MINI Vision Urbanaut. The virtual vision becomes a tangible reality.

BMW:MINI Vision Urbanaut. The virtual vision becomes a tangible reality.

Munich. With the presentation of the MINI Vision
Urbanaut virtual vision vehicle in November 2020, the MINI brand
revealed an all-new interpretation of mobility through an innovative
vision of space. And now the BMW Group is set to unveil a physical
model of the vehicle which will allow audiences to engage more
extensively with the spatial concept and sustainable materials at
work. The model will be given its world premiere on 1 July 2021 at the
DLD Summer conference in Munich.

“At MINI we see it as our responsibility to preserve and develop the
unique characteristics of our brand over the upcoming years and those
further ahead,” explains Bernd Körber, Head of MINI. “With our eyes
fixed on the future, we have developed an idea, with the MINI Vision
Urbanaut, of how we can take the MINI attributes – as here, with the
focus on the ‘Clever Use of Space’ – into the future of mobility and
interpret them in a typically MINI way. It brings the user’s personal
space into the car and opens up various possibilities for them, from
creating an urban oasis to experiencing freedom in the ‘Wanderlust’
moment. The MINI Vision Urbanaut represents our image of how MINI’s
‘Clever Use of Space’ could provide an answer to the needs of future
cities and lifestyles.”

Oliver Heilmer, Head of MINI Design adds: “At MINI Design we believe
that the best way to understand the overall concept behind the MINI
Vision Urbanaut is to experience it. The feeling of space and the
innovative materials are just asking to be explored. That is why it
was very important for us from the outset to also make a physical
model of the MINI Vision Urbanaut. And now that moment has come. We
have planned and built every aspect of the model – which allows people
to experience all of the facets of the MINI Vision Urbanaut – at our
MINI Design Studio in Munich.“

Extending the idea of mobility beyond driving – the MINI moments.

MINI sees its future self primarily as an enabler of and companion
for unforgettable times, what we’re calling “MINI moments”. Inspired
by the question “What kind of experiences do I want to have with my
vehicle?”, they provide the conceptual platform for the MINI Vision
Urbanaut – for times when you’re travelling and others when you’re
not. What this means more specifically is encapsulated up by the MINI
moments “Chill”, “Wanderlust” and “Vibe”. The exterior and interior of
the vehicle change to reflect the MINI moment at hand and so give the
on-board experience the best possible stage and spatial environment.
Fragrance, sound and ambient lighting continue to enrich the baseline
mood initiated by the chosen MINI moment. The transformation of the
vehicle through the different moments can now also be experienced in
stunning reality thanks to the creation of a physical model of the
MINI Vision Urbanaut.

The Chill moment invites you to catch a breath and pause in the here
and now. The car becomes a kind of retreat, a haven where you can
relax or work with full concentration. While the rear seat bench (Cosy
Corner) invites various seating and lying positions, the backlit Loop
above it takes on an appearance inspired by a green forest canopy and
can also be dimmed. In the central area, the circular instrument folds
down to become a table lamp, eliminating displays or switches that
might remind the customer of their automotive surroundings.

Wanderlust is the only MINI moment where the MINI Vision Urbanaut is
being driven or driving with automated driving functions. In this
moment, the interior becomes the ideal place for driving the car, or
being driven by it, and enables those on board to rediscover the
romance of travel. When the customer wants to drive themselves, a tap
of a finger on the MINI logo brings out the steering wheel and pedals.
And the user interface on the central circular instrument also adapts
its visuals; alongside an animation of the route, additional journey
information – such as visitor attractions and arrival time – is
displayed here for those on board.

The Vibe moment puts time with other people at centre stage – in
every way. Opening the side door and folding up the windscreen creates
a welcoming scene that blurs the boundaries between the outside and
inside. The central circular instrument becomes a media control
centre. An animation of graphic equalizers moving with the music is
projected onto surfaces of the front, rear, wheels and Loop above the
rear seat bench, creating a pleasant club atmosphere. If those on
board so desire, the car could even begin to resemble a boombox. And
then there is the fourth option, the customisable “my moment”, which
provides users with further scope for tailoring the design of the
vehicle to their needs and desires.

Multi-faceted sustainability.

As well as its wide range of uses, the MINI Vision Urbanaut also
focuses on sustainability – and this can be seen and experienced
directly in various aspects of the vehicle. The starting point for the
concept was the “Clever Use of Space” for which MINI is renowned; i.e.
it offers maximum space on the smallest possible footprint. Although
the MINI Vision Urbanaut is only 4.46 m in length, its height allows
it to provide an interior space that can be used in many different
ways and offers a whole new ease of movement inside the car. The
electric drive system ensures locally emission-free mobility. And
another aspect is the scope for using the vehicle for purposes beyond
mobility. Indeed, the MINI Vision Urbanaut also creates an urban space
for people when it’s standing still, significantly increasing the
amount of time they will want to use the vehicle or just hang out in it.

The MINI Vision Urbanaut also sets out to use resources responsibly.
To this end, from the beginning of the concept phase the team focused
on consistently reducing the number of components and avoiding
unnecessary use of materials. This has been achieved by developments
including clever dual-functionality for the dashboard (it can turn
into a daybed) and the debut appearance of a circular OLED centre
display – which recasts itself as a stylish lamp in the Chill moment –
above the table. Maximising length of use by ensuring materials can be
replaced is likewise a priority. Changeable covers are a good example
of how this can be achieved. In addition, the interior has been
created without the use of chrome or leather, an approach that will
also be rolled out in the next MINI model generation.

High-quality and sustainable material innovations.

The interior of the MINI Vision Urbanaut features a high proportion
of recycled materials and the materials used are almost exclusively
renewable and recyclable. The dominant material in the interior are
textiles made from recycled materials (including wool, polyester and
Tencel) which blend cosiness and quality with softness and comfort.
The designers also paid extra attention to solutions composed of a
single type of material – what are known as “mono-materials”. These
are easy to recycle further down the line and can be turned into new
products. The use of renewable and recyclable cork on the steering
wheel and sections of the floor adds a special touch thanks to its
natural feel, and ensures an authentically pleasant interior climate.
All in all, the materials concept for the MINI Vision Urbanaut
highlights the extremely high levels of visual and haptic quality that
a sustainably designed interior can offer.

An experience for all the senses.

