Inaugural season full of highlights: Review of BMW Motorsport SIM Racing in 2020.

BMW:Inaugural season full of highlights: Review of BMW Motorsport SIM Racing in 2020.

Munich.
The 2020 season was the first in which BMW Motorsport
established sim racing as a standalone, equal pillar in its racing
programme. The focus was on the BMW SIM 120 Cup and the BMW SIM M2
CS Racing Cup as separate digital BMW one-make cups with a top-class
field, but BMW cars and BMW works drivers also enjoyed numerous
successes at renowned sim racing events outside of these cups.

 

“Top teams, top drivers, and full starting grids. The response to the
two BMW SIM cups that we set up in collaboration with iRacing and
rFactor2 in our first year was massive,” said Rudolf Dittrich, Head of
BMW Motorsport SIM Racing. “The world’s best sim racers contested both
one-make cups, and made for fantastic racing action. You can see just
how seriously they took the competition by the impressive line-up for
the finals at BMW SIM Live. We, along with the community, are looking
forward to spectacular final races.”

BMW SIM 120 Cup.

In the BMW SIM 120 Cup on the simulation platform iRacing, more than
2,000 drivers from around the world contested the six races of the
season at Daytona, Sebring, the Nürburgring, Spa-Francorchamps, Road
Atlanta and Interlagos. The reward for each victory was 2,400 US
dollars, while the second-placed team received 1,200 US dollars. The
drivers in third place shared 600 US dollars. In the finals, further
cash prizes of more than 27,000 US dollars in total are at stake.

Teams that have qualified for BMW SIM Live:

Maximilian Benecke / Maximilian Wenig – Team Redline

Josh Rogers / Mitchell deJong – Coanda Simsport

Laurin Heinrich / Alexander Voß – BS+COMPETITION

Agustín Canapino / Sami-Matti Trogen – Williams Esports

Tuomas Tähtelä / Valtteri Alander – KOVA Esports

Sebastian Job / Graham Carroll – Red Bull Racing Esports

BMW SIM M2 CS Racing Cup.

In the second BMW one-make cup, the best sim racers went head to head
on the platform rFactor2 in the virtual BMW M2 CS Racing at the
legendary Nürburgring. Most of the races were on the Nordschleife, in
a variety of conditions. Come sunshine, rain or darkness: only the
real ‘Green Hell’ experts prevailed there. The best of them will now
contest the finals at BMW SIM Live, where they will do battle for a
total prize fund of 3,500 euros.

Drivers that have qualified for BMW SIM Live:

 

Michal Smidl – Varga Sim Racing

Risto Kappet – R8G Esports

Nikodem Wisniewski – Williams Esports

Erhan Jajovski – R8G Esports

Zbigniew Siara – Buttler-Pal Motorsport

Peyo Peev – HM Engineering

Jakub Brzezinski – Williams Esports

Yuri Kastorp – R8G Esports

Hany Alsabti – R8G Esports

Joonas Ravio – Zansho Simsport

Other sim racing successes for BMW cars and drivers.

“Aside from our own BMW SIM cups, we have also seen tremendous
momentum in sim racing this year, in part due to the pandemic, which
has spawned new race series in very rapid succession,” said Dittrich.
“BMW cars and BMW drivers brought home numerous wins and titles on
various simulation platforms. It was particularly interesting to see
with just how much passion and ambition many BMW works drivers got
involved with sim racing. And some of them were rewarded with
prestigious wins. I would love for us to be able to build on that in 2021.”

One of the big winners among the ranks of the BMW works drivers was
Bruno Spengler (CAN). He won two titles on the platform iRacing.
First, in the virtual BMW M8 GTE, he won the IMSA iRacing Pro Series,
set up by the IMSA series during the enforced break from real-world
racing. In addition to Spengler, many other regular IMSA drivers
contested the series, including BMW representatives Nick Catsburg
(NED), Philipp Eng (AUT), Jesse Krohn (FIN), John Edwards, Connor De
Phillippi and Robby Foley (alle USA). In autumn, Spengler also won the
title in the Digital Nürburgring Endurance Series powered by VCO with
Team BMW Bank and his driver colleagues Kay Kaschube and Nils Koch
(both GER) at the wheel of the BMW Z4 GT3. All of the races in the
series were at the Nürburgring-Nordschleife.

Also in the virtual BMW Z4 GT3, Eng alongside Laurin Heinrich,
Alexander Voß (both GER) and Team BS+COMPETITION celebrated the
overall win at the iRacing 24h Nürburgring. BMW i Andretti Motorsport
driver Maximilian Günther (GER) won the Pro title in ‘THE RACE
All-Star Cup’ on the platform rFactor 2 and also performed very well
in the ‘ABB Formula E Race at Home Challenge’ with a few race wins. In
that competition, Team Redline driver Kevin Siggy (SLO) in the virtual
BMW iFE.20 won the sim racers title, which saw him also snag a
starting spot in the finals of the BMW SIM M2 CS Racing Cup at BMW SIM
Live. The twelfth and final starting place for these finals went to
Cem Bölükbasi (TUR) for his win at the sim racing event organised by
Jochen Schweizer. Bölükbasi, Siggy and Heinrich joined forces with
Coque Lopez (ESP) to form the BMW Motorsport SIM Racing Team for the
V10 R-League on the Assetto Corsa platform and enjoyed several
successes against top-class competition in the inaugural season of the
team competition.

