All eight BMW drivers were in action over the course of the three-day test at the “Circuito do Estoril” (PT) from Wednesday to Friday, where they continued to work on the set-up of the BMW M4 DTM and to prepare for the new race format introduced for the 2015 DTM season.
The weather conditions played a major role at the 4.182-kilometre circuit: some strong gusts hindered testing, particularly on day one. Isolated showers also affected the programme for the four BMW DTM teams on Thursday. Despite this, it was still possible to gain valuable information with regard to the new season.
The best time of all the BMW drivers was set on Friday by António Félix da Costa (PT): the BMW Team Schnitzer driver completed his lap of the iconic Portuguese racetrack in a time of 1:32.852 minutes. The fastest man overall in Estoril was Audi’s Nico Müller (CH) who clocked a time of 1:32.443 minutes.
The final test before the DTM kicks off on 2nd/3rd May will take place in Germany: from 14th to 16th April the eight BMW drivers and their rivals will take to the track at the Motorsport Arena Oschersleben” (DE).
Quotes from the BMW DTM drivers after testing in Estoril:
Marco Wittmann: “Although it is a challenge to achieve meaningful results in such fluctuating conditions, we got through an extensive programme and will take a lot away with us. The new itinerary for race weekends played a key role. We tried out a lot of things in this regard.”
Maxime Martin: “The wind made it very difficult on the first day. Conditions like that do not make life easy. Friday was then more pleasant. Despite this, we still had a productive test. We were able to try out a lot of different things. I am already looking forward to the next tests in Oschersleben – and the start of the season in May, of course.”
Martin Tomczyk: “The wind hampered us a bit at first, because we simply did not have consistent conditions. That does not exactly help when you are testing. The wind was better on Thursday, but then it started to rain a bit. You would expect different conditions in Portugal, but that is life. We still took some steps in the right direction. We will build on that in Oschersleben.”
António Félix da Costa: “I really enjoyed myself at my home circuit in Estoril. I am proud that the DTM selected this track for the test. We found the answers to some open issues over the course of the Friday – and that is always good. The cooperation with BMW Team Schnitzer is going very well. Everyone in my new team has made me feel very welcome.”
Augusto Farfus: “It really was not easy with that wind, but the conditions were the same for everyone. I had not spent a great deal of time at the wheel of my DTM car, so the test was great fun. We made progress, but still have a lot of work ahead of us before the start of the season. The conclusion after Estoril is definitely a positive one: we completed every point on our list of things to test.”
Tom Blomqvist: “The balance of our car was still not ideal on Friday evening, but we were able to improve that over the course of the day. It was a new track to me, but I soon found my feet. Generally speaking, it was helpful for me to have to wait to drive in the sunshine on the final day of testing. However, the wind picked up again in the afternoon.”
Bruno Spengler: “The conditions were obviously not perfect, but, on the whole, they were still positive days for us. During this phase, the lap times are not decisive. There are no points up for grabs until Hockenheim. The key now is to complete your programme and learn as much as possible. We managed to do that, despite the challenging conditions in Estoril.”
Timo Glock: “That was my first time here in Estoril – and I like the circuit. It is definitely special. We struggled a bit at first on Friday, but then we improved steadily. We have taken another step towards the start of the season.”