Fascinating facts and reactions from the DTM at Misano.
• BTCC: Brilliant weekend for West Surrey Racing and the BMW 125i M Sport in Knockhill.
• Philipp Eng on the DTM Misano night races: “I’d be happy to have more races like this on the calendar.”
• Facts and figures about Alex Zanardi’s guest drive: 1,186 braking processes in 69 laps on Saturday.
Whether in the DTM, the FIA World Endurance Championship, the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, or countless other championships: Week after week BMW teams and drivers around the world do battle for points, victories and titles. Away from the track too, members of the large BMW Motorsport family around the world are also creating headlines. The “BMW Motorsport News” allows us to regularly summarise all the action for you in a compact and informative manner. This way, you are always up to speed.
BTCC: Jordan wins in Knockhill – two podiums for Turkington.
West Surrey Racing experienced a brilliant BTCC weekend with the BMW 125i M Sport at Knockhill (GBR). While Andrew Jordan (GBR) celebrated victory in the second race on Sunday and third place in the third race, Colin Turkington (GBR) recorded two second-place finishes to reach the rostrum twice and extend his lead in the overall standings. Jordan and Turkington both gave strong performances and benefited from the second-race disqualification, due to rule infringements, of both of their closest rivals, Andrew Sutton and Tom Ingram (both GBR) who had finished in first and second places. After their exclusion, Jordan moved up from third to first position. Turkington, second in races one and three, then scored important points in fourth place in the second race, enabling him to move further ahead of his direct challengers Ingram and Sutton in the overall standings. There are two race weekends remaining in the 2018 BTCC season.
DTM: First night race in the history of the DTM at Misano.
The first night race in the history of the DTM took place at Misano (ITA) on Saturday. Driving the BMW M4 DTM in the dark was uncharted territory for all the drivers. Philipp Eng (AUT) put on a spectacular attacking performance in his SAMSUNG BMW M4 DTM, led the race for a short time and finished in the points. In the interview, he talks about his impressions of the night race and the impressive guest appearance by Alessandro Zanardi (ITA).
3 questions for … Philipp Eng.
Mr. Eng, the first night races in the history of the DTM: what do you think so far?
Philipp Eng: “All in all, I think this is an excellent weekend. I’d be happy to have more races like this on the calendar. I was on the beach every morning, drinking cappuccino and eating piadina – it hardly gets better than that” he laughed. “No, but seriously, I would like to see more night races in the DTM. I think it would work well at the Norisring. That would be a great spectacle. I think that my experience of endurance racing is very helpful for me this weekend. I competed in the 24-hour race at Spa just three weeks ago. But of course your eyes need a lap or two to get used to the light conditions. After that, it’s pretty normal. It always seems a bit different at night, compared to daytime driving. It is really cool to see the sparks flying when you drive over the kerbs. Those are really spectacular sights, for drivers as well as for spectators.”
Starting from 18th and then spending some time in the lead: how was that possible?
Eng: “Starting on wet-weather tyres was definitely the right decision. We got our timing absolutely perfect for the pit stop. I then had a few good laps. I was just behind Timo and thought that things were looking pretty good for me. My pace was sensational while I was in the leading group. My car did get a little bump from Edoardo Mortara when things got a bit tight. It was normal racing but didn’t really help us. There was more contact once or twice during the rest of the race, which didn’t do much for the performance. Nonetheless, it was cool to lead the race for a while. Luck did come into it a bit, but we also had the right strategy and great pace. Now I hope that we don’t have to wait too long for the first win. I would like a better result in qualifying for the next race. That was just no good yesterday. Starting so far back just makes everything unnecessarily difficult.”
The field includes a very special guest driver this weekend, in the shape of Alessandro Zanardi. How do you rate his performance so far?
Eng: “Alex is doing a very good job. You really have to admire his level of performance, especially driving in the DTM with carbon brakes and no ABS in the rain. Controlling the braking with just his right arm requires the very best coordination. It is difficult enough to do that with a sound left foot. It is phenomenal that he can manage it. I have driven the BMW M6 GT3 with the handbrake once, but then I had ABS and steel brakes so it wasn’t anywhere near as difficult. I paid him a visit before the start. After my result in qualifying, standing next to Alex Zanardi was the only bright spot.”
Zanardi’s DTM guest drive so far: braking 1,186 times, 58.6 tonnes of brake pressure.
BMW works driver Alessandro Zanardi (ITA) has successfully completed the first race day of his DTM guest appearance in Misano (ITA). This is the first time that the Italian double-amputee is behind the wheel of a race car without his artificial legs, controlling it entirely by the power of his arms. BMW engineers have developed a special brake lever in the BMW M4 DTM, which allows him to brake by moving his arm forwards. A look at the data shows just how impressive Zanardi’s performance in the cockpit is. Zanardi has now completed four sessions in the BMW M4 DTM: two free practice sessions, qualifying and then the race. In total, Zanardi has driven 69 laps, or 302 kilometres, on the “Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli”. He has completed no fewer than 1,186 brake actions – applying 61.5 kilogrammes of pressure on the brake lever each time. That represents a total physical strain of 58,598 kilogrammes, or 58.6 tonnes, which Zanardi has applied for braking. “When my engineer showed me the figures, I could hardly believe it,” said Zanardi. He emphasises that driving with the new handbrake system is much less physically demanding than the previous system, which he controlled using his artificial legs and the brake pedal: “It wasn’t too strenuous for me. From a physical point of view, this was one of the easiest races I have had in my career.” Zanardi finished his DTM debut race in 13th place – despite adverse conditions on a wet and slippery racetrack, he confidently drove his BMW M4 DTM around the circuit using just his arms.