The DTM also held a digital championship this year. The team title in
the DTM Esports Championship on the platform RaceRoom went to the crew
of team captain and BMW DTM driver Sheldon van der Linde (RSA). Timo
Glock (GER) and Lucas Auer (AUT) were also in action in the virtual
BMW M4 DTM as pro racing driver representatives. The sim racer
driver’s title went to Moritz Löhner (GER), who, as a member of
Sheldon van der Linde’s team, was also racing in a BMW M4 DTM.

BMW SIM Live on 5th December 2020.

BMW SIM Live 2020, which will be broadcast from 4.00 PM CET on
5th December via a livestream on the BMW Motorsport and BMW
Esports channels, will include the final races in the BMW SIM 120 Cup
and the BMW SIM M2 CS Racing Cup. When the season’s race winners come
together they will be competing for a total prize fund in excess of
25,000 euros.

BMW Motorsport SIM Racing will use the event framework to present its
extensive programme for the upcoming season. This will be expanded
significantly in many areas, to do justice to the momentum of the
rapidly emerging digital racing sector. Plans include the one-make cup
competitions, hardware developments and collaborations. BMW Motorsport
SIM Racing will present several spectacular world premieres in these
areas at BMW SIM Live 2020.

Link to YouTube stream:
https://b.mw/sim_live
.

Original Press Release

An interview with Jake Dennis: “At the level we are racing at, you have to be sensible and work together”.

BMW:An interview with Jake Dennis: “At the level we are racing at, you have to be sensible and work together”.

Munich. Jake Dennis (GBR) is set to make his debut in Season 7
of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship with BMW i Andretti
Motorsport. He and Maximilian Günther (GER) are currently attending
the official Formula E tests at Valencia (ESP)

with the BMW iFE.21. In recent years, Dennis has shown his
versatility in the DTM, GT and Formula racing, and as a simulator
and development driver for the Aston Martin Red Bull Racing Formula
1 Team. In an interview, he discusses his expectations ahead of his
first Formula E season, the advantages of his racing simulator
experience, and his general viewpoint on the subject of electromobility.

Welcome to BMW i Andretti Motorsport, Jake!
How and when were you approached by the team?

Jake Dennis: “It all started just through having one connection to
BMW i Andretti Motorsport, which allowed me to do a simulator test,
just to see how the performance was. That test went well. That then
progressed on to a test session on the real racetrack, which went also
really well and we had a bit more of an understanding after that, that
we have kind of a chance to get a seat. When things aligned, what the
team needed and what I wanted, we’ve put together the contract.”

You are currently doing test laps at Valencia in the BMW
iFE.21. How does it feel to be part of Formula E?

 

Dennis: “It feels great! I wanted to progress over the past couple of
years into Formula E as the series has really taken off in the past
years. Gaining the FIA World Championship status now is obviously
massive. It’s nice to call myself a Formula E driver and to finally
put some laps in the car with BMW is a real pleasure. Can’t wait for
the first races in Santiago.”

What are you looking forward to most?

Dennis: “To race in the locations we drive at. Getting to race in
Santiago de Chile, in New York, in Rome and in all the other great
cities is just sensational. The tracks are cool as they are all street
circuits but at the same time this will also be the biggest challenge
for me. Not knowing the circuits is definitely a challenge being a
rookie. I think you can learn the car to a certain level pretty
quickly but learning the tracks against drivers, who have even up to
seven years experience will be tough. I think it’s an advantage to
have driven there before, but at one point obviously everybody has to
be a rookie, so this year it’s my go.”

Will Maximilian Günther be more of a partner or more of an opponent?

Dennis: “Maximilian and I are both competitive guys and there is no
question that we want to beat each other, but I think at the level we
are racing at now, you have to be sensible and you have to work
together to make the programme work. We both want the best for the
team and we both want the fastest car underneath at the end of the
day. That means working together and developing the programme as
quickly as possible is the aim and that’s for sure what we do. It
makes no sense to be rivals, that is more when you are 16 or 17 years
old and your aim is Formula 1 and you think everybody is your enemy,
but now obviously we are older and more matured and you see the bigger picture.”

What’s you first impression of the BMW i Andretti Motorsport Team?

Dennis: “I like the team a lot. The combination of BMW and Andretti
is very strong. The team is highly professional and it has a good mix
of nationalities, which is a great benefit as you get different views
and different opinions.”

How does your wealth of experience in simulator driving help
in Formula E?