The MINI Vision Urbanaut covers all sensory angles in creating the
perfect on-board experience. A key element of the interior design is
therefore a carefully honed approach to fragrance and sound. “The
holistic approach addressing all the senses creates a truly unique and
unforgettable experience,” explains Annabell Coffinet, Fragrance
Designer at the BMW Group. “A distinctive fragrance signature sticks
in the mind and can remind you of a positive atmosphere and overall
experience. In this way, we are creating another, very personal
connection with particularly memorable times. We also wanted to link
the MINI brand identity with a fragrance signature for the first time.
This waft of something intangible, refreshing and unexpected brings
emotion to how the brand’s message is communicated, a kind of
international signature with a high recognisability factor. It will be
discreet and revealed as part of a welcome scenario.” Bringing balance
to the sensory experience, Renzo Vitale, Creative Director Sound,
gives the various textures of the welcome scenario fragrance an
audible form. As well as the welcome sound, he also composed the music
for the Chill, Vibe and Wanderlust moments. In the Chill moment, the
vehicle wraps the user in the subtle soundscapes of a forest, with
rustling leaves and flowing water filling the interior – a fitting
complement to the dimmable forest canopy effect. Acoustic sounds set
the seal on the relaxation-rich experience. The Wanderlust and Vibe
moments are accompanied by a soundtrack of specially composed music
which can be played both inside and outside the vehicle.

Analogue love, digital connection

Another aim with the MINI moments was to use digital integration to
intensify or enrich the analogue experience. This “analogue love,
digital connection” approach runs throughout the vehicle. Indeed, an
additional digital level has been integrated below several of the
analogue surfaces. Examples here include the table inside the vehicle
(which initiates the MINI moments when the MINI Token is placed in one
of the slots), the lamp with OLED display and the LED matrixes in the
interior under a layer of textile or in the front and rear ends of the
car. These areas of the vehicle bring together the analogue and
digital worlds into a new and immersive experience. And all of this
can now be experienced in a real-life vehicle, thanks to the work of
the BMW Group’s modellers.

Bringing together the BMW Group’s model-building expertise.

As an innovative space concept, the MINI Vision Urbanaut was designed
from the inside out. The designers created the spacious interior
experience before developing the exterior, using floor plans, pieces
of furniture plus wooden scale models to provide an indication of
size. Over the course of the project, augmented reality was employed
to create a digital model, which was then systematically optimised.
The physical model of the MINI Vision Urbanaut was then put together
from start to finish at the MINI Design studio in Munich. Here, the
BMW Group gathered all the expertise available to transform virtual
visions into physical reality. Upholsterers, modellers, mechatronics
engineers, programmers, paint specialists and others worked alongside
the designers to turn a vision into a physical model of almost
prototype quality. After all, the MINI Vision Urbanaut is not a static
model, but a driveable and steerable one. Every part has been
specially designed, precision-manufactured using cutting-edge tools
and crafted by hand. The high degree of artistry inside the MINI
Vision Urbanaut is highlighted by an interior design that is
reminiscent of a modern living space. The construction of the model
therefore extended from a classical vehicle build via furniture-making
all the way to programming and smart high-tech integration.

Original Press Release

BMW M Motorsport News, 29th June 2021.

BMW:BMW M Motorsport News, 29th June 2021.

Nürburgring Endurance Series: BMW M Motorsport teams secure
wins in individual classes.

The BMW Junior Team was not alone in having cause to celebrate at the
fourth race in the Nürburgring Endurance Series 2021 (NLS) at the
Nürburgring-Nordschleife (GER), where they claimed overall victory in
the #44 BMW M6 GT3. BMW M Motorsport teams also triumphed in various
classes in the race last weekend. The Adrenalin Motorsport Team Alzner
Automotive was successful in two classes. In the strong V2T class, the
team won with the #481 BMW 330i, driven by Christopher Rink, Philipp
Stahlschmidt and Daniel Zils (all GER). The #1 BMW 325i won for the
team in the V4 class. Rink shared driving duties with Danny Brink and
Philipp Leisen (both GER) in this car.

The Schnitzelalm Racing GmbH team claimed victory in the BMW M240i
class with the #666 car, driven by Carl-Friedrich Kolb, Christopher
Brück and Tim Neuser (all GER). First place in the H4 category went to
the #610 BMW M3 GTR from Hofor Racing with Michael Kroll, Chantal
Prinz and Alexander Prinz (all SUI).

There were also two podium finishes in the SP10 class for GT4 cars.
The #191 BMW M4 GT4 from Hofor Racing by Bonk Motorsport secured
second spot. After four hours of racing, Michael Schrey (GER),
Gabriele Piana (ITA) and Michael Fischer (AUT) finished less than two
seconds behind the winner. They also recorded the fastest lap time.
Team AVIA Sorg Rennsport secured third place on the podium with Brett
Lidsey (GBR) and Ivan Berets (ITA) in the #180 BMW M4 GT4.

BMW M2 CS Racing Cup NLS: Tobias Vazquez wins on the Nordschleife.

The fourth round of the BMW M2 CS Racing Cup NLS took place last
weekend as part of the Nürburgring Endurance Series (NLS) on the
Nürburgring-Nordschleife (GER). After four hours of racing, victory
went to Tobias Vazquez (GER) in the #883 BMW M2 CS Racing. The result
also saw Vazquez move into the lead in the drivers’ championship.
Second place went to Walkenhorst Motorsport and the #888 BMW M2 CS
Racing, driven by Florian Weber, Davide Dehren and Dennis Fetzer (all
GER). Adrenalin Motorsport Team Alzner Automotive secured third place
on the podium with Stefan Kruse (GER), Charles Oakes (LUX), Einar
Thorsen (NOR) and Guido Wirtz (SUI) in the #871 car. After four races,
Adrenalin Motorsport Team Alzner Automotive leads the team standings.

IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge: Turner Motorsport on the podium
at Watkins Glen.

The IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge hosted its fourth race of the
season at Watkins Glen (USA) at the weekend. Bill Auberlen and Dillon
Machavern (both USA) claimed a spot on the podium for the third time
this year. They finished the four-hour race in second place in the
Turner Motorsport #95 BMW M4 GT4. This result moves them up to second
place in the drivers’ standings. Their team-mates Vincent Barletta and
Robby Foley (both USA) finished the race in eleventh position in the
#96 BMW M4 GT4. The two drivers are currently fourth in the drivers’ standings.

British GT Championship: Second event of the season at Silverstone.

The ‘Silverstone 500’ (GBR) represented the second round of the
British GT Championship 2021 at the weekend. The Century Motorsport
team was competing with two BMW M4 GT4s in the GT4 class. Gus Burton
and Will Burns (both GBR) finished the race in fourth place (second
place in the silver classification) in the #57 BMW M4 GT4, while their
team-mates Andrew Gordon-Colebrook and Chris Salkled (both GBR)
claimed sixth position in the #9 car.

BTCC: BMW drivers celebrate two wins at Brands Hatch.

