Ready for Eau Rouge: BMW DTM Teams looking forward to the start of the 2020 season at Spa-Francorchamps.

BMW:Ready for Eau Rouge: BMW DTM Teams looking forward to the start of the 2020 season at Spa-Francorchamps.

Munich. Anticipation is rising among the BMW DTM teams as this
weekend (1st/2nd August), after months of
waiting, they will finally get the 2020 DTM season underway. The
venue for the season-opener is the iconic Spa-Francorchamps (BEL) in
the Ardennes.  BMW Team RMG and BMW Team RBM will field six BMW M4
DTMs between them. At the wheel will be Marco Wittmann (GER), Timo
Glock (GER), Philipp Eng (AUT), Sheldon van der Linde (RSA), and the
newcomers in the BMW DTM squad, Lucas Auer (AUT) and Jonathan
Aberdein (RSA).

 

Spa-Francorchamps hosts the opening round of a compact calendar, with
a total of nine events spread over just three months. The other venues
are the Lausitzring (GER / double-header), Assen (NED), the
Nürburgring (GER / double-header), Zolder (BEL / double-header) and
Hockenheim (GER).

While the BMW DTM works drivers are familiar with the Ardennes
rollercoaster that is Spa-Francorchamps from racing in other series,
it is new territory for the BMW M4 DTM. The Belgian circuit last
hosted a DTM race in 2005. An additional challenge is the schedule for
the opening weekend. The two-day event kicks off on Saturday morning
with free practice, before the first qualifying of the year gets
underway at 10:55 local time. Race one starts at 13:33 on Saturday.
Sunday features the second qualifying session at 10:45 and race two at
13:33. BMW M Motorsport was able to gain initial data for its set-up
work with the BMW M4 DTM during a one-day test at the start of July.

Spa-Francorchamps is closely associated with the history of BMW in
motorsport. With 24 victories to its name, BMW is the record winner of
the famous 24-hour race at the Belgian circuit. The opening event is
also more than just the first home race of the season for BMW Team
RBM, which is based in Mechelen (BEL). Since the 1970s, the circuit
has been the scene of great success for team principal Bart Mampaey
and his family in the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, as well as in the
FIA European Touring Car Championship and the FIA World Touring Car Championship.

Quotes ahead of the season-opener at Spa-Francorchamps.

Jens Marquardt (BMW Group Motorsport Director): “We
have waited a long time, but we can now finally get the 2020 DTM
started at Spa-Francorchamps. We would like to thank Gerhard Berger
and the ITR for their tireless efforts in these difficult times. The
events will be different to what we are used to, but the health and
safety of all involved continues to take top priority for us all. The
iconic circuit at Spa-Francorchamps is a worthy setting for the
opening round of the 2020 season. It has played a major role in the
history of BMW Motorsport, and we have enjoyed great success there in
the past. It is fantastic that we will now get to see the BMW M4 DTM
in world-famous corners like Eau Rouge and Blanchimont. We have
prepared as well as possible for the new season, given the options
that have been available to us in recent months. We have made further
improvements to the BMW M4 DTM, in order to convert its potential into
good race results. With four proven drivers and two strong newcomers,
we are also excellently positioned in terms of our driver line-up.”

Bart Mampaey (Team Principal BMW Team RBM): “The
season-opener at Spa-Francorchamps is very special, for several
reasons. On one hand, because we can finally go racing again after the
long break. On the other hand, because my family, I and the team have
had a very close association with this iconic circuit for decades. It
is fantastic to be able to add a DTM chapter to our Spa-Francorchamps
story. We gained our first impressions at the test at the start of
July, and it was spectacular to see the BMW M4 DTM hurtling through
Eau Rouge at full speed. I think we will witness some fantastic racing
with the powerful DTM cars and their mighty downforce on this fast and
flowing ‘rollercoaster’ of a track. Starting with a two-day event will
be a challenge, but we have done everything we can to ensure we are as
well prepared as possible going into the first races and the compact season.”