Dennis: “My experience in simulator driving helped me most likely to
get the Formula E seat I’d say, because if I had been slow in the
simulator during the evaluation I think I would not be sitting here
today for sure. But in terms of driving the actual car it doesn’t make
a big difference. Some drivers are really fast on simulators and some
drivers are rather slow, but on track they are just as fast as you. I
think in reality it doesn’t really help me to deliver any more
performance on track but it helps just having more experience on
simulators to help to develop the BMW simulator at the factory.”

Do you have much experience on street circuits?

Dennis: “I don’t really have a lot experience on street circuits
genuinely. I did the ones at Macau and Pau and places like Norisring,
but it’s nothing like Formula E. You just try to build up as much
knowledge as you can but Formula E is so unique with the tracks
they’ve developed, that you probably never really build up enough
knowledge before you go into Formula E. I like it that the circuits
are so tight and twisty and for the fans it’s great to see the cars so
close. All the street races I’ve done so far I really enjoyed so I
think there’s no reason to not enjoy the ones where you race in
Formula E.”

Are you an early bird in normal life? Because you’ll have to
be on Formula E race days…

Dennis: “I’m kind of getting used to the early starts of the day, due
to the early starts in Munich during the simulator days. I’m quite
good at waking up early, I think I don’t need a lot of sleep in
general. But if it’s a possibility, I’m happy to sleep a bit longer
than on race days in Formula E.”

What’s your general opinion on e-mobility?

Dennis: “My general opinion about e-mobility is that it will only
become bigger and bigger. I still love a big engine and super-fast,
loud cars but I am realistic and I know how big the electric world is
going to be and I’m super excited to be now part of the programme and
to get more of an understanding the way the world and the way the
project is going. Just from season one until now – the amount of
technology and development which has happened in Formula E is sensational.”

Original Press Release

An interview with Maximilian Günther: “We have all the ingredients for achieving a great deal in this championship”.

BMW:An interview with Maximilian Günther: “We have all the ingredients for achieving a great deal in this championship”.

Munich. From Thursday, the Formula E teams will be completing
test laps at Valencia (ESP) in preparation for the start of Season 7
of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, planned for January.
Representing BMW i Andretti Motorsport are Maximilian Günther (GER)
and Jake Dennis (GBR) in the BMW iFE.21. While Dennis is new to the
team, Günther is entering his second season as a BMW i Andretti
Motorsport driver after a successful debut year. After achieving the
best time during the tests at Valencia last year, he went on to
secure two wins and a second place during the race season. Now, in
an interview, he looks ahead to the upcoming season, talks about the
team’s particular strengths and where they have room for
improvement, evaluates his new team-mate and explains why he moved
to Monaco (MON) in the summer.

Maximilian, how have you spent the time since the Season 6
final in Berlin?

Maximilian Günther: “For me there was a seamless transition to the
new season. We started test driving the new car straight away and
that’s how things continued for me over the past months, lots of test
drives with the new car, simulator tests in Munich and a large number
of meetings, both virtually and in Munich at BMW Motorsport with my
engineers. Since the end of the season in Berlin, we have pursued our
path and objectives in development and worked on every minor detail. I
really enjoyed that as I am a real perfectionist. The off-season has
been very productive to date and we are all looking forward to things
getting started again.”

 

As well as taking part in testing you also moved.

Günther: “That’s right. I moved to Monaco right after the races in
Berlin. It was a fantastic step for me for many reasons. Monaco is an
amazing place for me as a sportsman because the training conditions
are first-class, be that the fitness studios, running tracks or road
bike tracks. And then there’s the consistent climate with pleasant,
warm temperatures all year round, and naturally a large number of
other sports personalities live in Monaco. I also chose the location
so that I am able to live among colleagues and athletes who have a
similar lifestyle. When I was little and watched Formula 1 in Monaco,
my two goals were to race in Monaco and ideally to live there. Both
came true in recent years.”

How are you preparing for the test drives in Valencia?

Günther: “Primarily by driving in the simulator in Munich.
Preparations for an official test like this are actually very similar
to preparations for a race weekend. It’s all about simulating various
scenarios here as well. Everything is planned and tested, from driving
a fast lap like in qualifying, through to race simulation in terms of
energy efficiency. And then there are other things in focus for test
drives in particular, such as various set-ups and specific ideas that
you want to check out ahead of the season.”

Last year was a resounding success with you getting the
overall best time.

Günther: “The test drives did go very well for me. I was new to the
team back then. Now the situation is totally different, I have got to
know the team really well and the conditions are obviously different.
After a whole year working together, you know what makes each other
tick and can build on this common basis. Generally speaking, the team
is almost identical and has become like family. I feel right at home
in the team and am really looking forward to starting the new season
with the experiences from last year.”

Since the cars haven’t changed all that much compared with
Season 6, are you as a driver in combination with your race
engineers able to make more of a difference?

Günther: “I would say that the drivers are more in focus in Formula E
than in other series. That’s what I really enjoy about the series. It
is incredibly challenging – and yes, the collaboration with the race
engineers is extremely important. You often see snippets of how much
we communicate on television. That is planned down to the finest
detail and every consultation has to be exact. We rely on each other
implicitly and know exactly what each of us is talking about – and all
of that under great stress and immense time pressure. It is wonderful
and a fantastic basis that we established last season, that we are now
able to build on.”

