BMW Team Schubert and BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS will once again be able to call on the squad of BMW works drivers for reinforcement in 2014. Spearheading this season’s BMW Motorsport endurance programme is Dirk Werner.
You will not hear any aggressive outbursts from the lips of Dirk Werner. Do not let this fool you into questioning his driving ability, however. As soon as he pulls on his helmet and climbs into his car, fans get to see the real Dirk: the Dirk who lets his speed do the talking and gives his rivals no chance to answer back. Then he climbs out of the car and puts his poker face back on. A calm approach is a strong approach.
A dream came true for Dirk Werner in March 2010 when he contested his first race as a BMW works driver in Sebring. The BMW ADAC Formula Junior Cup was largely responsible for providing Werner with the skills required for a successful career in motor racing. In 2007 he became the first non-American to capture the GT title in the Grand-Am Series – a feat he repeated in 2009.
In 2006 and 2007 he was a vital member of the Duller Motorsport team that won the 24-hour race in Silverstone. The same team also triumphed at the marathon in Dubai in 2007. In 2011 he finished third in the GT class of the American Le Mans Series with BMW Team RLL and team-mate Bill Auberlen. Werner took on a new challenge in 2012, lining up for BMW Team Schnitzer in the DTM – and with success. His impressive performances were instrumental in winning both the Team and Manufacturer titles. In 2013, Werner claimed his first podium finish in the DTM: he came home second behind Augusto Farfus to secure a BMW one-two in the opening race of the season in Hockenheim.
In 2014, Werner returns to the endurance circuit. His calm, consistency and wealth of experience make him the perfect spearhead for BMW Motorsport’s ambitious endurance programme.
AN INTERVIEW WITH… DIRK WERNER.
Where do you feel most at home?
“With my family.”
What do you find so captivating about motorsport?
“The biggest thing for me is the competition, I like to compete on the race track, and that combined with the technical background is what excites me.”
What memories do you have of your first race?
“My first race was on the Go-Kart track where I was living and I had a special license to be able to race before I had reached the necessary age. That was exciting, but after the race I was very disappointed. I thought I would win, but I did not win.”
Can you still remember your first win?
“Yes. That was at my second Go-Kart race in the city where I was born. It was exciting, because my whole family was there, including my grandparents and it was great to win the second race.”
What is your best moment in motorsport?
“When I received my first works contract with BMW – that was exciting.”
Did you ever doubt whether being a racing driver was the right profession for you?
“Yes, because there was a time where it was very difficult and I was not sure if it would happen for me. I could see that I was competitive and that I could win races, but it took quite a long time for me to become a professional race driver and could make my living out of it – I think I was 26 then.”
What car do you drive outside of work?
“Usually a car with a lot of space to fit the family and all the equipment – so right now it is a BMW X5.”
Your favourite book?
“It changes. In general I like thrillers or crime books.”
Your favourite circuit?
“The Nürburgring-Nordschleife is really special, it is not only the most famous German track but maybe also the most famous track in the world. There, you get never bored. That makes it so exciting.”
Your favourite food?
“I like Steak.”
Your favourite place?
“I like being on the beach as well as being in the mountains. Both have a lot of attraction to me. I could not choose between them.”
Who is your biggest fan?
What is your greatest strength?
“I think I am a good team player.”
And your greatest weakness?
“Sometimes if things don’t go in the right direction and you feel the performance is not there – for whatever reason – it is difficult for me to get over it.”
One thing people do not know about you?
“There are a lot of things.”
Your goal for the 2015 USCC season?
“To win races.”