The third event of the 2021 season in the British Touring Car
Championship (BTCC) took place at Brands Hatch (GBR) at the weekend.
BMW drivers recorded two wins and a podium finish in the three races
on Sunday. In race one, Tom Oliphant (GBR) drove the Team BMW #15 BMW
330i M Sport from the second row of the grid to victory, celebrating
the second BTCC win of his career. In the closely-fought second race,
Oliphant reached the podium once again after finishing third, just 0.5
seconds behind the winner. Adam Morgan (GBR) then took centre stage in
the third race, driving the Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport #33 BMW
330i M Sport– he dominated the race with a commanding start-finish
victory. BMW now tops the manufacturers’ standings with 274 points, 34
ahead of the closest rival.

BMW M2 CS Racing Winter Cup: Exciting races also between
December and March.

Anticipation is building ahead of winter; the BMW M2 CS Racing Winter
Cup will ensure that racing fans around the world will not have to
miss out on thrilling races between December and March. The four race
weekends in the GT Winter Series will feature a total of eight races,
each lasting 25 minutes, all of which will take place on the
sun-soaked circuits of Portugal and Spain. Participants can choose
whether to bring their own car and team, or whether to compete for one
of the BMW M Motorsport teams. The ‘Endless Summer’ series of tracks
days also gives interested customers and fans the opportunity to get
out on the track and gain some experience themselves.

The calendar:

16th/17th December 2021 – Portimão (POR)

15th/16th January 2022 – Estoril (POR)

12th/13th February 2022 – Jerez de la Frontera (ESP)

12th/13th March 2022 – Barcelona (ESP) (tbc)

More information:

Original Press Release

Donington Park is the next stop for BMW Motorrad Motorsport in the WorldSBK.

BMW:Donington Park is the next stop for BMW Motorrad Motorsport in the WorldSBK.

Munich. Donington Park (GBR) is the next stop for BMW Motorrad
Motorsport in the FIM Superbike World Championship. The fourth round
of the 2021 WorldSBK season will take place this coming weekend (2nd
to 4th July) at the historic circuit in the heart of England. The
BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team will once again be competing with riders
Michael van der Mark (NED) and Tom Sykes (GBR), as well as Eugene
Laverty (IRL) and Jonas Folger (GER) for the BMW satellite teams RC
Squadra Corse and Bonovo MGM Racing.


After the third round at Misano (ITA), WorldSBK took a short break
with no races taking place over two weekends. BMW Motorrad Motorsport
used that time for two days of testing at Navarra (ESP). The Spanish
circuit has been added to the calendar this year and will host the
seventh race event of the season from 20th to 22nd August. The tests
provided an opportunity to continue development of the new BMW M 1000
RR, while simultaneously becoming familiar with the characteristics of
the circuit.

The focus now switches to the upcoming weekend at Donington Park. The
very first WorldSBK race took place on this track in April 1988.
Donington has been a fixture on the calendar since then, even though
the event had to be cancelled last year due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Quotes ahead of the Donington round.

Marc Bongers, BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director: “The
first three events of the season showed us what areas we need to work
on with our new BMW M 1000 RR, and we did that during testing at
Navarra, among other things. We tried out and evaluated a few new
parts in the chassis area, for example. Now we are looking forward to
the race weekend at Donington Park. That is a traditional, old-school
circuit and the layout has a really challenging mix of everything.
There are fast, fluid sections as well as hairpin bends, climbs and
slopes. We will see how well our M RR copes with this track. We are
excited to see what the weather will be like at the weekend, as that
can always be an unpredictable factor at Donington.”


Shaun Muir, Team Principal BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team:
“We’re looking forward to coming to the UK round of the World
Superbike Championship. The Navarra test was quite conclusive for us.
We have a better direction with the chassis after the chassis work
both Tom and Michael have done. Hopefully we can transfer some of that
into the Donington event. The forecast for the Donington event is
quite changeable. Friday is fair weather but Saturday and Sunday it
looks like we have some wet weather appearing just right during the
mid-days. So we could be racing in changeable conditions with
potential pit stops so we need to be ready for that eventuality.
Overall as a team, we are in a good position, disappointed from Misano
for sure, but we need to put things right for Donington and hopefully
we can do just this.”


Michael van der Mark, BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team: “It
was good to have a test at Navarra, not only as we race there later
this year, but also as we had faced some problems at Misano and BMW
responded very quick so we had some new parts to Navarra test. I was
happy with the test; it was a step in the right direction but of
course you have to see if it also works on a different track but
luckily we have Donington this weekend. Donington is fantastic; I
really love these old-school circuits. I had some good results there
in the past and I love the circuit and the history and after missing
it last year, it is good to go back there now. Regarding the
characteristics, for me the first part is the best; it is fast and
flowing and a really exciting section of the track. The last part does
not really fit to that but there you have some really good overtaking
opportunities so the circuit is exciting in two very different ways.”


Tom Sykes, BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team: “For me, the
Navarra test was good for a number of reasons. First and foremost it
was to continue the development of the new BMW M 1000 RR. We had some
items that we needed to confirm there and we were able to do that.
Then it was great to learn the circuit and get some data there for
when we go back in August for the races. Now I am obviously looking
forward to my home race at Donington. I’ve had a lot of success there
in the past and I really hope that we can find the set-up to enable me
to be more consistent and stronger over the race weekend. We need to
work on finding those last little items now to put us in that
position. The new M RR has had a big step in terms of engine and
braking performance and quite a number of other things so we just need
to find the last part of the jigsaw so we can use all of this. I am
looking forward to going there and fingers crossed we can have some
good British weather. But we take what we get and try to get a strong result.”


Eugene Laverty, RC Squadra Corse: “The three-week
break has given me a chance to recover fully from my Misano crash. I
feel fit and ready to get back in the mix. The majority of the
Donington circuit has a flowing nature and that suits the BMW M 1000
RR well. That said, we will continue to work on our weak area of
braking because that’s where the races are often decided at Donington
Park. Three hard braking areas finish the lap and that will be the
main focus of our work during Friday practice in order to be ready for
the races.”


Jonas Folger, Bonovo MGM Racing: “I am already
looking forward to Donington, even though it has been a while since I
was there last – 13 years. As far as I can remember, it is a cool
track. Donington is a real classic on the racing calendar. I hope that
we can take another step forward after testing at Navarra and that we
can improve.”

Track Facts Donington Park.


km – clockwise


12 – 7 right-handers, 5 left-handers




metres (start-finish straight)

Grip level



Fluid, fast turns; hard braking zones; climbs
and descents

Strain on


Amount at full

38 %

Top speed / lowest

km/h / 45 km/h

Best overtaking

T1, T9, T11


speeds through the turns, stability and feel on brakes when
leaning, courage

Original Press Release

Julien Creuzet selected for BMW Art Journey 2021. Multimedia artist returns to his roots in Martinique working together with artists, musicians, and filmmakers.

