“It’s a really great feeling,” said Christian Göbel, assistant project manager for the series. “We have been preparing really intensively for the championship over the past few months. Seeing the cars on the grid and first winner take the chequered flag was unbelievable. I think we can be more than happy with the start to the season.”
Heinemann’s victory on Saturday came as no surprise after the 23-year-old set the fastest time in qualifying and took the inaugural pole position in the championship. The reigning DTM Trophy champion was ice-cool during the race, making an excellent start and winning by 8.931 seconds with consistently fast lap times.
Behind Heinemann, Fabian Kreim in the #43 machine crossed the finish line in second. The multiple German rally champion was making his circuit racing debut and was delighted with the second position. Louis Henkefend, who finished third, was just as happy with his performance. Davit Kajaia, the oldest driver in the field, finished the race in fourth followed by Nicolas Hancke and Immanuel Vinke.
Carrie Schreiner was the highest-placed female driver, after the Schaeffler pilot pulled off an impressive overtaking manoeuvre to pass Jacqueline Kreutzpointner in the #21 BMW M2 CS Racing on the final lap.
The youngest driver in the race showed plenty of fighting spirit after a topsy-turvy race. Starting from third on the grid, Salman Owega was edged off the track by Rodrigo Dias Almeida and fell almost to the back of the field. But the 16-year-old remained unfazed and fought his way back to finish ninth. Michael von Zabiensky rounded out the top 10.
Drivers have another chance to test their mettle one day later with the second race of the weekend on Sunday, 25 July, at 11:50. Heinemann, Kreim and Almeida will be starting from first, second and third on the grid respectively. Fans can follow all the action on the series’ official website and on the BMW Motorsport YouTube channel.