It is a usual tradition at the BMW Welt in Munich for customers who normally come to pick up the in new cars in the “Premiere” section, However, this time around on Saturday, it was a completely different affair, as a celebration of racing heritage and new unveil was a symbolic start to BMW Motorsport‘s 2013 DTM season took place at BMW’s HQ. Prince Leopold of Bavaria kicked off the ceremonies by driving the classic first-gen BMW M3 into the bespoke delivery area, followed by Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt and test driver Maxime Martin, who arrived in the M3 DTM Safety-Car.
13,000 visitors attended the event that saw the elevator door that leads to the “Premiere” area open not just once, but eight times in total, as Bruno Spengler, Dirk Werner, Augusto Farfus, Joey Hand, Martin Tomczyk, Andy Priaulx, Timo Glock and Marco Wittmann drove their own respective new M3 DTM onto the delivery area in a well-choreographed racing style. As the interest for the event was unparalleled, the launch was transmitted live to the TV screens that populated the basement area of the most-visited attraction in Bavaria.
Marquardt said that it was a heartwarming affair to give loyal fans the chance to see the cars up close and personal, as well as having the chance to see such a launch, as it was so close to the DTM project that brought BMW a clean sweep of titles in its comeback season, as well as preparations being well underway to the start of the season where they attempt their title defence: “Seeing all the eight BMW M3 DTMs with their individual liveries side by side was something very special – and even more so in front of the impressive backdrop of the BMW Welt. The countdown has started to the second season after our DTM comeback, and it’s easy to see all our drivers can’t wait for the first clash of the year. To date, we are very happy with our preparations. In the test next week we will focus on the fine-tuning. And then, as the defending champions, we will be happy to once again battle it out with our strong competitors in this hard-fought series. I expect a close season that will be extremely thrilling for the spectators, and today’s launch represented the perfect preparation for things to come.”
Defending DTM Champion Spengler was thrilled, and really felt unusual from his perspective, but could see the prestige of taking delivery of their cars at the Munich HQ: “I can fully understand why this moment is such a fascinating experience for them. I’m still of the opinion my matt-black car looks just sensational. It brought me luck and the title in 2012, and now I’m extremely motivated to be successful again this year with BMW Team Schnitzer.”
Farfus has also been privy to viewing some events in the Munich facility, as he found the experience very unique by driving his Castrol EDGE M3 DTM out of the elevator, which is one of the cars sporting a new livery for this season: “We have a strong team and everybody just can’t wait for the season to start.”
The day before the unveil saw all eight drivers sign numerous autographs for the fans, as well as having a look behind-the-scenes at the impressive BMW Plant Munich, as it is now time for the 4 teams, 8 drivers and numerous team personnel to head to Hockenheim for the final 4 day test, as the final stretch towards Day X continues at the fast pace the DTM is accustomed to…