27.4.2015 Munich (DE). Much will be new when BMW Motorsport kicks off the 2015 DTM season in Hockenheim (DE) this weekend.
For the first time for 15 years, each event in the popular touring car series will feature two races with the same number of points up for grabs on Saturday (40 minutes) and Sunday (60 minutes). In total, 18 races await the BMW drivers and teams over the course of nine weekends.
Like last year, the 2015 grid will include eight BMW M4 DTMs, fielded by the experienced BMW teams RMG, Schnitzer, RBM and MTEK. As defending champion, Marco Wittmann (DE) competes in Saturday’s first race of the season with the coveted number 1 on his Ice-Watch BMW M4 DTM. The BMW Team RMG driver will once again go in search of top results alongside Maxime Martin (BE), Martin Tomczyk (DE), António Félix da Costa (PT), Augusto Farfus (BR), Bruno Spengler (CA) and Timo Glock (DE). New to the driver line-up is Tom Blomqvist (GB) who joins BMW Team RBM for his rookie DTM season.
As well as the race format, further changes have been made to the regulations: as of 2015 there will be just one tyre compound. The two 20-minute qualifying sessions on Saturday and Sunday, and the races themselves, will be held on standard tyres. Each driver has four sets of dry tyres at their disposal. The number of opportunities to use the Drag Reduction System (DRS) has also been increased: the system may now be used three times per lap, provided a driver is less than one second behind the car in front when he crosses the start/finish line. At the push of a button, the driver may then lower the rear wing by 18 degrees, rather than the previous 16 degrees, in order to make overtaking easier.
Quotes ahead of the first race weekend of 2015 in Hockenheim.
Jens Marquardt (BMW Motorsport Director):
“We cannot wait for the start of the DTM season. We have worked very hard over the past few months to make our overall package of drivers, teams and the BMW M4 DTM even stronger for 2015. That is absolutely essential, as you can never afford to rest on your laurels in this fiercely-competitive series. We have won six of nine possible titles since our comeback in 2012. The goal is to add to our successful record this season. We have no fewer than 18 opportunities to do just that in 2015. It will be exciting for everyone involved – including the fans, of course – to see how the DTM weekend in Hockenheim pans out. The new two-race format promises even more action. Our drivers and teams can hardly wait for the first showdown on this iconic circuit.”
Stefan Reinhold (Team Principal, BMW Team RMG):
“After the great year we had in 2014, we are obviously highly motivated for the new DTM season. I am very much looking forward to the new race format, which will produce a lot of action for the fans. It will definitely be interesting for us teams too. We are well prepared and go into the new season full of positive energy.”
Charly Lamm (Team Principal, BMW Team Schnitzer):
“There is huge excitement about the new season. That goes for everyone in the team and, obviously, for our drivers. Martin Tomczyk brings a wealth of experience and consistency to our team. He has been around a long time, and nothing the DTM throws up can surprise him anymore. We are joined this year by António Félix da Costa, who slotted into the team very well during the pre-season preparations. We are very optimistic and looking forward to the new DTM season.”
Bart Mampaey (Team Principal, BMW Team RBM):
“The weekends will be pretty packed this year, and all the teams are entering uncharted waters with the new format. It will undoubtedly be awesome for the fans. We worked flat-out during the pre-season preparations – and will do the same in Hockenheim. I am very excited to see what the first race weekend will have in store for us.”
Ernest Knoors (Team Principal, BMW Team MTEK):
“There is always great excitement ahead of the start of a new season. You obviously look forward to getting back onto the track under competitive conditions. And the new format of the weekends poses a new challenge for our team and drivers. We are delighted to get going again. The preparation may have been a bit short, but everything went well.”
Marco Wittmann (car number 1, BMW Team RMG):
“There is obviously a lot of anticipation ahead of Hockenheim, as it has been a long winter break. On the whole, the tests have been positive and I think we have had a good preparation. We obviously now want to convert this into good results on the opening race weekend. Despite this, you can never be 100 per cent sure how you compare to the opposition until the first race. The season-opener will definitely be a spectacle for the fans. And it goes without saying that I would love to follow on from last season’s success in Hockenheim, given the opportunity.”
Maxime Martin (car number 36, BMW Team RMG):
“I am really looking forward to the first weekend with the new DTM format. After a long break, it is always fantastic when the season gets underway again. Nobody knows exactly what will happen in Hockenheim. That obviously makes the first weekend incredibly exciting. We had good tests and are now ready to take on the opposition.”
Martin Tomczyk (car number 77, BMW Team Schnitzer):
“It is a great feeling to be starting a new season again – as it is every year. And it is always nice to come to the Hockenheimring for the first weekend. Everyone is excited to find out what the balance of power is and what effect the new race format will have. There are a number of new features, and I hope these establish themselves well and that the spectators enjoy the racing action.”
António Félix da Costa (car number 13, BMW Team Schnitzer):
“It has been a really long break since the last race in Hockenheim back in 2014. This is the start of another new chapter for me. BMW Team Schnitzer is my new team – and I am optimistic we will work fantastically together. It is very difficult to make any predictions, but I will be doing my very best.”
Augusto Farfus (car number 18, BMW Team RBM):
“The winter break in the DTM was a really long one. For this reason, I am really looking forward to finally getting back down to business. We have a new format, with two races per weekend. That is not only great for the fans, but also for us drivers. Hockenheim is a track I really like. Therefore, I can hardly wait to compete there, see all the people, and get back into the racing mode.”
Tom Blomqvist (car number 31, BMW Team RBM):
“I have fond memories of Hockenheim. To that end, I am obviously determined to do well here on my first DTM race weekend too. Hockenheim is fantastic, with a lot of fans and a great atmosphere. I gained a lot of new experience during pre-season preparations, and my team has welcomed me into the fold superbly. And I will learn a lot on my first race weekend. I am really looking forward to it.”
Bruno Spengler (car number 7, BMW Team MTEK):
“We are finally back racing. I am already feeling a little more nervous. You really look forward to the atmosphere in Hockenheim, the fans and the action. The butterflies in your stomach, which you missed so much during the winter, are back. I am very motivated. Every year the opening race in Hockenheim feels as though it were my very first race in the DTM.”
Timo Glock (car number 16, BMW Team MTEK):
“We have an exciting season ahead of us, with far more races – and we are all looking forward to it. It is always difficult to judge how good the opposition is. However, they are making a good impression, as usual. Therefore, it will certainly be an exciting season, in which the races will be very, very close.”
Length: 4.574 km
2014 winner: Marco Wittmann, BMW (Hockenheim I)
Mattias Ekström, Audi (Hockenheim II)
2014 pole: 1:32.272 minutes (Adrien Tambay, Audi, Hockenheim I)
1:33.316 minutes (Miguel Molina, Audi, Hockenheim II)
Top BMW in 2014: Marco Wittmann, 1st (Hockenheim I)
Marco Wittmann, 5th (Hockenheim II)
DTM debut: 1984
BMW wins: 14
BMW pole positions: 6
BMW fastest laps: 17
BMW podiums: 34
Statistics for the BMW DTM drivers.
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