Successes in the BMW Z4 GTD and in the BMW Z4 GT3, secured first place for Markus Palttala.
A dream came true for BMW privateer Markus Palttala (FI): After the 2014 season had drawn to a close, the Finn took to the race track once again – in a BMW M4 DTM. This was Palttala's reward from BMW Motorsport for winning the drivers' standings of the 2014 BMW Sports Trophy. A total of 283 BMW privateers from 26 countries registered for this year's competition.
With successes in the BMW Z4 GTD in the United SportsCar Championship (USCC) and in the BMW Z4 GT3 in Europe, Palttala secured first place, for which he received 30,000 euros in prize money and got to drive the BMW M4 DTM. In Jerez de la Frontera, Spain, Palttala spent a day with BMW Motorsport's DTM team and climbed into the cockpit of the BMW M Performance Parts M4 DTM.
Three questions for … Markus Palttala
Markus, did you think you would be the top driver come the end of the BMW Sports Trophy season?
Markus Palttala: “After my successful season in both America and Europe, I initially had my sights set on a place in the top 25. I thought that was a realistic goal. I never even considered finishing right up at the top, or actually winning. That was a genuine surprise. I don’t know what means more to me: winning the BMW Sports Trophy or the fact that I was able to drive the BMW M4 DTM. Both were absolutely incredible.”
You could hardly hope for a better end to the season …
Palttala: “Yes, it has been a great year for me. However, the way it finished was obviously the icing on the cake. I won a few races in the USCC, but not the title. We finished runners-up at the 24-hour race in Spa-Francorchamps. That was awesome, but we still just missed out on the big victory. Therefore, winning the BMW Sports Trophy was a very nice compensation."
What did the BMW M4 DTM feel like?
Palttala: “I was obviously expecting great things before my drive. But the BMW M4 DTM exceeded all my expectations. The downforce is so much greater than in a GT car. You really notice it in the long, fast corners. The brakes are also better, although the difference here to a GT car is not so profound. What really blew my mind was the downforce.”