BMW:Julien Creuzet selected for BMW Art Journey 2021. Multimedia artist returns to his roots in Martinique working together with artists, musicians, and filmmakers.

Munich/Basel. Art Basel and BMW are delighted to
present Julien Creuzet as the BMW Art Journey winner
2021. An international jury selected him unanimously from a shortlist
of three artists represented by galleries who were originally selected
for this year’s Art Basel in Hong Kong. Julien Creuzet is represented
by the gallery High Art, Paris. The BMW Art Journey is part of BMW
Group’s global cultural engagement celebrating its 50th
anniversary this year. Committed in the fields of modern and
contemporary art, classical music, jazz and sound as well as
architecture and design, the BMW Group has been an integral part of
culture on a global scale.

For Julien Creuzet, a member of the Caribbean diaspora in Paris, the
BMW Art Journey – the tenth in the series – will mark a return to his
ancestral home, a place he calls “the heart of my imagination.” In a
poetic journey that intertwines personal discovery with profound
environmental concern and a generous spirit of sharing, he will center
his travels around a geographically and culturally distinct region. In
Martinique, he will work closely with a community of
art students from Fort-de-France, as well as musicians and filmmakers.
His plans include creating hybrid sculptures of Antillean fauna as
well as plastic and industrial objects, in a gesture of circularity.
In Guadeloupe, he will film underwater scenes as well
as obtain aerial visuals with drones. Often neglected in the
metropolitan imagination, the Antilles are not just homeland for
Creuzet but a site inviting consideration of the legacies of
colonialism, conflict, and marginalization. During his journey,
Creuzet will meet with cultural actors and collect visual materials
and music for a “Caribbean road movie” that merges fiction and
documentary, augmented by poetry and 3-D art.

“I am really excited to be the winner of the BMW Art Journey:  It is
a great chance to reconnect with the heart of my imagination and my
Native land. This journey will allow me to collaborate with local
artists, writers, poets, musicians, students and then setting up a
real environment in Martinique,” says Julien Creuzet.

Members of the international expert jury are Claire
, Director, Asia Art
, Hong Kong; Matthias Mühling, Director,
Städtische Galerie im
Lenbachhaus und Kunstbau
, Munich; Patrizia Sandretto Re
, President, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo,
Turin; Philip Tinari, Director, UCCA Center for Contemporary
 Beijing; and Samson Young, artist and winner of the
first BMW Art Journey. 

“Julien Creuzet’s journey is not a trip to a distant and unknown
destination, but rather a return to a familiar place – a place of
family, youth, and education,” the jury noted, reaching its unanimous
decision. “The project rethinks mobility, the climate crisis, and
societal shifts in the wake of Covid-19. Focusing on a single
location, Creuzet underscores the importance of the local and of
reconnecting with one’s roots. His journey combines histories with
fantasies, and ancestral connections with cosmopolitanism. We were
impressed by the generosity of his project, how it makes space for
other artists – a gesture of care and humility that’s in keeping with
our healing moment.”

In addition to Julien Creuzet, the shortlisted artists for the BMW
Art Journey 2021 were: Kelvin Kyun Kun Park
(represented by Vanguard Gallery, Shanghai) and Alice
(represented by Capsule Shanghai).

Launched in 2015, the BMW Art Journey is a
collaboration between Art Basel and BMW, created to recognize and
support emerging artists worldwide. Since 2020, the circle of eligible
artists has broadened and includes not only emerging and mid-career
artists from the Discoveries sector, but also artists represented by
galleries founded no more than ten years ago at Art Basel’s show in
Hong Kong. In recognition of the ongoing exceptional circumstances
caused by the pandemic, the international expert jury conducted its
selection process online. The selected artists were then invited to
submit proposals for a journey aimed to further develop their artistic
work. Based on these proposals the winner was selected. Julien Creuzet
plans to start his BMW Art Journey in summer 2021.

Past winners of the BMW Art Journey include sound and performance
artist Samson Young (presented by a.m. Space, Hong
Kong at Art Basel’s Hong Kong show in 2015); video artists
Henning Fehr and Philipp Rühr (presented by Galerie
Max Mayer, Dusseldorf at Art Basel’s Miami Beach show in 2015);
Abigail Reynolds (presented by Rokeby, London at
Art Basel’s show in Hong Kong in 2016) as well as Max Hooper
(presented by High Art, Paris at Art Basel’s Miami
Beach show in 2016), Astha Butail (represented by
GALLERYSKE, New Dehli, Bangalore at Art Basel´s Hong Kong show in
2017), Jamal Cyrus (represented by Inman Gallery,
Houston at Art Basel’s Miami Beach show in 2017), Zac
(represented by Michael Lett, Auckland at Art
Basel’s Hong Kong show in 2018), Lu Yang (represented
by the gallery Société, Berlin at Art Basel’s Hong Kong show in 2019)
and Leelee Chan (represented by Capsule Shanghai at
Art Basel’s Hong Kong show in 2021).

BMW has supported Art Basel’s shows in Basel, Miami Beach and Hong
Kong for many years.

For further information about the artists and their projects, please


For further questions please contact:
Prof. Dr
Thomas Girst
BMW Group Corporate and Governmental Affairs

Head of Cultural Engagement
Telephone: +49 89 382

Sarah Degen
Art Basel
Senior Media Relations
Telephone: +41 58 206 2706

Original Press Release

Live from BMW Welt: The Esports industry assembles virtually at BMW Esports Boost – Premiere for “The Rival Rig” from RIVALWORKS.

BMW:Live from BMW Welt: The Esports industry assembles virtually at BMW Esports Boost – Premiere for “The Rival Rig” from RIVALWORKS.

Munich. BMW Welt was the epicentre of the Esports industry on
Monday, as it hosted the first BMW Esports Boost. In a series of
talks and panel discussions, the many participants from around the
world were given exclusive insights into the world of Esports. Some
of the industry’s most important protagonists – from industry
experts and publishers to the CEOs of prestigious Esports
organisations – also looked at some of the most exciting future
trends. Highlights included the world premiere of “The Rival Rig”.
This visionary Esports hardware is the first product from the
RIVALWORKS virtual technology factory.

“Today, the eyes of the Esports community were on BMW Welt and our
Esports Boost festival,” said Stefan Ponikva, Vice President Brand
Experience BMW. “A big thank you goes to all our speakers, who
provided a vast array of insights and inspirations in their talks and
panel discussions – and, of course, to our cooperation partner
Seven.One Sports. With the BMW Esports Boost, we are entering another
level of our involvement in Esports: RIVALWORKS. This sees BMW immerse
itself in the virtual world, with totally new target groups. With ‘The
Rival Rig’, we have launched the first product from our virtual
technology factory. For us, this represents the logical link between
reality as a tech company and totally new digital experiences. BMW
Group Designworks has turned a bold vision into reality in an
impressive manner. BMW Esports Boost, RIVALWORKS and ‘The Rival Rig’:
Today has shown once again what a strong catalyst BMW is for Esports.”

