It is a daunting prospect for any driver at any level, no matter where the race weekend is taking place, but it is sometimes helpful for the racers that pull down their visors before lights out, to take in some wonderful scenery. This was clearly the case for all the BMW drivers, with Martin Tomcyzk, Bruno Spengler, Joey Hand, Dirk Werner, Andy Priaulx and Augusto Farfus taking in the sights around the famed Nürburgring. They also got the chance to visit the historic Nürburg Castle, which is a true symbol of the Eifel track’s long history, and is well-known.

Having been built in the 12th Century, the years have not been kind to the Castle, which now stands as ruins atop a 678-metre high hill. With its imposing gate, and thick stone walls, this historic monument was of great interest to the only American driver in the series, who said that it was “history you can touch, and when motorsport plays a role it is even more exciting. The view from above is simply fantastic. I took a lot of souvenir pics, because this visit to the Nürburg Castle is not an everyday affair.”

The impressive tower is the most imposing feature of the Castle itself, with Farfus marvelling at the view he got, as it was also the first time the 2010 Nürburgring 24 Hours winner had ever set foot in side the monument: “Until now I have only looked at it from down below at the track. Imagining how the people built this Castle 900 years ago without using any modern machinery is really impressive. You feel the history of the place. It’s this kind of history, with the Middle Ages and the castles, we don’t have in Brazil. That’s why I’m always excited when I come back to the Eifel region and see the Nürburg Castle again.”

Andy Priaulx has always enjoyed returning to the Eifel mountains, with this trip being no exception, and really shows how much of an atmosphere there is at this motorsport venue: “I like the landscape a lot, and I had huge success here in the past. The Nürburgring has a great tradition in motorsport. The atmosphere is just unique. I am really looking forward to the weekend, which for BMW is a very special one. On the one hand we are again competing in DTM after so many years, while on the other we are celebrating a big birthday: 40 years of M. Even if have won at the Nürburgring already, it is something completely different to drive the BMW M3 DTM here. It is my aim to collect as many points as I can.”

So after a welcome break from the intense preparations for this weekend’s race, the drivers headed back to the paddock, and are busy sorting out the optimal set up for their respective cars, with one thing on their minds – glory. When the lights go out on Sunday, the DTM roars back up to full speed for the second half of the season.