Bruno Spengler's BMW test debut blighted by illness within team
|By Jamie O'Leary||Friday, November 18th 2011, 10:18 GMT|
Bruno Spengler's maiden test for BMW at Monteblanco was shortened as he - and a number of team members - were struck down by illness.
An acute gastro-intestinal disease swept through the BMW camp during the three-day test in Spain, forcing the Canadian – who was allowed to test under a special dispensation from Mercedes (to whom he is still officially contracted) – to sit out the second day of running.
Mercedes made its team doctor available to BMW to assist the manufacturer with the treatment of its affected team members – who included motorsport director Jens Marquardt as well as Spengler.
"It was obviously unfortunate that some of our team members and drivers, me included, had to contend with health issues," said Marquardt.
"I hope they get well soon, and would like to take this opportunity to thank Mercedes-Benz for its help. That shows once again how close the DTM family is.
"Nevertheless, we were able to complete another extensive programme of tests and make further progress in some areas of the development of our BMW M3 DTM. It was also very exciting to watch Bruno's first laps in his future car."
Despite Spengler's limited running in the car, its Schnitzer, RBM and RMG teams still completed their test programmes.
As well as Augusto Farfus and Dirk Werner, ALMS GT champion Joey Hand joined the driver line-up for his first taste of DTM machinery.
"It was great to get a first taste of the DTM car. It has a lot of downforce and really good carbon brakes," said Hand. "You can really stand on the brakes and it is impossible to lock them. Also because of the downforce, the car is so hooked up in high-speed corners.
"This is something you need to get used to, but I managed to do so quite quickly. The test went very well and I enjoyed the Monteblanco circuit. It is a fun track. I had a great time with BMW Motorsport here."