RIVALWORKS made its first appearance in the fictitious Manga series
“Heroes of Rivalry”, with which BMW, together with its partner teams,
offered Esports fans a totally new storytelling format in recent
months. RIVALWORKS was portrayed as a technology factory, in which BMW
engineers researched ideas and hardware components. The goal is always
to use innovative technology to promote competition between players
and teams in Esports, and to take this to a new level. This has now
produced its first (real) product: “The Rival Rig”.

In the real world, BMW engineers developed the ground-breaking
concept for this multifunctional gaming hardware, supported by the BMW
Group’s innovation studio Designworks. The focus was on “Gaming
Performance”, “Players’ Health” and “Open Source”. As a result, “The
Rival Rig” offers many unique features to support players’
performance, whilst at the same time integrating health aspects. “The
Rival Rig” is also designed as an open platform, which, in the future,
will incorporate ideas and stimulus from the community, as well as
from gaming platforms and third-party hardware and software providers.
The many stand-out features of “The Rival Rig” include the
“Microclimate Control System” and “Adaptive Seating”. AI-controlled
interaction between integrated sensors, pneumatic air pads and
electro-mechanical actuators ensure that the whole platform is
perfectly geared towards the players.

As well as the presentation of “The Rival Rig”, a host of top
international speakers at the BMW Esports Boost used fascinating panel
discussions and presentations to provide new ideas and give exclusive
insights into the world of Esports. In his talk, Christopher Hana from
“The Esports Observer” highlighted the characteristics of Esports as
part of the gaming culture. In the panel discussion “Advertising to a
community that hates advertising”, participants learned the golden
rules for advertising in an Esports and gaming environment. Under the
heading “Boost your Esports”, speakers discussed growth trends and the
growing importance of mobile Esports, virtual influencers and virtual
reality in Esports and gaming. Furthermore, the increasing relevance
of mainstream media like as key growth drivers for Esports
was emphasised. Experts identified the shooter “Valorant” from Riot
Games as the title with the biggest growth potential, as confirmed by
the involvement of BMW.


Three questions for … Holger Hampf, President of Designworks.


Mr. Hampf, Designworks meets RIVALWORKS: How did you and your
team approach the challenge?

Holger Hampf: “The Rival Rig by BMW and RIVALWORKS, more than any
other project before, was about pushing the boundaries of human
capabilities. What we wanted to achieve is a gaming rig design that
takes both technology and aesthetics in this field to the next level.
Our goal was to create the most comfortable seating, hand posture and
head movement situation, that allow the gamer to fully immerse herself
or himself and experience a sense of weightlessness. It’s a once in a
lifetime opportunity for a designer to work on a project like this as
we were able to play to extremes in terms of technology.”

What were your sources of inspiration for this extraordinary
excursion into the world of Esports?

Hampf: “We searched for inspiration in fields where humans have to
take decisions in split seconds. Our design was influenced by the
characteristics of spaceships and Formula 1 cars. If you think of
spacecraft design and human spaceflight, you understand that
astronauts have to operate very complex systems, and that they have to
make decisions super quickly, often beyond what we call ‘normal human
capacities’. The same observations we made in Formula 1 where the
physical capabilities of drivers are developed to an extreme level. We
applied our learnings from these fields in a new context, all down to
a microscopic level. This project really was about millimeters rather
than centimeters.”

For Esports enthusiasts “The Rival Rig” is the gateway between
the real and virtual world. How is this reflected in the design?


Hampf: “First of all, we developed the gaming rig in very close
collaboration with gamers. Only if you understand the physicality of a
potential user, his or her size, weight, arm length, hand size etc.
you’re able to create a design that allows the gamer to fully immerse
himself or herself into the digital world. Secondly, major design
choices we made for the rig were influenced by the aesthetics you
typically find in games. These visual worlds also influenced the
ambience we wanted to create: The gaming rig can mirror what’s
happening at that very moment in a game through LED lighting effects
that utilize the entire light spectrum – from calming moods to a
brightly lit activity scenes. This means the design of the gaming rig
does not only have the gamer but also the audience in mind. Esports is
a dynamically growing field with an immense public audience, both
online and via live staged events. We wanted to make sure ‘The Rival
Rig”’ increases the bonding between gaming athletes and spectators
worldwide. Special lighting features for example allow fans and
followers to become part of the action.”

“Lastly, and this is really unique, we designed a rig which is able
to actually read the user and communicate with him through constant
analytics of movement. This means the gamer isn’t adjusting anything
herself or himself anymore. If, for example, temperature builds up in
his or her back, the rig would provide cool air. If there is pressure
on the armrests, the gaming rig would lower the armrest and eliminate
these pressure points. It is a gaming rig setup enabled by AI.”

About BMW Esports.

BMW has been collaborating with five of the world’s best teams as a
partner in the classic League of Legends game since 2020. Cloud 9,
FNATIC, FunPlus Phoenix, G2 Esports and T1 fly the BMW colours in the
biggest events in the industry. The highlight of the first
collaborative season in 2020 was the Worlds, in which G2 esports and
FNATIC made it to the knock-out stage of the finals in the battle of
the world’s best teams. G2 Esports even made it to the semi-final. The
Dota 2 specialists OG Esport are a new addition to the ‘United in
Rivalry’ squad as of 2021. The involvement in Esports gives BMW
completely new touch points with a dynamic, rapidly growing community;
making Esports an important future field for BMW marketing activities.
BMW has prominent representatives in sim racing as well, and has
integrated BMW SIM Racing into its racing programme as a standalone
pillar. The BMW SIM Cups attract the world’s best sim racers, who do
battle for wins, titles and attractive cash prizes in virtual BMW
racing cars. BMW SIM Racing teams are taking part for the first time
in 2021. BS+COMPETITION, G2 Esports, Team GB and Team Redline
represent BMW on various simulation platforms.

BMW Welt. The heart of all the BMW Group brands.

BMW Welt welcomes over 3 million visitors each year. With its iconic
architecture, BMW Welt is the heart of all the brands in the BMW Group
– BMW, the sub-brands BMW M and BMW i, MINI, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars
and BMW Motorrad, which are impressively presented in their own worlds
of experience. But it is not only the exhibitions and the collection
of new vehicles that are highlights for car lovers from all over the
world. Visitors can enjoy a year-round program of varied events
covering culture, art and entertainment as well as popular event
locations for over 400 external events per year. The various
restaurants at BMW Welt offer a variety of culinary delights right up
to Michelin star cuisine. In the Junior Campus, children and even the
whole family can explore the city of the future and mobility of the
future either independently or in exciting workshops.

