Three questions for... Dirk Werner
One week after finishing runner-up at the 24 Hours of Daytona (US), BMW works driver Dirk Werner (DE) visited Munich (DE) to give a lecture at the Technical University (TU). His outing as a guest speaker came as part of the “Motor Racing Technology” series of lectures.
Werner addressed about 100 automotive engineering students for 90 minutes on the subject of “Racing from the driver’s perspective”. Werner gave his captive audience fascinating insights into the demands placed on today’s professional racing drivers.
He touched on such issues as physical and mental preparations, technical understanding, and the cooperation with BMW Motorsport engineers.
Dirk, how did your guest appearance as a lecturer at the Technical University of Munich come about, and how did you enjoy this role?
Dirk Werner: “I was approached by BMW engineers who had already spoken at the TU as part of this series of lectures. They were looking for a driver to talk about motorsport from his perspective. That was a subject that interested me, so I was keen to give the lecture. I have done this twice now and received very positive feedback from extremely demanding students. After all, nobody but a driver himself can give a subjective impression of what goes on in the cockpit.”
Now that you have had a little time to digest it, What are your thoughts on that dramatic finish at the 24 Hours of Daytona, when you narrowly missed out on victory by just 0.478 seconds?
Werner: “It is crazy to think that, at the end of a 24-hour race, we came home just a few tenths of a second behind the winning car. The sprint towards the finish over the final few laps was very exciting. There was still everything to play for after the final yellow phase, and we had a chance of winning. I don’t think I could have overtaken the Corvette under my own steam, but the man in front could have made a mistake at any time. At any rate, I put him under as much pressure as possible. In the end he did not make any mistakes, but second place was still a great result for me and the team.”
Does the performance in Daytona leave you optimistic about the rest of the season?
Werner: “Definitely. Although we finished in the same position, we were far closer to the top of our class than last year, in terms of both the lap times and top speed. When you consider that, of all the circuits on the USCC race calendar, Daytona is actually the least suited to the strengths of the BMW Z4 GTLM, I am confident that we will be in contention for some victories this year.”