What do you feel are your and the team’s greatest strengths?

Günther: “Our greatest strength is that we are incredibly compact as
a team. We have all the ingredients for achieving a great deal in this
championship. We are very aware of what it takes. Our art is that we
are very meticulous in our work and try to optimise everything, but at
the end of the day know precisely what it takes and go into a race
weekend with a very clear mindset. I believe that is what enables us
to handle the challenges of Formula E that we face each weekend very
well as a team.”

Where can you make the biggest improvement compared with
Season 6?

Günther: “Naturally there is always room for improvement, and you try
to work on all the minor details. I believe that a particular
challenge in Formula E is the qualifying format. Last season we were
almost always in Group 1, which is a good sign in principle, because
it means that you are consistently up there near the top in the
championship, but it also brings plenty of challenges. Unfortunately,
we didn’t manage to make it out of Group 1 into Super Pole often
enough, or into a good starting position. We have looked at this in
great detail during the off-season, and I think we have drawn the
right conclusions.”

How well do you already know your new team-mate Jake Dennis?

Günther: “I know Jake from Formula 3 days; we were even team-mates in
one race in 2015. We get on really well and our collaboration was
great right from the start during the test drives. When all is said
and done, we got started working together straight away. I’m delighted
that Jake is part of the team and that we can start the new season
together. He is the kind of guy who has a lot of technical expertise,
also from his experiences in the simulator at Red Bull Racing and the
races in the DTM, where he was performing at a very high level in
motorsport. I think that he is a great fit for Formula E and there is
nothing standing in the way of us collaborating successfully as team-mates.”

How are you handling the uncertainty due to the pandemic –
including in terms of the race calendar?

Günther: “It goes without saying that the coronavirus situation is
very unusual, that applies to all of us. But I try to be as relaxed as
possible when it comes to the uncertainty of the races, and not think
about things too much in advance. Flexibility is key here. I accept
that 100 percent and prepare myself to handle all the challenges this
brings as well as I can.”

Original Press Release

BMW Motorsport News – Issue 24/2020.

BMW:BMW Motorsport News – Issue 24/2020.

Whether in the DTM, the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar
Championship, the ABB FIA Formula E Championship, or countless other
championships, week after week BMW teams and drivers around the
world do battle for points, victories and titles. Away from the
track too, members of the large BMW Motorsport family around the
world are also creating headlines. The “BMW Motorsport News” allows
us to regularly summarise all the action for you in a compact and
informative manner. This way, you are always up to speed.

GT4 France: Title win for Team L’Espace Bienvenue.

Team L’Espace Bienvenue topped off a strong season in the GT4
France with two titles. At the final race weekend at Le Castellet
(FRA), the team won the championship in both the driver and team
standings in the Silver category. In the race on Saturday, which was
held in the dark, the two drivers Ricardo van der Ende (NED) and
Benjamin Lessennes (BEL) in the #17 BMW M4 GT4 finished in fifth place
in the Silver category. On Sunday they crossed the finish line in
third place in their class after a thrilling race and celebrated the
two titles.

Macau GT Cup: Top-three spots for the BMW M4 GT4 at the ‘Guia Circuit’.

Despite the cancellation of the FIA GT World Cup in Macau (MAC), the
legendary ‘Guia Circuit’ hosted a race weekend with various categories
at the weekend. These included the Macau GT Cup for GT3 and GT4 cars,
contested by three BMW M4 GT4 representing customer racing teams from
Asia. In both the qualifying race on Saturday and the main race on
Sunday, Kwai Wah Wong (HKG) of Son Veng Racing Team secured third
place in the GT4 class. In the BMW M4 GT4 of Team Toro Racing,
Zungcheng Chen (CHN) crossed the finish line in fourth place in the
GT4 classification on Saturday and in sixth place on Sunday. Chi Hou
Lai (MAC), also of Son Veng Racing Team, finished in eighth and fifth
place in the GT4 classification.

Original Press Release

Premiere at Portimão: Fabio Quartararo wins the BMW M Award in MotoGP™ for the first time.

BMW:Premiere at Portimão: Fabio Quartararo wins the BMW M Award in MotoGP™ for the first time.

Portimão. A premiere for the iconic BMW M Award: In the 2020 season,
Frenchman Fabio Quartararo was the fastest qualifier in MotoGP, which
saw him added to the list of winners of this special competition for
the first time. His reward for his performances is the BMW M Award
winner’s car for 2020: the new BMW M2 CS (combined fuel consumption:
10.4 l/100 km*; combined CO2 emissions: 238 g/km*). The
winner’s car was presented during the MotoGP season finale at the
weekend as Portimão in Portugal hosted Grand Prix motorcycle racing
for the first time.