The BMW Group

With its four brands BMW, MINI, Rolls-Royce and BMW Motorrad, the BMW
Group is the world’s leading premium manufacturer of automobiles and
motorcycles and also provides premium financial and mobility services.
The BMW Group production network comprises 31 production and assembly
facilities in 15 countries; the company has a global sales network in
more than 140 countries. In 2020, the BMW Group sold over 2.3 million
passenger vehicles and more than 169,000 motorcycles worldwide. The
profit before tax in the financial year 2020 was € 5.222 billion on
revenues amounting to € 98.990 billion. As of 31 December 2020, the
BMW Group had a workforce of 120,726 employees. The success of the BMW
Group has always been based on long-term thinking and responsible
action. The company set the course for the future at an early stage
and consistently makes sustainability and efficient resource
management central to its strategic direction, from the supply chain
through production to the end of the use phase of all products.

Original Press Release

Both MOTUL BMW M8 GTEs on the GTLM podium at Watkins Glen – Turner Motorsport wins the GTD class.

BMW:Both MOTUL BMW M8 GTEs on the GTLM podium at Watkins Glen – Turner Motorsport wins the GTD class.

Watkins Glen. Three BMWs made it onto the podium in race three
of this season’s Michelin Endurance Cup, which forms part of the
IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. In the GTLM class, John
Edwards (USA), Jesse Krohn (FIN) and Augusto Farfus (BRA) finished
second in the #24 MOTUL BMW M8 GTE at the ‘Six Hours of the Glen’ at
Watkins Glen (USA). They were followed over the finish line by
fellow BMW Team RLL drivers Connor De Phillippi (USA), Bruno
Spengler (CAN) and Philipp Eng (AUT) in third place in the team’s
second car. Turner Motorsport took victory in the GTD class. Bill
Auberlen, Robby Foley (both USA) and Aidan Read (AUS) took victory
in the #96 BMW M6 GT3.


With roughly one hour of the race remaining, a yellow phase saw the
whole field group together again, making for an exciting finish. In
the GTLM class, the two MOTUL BMW M8 GTEs were hunting down the
leading Corvettes. Edwards pulled off a brave overtaking manoeuvre to
take second place, which he held to finish runner-up behind the
victorious #3 Corvette. De Phillippi got the upper hand over the
second Corvette shortly before the flag and finished third to join his
team-mates on the podium.

Turner Motorsport took victory thanks to a perfectly-timed final pit
stop. The final yellow phase came shortly after Auberlen had taken
over at the wheel. As a result, the #96 BMW M6 GT3 found itself at the
head of the GTD field. Auberlen set about extending his lead, which he
defended comfortably through to the finish. The win sees Auberlen and
Foley maintain their overall lead in the GTD class of the IMSA series.

Reactions to the race at Watkins Glen:

John Edwards (#24 MOTUL BMW M8 GTE, BMW Team RLL,
2nd place GTLM class):
“That was really close in
the end. I gave it everything and managed to overtake one Corvette. I
was also able to put pressure on the other, but it managed to find a
bit more speed when I was right behind it. So second place it is. The
battle was fun, but the result is a little bittersweet. However, to be
honest, at the halfway point of the race I did not think we had any
chance at all against the Corvettes.”

Jesse Krohn (#24 MOTUL BMW M8 GTE, BMW Team RLL,
2nd place GTLM class):
“A flawless race from the
entire team was rewarded with two podiums. Unfortunately, it was not
quite enough for the win. The Corvette had a little more speed than we
did, so we made the most of what was possible for us. An awesome job
from the team.”


Augusto Farfus (#24 MOTUL BMW M8 GTE, BMW Team RLL,
2nd place GTLM class):
“We have every reason to
celebrate. Our two podiums and the class win for Turner Motorsport are
fantastic results for BMW M Motorsport. BMW Team RLL did a perfect
job. We leave Watkins Glen with a smile on our face.”


Connor De Phillippi (#25 MOTUL BMW M8 GTE, BMW Team RLL,
3rd place GTLM class):
“Third place for us and
two cars on the podium – that is a good result for BMW M Motorsport,
even if I would obviously have preferred to win. Unfortunately, our
opponents were very quick, but we got the most out of our strategy. I
fought hard for the podium at the end, and basically passed the #4
Corvette on the last lap. These are important points for us in the
overall standings.”


Bruno Spengler (#25 MOTUL BMW M8 GTE, BMW Team RLL,
3rd place GTLM class):
“I am pleased that the
team was rewarded for its fantastic performance with two podium
finishes. We obviously wanted to win, but we were just lacking a
little pace. We were able to compensate for this disadvantage in the
traffic. In the end, however, I think second and third place were the
best we could have hoped for.”


Philipp Eng (#25 MOTUL BMW M8 GTE, BMW Team RLL,
3rd place GTLM class):
“The race was hectic but
a lot of fun. It was fantastic to drive alongside Connor and Bruno for
BMW Team RLL and to celebrate two podiums. I can hardly wait to return
for ‘Petit Le Mans’.”

Bill Auberlen (#96 BMW M6 GT3, Turner Motorsport,
1st place GTD class):

“Today was simply our day. We were actually no longer in our planned
fuelling rhythm after a problem during refuelling. However, the yellow
phase began exactly at the moment in which we had come in for our
final stop. We came out, and all the GTD cars in front of us still had
to come into the pits. That put me in front and I just had to keep it
clean through to the finish. It worked out superbly.”

Original Press Release

BMW International Open: Heavenly Hovland, Comeback Kaymer!

BMW:BMW International Open: Heavenly Hovland, Comeback Kaymer!

  • Viktor Hovland (NOR, -19) triumphs at the 32nd BMW
    International Open to become the first Norwegian to win a European
    Tour event.
  • The 23-year-old shoots a final round of 70 at Golfclub
    München Eichenried to round off an impressive debut in Munich.
  • Martin Kaymer (GER, -17) produces a sensational final-round
    fightback, including ten birdies, to finish runner-up ahead of
    Jorge Campillo (ESP, -15, 3rd) and Victor Dubuisson (FRA, -14, 4th)
  • Matthias Schmid (-11, T14) ends the iconic German tournament
    as the best-placed amateur, Bernd Wiesberger (-13, T5) is the top Austrian.
  • Vincent Norrman (SWE, -14, T5) achieves a true golfing
    rarity on Saturday with a hole-in-one on a par 4.


Munich. Viktor Hovland carded rounds of 68, 67, 64 and 70
(269) to win the 2021 BMW International Open with a final score of
-19. This was the Norwegian’s maiden victory on the European Tour at
the 17th attempt and sees him climb to 13th
place in the world rankings. 2008 winner Martin Kaymer (271 shots,
-17), who remains the only German champion and youngest winner in
the history of the tournament, had to settle for second place, just
two shots back. Amateur Matthias Schmid (277, -11) impressed with an
excellent 14th place.

