BMW Motorsport continued the development of the new BMW M4 DTM for the 2017 season with a three-day test in Portimão in the south of Portugal. The technical regulations require a number of significant changes to be made, including to the car’s aerodynamics.
BMW Motorsport used the test to evaluate the new racing car and its parts, and to gather valuable data. They were treated to fine weather conditions, with sun and springtime temperatures. All three manufacturers represented in the DTM were in attendance in Portugal, each taking to the track with one car. BMW Team RMG, with reigning champion Marco Wittmann (GER) and his new team-mate Augusto Farfus (BRA), were in action for BMW Motorsport. Wittmann said: “We are very happy with the test. It was very interesting to take to the track with the new BMW M4 DTM for the first time. Our findings will be very important for the development work ahead. It is always fun to drive a car for the first time in the development phase, and to discover what effect any innovations may have on the track. I think the greater power and new tyres will make for more action and exciting races,” said Wittmann. BMW Motorsport will continue its pre-season preparations with another test in Vallelunga (ITA) from 14th to 16th March.
Three questions for… Augusto Farfus.
Augusto, it was your first DTM test with the new BMW M4 DTM and the new team. How do you feel it went?
Augusto Farfus: “It was an honour for me to be the first to drive the new BMW M4 DTM. The car feels good and has great potential, but we still have a lot of set-up work ahead of us between now and the start of the season. It was important to use these days to get to know both the new car and my new team.”
How did you spend the winter break?
Farfus: “There was a lot going on. For the first time in my life, I spent Christmas and New Year with just my wife and daughter and was not in Brazil. We flew to Dubai together for the festive period. I also spent a lot of time in the USA. I was in Daytona twice, first for the test and then for the 24-hour race. I then headed to Palm Springs for the launch of the BMW M760Li xDrive. So, I had plenty to do and it was not actually a very long winter break.”
You are part of the strong BMW Motorsport contingent at the Nürburgring 24 Hours again in 2017…
Farfus: “That is definitely a highlight. Our contingent is even stronger than it has been in recent years. We saw last year that the Nordschleife really suits the BMW M6 GT3. Unfortunately, technical issues prevented us from challenging for the win. We want to change that this time around.”
Australian GT Championship: New drivers for BMW Team SRM.
BMW Team SRM lines up with a new driver pairing in this season’s Australian GT Championship. Team principal Steve Richards (NZL) will share the BMW M6 GT3 cockpit with James Bergmüller (AUS). The duo will contest all the rounds of the Australian GT Championship and the Australian Endurance Championship. The first races will take place as part of the “Clipsal 500” in Adelaide (AUS) from 3rd to 5th March. Bergmüller was impressed after his first test drives in the BMW M6 GT3: “The car has such an incredible amount of power and grip. It feels like a spaceship. It is like nothing I have ever driven before and exceeds all my expectations. You can feel all the development work that has gone into the car, and you understand immediately why it won last year’s 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps.”