Stefan Reinhold (Team Principal BMW Team RMG): “The
whole team cannot wait for the start of the season. We are racers and
are looking forward to battling for success on the racetrack again.
2020 is obviously going to be tough, especially with the races coming
so thick and fast, but we have prepared for it and are looking forward
to the challenge. It is great that the DTM is returning to
Spa-Francorchamps after 15 years. It is a fantastic circuit with a
unique character. We are excited about getting out on the track with
the BMW M4 DTM. On the race weekend itself, the one free practice on
the Saturday morning does not give us much time to do our final
preparations for qualifying and the race. However, we are ready for
that. For the past few months, we have been working towards that
moment when the start lights go out for the first time this year. We
can hardly wait to get started on Saturday.”

Marco Wittmann (#11 Schaeffler BMW M4 DTM, BMW Team
RMG):
“I am obviously very excited to finally go racing again
after the long wait caused by the coronavirus. I think it is
definitely going to be a great start to the season. Spa-Francorchamps
is a unique and very special racetrack. Furthermore, it is the first
time that any of us will have driven there with the DTM. I am looking
forward to it, although I am obviously a bit sad that we will not have
any fans there to support us. I hope that many of them will be
watching on television and will have their fingers crossed for us. I
will try to put on a really good show for the viewers and am hoping
for a successful start to the season at Spa.”

Timo Glock (#16 iQOO BMW M4 DTM, BMW Team RMG):
“After the break for coronavirus, I am delighted that we can finally
get back to doing what we all enjoy – racing. It is obviously a shame
that it must be behind closed doors, but I am still particularly
looking forward to Spa. Driving a DTM car at Spa is going to be a
highlight and I am very intrigued to see how the first race weekend
plays out. The goal is relatively simple: to do as well as possible in
both races. I hope we can challenge for the podium.”

Lucas Auer (#22 BMW Bank M4 DTM, BMW Team RMG / team
championship BMW Team RMR):
“There is great anticipation
about getting the season underway – particularly at Spa-Francorchamps.
It is going to be one of the highlights of the year. The Spa track is
very special, with its changes in elevation and high-speed corners. A
fast lap there is fantastic, particularly on fresh tyres, and I am
really looking forward to it. As far as my goal for the first races is
concerned, I think the most important thing for me at first will be to
find my rhythm in the DTM again and to work well with the team. We saw
and learned a lot during the official test at the Nürburgring, and we
will now put that into practice at Spa.”

Philipp Eng (#25 ZF BMW M4 DTM, BMW Team RBM): “I am
really happy that we can go racing again. I am also very much looking
forward to seeing my team again and to getting back behind the wheel
of the BMW M4 DTM. And all this will happen at Spa – which is a
fantastic highlight. I have very fond memories of Spa with my two
victories in the 24-hour race with the BMW M6 GT3. And of course I
hope that I can maintain my victory and success rate.”

Jonathan Aberdein (#27 CATL BMW M4 DTM, BMW Team RBM / team
championship BMW Team RMR):
“I am very much looking forward
to going back racing as it has been so many months now since our last
DTM race so I think it’s quite overdue. I am also excited to see the
development that we have achieved with the BMW M4 DTM. The guys have
been working really, really hard over the winter and the pre-season
tests and I think that it will be a very good season in that we will
be very competitive. So we all have high expectations and high hopes
going into the season and are excited to see where we are.”

Sheldon van der Linde (#31 Shell BMW M4 DTM, BMW Team
RBM):
“I am really looking forward to my first DTM races in
nine or ten months as the last time was Hockenheim last year. It has
been a long time but I think it is like cycling; you’ll be back in
your rhythm soon. Spa-Francorchamps is an amazing track. It is one of
my personal top-three circuits I have driven on so I am really looking
forward to that. I think that we will have a lot of overtaking
opportunities at Spa with the long straights and the DRS activations
so that will definitively bring some close racing. I think it is still
important to qualify well because you really need to run with the guys
upfront if you want to have a good result at the end. I think we have
a really strong car, we have made a lot of progress over the winter
and we had a very good test with Augusto Farfus at Spa earlier this
month so we are optimistic for a good result.”

Note to editors.

 

In the 2020 DTM season, our drivers will be available to talk to by
means of virtual interviews during race weekends. If you are
interested in a virtual interview, please send us an E-mail,
specifying your medium, at: weddige@bs-plus.de

We will then send your access data separately.

 

Original Press Release