Quartararo claimed pole position four times during the MotoGP season,
which was more times than any of his rivals. He picked up a total of
225 points for the BMW M Award classification, his lead over his
closest rival being 13 points. Quartararo’s victory in the 2020 season
ended the impressive record streak of Spain’s Marc Márquez, who won
the BMW M Award seven years in a row between 2013 and 2019. However,
this year Márquez missed much of the season due to injury.

After the final qualifying session of the season on Saturday, winner
Quartararo was presented with his new BMW M2 CS. In attendance at the
award ceremony was Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO of MotoGP rights holder Dorna
Sports. Markus Flasch, CEO of BMW M GmbH, abstained from travelling to
Portugal due to the current coronavirus situation, but followed the
final from Munich.

“First of all, I would like to thank Dorna for managing to organise
an exciting MotoGP season with 15 Grands Prix against all odds in this
difficult year globally. It wasn’t an easy task, but Dorna made it
possible,” said Flasch. “It meant we were able to appear as title
sponsor for the first time at the ‘BMW M Grand Prix of Styria’ at
Spielberg as part of our involvement as the ‘Official Car of MotoGP’.
We were also able to continue the BMW M Award tradition and present it
for the 18th time this year. Congratulations to Fabio
Quartararo, who more than deserves this prize with four pole positions
and a total of nine starting places on the front row. We selected the
BMW M2 CS for the winner’s car this year, our special model, with
which we bring many components from racing onto the road. We hope
Fabio has a lot of fun with his new high-performance car!”

“Congratulations to Fabio Quartararo. He was really impressive in
qualifying this season and impressed all of us with his speed,” said
Ezpeleta during the award ceremony at Portimão. “I would like to thank
our long-standing, reliable partner BMW M GmbH, on whose support we
have always been able to rely, even in this year that has not been an
easy one. There was never any doubt that the BMW M Award for the
fastest qualifier would be presented this season as well; despite it
being a very different season to usual. This competition is highly
valued by our riders and with the winner’s car, BMW M GmbH raised the
bar once again. You can see that the BMW M2 CS was born on the
racetrack and I am sure it will get Fabio’s motorsport heart racing.”

“What a crazy, exciting season. I’m delighted to have won the race
for the BMW M Award,” said winner Quartararo. “It’s great that BMW M
GmbH has been acknowledging our performances in qualifying with this
special prize for so many years. Many thanks for this recognition. I’m
already really looking forward to taking my new BMW M2 CS for a spin.
It looks like a racing car for the road and is no doubt a lot of fun.
Huge thanks to BMW M GmbH!”

The BMW M2 CS is the first exclusive, limited special model from BMW
M GmbH in the premium compact class. The high-performance car contains
numerous components developed for racing. The inline 6-cylinder engine
with M TwinPower turbo technology and 3.0 litre capacity reaches 450
hp, with a maximum torque of 550 Nm. This performance is brought to
the road by the 7-speed M double-clutch transmission (M DCT) and the
Adaptive M suspension. The BMW M2 CS accelerates from 0 to 100 km/ h
in 4.0 seconds. The carbon bonnet weighing 50 percent less and with a
striking central air vent increases downforce and improves engine
cooling. The roof is manufactured from carbon-fibre-reinforced
plastics (CFRP). The sporty look of the BMW M2 CS continues in the
interior, with the lightweight M Sports seats with bucket-style design
and integrated headrests as well as the M Sports steering wheel among
other things. The performance qualities of the BMW M2 CS make it the
perfect foundation for the BMW M2 CS Racing, which BMW M Motorsport
added to its BMW M Customer Racing range as a customer racing car this season.

The BMW M Award is an important pillar in BMW M GmbH’s commitment as
“Official Car of MotoGP”. The fastest qualifier in the MotoGP has been
awarded the prize of an exclusive high-performance car at the end of
every season since 2003. The riders pick up points for their positions
in qualifying at every Grand Prix weekend, in line with the scoring
system for races. The record winner of the BMW M Award is Marc
Márquez, who won the award seven times in a row. Valentino Rossi and
Casey Stoner have won the BMW M Award three times each. Jorge Lorenzo
has been awarded the best qualifier two times to date; Sete Gibernau
and Nicky Hayden have each won once. Quartararo is a new addition to
this list with his 2020 win.

For more information about BMW M GmbH and the involvement as the
“Official Car of MotoGP”, see: www.bmw-m.com

* All figures relating to performance, fuel/electric power
consumption and CO2 emissions are provisional.

The fuel consumption and CO2 emission figures are
determined according to the European Regulation (EC) 2007/715 in the
version applicable. The figures refer to a vehicle with basic
configuration in Germany. The range shown considers the different
sizes of the selected wheels/tyres and the selected items of optional
equipment, and may vary during configuration.

The values are based on the new WLTP test cycle and are translated
back into NEDC-equivalent values in order to ensure comparability
between the vehicles. With respect to these vehicles, for
vehicle-related taxes or other duties based (at least inter alia) on
CO2 emissions, the CO2 values may differ from
the values stated here (depending on national legislation).

