Photo: BMW Motorsport

BMW complete successful Class One test at Estoril

Audi and BMW both spent three days at the Portuguese Estoril circuit for the first complete test with the new Class One cars, which are to be used in the DTM from the 2019 season. The Bavarian manufacturer was on track with Marco Wittmann and Bruno Spengler alternating at the wheel of the next generation BMW M4 DTM during the test.

Class One regulations harmonise the cars’ design, increasing the number of standard components in order to contain costs. But the newest element of the regulations is the new four-cylinder two-litre turbo engine, with a power output of over 600bhp, making the newly developed unit a lot more efficient than its predecessor.

Spengler was the first to drive the new M4 DTM: “The initial test days with the new BMW M4 DTM with a turbo engine were so much fun.

“It is also very interesting for us as drivers to be involved in the development of a new DTM racing car,” added the Canadian. “I have been driving DTM cars with V8 engines for 14 years, and this was the first time that I’ve been on the racetrack with a four-cylinder turbo engine. This is totally new to me and is so much fun. The car feels great and I am looking forward to the next tests.”

“The car feels really cool when you’re driving it and it is so much fun,” said 2014 and 2016 champion Wittmann.

“You really can feel the performance and the torque of the new engine and the modified aerodynamics mean that the car behaves differently. I’m overwhelmingly positive after the initial test and I think that the fans really have something to look forward to.”

Wittmann also thinks the new regulations will create a more attractive competition for the DTM fans: “From the outside you can clearly tell that the cars are much faster than last year. This will definitely make for more of a spectacle. And I can reassure the fans: the sound remains as great as ever. Personally, I prefer it to the previous engines. It sounds a little different, but it is neither quiet nor bad. I like it and I think that the fans will as well. The changes to the cars for 2019 are definitely positive.”

The next track tests for the new DTM cars will take place at the Spanish Jerez circuit on the 10th and 11th of December.