“Congratulations to Viktor Hovland on an impressive and deserved
victory at the 32nd BMW International Open, which sees him
make history as the first European Tour winner from Norway,” said Ilka
Horstmeier, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Human
Resources, Labour Relations Director. “This tournament has been a
feast of top-class golf, but there was one thing missing. We missed
the many fans lining the fairways and greens, whose enthusiasm usually
creates such a fantastic flair and atmosphere. We are very much
looking forward to experiencing that together with all the visitors
again next year.”

After three rounds, in which Hovland produced a display of excellent
golf, as well as an impressive composure and calm, the young
Norwegian’s three-shot lead looked set to make Sunday a formality.
However, he struggled with a cold putter on his final round, despite
continuing to take a very aggressive approach. On several occasions,
Hovland found himself in a tie for the lead. However, strong nerves at
the end of a round that included four birdies and two bogeys helped
him to a historic victory.

“I am very happy to be sat here with the trophy. When you lead after
three rounds, you can’t help thinking about what might be. That was
not a good round today, but in the end I decided to play simple golf
and stay true to myself,” said Hovland. “I really enjoyed being back
in Europe. I keep hearing from colleagues what a fantastic tournament
BMW puts on here. That was one of the reasons for coming to Munich. It
was great to experience that for myself. I will definitely be back
next year.”

Despite trailing Hovland by eight shots after three rounds, Kaymer
came very close to claiming a second victory at the BMW International
Open on Sunday. An outstanding performance – the two-time major winner
carded ten birdies and just two bogeys – twice brought him into a
share of the lead. In the end, a very satisfied Kaymer had to settle
for second place: “I took a lot from today, particularly the birdie
putt on the 18th. Whether or not it is ultimately enough for the win
does not really matter. I gave myself chances. That is important. It
was a wonderful tournament, and I feel sorry for the whole BMW team,
which has invested a lot of work, that we were not allowed to have
more spectators. I would have liked that.”

Schmid was presented with the trophy for the best amateur. Although
the 22-year-old German was the only non-professional in the field, he
more than deserved the recognition following four under-par rounds
that saw him finish tied in 14th place. “It was very tidy
from tee to green, but my short game and putting were nothing special.
I only made a few birdies from promising positions,” he said after his
final round. On the whole, however, he was happy. “It has been a
fantastic week for me against a home backdrop!”

23-year-old Norrman made history in the third round, when he hit an
extremely rare hole-in-one on a par 4 hole. Using a 3-wood, he drove
his tee shot straight into the hole on the 247-metre 16th. This was
only the third albatross in the 32-year history of the tournament –
following in the footsteps of José Maria Olazábal (ESP, 2001, hole 11,
par 5) and Rafa Echenique (ARG, 2009, hole 18, par 5) – and the first
on a par 4.

Unfortunately, nobody was able to produce the perfect shot on the
17th to win this week’s BMW Hole-in-One Award. Neither the
pros nor amateur Paul Neumann, whose trick shot won the “Steal the
Car” competition on the BMW Golfsport social media channels. Neumann
was rewarded on Tuesday with 50 attempts to hit a hole-in-one that
would have won him the BMW iX, the BMW Group’s new fully-electric flagship.

Original Press Release

BMW International Open: Hovland surges ahead on Moving Day – Norrman makes history with the shot of the tournament.

BMW:BMW International Open: Hovland surges ahead on Moving Day – Norrman makes history with the shot of the tournament.

  • Viktor Hovland (NOR- 17) takes the lead after three rounds
    of the BMW International Open.
  • Vincent Norrman (SWE, -7, T23) hits a hole-in-one on a par 4
    at Golfclub München Eichenried.
  • In Matthias Schmid (-10, T6) and Martin Kaymer (-9, T11),
    two top of the leaderboard includes two Germans heading into the
    final round.


Munich. It was a brilliant Saturday at the BMW International
Open. Viktor Hovland, one of the top favourites coming into the
tournament, lived up to his billing in style and starts Sunday’s
final round with a three-shot lead at the top of the leaderboard.
Vincent Norrman holed his tee shot on the 16th hole (247.8 metres,
par 4) to card only the third albatross in the 32-year tournament
history – and the first on a par 4 hole.

Hovland, who tomorrow could become the very first Norwegian ever to
win a tournament on the European Tour, carded a bogey-free third round
– despite driving into the water on the fourth hole – and hit eight
birdies as he pulled clear of the field. The 23-year-old holds a
healthy three-shot lead over the man in second place, Jorge Campillo
(-14). The rest of the chasing pack are led by Darren Fichardt (RSA,
-13, 3), and Bernd Wiesberger (AUT) and Niall Kearney (IRL, both -11, T4).

“I just try to stay within myself. Obviously, I look at leaderboards
to see where I’m at, but instead of trying to force things, I just
tell myself at the start of the day just to take control of my own
game,” said Hovland, describing the secret to his success. “If I don’t
waste shots here and there, just play smart, trust that I’m doing the
right things, I think I should have a really good shot tomorrow.”

Meanwhile, 23-year-old Norrman made tournament history when he hit an
extremely rare hole-in-one on a par 4. Using a 3 wood, he drove his
ball 270 yards into the hole. This was only the third albatross in the
history of the tournament, following in the footsteps of José Maria
Olazábal (ESP, 2001, hole 11, par 5) and Rafa Echenique (ARG, 2009,
hole 18, par 5). “It is incredible. Unfortunately, that shot came one
hole too early,” said the Swede, referring to the BMW iX on offer for
an ace on the 17th hole. “I think BMW should put the
Hole-in-One Award on the 16th hole in the future. The hole
is harder to hit – you deserve a BMW for that.”

Kaymer was in touch with the leaders at the start of his round, but a
double-bogey on the 16th, after a poor third shot landed in
the water, cost him a better position. Despite this, the two-time
major winner was still satisfied and said: “It was very solid for 17
holes. I just dropped two or three shots on the rest of the field on
one hole. With a par, I would have been right in the tournament.
However, I am focussing on the big picture. I have played three solid
rounds and given myself a lot of chances. I will need a 7 or 8 under
to be up there challenging tomorrow. That is possible, but you have to
avoid making those odd errors here and there.”

The positive surprise of the tournament remains the only amateur in
the field. Matthias Schmid hit another impressive round of 69. The
22-year-old is at one with himself and has a healthy self-confidence.
“I am playing the same game as everyone else, so I believe I can
achieve something tomorrow. I will try to play a good round, then
we’ll see what happens,” said Schmid.

