timo Glock (DE) were also on duty on the first two days.
On Thursday and Friday, Dirk Werner (DE), Joey Hand (US), Andy Priaulx (GB) and Marco Wittmann (DE) took to the track. The fastest lap time of all the BMW drivers was set by Farfus on Wednesday. His personal best time was 1:06.177 minutes.
In addition to working on the set-up of the four BMW M3 DTMs, the BMW drivers tested two potential innovations for the 2013 DTM season: the newly developed Hankook option tyres and the Drag Reduction System (DRS).
The BMW drivers used the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the new tyre spec and the adjustable rear wing. The next important date in the run-up to the season kick-off is the presentation of all the BMW M3 DTM cars in Munich’s BMW Welt on 6th April 2013. Just three days later, the second and final joint pre-season test will begin at Hockenheim (DE).
Bruno Spengler (#1, BMW Team Schnitzer): “Being back in the car was a lot of fun. You can feel the increasing excitement ahead of the season everywhere. The testing was okay – we successfully completed our scheduled programme.
Quite obviously, the new option tyres and the DRS made for extra excitement. When it comes to the tyres, we took a close look at the performance of the new spec over longer distances, and we learned a lot.
The DRS is definitely a lot of fun for every racing driver. You clearly feel you can shift up earlier and that the top speed on the straights is higher.
That’s something you have to get used to and, therefore, you have to work lap by lap on finding the limit. That’s why the test here in Barcelona – and also the one held in Hockenheim – are so important.”
Dirk Werner (#2, BMW Team Schnitzer): “It’s great to have got back on the track. The test at Barcelona felt somewhat like an unofficial season kick-off.
It was about completing our scheduled testing programme lap by lap and getting experience with the option tyres and the DRS at the same time. As I see it, both look likely to add excitement to the races.”
Augusto Farfus (#7, BMW Team RBM): “You can really feel the increasing excitement in the run-up to the season opener. It was great trying the option tyres and the DRS.
Both innovations certainly have got what it takes to help us provide the DTM fans with even more thrilling motor racing. We had no major problems at Barcelona and made good progress. There still is a lot of work to do, but I’m optimistic we will be well prepared for the start of the season.”
Joey Hand (#8, BMW Team RBM): “It was my first real outing for BMW Team RBM and, in addition, Barcelona’s circuit represented virgin territory for me. Despite this I can say everything worked just fine.
The guys did a great job. The conditions here change massively over the course of the day. We virtually had to hunt this track down. Despite this, we learned a lot. I hope the test at Hockenheim will be just as successful.”
Martin Tomczyk (#15, BMW Team RMG): “I can feel the excitement growing. My first day of testing on Tuesday was one of the best in my entire career. We were able to fully test the potential innovations.
Then, on day two, it was back to a more conventional programme. The overall result is positive, and despite the limited preparation time we are heading in the right direction.”
Andy Priaulx (#16, BMW Team RMG): “Doing a test like this with my new team is really nice. We used the time to get to know one another better – and I quickly found a good rhythm.
I definitely will leave Barcelona with a lot of positive experiences under my belt. The option tyre is quick and consistent. Then when you go out again on the standard tyres after a stint on the options you have to re-adapt. That’s an interesting challenge.”
Marco Wittmann (#21, BMW Team MTEK): “I was really looking forward to the test here at Barcelona. After all, it was my first outing with my new Ice-Watch BMW M3 DTM.
I felt really comfortable in the car, and the relationship with BMW Team MTEK is already very good. It’s important for us to get used to each another and optimise the work flow to make sure we will be in the best possible shape for the season opener. And today was a good step on the way to achieving this goal.”
Timo Glock (#22, BMW Team MTEK): “We were able to complete a lot of laps and, quite obviously, this was helpful for us as a new team and for me as a DTM rookie.
I still have problems in understanding the standard tyre but despite this was happy with our long-runs. At the same time, driving with the option tyres was a lot of fun for me.
We will continue our work at Hockenheim and try to make the best possible use of the short preparation time prior to the start of the season.”
Maxime Martin (BMW Motorsport Test and Development Driver): “Unfortunately, a technical problem cost me some time. However, I still completed a total of 120 laps and once again learned a lot.
Altogether I’m happy with the test. Being a part of this team, enjoying the atmosphere and driving this sensational car is just fantastic.”