GT racer Thomas Biagi completed a day of testing in BMW's M3 DTM car at Valencia on Thursday as a reward for his performances in 2012.
Biagi won the BMW Sports Trophy last year, a competition for privateer drivers of BMW machinery. The Italian was deemed the most successful of the 242 entrants for his championship-winning campaign in the Italian GT Championship, driving a BMW Z4 GT3. He also finished third in the Superstars series.
Biagi, who won 30,000 euros as part of the prize, spent 66 laps at the wheel of the DTM car at Valencia.
"Ever since I first heard that BMW was returning to the DTM I have dreamed of one day driving this car," said the 36-year-old. "That dream came true today.
"The M3 DTM is an amazing machine. I knew I would enjoy my time here, but now, after 66 laps at the wheel of this magnificent car, I'm almost speechless."
BMW motorsport director Jens Marquardt said it was important for the manufacturer to recognise the achievements of its privateer racers.
"Through their international commitments, privateers like Thomas are such excellent representatives of BMW in motor racing that it is an honour for us to give something back," he said. "The chance to take to the track in a DTM car was an extra motivation for everyone who entered the 2012 BMW Sports Trophy.
"Thomas did a good job. He was able to get an accurate impression of just what our DTM car is capable of."
Biagi was joined on track by ex-Formula 1 star Robert Kubica, who was testing for the first time with Mercedes.