Andy Priaulx and Rene Rast - Photo Credit: BMW AG

Rene Rast listens to Andy Priaulx during testing at Lausitz - Photo Credit: BMW AG

BMW Motorsport has completed a three-day test at the Eurospeedway Laustiz ahead of its DTM return in 2012, where it gave three new drivers the chance to drive the M3 DTM alongside its regular works drivers.

Defending Porsche Supercup champion Rene Rast, last year's Indy Lights champion Jean-Karl Vernay and newly-crowned German F3 winner Richie Stanaway all got time behind the wheel alongside BMW works drivers Augusto Farfus, Andy Priaulx, Jorg Muller and Dirk Werner.

“I really enjoyed the test,” said Rast. “It was a superb experience. I felt very comfortable in the team and learned a lot. In general I am happy with my performance. I think I did what was expected of me.

“The car is good-natured and fun to drive. The dynamics and powerful brakes, in particular, are a bit different to the cars I have driven in the past, but I was able to adapt quickly and keep pushing myself to the limit.”

Frenchman Vernay said: “It was great to be here and have the opportunity to test the BMW DTM car. It was my first real test in a touring car. The BMW M3 DTM is amazing, it has so much grip and downforce. I think that my lap times were okay, I was able to improve them as the test progressed. I had a great feeling for the car.”

New Zealander Stanaway added: “This test was a great experience for me. Ever since I was young I have always wanted to drive a DTM car. It was great to experience what it was like, to work in such a professional environment, and to see the way the team operates.

“The difference between a Formula car and a DTM car is quite big. It weighs nearly twice as much and the downforce level, the corner speed and the braking points are different to Formula 3. As such, I had to adjust my driving style a little bit. But I think that my performance was quite solid.”

So far only Farfus and Priaulx are the only confirmed drivers in BMW’s six-car lineup for 2012.