BMW M Motorsport attends three-day DTM Young Driver Test at Jerez de la Frontera.

Jerez de la Frontera. The DTM Young Driver Test at Jerez de la
Frontera (ESP) allowed BMW M Motorsport to offer four drivers the
opportunity to gain valuable experience at the wheel of the BMW M4
DTM – and possibly to stake their claim for a BMW DTM seat for the
2019 season. The drivers in action were former BMW Motorsport Junior
and future BMW works driver Mikkel Jensen (DEN), BMW works driver
Nick Catsburg (NED), Britain’s Nick Yelloly, and South African
Sheldon van der Linde. The three-day test took place from Monday to Wednesday.


Jensen completed his second year of training as a BMW Motorsport
Junior in 2018. The 23-year-old was a regular driver in the ADAC GT
Masters, in which he shared the cockpit of the BMW M6 GT3 with Timo
Scheider (GER). Catsburg is a permanent member of the team in the BMW
M8 GTE in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), and also makes
regular appearances at the wheel of the BMW M6 GT3.


Yelloly is another familiar face in the BMW family. The 28-year-old
Brit drove the BMW M6 GT3 for ROWE Racing in this season’s Blancpain
GT Series Endurance Cup. Yelloly’s Formula racing has taken him right
up to GP2, and he has been successful in one-make cups for several
years. 19-year-old van der Linde caught the eye on the GT scene last
year. He finished runner-up in the ADAC GT Masters and came home third
to claim a spot on the podium at the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps (BEL).


The four drivers took to the track at Jerez de la Frontera in the
2018 DEUTSCHE POST BMW M4 DTM. BMW DTM driver Philipp Eng (AUT) took
the car out for its reference laps.


BMW M Motorsport also used the three-day test to continue development
work on the BMW M4 DTM for the 2019 season, which has been modified in
line with Class 1 regulations. BMW DTM drivers Marco Wittmann (GER)
and Bruno Spengler (CAN) alternated at the wheel of the car, which is
powered by a newly-developed turbo engine.


Quotes from the DTM Young Driver Test and DTM Test at Jerez.


Mikkel Jensen:

“I know the BMW M4 DTM as a race taxi, but to drive the real
race car in a test on the track is something different. You think you
could use you experience from the taxi but you have to put the car on
the limit in a different way. You have to really fine-tune your
driving style to be fast and there is always something you can find in
every corner. That was really interesting. The carbon brakes are
amazing, as they bite really hard. It was fantastic to feel how the
car was stopping. And the high-speed corners: when you are used to GT
cars, you think you sit in the same type of car. But the BMW M4 DTM
just goes so much faster in the corner.”


Nick Catsburg:

“It was definitely a lot of fun. The big difference to the BMW
M8 GTE and the BMW M6 GT3 I usually drive is the high-speed cornering.
The downforce level is much higher and the braking was something I had
to get used to. The BMW M4 DTM is a very impressive car, pretty much
as I expected as I had already heard that it’s really cool car – and
that’s honestly true. A very cool car to drive.”


Nick Yelloly:

“It was great fun to drive the BMW M4 DTM, I really enjoyed it.
A big thank you to BMW for giving me the opportunity. Considering the
weight of the car, the high-speed in the corners is really fantastic.
As I have driven high downforce cars before I knew what to expect but
the BMW M4 DTM still impressed me a lot.“


Sheldon van der Linde:

“It was an amazing experience. It’s so different to what I am
used to. I have only driven in GT3 before so it was a really big step
in the beginning, but the engineers and everyone helped me a lot and
Philipp also gave quite a few tips. What I liked most about the BMW M4
DTM is the downforce. It’s incredible and the speed you can enter the
corners with is amazing.”


Marco Wittmann:

“Our job at the tests was to make progress with the development
of the new car. One focus was on the new turbo engine: it is important
to understand this better, and to fine tune it, from test to test. The
engineers, teams and us drivers obviously still have a lot of work
ahead of us, to be well prepared going into the new season. After all,
this is the start of a new era in the DTM. However, we are all excited
and very much looking forward to it. More power is always cool for us
drivers. The test at Jerez was another important step towards the new
season and we have now all – drivers, mechanics, engineers – earned
our Christmas. I would like to wish the fans, who can look forward to
an exciting DTM season in 2019, a very merry Christmas.”


Bruno Spengler:

“We are progressing well with our work on the BMW M4 DTM for the
coming season. The conditions have been consistent, we completed a lot
of laps, and made good progress through our planned programme. That is
very important, as we only have a certain number of test days. It was
a productive test and I am now looking forward to a few quiet days
‘between the seasons’ with my family. I would like to wish the whole
team and all the fans, who support us all year round, a merry
Christmas and a happy New Year.”