Original Press Release

Youngest overall winners ever: BMW Junior Team claims its first victory on the Nordschleife with the BMW M6 GT3.

BMW:Youngest overall winners ever: BMW Junior Team claims its first victory on the Nordschleife with the BMW M6 GT3.

Nürburg. After four extremely exciting hours of racing, a
dream came true for the BMW Junior Team, its first overall victory
on the Nordschleife with the BMW M6 GT3. Neil Verhagen (USA), Max
Hesse (GER) and Dan Harper (GBR) won race four of the 2021
Nürburgring Endurance Series. A brilliant performance saw them
prevail against stiff opposition, making them the youngest team in
the history of endurances races to win at the Nürburgring (GER).


Harper laid the foundation for this success in morning qualifying
when he secured second place on the grid for the #44 BMW M6 GT3.
Verhagen was first behind the wheel in the race, and kept the trio on
course for a podium finish from the opening lap. During Hesse’s stint,
some of the lap times he set were five seconds quicker than his
closest rivals. A drive-through penalty, which the team received two
hours into the race following a collision at the start, initially saw
the team drop back through the field. However, this was to be just a
brief setback.

With a good one and a half hours remaining, Harper moved to the head
of the field in the #44 BMW M6 GT3. He then defended his lead superbly
in a thrilling duel with the second-placed Audi. When both cars came
in for their final pit stop at the same time, roughly 40 minutes from
the end of the race, the Audi briefly took the lead. However, it only
took Harper a few corners to retake the lead, as the team cheered on.
After four hours of racing, the #44 BMW M6 GT3 crossed the finish line
in first place. The car was run by BMW Team RMG.

“That was a fantastic race,” said mentor Jochen Neerpasch, who was
spellbound as he followed the action in the garage. “In the 24-hour
race the boys showed that they belong in the top class. However, they
graduated in style here today. It was an outstanding performance. It
was not gifted to them, but was a very tough race. The way they
withstood the pressure was impressive. That is by no means a matter of
course at this young age. The BMW Juniors have shown once again how
well they work together as a team.”

“I am just super, super happy. This is a dream come true for us all,”
said Hesse. “We worked hard all year and, unfortunately, were not
rewarded with the result our effort deserved. I believe we have now
paid the team back a little. The guys really put their foot down. A
big thank you also goes to Augusto Farfus, without whom we certainly
would not be here now. We are just happy and want to continue this way.”

“Max and Dan did an amazing job; BMW Team RMG and BMW M Motorsport
did an amazing job as well for the great car we had,” added Verhagen.
“We just got our heads down, we got into it, we also were able to get
through the drive-through penalty and bring it back into the lead
again. It was very impressive. Being the youngest overall winners on
the Nordschleife is something super special. It has been amazing.”

Harper said of his final one-and-a-half-hour stint, which developed
into a thrilling sprint to the finish: “There was just full push from
the very beginning as soon as I got into the car. I had the Audi right
behind me. The whole way through, those one and a half hours, it was
very intense. There was a couple of wild moments on the grass but I am
just so proud of the whole team, BMW Team RMG, BMW M Motorsport and of
course my team-mates Max and Neil. From last year, when the programme
started to now we have come so far together and I think this is a bit
of a fairy tale. I just hope that we can step onto the top step of the
podium many more times together.”

The Nordschleife season continues for Harper, Hesse and Verhagen on
10th and 11th July, with races five and six of this season’s
Nürburgring Endurance Series.

Original Press Release

Race debut of the new BMW M4 GT3 on the Nordschleife postponed.

BMW:Race debut of the new BMW M4 GT3 on the Nordschleife postponed.

Nürburg. The race debut of the BMW M4 GT3 has had to be
postponed. The plan was for the new race car to take part in round
four of the 2021 Nürburgring Endurance Series, on Saturday on the
Nürburgring-Nordschleife (GER), but this has had to be cancelled at
short notice. The car suffered damage in a crash during the closing
stages of the test and set-up session on Friday evening and could
not be repaired overnight. BMW M Motorsport is currently analysing
the cause of the crash in detail.


Up to this point, the intense week of testing with the BMW M4 GT3 had
run smoothly. On Monday and Tuesday, BMW M Motorsport had the
opportunity to take part in the official SRO tests ahead of the
24-hour race at Spa-Francorchamps (BEL). After the new car’s first
outing at the Belgian circuit, BMW M Motorsport drew an extremely
positive conclusion in all areas. Augusto Farfus (BRA), Marco Wittmann
(GER) and Nick Yelloly (GBR) alternated behind the wheel at Spa-Francorchamps.

From the Ardennes, the BMW M4 GT3 headed straight to the Eifel region
of Germany, where Jens Klingmann (GER) and Sheldon van der Linde (RSA)
took over in the cockpit. Friday’s test and set-up drives on the Grand
Prix Circuit and Nürburgring-Nordschleife were also going very well
until the crash, which occurred shortly before the end of the session.
A technical issue resulted in Van der Linde losing control of the car
and crashing into the barriers.

“It is a great shame that our test week with the BMW M4 GT3, which
had been very successful up until that point, ended prematurely – and
that we have had to postpone the car’s race debut, to which we were
all very much looking forward,” said Mike Krack, Head of BMW M
Motorsport. “The impact caused damage to the car and so we decided to
withdraw from the NLS race on Saturday. We did not take this decision
lightly. However, our priority now is to find out exactly what caused
the crash. It is not uncommon to have a technical issue in the
development phase of a new car. That is precisely what these intensive
tests are for: to identify potential weaknesses during the development
phase, and to eliminate these for the future. That is what we will do now.”

Generally speaking, the BMW M4 GT3, the new flagship in the BMW M
Motorsport range, once again impressed in terms of driveability and
handling at Spa-Francorchamps and on the Nordschleife. “Friday was our
second outing with the BMW M4 GT3 on the Nordschleife, and I felt very
comfortable in the car from the first lap,” said Klingmann. “It
definitely confirmed the positive impression I got last time, and the
further development since then has certainly made the car even better.
Clear progress has been made with the BMW M4 GT3 in the sections, in
which the BMW M6 GT3 was weaker. At the same time, it has retained the
strengths of the M6. I am feeling very positive: the car feels good
and gives you a lot of confidence from the first lap.”

Yelloly, who set the fastest time with the BMW M4 GT3 during the test
at Spa-Francorchamps, agreed: “We did a lot of driving in the rain on
day one, while the second day was dry. That gave us the opportunity to
complete a lot of laps with the BMW M4 GT3 in all conditions. The car
felt fantastic, ran like clockwork, and the balance is outstanding. We
completed a lot of test work in a wide range of areas at
Spa-Francorchamps. The fact that we set the fastest time was obviously
a nice bonus.”


Original Press Release