Augusto Farfus has been waiting for next weekend for a long time. To be exact since the 19th October last year when the final race of the 2014 DTM season was held at Hockenheim, the track where his 2015 season will get underway.
In some ways the Brazilian will slip seamlessly from one season to the next. He will again be driving the number 18 BMW M4 DTM entered by BMW Team RBM, who he has raced with in all his DTM seasons since BMW returned to the series in 2012. However, this year he has a new team-mate, a new livery and the DTM weekends will have a new look.
He will be racing the Shell BMW M4 DTM in that company’s distinctive red and yellow livery. Alongside him in car number 31 will be the British driver Tom Blomqvist in his rookie season in the series and the only newcomer to the eight-strong BMW squad. The race meetings will now feature two and not one race for the first time in 15 years, with one on Saturday and one on Sunday. There will be just one Hankook tyre compound, and the Drag Reduction System (DRS) can be used three times and not once a lap, with the driver at the push of a button able to lower the wing by 18 degrees rather than the 16 degrees of last year.
An excited Augusto said: “While I may have already competed in two races in America – the Daytona 24 Hours and the Sebring 12 Hours – this is really where my 2015 season starts. Since my last DTM race it has been a long break, although we obviously have been able to do some testing. I think the new format will be great, as we all get more time in the car, and two races instead of one is great for not only us drivers but the fans as well.”
This year the series only has nine race weekends, but with the double races this means 18 instead of ten races. There will be two qualifying sessions – one for each race – and, as usual, the Hockenheim track hosts the first and last races. “Hockenheim is a track I really like and usually the racing there is pretty exciting. I think we have had a good off-season and feel great about the car, but you only know now well you have done after the first qualifying session, as the competition I am sure has been working hard as well. It will be great fun to get back to the track and into the DTM racing mode,” said the driver from Curitiba.
The first time the 24 drivers in the series go out on the 4.574 kilometre track will be on Friday, 1st May for a 15 minute roll out at 10.30. Free practice one follows from 14.15 to 15.00, with five minutes allocated after that for practice starts. Free practice two is on Saturday from 09.00 to 09.45, also followed by the five minutes for practice starts. Qualifying for race one is from 12.00 to 12.20 and the cars will be sent off on the formation lap for the race at 14.45. This race is 40 minutes long. On Sunday there is a DTM warm-up from 09.00 to 09.25, practice starts at 09.15 for five minutes and qualifying from 10.35 to 10.55. The green flag lap for the 60 minute long second race is at 13.40.