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Night race with a guest appearance by Zanardi: BMW M Motorsport eagerly anticipating spectacular DTM weekend at Misano.

BMW M Motorsport is preparing for a spectacular race weekend. Taking place from 24th to 26th August, the seventh event of the 2018 DTM season at Misano (ITA) will feature three premieres. It marks the debut for the DTM at the Adriatic coast circuit and is the first night race in the history of the touring car series. BMW works driver Alessandro Zanardi (ITA) will also be making a guest appearance for his first race in the BMW M4 DTM.

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BMW Team MTEK will be responsible for Zanardi’s guest appearance, as was also the case at the Vallelunga (ITA) test two weeks ago. Zanardi’s pit stops will be performed by BMW Team RMR. The team, which consists of members of the RMG and RBM BMW teams, is actively involved in the DTM and is well acquainted with DTM pit stop procedures.

 

The fact that it is a night race has pushed the schedule back. The first free practice session takes place at 21:30 on Friday. Qualifying sessions start at 20:00 on Saturday and Sunday. The races on Saturday and Sunday will both start at 22:30.

 

After twelve out of 20 races, Marco Wittmann (GER) is currently the best-placed BMW driver in the overall standings in third place with 110 points. Timo Glock (GER) is in sixth position, with 101 points. The Misano circuit is uncharted territory for many drivers. In June of this year, Bruno Spengler (CAN) competed there with the BMW M6 GT3 in the Italian GT Championship. Philipp Eng (AUT) has appeared there in the Blancpain GT Sprint Series in the last two years. Augusto Farfus (BRA) also knows the circuit – however, when he competed in Formula Renault, races took place in the opposite direction.

 

Quotes ahead of the DTM races at Misano.

 

Jens Marquardt (BMW Motorsport Director): 

“The first ever DTM night-race plus a race weekend at Misano with enthusiastic Italian fans and our local hero and guest starter Alex Zanardi will be, without a doubt, an absolute highlight of the 2018 DTM season. Night races are always especially spectacular, but they are something completely new for our drivers, teams and engineers in the DTM. We also have to get to know the Misano circuit. We have some exciting challenges ahead and we are looking forward to taking them on. From a sporting perspective, naturally we want to improve our track record for the year here in Italy. One thing that’s already certain is that it will be a very emotional weekend. It won’t only be us getting goose bumps watching Alex Zanardi compete in a BMW M4 DTM in front of his home fans. Big thanks to the BMW Motorsport team, who took on the challenge of equipping Alex with the ideal technology he needs to control the car. Countless hours and days have been spent on the innovative solutions. The result is a unique system that will give Alex the opportunity to push limits in the two exhausting DTM sprint races on the Adriatic coast. It will certainly be a pleasure to see him on track. I can only say: Forza, Alex!”

 

Alessandro Zanardi (BMW M4 DTM):

“In this long career of mine, I’ve often looked at the next big race knowing I was one of the main contenders to possibly win it. This time will be different, though it’s equally electrifying to be engaged again at the highest level of motorsport and I can’t wait to start BMW M4 DTM’s engine. I’ve been able to fit so many different things into this life of mine and as far of my motorsport experience, out of all the intriguing things I cared to do in my career, DTM was really one of the few I was lacking. I want to thank BMW for the opportunity and the BMW engineers, who once more did a brilliant job in modifying the car to support me and my needs to the best. I’m looking forward to starting a spectacular race weekend in front of all the many fans who will come to support us and I hope that the night race at Misano will an unforgettable experience be for them all.”

 

Stefan Reinhold (Team Principal BMW Team RMG):

“We are all really looking forward to Misano. The circuit is new for everyone involved. We don't have any frame of reference and we are starting pretty much from scratch on Friday. The schedule also represents an interesting challenge. The team has to deal with the switch from familiar processes to days that start later and end in the middle of the night. We are looking forward to the night races, which will undoubtedly be a great spectacle for the fans. It is also great to have Alex with us in the BMW family. He is a great person and I am sure he will delight DTM fans. We absolutelywant to close the gap at the top and make sure we are involved in the battle for the best positions in both races.”

 

Marco Wittmann (#11 BMW Driving Experience M4 DTM, BMW Team RMG – 3rdplace in the overall standings, points: 110):

“I am looking forward to Misano. It is uncharted territory for me and it is a circuit where I need to try to find my rhythm as quickly as possible but I think that the whole event will be spectacular. It is the first night race in the DTM and the whole time schedule will be different. I am also looking forward to having Alex Zanardi on board with us for both of the DTM races. That will be a really special moment for him and his fans.”

 

Augusto Farfus (#15 Shell BMW M4 DTM, BMW Team RMG – 13thplace in the overall standings, points: 40):

“I know the circuit from when races took place in the opposite direction. I celebrated my first-ever motorsport win there, in the Formula Renault. The atmosphere there is superb. The circuit isn't far from the beach and we will be driving in the first DTM night races. We will have enough light to be able to see the track in the dark. After my podium at Brands Hatch, I am hoping that we can take this momentum to Misano.”

 

Timo Glock (#16 DEUTSCHE POST BMW M4 DTM, BMW Team RMR – 6thplace in the overall standings, points: 101):

“I am excited to find out what it will be like to drive a DTM car in the dark for the first time. It is also a new circuit for us and we hope that the layout suits our car. In general, I hope that our luck returns as it's gone missing a bit recently. I am looking forward to Alex Zanardi and it will be fascinating to see how he does – and how the first night race in the history of the DTM turns out.”

 

Bart Mampaey (Team Principal BMW Team RBM):

“It's always interesting when we compete in Italy. It's the holiday season and Alex Zanardi's appearance guarantees a lot of public interest. The Misano circuit is still new for our team. We will certainly have some challenges to deal with and we will try to prepare ourselves as well as possible. I will also chat with Alex about his impressions of the DTM car and Misano. We will try to get at least one of our drivers onto the podium and to contribute to what will hopefully be a fantastic Italian race weekend.”

 

Bruno Spengler (#7 BMW Bank M4 DTM, BMW Team RBM – 12thplace in the overall standings, points: 43):

“I've only experienced night-time driving in 24-hour races but that is a bit different, as the lighting systems on a DTM car are not set up for darkness like those on an endurance car. However, the Misano circuit should be very well lit. I am definitely excited as this will be a new challenge and super interesting. It is brilliant that we have Alex Zanardi in our team. I drove with him at the Spa 24-hour race and I am a great fan of Alex. It is wonderful to have him in the team in the DTM, especially in his Italian homeland. The Misano circuit is really cool. I drove there in the Italian GT Championship this year. It is really interesting for DTM cars and offers some overtaking opportunities for a good show.”

 

Philipp Eng (#25 SAMSUNG BMW M4 DTM, BMW Team RMR – 8thplace in the overall standings, points: 83):

“I am already looking forward to Misano and I think it's going to be a cool event. In 2016 and 2017, the Saturday race in the Blancpain GT Sprint Series took place at night and that produced some really spectacular pictures. It was fantastic for the drivers too and I am sure it will be even better in the DTM car. I think there will be plenty of glowing brake discs and exhaust flames on show. The circuit suits me and it feels good. I like racing there.” 

 

Joel Eriksson (#47 BMW M4 DTM, BMW Team RBM – 15thplace in the overall standings, points: 27):

“Misano is another new circuit for me, and a new type of race. Up to now, I've not experienced night racing. That will be a big challenge but I think it will be easier to learn the Misano circuit than it was at the old-school race track at Brands Hatch. I am really looking forward to it as everyone says that it's a great circuit that is a lot of fun. I am sure it will be fantastic to drive a DTM car there.”

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