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BMW DTM drivers hone their fitness in Italy.

Tracksuits instead of racing overalls: this week saw the eight BMW DTM drivers undergo an intensive training schedule in Viareggio (IT), where they attended a four-day fitness camp from Tuesday to Friday.

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Viareggio (IT), 26th March 2016. Tracksuits instead of racing overalls: this week saw the eight BMW DTM drivers undergo an intensive training schedule in Viareggio (IT), where they attended a four-day fitness camp from Tuesday to Friday. Team doctor Riccardo Ceccarelli (IT) and his Formula Medicine team had drawn up an extensive and varied exercise schedule, in order to ensure the drivers are perfectly prepared for the coming DTM season. 


The focus was on both fitness and mental training in equal measures. Among other things, newly-developed, computer-assisted exercises were used to simulate the specific demands encountered over the course of a race weekend – from the first practice to the end of the second race. Mental strength, speed of reactions and concentration were put to the test. Special circuit training and workouts on various pieces of equipment helped the BMW drivers perfect their physical fitness. Numerous outdoor activities, such as CrossFit, running on the beach, cycling, beach soccer and martial arts training completed the programme.


The 2016 DTM season begins with the opening races on 7th and 8th May at the Hockenheimring (DE). Before then, a four-day ITR test is scheduled for 5th to 8th April in Hockenheim. It is here that the BMW M4 DTM will undergo its final preparations for the opening round of the season – just as the drivers completed theirs in Viareggio.


Quotes from the fitness camp in Viareggio.


Marco Wittmann:
“It is fun to go on such an intense fitness week with the others. We had a full programme, with endurance, power and mental training, which really put us through our paces. It was very interesting to learn new training methods, such as boxercise. You can easily incorporate that into your fitness routine at home. The sessions with mental and reaction training are always good. As a racing driver, you not only need stamina and power, but mental skills are also essential. That can make all the difference out on the track.”


Timo Glock:
“We all stick to a comprehensive fitness routine at home, but it is always a bit special to spend a few days training together. It is interesting to learn new things, which you can then try out at home and integrate in your everyday training. Above all, however, it was fun to train so hard as a team – whether weight training, outdoor activities or mental tests, which really put your reactions and concentration to the test.”


Bruno Spengler:
“A training week together with the team is always important in preparation for the new season. Dr. Ceccarelli and his team always come up with something new. This year it was mental and reaction exercises, in which we went head to head in teams of four. That was great fun – as was the boxercise. I have never done anything like that before. We were flat-out for an hour – and our muscles were still aching the following day. All in all, it was great to spend a week together before the start of the season. We don’t often have the opportunity to train as a group, as we are all on the road a lot. Because of this, it was very important for us as a team.”


Augusto Farfus:
“The fitness camp was excellent, as it gave us the opportunity to train as a team. All eight of us were together, and without the pressure we are under on a race weekend. Training is more fun together, and we dined and relaxed together in the evenings. It goes without saying that there was always a competitive edge: whether in the mental test, playing table tennis, or any of the other activities, you always want to be better than the others. But that is a good attitude to have. As professional racing drivers, we are all very fit, both physically and mentally. However, there is always room for improvement, and that is what this fitness week was about. We all head home even better prepared.”


Tom Blomqvist:
“Apart from on race weekends, the eight drivers do not often have the opportunity to spend time together as a team. For this reason, a camp like this is not only ideal for honing your fitness, but also for having fun together and testing yourself. Personally, the exercises I enjoyed most were those that pushed you to your limits and really hurt. I trained hard over the winter, but was still able to improve my fitness here.”


Maxime Martin:
“I think it is important to regularly look at what we do well, what we are doing wrong, and what we can improve through training. That makes a camp like this ideal for us drivers. The various mental exercises were particularly interesting. They helped us to hone our concentration, and thus to be even better out on the racetrack. The boxercise was also great fun. That was very different to our everyday training routine. However, it is just as important for us racing drivers to spend time together away from the racetrack. It brings us closer together as a family.”


António Félix da Costa:

“As a professional racing driver, it is important to be at the top of our fitness in all situations. You have to be able to remain fully focussed, even when your body is tired. We worked hard on that at the fitness camp. We combined several exercises: for example, we got our pulses racing, while at the same time having to concentrate hard. The Formula Medicine team came up with some very good sessions and exercises, which helped us to become better and more complete drivers. It was quite simply a great week in Italy, and we had a lot of fun together.”


Martin Tomczyk:
“The fitness week was great fun again. As well as the actual sport, I think that is one of the main priorities. It is important for us drivers to spend time together away from the race weekends. Being together as a team, training together and pushing each other really does bring you closer. That was once again the case in Viareggio, where the atmosphere was fantastic. It goes without saying that there is always a degree of competition in the exercises. After all, we are all racing drivers, and everyone wants to prove themselves in front of the others. However, the fun we had together here is even more important. I liked the fact that the training programme was once again very varied. You want to perfect both your fitness on the one hand, and your mental strength on the other. The Formula Medicine programme achieved that very well this week.”


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