Moscow marks halfway point of season...
Munich (DE) – The “Moscow Raceway” near the Russian capital Moscow (RU) will host its second DTM race this weekend, after the series made its debut there in 2013. Following last year’s successful outing, which was followed live at the circuit by 45,000 spectators over the course of the weekend, the BMW DTM teams travel to Russia determined to put on another good show for the fans.
The drivers will cover 3.931 kilometres on each lap of the “Moscow Raceway” this year. This version of the circuit, which is 1.4 kilometres longer than last year, features a fascinating combination of fast and slow corners, as well as a long straight. In 2013, Augusto Farfus (BR) finished third at the wheel of the Castrol EDGE BMW M3 DTM on the shorter version to claim the first of four successive podiums, which were instrumental in his ending the season as runner-up in the Drivers’ Championship.
After two wins in Hockenheim (DE) and Budapest (HU), Marco Wittmann (DE) travels to Moscow leading the Drivers’ Championship with 58 points to his name. Although the recent race at the Norisring (DE) did not go to plan for BMW Motorsport, Wittmann did come home sixth to maintain his lead over his closest rivals. Like the other BMW drivers, he will also have less performance weight on board than he did recently in Nürnberg (DE). Martin Tomczyk (DE) has been handed a three-place grid penalty as a result of his collision with Gary Paffett (GB) at the Norisring.
In order to give the fans a taste of things to come ahead of the DTM race at the “Moscow Raceway”, a “City Race” event will once again be held in the centre of Moscow. Among those in action on Saturday will be BMW works driver Jens Klingmann (DE), who will put on a spectacular show at the wheel of the BMW M4 DTM just round the corner from Red Square. Qualifying will then begin at 18:40 local time. The race, which marks the end of the first half of the DTM season, starts at 15:30 local time on Sunday.
Jens Marquardt (BMW Motorsport Director): “After last year’s successful debut, we are really looking forward to returning to Moscow. This year’s longer version of the ‘Moscow Raceway’ ought to suit our BMW M4 DTM better than the Norisring did recently. We had one of our drivers on the podium last year, in the form of Augusto Farfus. Our goal now is to achieve a similar result, if not better. Unfortunately we did not live up to our own expectations at the Norisring. Despite a few problems, we were at least able to limit the damage done at the Norisring. Marco Wittmann continues to lead the Drivers’ Championship. We are confident we will have more drivers in the points in Moscow than we did at the last race.”
Bart Mampaey (Team Principal, BMW Team RBM): “We return to Moscow with fond memories. Augusto Farfus finished third there last year, which heralded a successful run, resulting in two wins and second place in the Drivers’ and Team Championships. Joey Hand also claimed one of his best DTM results there, coming home seventh.”
Charly Lamm (Team Principal, BMW Team Schnitzer): “Unfortunately we did not get the result we were hoping for at the Norisring. However, we all start from scratch again in Moscow – particularly as we will be faced with a different version of the circuit to the one we raced on in 2013. The longer circuit is far more varied and features some interesting combinations of corners. This characteristic should suit the strengths of the BMW M4 DTM more than the Norisring.”
Ernest Knoors (Team Principal, BMW Team MTEK): “It is hard to believe that the race in Moscow marks the end of the first half of the season. We have performed well in most of the races so far, but have not always been rewarded in terms of results. That shows we are still a young team and it is still a learning process for us. We did not pick up any points in Moscow last year. We are determined that will not be the case this time.”
Stefan Reinhold (Team Principal, BMW Team RMG): “We are happy we scored eight points through Marco Wittmann at the Norisring, despite the difficult conditions. Generally speaking, however, we were not satisfied with our team result. All the same, it is a positive that we head to Moscow with a 19-point lead in the Drivers’ Championship. We did not have any luck there last year, but the longer circuit and reduced performance weight in our cars make me confident we will put on a strong display again at the ‘Moscow Raceway’. However, we are certainly expecting a very challenging race weekend.”
Augusto Farfus (car number 3, BMW Team RBM): “I am really looking forward to Moscow, as I had a good result there last year. I like the circuit. We will have to be on top form to succeed on this year’s longer circuit. Hopefully we score some points again and pick up a podium.”
Joey Hand (car number 4, BMW Team RBM): “I really like this circuit, at which I enjoyed one of my best results last season. We were quick, particularly on the option tyres towards the end of the race. The most tiring thing about Moscow is travelling there. Once you are there, everything is spot on: the circuit, the fans, and a racetrack I would describe as ‘racy’.”
Bruno Spengler (car number 9, BMW Team Schnitzer): “I took a look at the longer circuit in Moscow when we were there last year, and wished we were driving on that one. And now we are. It will be great to see how it feels in the BMW Bank M4 DTM. Generally speaking, we have to improve in qualifying, in order to establish a good starting position for the race. If we do that, we can achieve a good result.”
Martin Tomczyk (car number 10, BMW Team Schnitzer): “We had a great event in Moscow last year, which was very well received by the fans. Therefore, I am looking forward to returning. We will all have to adapt to the new layout, but I am confident it will be another fascinating race. Unfortunately I have to live with a grid penalty of three places, but I am still determined to get the best possible result.”
Timo Glock (car number 17, BMW Team MTEK): “I am very much looking forward to the longer track. It looks as though it will be great fun and, with its corners, it ought to be far better suited to our car than the Norisring was. Hopefully we can shake off the misfortune we have suffered in recent races, and get back in the points.”
António Félix da Costa (car number 18, BMW Team MTEK): “After the rather disappointing result at the Norisring, it was important for me to clear my mind. I tried to forget about it and focus fully on the next race in Moscow. I know the ‘Moscow Raceway’ very well, having tested and raced there in the past. However, that was in single-seater cars. I am now returning as a DTM driver. The circuit should suit our cars, as it has a lot of corners.”
Marco Wittmann (car number 23, BMW Team RMG): “For me personally, my first trip to Moscow was a great experience last year, and I am looking forward to going back there. We struggled a bit on the shorter circuit in 2013, but I believe that we will have a lot more joy on the longer version. My goal is to defend my lead in the Drivers’ Championship.”
Maxime Martin (car number 24, BMW Team RMG): “This is a completely new circuit for me. I was there as a reserve driver last year, but never got behind the wheel. I think the long version of the circuit will be very interesting, as it has a good mixture of fast and slow corners.”