With less than three months remaining until the start of the DTM season in Hockenheim (DE), BMW Motorsport and the four teams have now completed their driver line-ups. Having announced the signing of Tom Blomqvist (GB) as the eighth driver at the start of the week, the drivers have now been assigned to the individual teams. In keeping with the motto “never change a winning team”, last year’s championship winning team will field the same pair of drivers on the nine race weekends that make up the 2015 season: reigning DTM champion Marco Wittmann (DE) and Maxime Martin (BE), who was “Rookie of the Year” in 2014, will once again compete for BMW Team RMG and team principal Stefan Reinhold (DE). Changes have been made behind the wheel in the remaining three teams. 2011 champion Martin Tomczyk (DE) will race for BMW Team Schnitzer in his 15th season in the DTM. His new team-mate at the successful outfit from Freilassing (DE) is António Félix da Costa (PT), who made his debut in the DTM last year. This year’s DTM rookie Blomqvist will contest his first season with BMW Team RBM. He will race alongside an experienced BMW works driver in Augusto Farfus (BR), who has won four DTM races since 2012. After three years with BMW Team Schnitzer, 2012 DTM champion Bruno Spengler (CA) will now fly the flag for BMW Team MTEK. He joins new team-mate Timo Glock (DE), who enters his third year with BMW Team MTEK.
“We go into the new season with a very strong driver/team line-up,” said BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt. “This is the best line-up we could wish for. In total, our eight drivers have racked up 334 races and 31 victories in the DTM. We have a good mix of young and experienced drivers, who are all capable of making their mark on the series. At the end of every season we analyse whether and how we can make any minor changes to tease a little more out of the overall set-up. We remain true to our philosophy that we can only enjoy long-term success in the DTM with four teams of equal strength. We have had positive experiences with this approach in the past. We are confident that we have found the ideal line-up for the 2015 season, in which we will face a number of new challenges with the new format of the race weekends.”
BMW Team RMG team principal Reinhold is looking forward to another year with the successful pairing of Wittmann and Martin. “The expression ‘never change a winning team’ definitely applies in motorsport,” he said. “For this reason, I and all the mechanics and engineers in the team are very pleased to be lining up for the 2015 DTM season with the same drivers, with whom we enjoyed such great success last year. The atmosphere in the team is fantastic. The wins and titles have bonded us together and we have become a real unit. As such, we are all the more delighted to be able to continue with the same line-up. We learned a lot as a team in 2014 and won five races with Marco and Maxime. We worked hard to improve during the break from the DTM. We now want to put the improvements into practice on the track in the new season. Our work has been focussed on our main goal, which is to be successful again in 2015 – something we are well aware will be far from easy in the extremely competitive DTM.”
“We have a fascinating and very promising mix of drivers for 2015, with Martin’s experience and António’s youthful exuberance,” said team principal Charly Lamm, commenting on the new line-up at BMW Team Schnitzer. “We enjoyed great success with Bruno Spengler, especially winning the title on our DTM comeback in 2012. We will now be going all out to challenge at the front of the 2015 DTM field with the new driver line-up.” Team principal Bart Mampaey (BE) of BMW Team RBM is also looking forward to the first race of the year: “Augusto Farfus has gained a lot of experience in the DTM over the past three years, and has shown that he is capable of winning races and putting himself in contention for the title. In Tom Blomqvist, we welcome on board a fast young driver, who has everything he needs to find his feet quickly in the DTM. I am very much looking forward to working with these two drivers in 2015.”
Ernest Knoors (NL) is confident that BMW Team MTEK will take another step forward in its third year in the DTM. “In Bruno and Timo we have two very good drivers in our ranks,” said the team principal. “As 2012 champion, and with his vast wealth of experience, Bruno is an institution in this series. And he also sets the bar extremely high when it comes to speed. Timo also knows how it feels to stand on the very top step of the podium, and is now very familiar with the DTM. I have great faith in both of them.”
The 2015 DTM season gets underway on 2nd May 2015 with the first of 18 races. For the first time since 2000, two races will be held each weekend this year.