Further information on official fuel consumption figures and specific
CO2 emission values of new passenger cars is included in
the following guideline: ‘Leitfaden über den Kraftstoffverbrauch, die
CO2-Emissionen und den Stromverbrauch neuer
Personenkraftwagen’ (Guide to the fuel economy, CO2
emissions and electric power consumption of new passenger cars), which
can be obtained free of charge from all dealerships, from Deutsche
Automobil Treuhand GmbH (DAT), Hellmuth-Hirth-Str. 1, 73760
Ostfildern-Scharnhausen and at https://www.dat.de/co2/.

BMW M2 CS: combined fuel consumption: 10.4 l/100 km; combined
CO2 emissions: 238 g/km.

Original Press Release

An interview with Edwards and Krohn: “Winning a title is a great way to end the season”.

BMW:An interview with Edwards and Krohn: “Winning a title is a great way to end the season”.

Munich
.
Together with BMW and BMW Team RLL, John Edwards (USA) and
Jesse Krohn (FIN) crowned their 2020 season in the IMSA WeatherTech
SportsCar Championship (IMSA) with a title win. They claimed the
GTLM titles in the Michelin Endurance Cup, a competition
representing the four endurance races held in the IMSA. In an
interview, Edwards and Krohn speak about the special challenges of
endurance races, the perfect team effort as key to success and their
personal season highlights including winning the 24 Hours of Daytona (USA).

 

The Daytona win was the start of a streak of success for Edwards and
Krohn in the #24 MOTUL BMW M8 GTE. They also finished the other three
endurance races of the season on the podium. These have been, after
Daytona, the six-hour race and the ten-hour ‘Petit Le Mans’ at Road
Atlanta (USA) and the season finale 12 Hours of Sebring (USA). For the
Michelin Endurance Cup, points are awarded in specific intervals
throughout the race. In a 24-hour race, for example, these ‘check
points’ come after six, 12, 18 and 24 hours; in a six-hour race, it’s
after three and six hours. Those cars who are leading the race at
these ‘check points’ collect points for the drivers’, teams’ and
manufacturers’ standings in the Michelin Endurance Cup. In the 2020
season, not only the driver’s title went to Krohn and Edwards, but BMW
Team RLL won the team classification and BMW was the best manufacturer.

John, Jesse, congratulations on winning the title in the
Michelin Endurance Cup. What does this title mean to you?

John Edwards: “I think it’s a great way to end the season, closing
out with a championship. For us, the Michelin Endurance Cup was a big
focus, especially after winning the first race of the year, the 24
Hours of Daytona. From then on it was an additional part of our
strategy in endurance races to target to be leading at the check
points in order to collect the points for the Endurance Cup. I think
it’s a testament to the job the team can do when you have 24 hours, 12
hours, ten hours of racing. It’s a testament to how the team is
functioning as a whole and so I’m really proud to be a part of it.”

Jesse Krohn: “I am also super proud that we were able to win this
endurance title because in races, the longer they go, the more
difficult it gets. When you have to survive for ten, 12, 24 hours that
is, like John said, really a testament to the team’s ability in
endurance races and doing a great job over a long distance. It’s
really a great achievement for the whole team that we were able to win it.”

You have been on the podium in all four endurance races of the
season. What are the keys to success in endurance racing compared to
shorter 2 hour 40 races?

 

Krohn: “It’s a different mentality approaching the longer races
because you know you got to be there at the end and there is a lot of
strategy involved getting in that position that gives you the chance
to win or to finish on the podium. So it’s a completely different
approach to the sprint races where you got to qualify well and it’s
even more taking risks throughout the race. You don’t have to think
about the long game so much as in endurance races. It’s different and
this year we really did it well.”

Edwards: “I think it’s really challenging. Especially in IMSA with
the different classes and then how close we are especially to the GTD
cars because, as Jesse said, you have to be there in the end but as
soon as you back off in an IMSA race you are going to lose a lot of
time due to passing traffic and so on. At places like Sebring and Road
Atlanta actually, which have finishing the race at night, it’s quite
challenging to determine how much risk you’ll take because you need to
be there at the end but when you pull back too much then GTD cars
won’t let you by and prototypes will take advantage of you. You have
to find that balance of quite a bit of aggression and still managing
to keep the car together. I think it’s also important to highlight how
many pit stops the team takes part of over an endurance race, and the
strategy as well is constantly changing over that time. I think at
Daytona, we had a fast car which came to us at the end of the race
when the track heated up but more importantly we also called the
strategy perfectly. It put us in a great position and for me it’s a
huge emphasis on the team, even more than in the sprint races.”

The team effort – what makes BMW Team RLL so strong in this regard?

Krohn: “It’s a special team, for sure. The team spirit and the way
everybody works together is really great and everybody has a really
good relationship with each other. There’s a very open atmosphere and
it is very clear that everybody has their own job, everybody do their
specific work super well and you know that you can always rely on the
guy next to you. And I think that really puts the team on a different
level and allows us to have this success that we’ve had.”

