The spotlight at the many tests carried out over the past few weeks and months has been on the performance of the BMW M3 DTM.
This week, however, the focus switched to the fitness of the BMW Motorsport drivers. From Tuesday to Sunday, Andy Priaulx (GB), Augusto Farfus (BR), Bruno Spengler (CA), Martin Tomczyk (DE), Joey Hand (US), Dirk Werner (DE), and test and development driver Marco Wittmann (DE) put themselves in the hands of the Formula Medicine team in Viareggio near Florence (IT), where they successfully worked on further improving their physical performance.
“Our drivers have six tiring, but very informative days behind them,” said BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt, who also travelled to Italy on Tuesday and joined in a number of activities, including a football match with the drivers. “Anyone looking to be successful in the DTM needs more than just a competitive car. The drivers must also be in good shape and well prepared for the start of the season.
The fitness level of our drivers is already extremely high anyway. I saw that for myself, and the many tests in Italy confirmed my subjective impression. Under the guidance of the Formula Medicine team, it was more a case of fine-tuning the drivers. They have come away with some valuable suggestions as to how they can make their preparation programme even more efficient, both from a physical and a mental point of view. I am confident that the drivers – just like the teams and our BMW M3 DTM – will be on top form when the season gets underway in Hockenheim.”
Our drivers have six tiring, but very informative days behind them
First up in Italy were a vast array of medical and sports science-related tests using the latest analysis and test systems. The aim of these was to accurately determine the individual fitness levels of the seven drivers. Based on the results, the experts drew up tailored training schedules and used a wide range of exercises to demonstrate how best to execute the training programme.
The week in Italy was not all work, work, work, however: activities including the football match on Tuesday, a joint kayaking trip and archery gave the drivers an excellent opportunity to get to know each other better, and to show off their sporting prowess away from the cockpit. As well as physical fitness, the Formula Medicine team was also committed to ensuring that the drivers are also perfectly prepared mentally for the challenges they will face in the DTM.
“Bringing us all together here for a week was a great idea from BMW Motorsport,” said Joey Hand, who will race for BMW Team RMG in the DTM, as well as representing BMW Team RLL in the American Le Mans Series in 2012. “We all got on very well and really got to know each other. That will make us an even stronger team. The Formula Medicine crew took fantastic care of us. I was introduced to lots of new training methods and also learned a lot about myself. One thing is certain: I’ll be back.”