6 December 2014
DTM: Hand leaves BMW
Joey Hand exits, but BMW retains all seven of its other DTM drivers for the 2015 season, including reigning champion Marco Wittmann
Joey Hand will not compete with BMW in the DTM next season, it has been announced.
Hand, who has been with BMW since the manufacturer returned in 2012, finished 20th in the Drivers' Championship this season, scoring just eight points – his best result coming when he finished 7th at the Norisring in June.
“Thx for [the] concerns,” tweeted the American, “tough decision to leave BMW, been a great run with awesome teams but really excited about my new programme and the future!”
Meanwhile, BMW has confirmed it will retain all seven of its other DTM drivers in 2015, with reigning DTM champion Marco Wittmann, Martin Tomczyk, Maxime Martin, Bruno Spengler, Augusto Farfus, Timo Glock and Antonio Felix da Costa all returning.
“In the DTM we will once again field eight BMW M4 DTMs, with which we obviously want to follow on from the great success we have enjoyed in recent years,” said BMW Motorsport director Jens Marquardt. “Our driver line-up remains largely unchanged. Seven of our eight DTM drivers from last season will also be on track in the BMW M4 DTM in 2015. Joey Hand will go in search of new challenges in 2015.
“We would like to thank him for the great commitment he has shown to BMW in recent years, and wish him all the best for the future.”
Meanwhile, BMW tested seven rookies this week during its three-day test at Jerez, namely Tom Blomqvist, Jack Harvey, Alex Lynn, Sam Bird, Lucas Luhr, Robin Frijns and Richie Stanaway. They were joined at the track by Wittmann, Farfus, Martin, Spengler, Glock and da Costa.
"I really enjoyed working with BMW,” said Bird. “The people were great and the car is extremely impressive. This season I am doing Formula E, which is completely different to driving a BMW M4 DTM.
“You have to adapt to the car, as it requires a particular driving style. You need to be spot on. The downforce and the braking efficiency are very impressive.
“The only tin-top car I have driven before was a GT car, but the BMW M4 DTM has a lot more downforce and much better braking capabilities. It has been a really good experience, which I hope I can learn from."
"I really enjoyed it,” added Blomqvist, “and I think I made a quite good progression. In the beginning it took me some time to get used to the car.
"This season, I was driving in Formula 3, where the car is quite light and has no power-steering. So the biggest challenge was to get used to the weight and the power-steering of the BMW M4 DTM. But after some time on the track I had learned how I had to drive it and I had a lot of fun.”
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