Edwards: “I agree with Jesse and I think it’s important to also
highlight that in addition to winning this championship and being on
the podium with the #24 car in every endurance race, the #25 also won
the six-hour race at Road Atlanta and we have also won Daytona two
years in a row as a team. It all came together for us in the #24 this
year but this was just a highlight of how the team has been in the
last couple of years. And when you look at who is next to you,
particularly all of the BMW drivers that they bring to races, in a way
it doesn’t matter who they send because they have such strong drivers.
We’ve had Philipp Eng in our car, of course this year we had Augusto
Farfus and Chaz Mostert who both did an amazing job. And I’m very
proud to be a part of that programme.”

Your personal highlight of the season for sure was winning the
24 Hours of Daytona in January? Now, with some time passing by, what
are still your strongest memories of that success?

Edwards: “True! I actually remember a moment in the middle of the
race, probably around midnight or one o’clock in the morning. I got in
from my triple stint in the night and was sitting in the pits with
Philipp Eng who was driving the #25 sister car. I think it was you,
Jesse, in the car, making moves and moving up the field and we had
good pace. Philipp looked at me, kind of hit me on the knee and said:
‘You will win this race, man.’ And I looked back and meant to myself:
‘It’s still way too long to go for a talk like this.’ I still remember
that moment because he had all the confidence that we would win it and
I just wanted to focus on the things we could control at that moment.
But of course the best memory was watching Jesse cross the finish line
because in the last couple of hours we had a lot of stuff up in the
air. The strategies were still playing out and obviously we had called
it well but in the background I wasn’t sure how this will play out
until we saw it. Also on one of the final pit stops, a prototype
stalled his car and blocked Jesse’s entry in the pit lane and I
thought that was the end of the race for us. I thought that would put
us back to third and cost us the race win so it was very emotional in
the race and I remember the feeling of watching Jesse cross and
knowing we have finally done it. Chaz Mostert, Augusto Farfus and I
hugged and jumped up and down on the pit wall. It was so much joy but
mostly also relief as it was so stressful leading up to that moment.
So for me the biggest moment in my mind is that big hug with my
team-mates on the pit wall as we watched Jesse cross the line.”

So Jesse, your biggest moment then certainly was crossing the
line in the #24 MOTUL BMW M8 GTE?

Krohn: “Yes, 100 per cent. I just spoke about this at the weekend at
Sebring, how long ago in a way our Daytona win was but how clear it
still is in my memory. It was like we had just won it yesterday,
because it was such a special race, a special moment for myself and
for the team. When I think of crossing the finish line: I would much
rather be in the car in the final hour, because I can get the job done
and I don’t have to stress on the pit wall and have things out of my
control. It was also something special for me that the team showed
trust in me and put me in the car to bring the race home. When I
crossed the finish line, I was just trying to soak in the feeling. I
knew how special it is and when I drove slowly around the track in the
inlap, I just felt the moment and it was very special. I knew I had a
very happy team waiting for me once I got to the pits.”

After Daytona, you and the team wanted to take the momentum to
the next rounds, but the Covid-19 pandemic caused all racing
activities to stop for a few months. How challenging was that for
you as drivers and BMW Team RLL?

Edwards: “I think it has been a difficult year for everyone, wether
you are in motorsport or not. For us in motorsport, we stayed at home
and we drove on our sims a lot. And I think for us in the #24 car it
was actually probably easier than for most people because we had a
great result, we got to enjoy and celebrate our success for a little
bit longer than we planned with quite a long time between races. But I
think it would have been much worse to have a bad race at Daytona and
then have to go into lockdown because when you have these bad races
all you want to do is get back and make up for it. We have been able
to come home and proudly wear our Rolex’s around the house while we
waited for the next race (laughs).”

Krohn: “John said it well, we were very lucky that we had the race
win and went into lockdown with a good result. But obviously it was
not ideal for anyone and we would have liked to kept going and I still
hope that things will get back to normal rather sooner than later.”

After the season resumed, what were your other highlights?

Edwards: “Obviously the fact that we were on the podium in every
endurance race was really special. And in addition to that, we led at
a lot of the check points in the middle of the races which count
towards the Endurance Cup. Although we had some podiums also outside
the endurance races, for me the whole endurance season is really what
I look back on. In the six-hour race at Road Atlanta, we had a good
pace and ultimately came home ‘only’ in third but it was a very tight
and intense race. And then the Petit Le Mans, it was a bit of a
bittersweet race as we won the Endurance Cup but came home third but
we were leading with some time to go before Augusto got pushed off by
a prototype. So for me, this Petit Le Mans race was a bit of a
highlight although we did not have the luck to finish with it a win
but for me that was a really strong race by all three of us driving
the car and a strong race by the team and the performance of the car.
Unfortunately it was just bad luck that put us to third instead of
winning the race. But that was for me a great example of a race that
we executed pretty much perfectly.”

