BMW Motorsport training camp: DTM drivers put finishing touches to their fitness.

Motorsport is professional sport at the very highest level. Physical and mental fitness are ingredients in any success at the racetrack. In preparation for the 2019 DTM season, the BMW drivers were given an intense workout last week. Philipp Eng, Joel Eriksson, Bruno Spengler, Marco Wittmann and DTM newcomer Sheldon van der Linde in Viareggio were put through their paces at a strenuous three-day fitness camp. Illness meant that Timo Glock was unable to take part. However, the Formula Medicine team will assist him with his own individual training programme over the coming weeks.

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Team doctor Riccardo Ceccarelli and his Formula Medicine staff had prepared a comprehensive and versatile exercise plan for the training camp. After all, the BMW Motorsport drivers must be perfectly prepared for the demands of the new DTM season. As well as fitness and reaction tests, the training also focussed on the mental aspect. The ability to focus one’s concentration for the full race distance is essential, in order to drive a DTM car round a track at speed and without making any mistakes. Among other things, the mental tests included training units in front of a monitor: the drivers had to allocate colours correctly and focus on moving cars, in order to train the ability to concentrate.

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Marco Wittmann

The perfect workout for stomach, legs and back.

The programme featured workouts on various pieces of equipment, as well as a range of outdoor activities. There were also several strength, endurance, mental and coordination tests. The strength test consisted of four basic exercises:

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1. Lat pulldowns – primarily train the latissimus dorsi in the back.

Joel Eriksson

2. Leg presses – use all leg muscles.

Joel Eriksson

3. Pull-ups – one of the ultimate exercises in strength training; they are extremely effective and exercise a wide range of muscles, particularly in the back, shoulders, arms and stomach.

Bruno Spengler

4. Chest presses – as well as the chest, this also exercises parts of the shoulders and arms.

Sheldon van der Linde

The training camp also included an endurance test on the treadmill, in which the speed was increased regularly after a few hundred metres. The VO2 test on the ergometer provided the team doctor with information on the amount of oxygen a driver can inhale, transport and use in their cells. The VO2 test serves as the basis for determining the DTM drivers’ capacity for endurance.

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Philipp Eng

Philipp Eng: “The fitness exercises are fun – sometimes”.

During the tests, the Formula Medicine team continuously measured the drivers’ heart rates and documented all the results. The drivers’ performances were compared against last year’s results. The heart rate also allowed the Formula Medicine staff to analyse the drivers’ basic physical fitness.

“Doctor Ceccarelli is an absolute legend, so it is great to work with him and his team,” said Eng. “All the trainers have an incredible wealth of experience. The mental training, in particular, was great fun. So were the fitness exercises – sometimes – although they were mainly tiring. However, that is good, as it prepares us perfectly for the new DTM season.”

The 2019 DTM season kicks off with the first two races at the Hockenheimring on 4th and 5th May. Before then, the Lausitzring will host the official ITR tests from 15th to 18th April.

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