DTM: BMW M Motorsport teams miss out on top positions at season-opener at Oschersleben.


Oschersleben. The BMW M Motorsport teams made a bumpy start to
their title defence. At the opening event of the DTM season at
Oschersleben (GER), the BMW M4 GT3 proved unable to join the battle
for the top positions. At its home race, Schubert Motorsport
recorded the best results for BMW M Motorsport, with fifth place for
René Rast (GER) on Saturday and eleventh for reigning DTM champion
Sheldon van der Linde (RSA) on Sunday. The race weekend featured van
der Linde receiving the keys to a BMW M4 DTM Champion Edition from
his team and BMW M.


The BMW M Motorsport drivers and teams had expected much more from a
sporting point of view at the Motorsport Arena. Especially in
qualifying, the BMW M4 GT3 could not find the fractions of a second
required for a top spot on the grid in both races. That meant it was
very difficult to make up many positions on a tight circuit where
overtaking is very difficult. On Saturday, Rast improved from eighth
on the grid to finish fifth in the BMW M4 GT3 on his race debut as a
BMW M works driver – a good start to the season for him. Van der Linde
and Marco Wittmann (GER) both retired. On Sunday, Rast was forced to
exit the race early due to wheel damage. Van der Linde moved up four
positions from 15th on the grid, scoring points with an eleventh-place
finish. At the first DTM race weekend for the new Project 1 team,
Wittmann was also on course for the points on Sunday but a penalty for
a rule infringement during a pit stop knocked him back to 18th place.

Schubert Motorsport used its home race to treat numerous guests to a
diverse programme of events away from the racetrack. The high point
was the handover of a very special BMW M road car to Sheldon van der
Linde. The 2022 DTM champion received the keys for a limited-edition
BMW M4 DTM Champion Edition boasting a special design inspired by the
colours of his BMW M4 GT3 from Schubert team principal Torsten
Schubert, BMW M CEO Franciscus van Meel and Head of BMW M Motorsport
Andreas Roos. The Champion Edition, constructed by Schubert Motorsport
in agreement with BMW M, is based on a BMW M4 Competition (combined
fuel consumption: 9.8 l/100 km acc. WLTP; combined CO2 emissions: 224
– 223 g/km acc. WLTP).


Reactions to the DTM weekend at Oschersleben:

Andreas Roos (Head of BMW M Motorsport): “That was
not the start to the season that we had hoped for. Unfortunately, our
teams did not manage to place the BMW M4 GT3 high enough in qualifying
here at Oschersleben to be able to fight at the front in the races. On
Saturday, René Rast and Schubert Motorsport made the best of it with
fifth place, and things went a bit better for Sheldon van der Linde
and Marco Wittmann in Sunday’s race after they both had to retire on
Saturday. Nonetheless, we cannot be satisfied with those results. We
demand much more as defending champions. We will now analyse the data
precisely and prepare perfectly for the next race weekend at
Zandvoort. That applies particularly to the damage to René Rast’s car,
which we will take a very close look at. Many thanks to the teams and
drivers for their efforts, and congratulations are in order for
Torsten Schubert and his crew for the fantastic programme of events
that they provided for the BMW Fans and their guests at their home
race at Oschersleben.”


René Rast (#33 BMW M4 GT3, Schubert Motorsport): “My
aim for this weekend was to hit the same pace as Sheldon and Marco. I
managed to do that. I was the best BMW driver in both qualifying
sessions and I am very pleased about that. Generally speaking, we did
as well as could have done by finishing fifth on Saturday. However,
Sunday was a day to forget.”

Sheldon van der Linde (#1 BMW M4 GT3, Schubert
“In racing terms, that was a very difficult
weekend for us. It started with qualifying, as we were just not good
enough. And if you’re at the back at Oschersleben, things get pretty
tough. We really do have to work on that, but I hope that other tracks
on the race calendar are better suited to our BMW M4 GT3 than this
circuit. We certainly have room for improvement. The handover of the
Champion Edition was definitely the highlight of my weekend. I have
always dreamed of becoming DTM champion. Receiving the keys for this
very special car is the icing on the cake. Many thanks to Schubert
Motorsport and BMW M for giving me a souvenir of a fantastic year that
will last a lifetime!”

Marco Wittmann (#11 BMW M4 GT3, Project 1): “That was
a tough weekend for us. We were at a disadvantage in terms of top
speed. That cost us time and we will have to look at what caused it.
That handicap made things difficult in qualifying and in the races.
Apart from that, the car actually went well. I was able to keep pace
with the other BMW M4 GT3s through the corners in particular. We had
good pace on Sunday, but it was a shame that the penalty right after
the safety car period cost us a lot of places as the field was close
together, and put paid to our chances of scoring points. We have some
homework to do as a team ahead of the next race weekend.”


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