The seventh race weekend of the 2016 Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters season takes place this coming weekend in the Eiffel region, as the Nurburgring is the start of the final phase of the current campaign.
The 3.629-km circuit makes its 50th appearance in the series, but also has some welcome successes for BMW Motorsport, who are looking ahead to a memorable weekend at a happy hunting ground.
Current points leader Marco Wittmann and Maxime Martin have won at this particular venue over the past two seasons, with the former doing so on the way to securing his maiden title for the Munich manufacturer.
Wittmann currently leads chief rival Robert Wickens by 12 points ahead of the next two races, and is feeling rather confident ahead of the run towards taking another title, even with there being at least five drivers in the mix.
“The Nürburgring is always worth a visit – and that is true for drivers too. It is like a second home race for me, as BMW Team RMG has its headquarters nearby,” said the 25-year-old, with the win in 2014 being his last of that year.
“We have had very good results here up to now. I was able to win in 2014 and then Maxime did it in 2015. Especially after winning in Moscow, that is why I have a positive feeling about the race weekend at the Nürburgring.”
Many of the current drivers have also raced for BMW in the 24 Hours of Nurburgring, which includes Augusto Farfus, who won there back in 2010 in the M3 GT2. He’s also another driver that can not wait to get back to racing there.
“The Nürburgring is a special place in motorsport. Everything about it is really cool: the circuit, the place itself, the fans,” explained the 33-year-old, whose best finish in the DTM was second, back in 2013.
“I hope we have good weather – and hopefully we can also put on a good performance. Things have always gone well for me there.”
Along with BMW celebrating their centenary this year, Team Schnitzer’s Martin Tomczyk will be driving a M4 DTM with a special livery, instead of the BMW M Performance colours he has raced in since he switched to the Munich marque from Audi Sport in 2012.
“I always like coming to the Nürburgring. It is a great circuit and BMW has been able to celebrate a lot of wins there. The track is one of my favourite circuits, and I have reached the podium there a few times. So I am hoping to find some form again at this circuit,” stated the 34-year-old, who won there back in 2007 and 2009, and has still yet to end a winless drought that dates back to Brands Hatch in 2011.
“However the weekend goes: it will be a great weekend for BMW, as the brand is closely linked to the Nürburgring. I hope the fans like the anniversary design for my car as much as I do.”
Jens Marquardt’s outfit will have the lightest cars coming into the weekend, with 1115 kilos for each of the eight BMW M4 DTMs, whilst Audi’s ranks lose five kilos of performance ballast after the action at Moscow.
Mercedes-AMG DTM will sport the heaviest cars on the grid once again at 1127.5 kilos, a further ten heavier than their Ingolstadt rivals, as the action starts at the Nürburging, with the first free practice session taking place on Friday, at 17:00 CEST (BST + 1).