Krohn: “Yes, I agree with John, the endurance championship definitely
was a highlight but the whole season itself was a bit of a highlight
because we knew that we had a package that every week can fight for
the win so it was really exciting to go to all the races, knowing that
if we executed well we would be able to fight for wins and podiums. So
in general, this year we’ve been consistently more competitive, we’ve
really made a step from last year to this year to really challenge for
race wins. We were in the mix all the time, overall doing a good job.”

Original Press Release

BMW Motorsport News – Issue 23/2020.

BMW:BMW Motorsport News – Issue 23/2020.

Whether in the DTM, the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar
Championship, the ABB FIA Formula E Championship, or countless other
championships, week after week BMW teams and drivers around the
world do battle for points, victories and titles. Away from the
track too, members of the large BMW Motorsport family around the
world are also creating headlines. The “BMW Motorsport News” allows
us to regularly summarise all the action for you in a compact and
informative manner. This way, you are always up to speed.

24H SERIES: AVIA Sorg Rennsport clinches several titles.

The 24H SERIES 2020 drew to a close with the 12-hour race at Mugello
(ITA) at the weekend – and with great success for Team AVIA Sorg
Rennsport. The team not only secured race victory with the #451 BMW M4
GT4, but also won several titles. The race was held over two parts on
Friday and Saturday. After a total of 302 laps, Team AVIA Sorg
Rennsport won the GT4 class by a large margin with drivers José Manuel
de los Milagros, Sergio Paulet, Philippe Valenza (all ESP) and Björn
Simon (GER). That saw Team AVIA Sorg Rennsport win the championship
title in the overall GT standings and the GT4 class in the 24H SERIES
Continents; de los Milagros and Simon were also crowned champions in
the overall GT standings and the GT4 class. What’s more, de los
Milagros ended the 2020 season in second place overall in the 24H
SERIES Europe GT4 class and in third place in the 24H SERIES Europe GT classification.

GT racing: BMW wins manufacturer’s championship at the Nordschleife.

BMW rounded off an extremely successful year at the
Nürburgring-Nordschleife (GER) by winning the first ever
manufacturer’s championship up for grabs. The classification
incorporated the results from the practice sessions and races of all
rounds of the Nürburgring Endurance Series (NLS). For the 24-hour
race, the qualifying session and the race results after 12 and 24
hours were also all taken into account. With 129 points in the final
classification, BMW had a narrow lead over their rivals. BMW’s tally
included the win and third place for ROWE Racing and BMW Team
Schnitzer at the 24-hour race, as well as two NLS wins for ROWE Racing
and Walkenhorst Motorsport. “Winning the manufacturer’s championship
for the Nordschleife races is the icing on the cake of an extremely
successful racing season at the ‘Green Hell’ for BMW Motorsport,” said
current BMW Group Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt. “The ROWE Racing
win at the 24-hour race, which marked BMW’s 20th victory at
this iconic race after a ten-year wait, as well as the podium for BMW
Team Schnitzer were phenomenal. But our successes in the NLS races
were also a lot of fun. Even though they didn’t enter this
manufacturer’s championship, I would like to take this opportunity to
congratulate all the BMW M customer racing teams once again on their
fantastic Nordschleife seasons and numerous NLS title wins with the
BMW M4 GT4, BMW M240i Racing, BMW 330i, BMW 325i and other BMW cars.
All told, we witnessed gripping races and amazing duels everywhere.”

Michelin Pilot Challenge: Victory for Turner Motorsport at Sebring.

Turner Motorsport ended the 2020 season of the IMSA Michelin Pilot
Challenge with another win. At the Sebring (USA) final, Robby Foley
and Cameron Lawrence (both USA) were unbeatable in the #95 BMW M4 GT4.
That saw the Turner Motorsport team clinch its third win of the
season. Gregory Liefooghe and Sean Quinlan (both USA) crossed the
finish line in ninth place in the #43 BMW M4 GT4 of Stephen Cameron
Racing. Foley was on double duty in this race, also racing alongside
Vincent Barletta (USA) in the Turner Motorsport #96 BMW M4 GT4. They
finished in twelfth place. James Clay and Mike Skeen (both USA) ended
up in 14th place in the BimmerWorld Racing #82 BMW M4 GT4.

GT4 European Series: Borusan Otomotiv Motorsport on the podium
at final.

The Borusan Otomotiv Motorsport team picked up further podiums at the
season finale of the GT4 European Series at Le Castellet (FRA). In the
Pro-Am class, Cem Bölükbasi and Yagiz Gedik (both TUR) finished second
on the podium in the #12 BMW M4 GT4 in Saturday’s race. The duo
retired from race two on Sunday, but that didn’t affect their position
in the Pro-Am championship standings, in which Bölükbasi and Gedik
finished in a superb second place after the final. Their team-mates
Fatih Ayhan and Ibrahim Okyay (both TUR) also finished on the podium
at Le Castellet. They finished third in the Am class with their #13
BMW M4 GT4 in Sunday’s race. The duo finished race one on Saturday in
sixth place in their class.

BTCC: Team BMW wins the 2020 team and manufacturer’s titles.

Championship glory in the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC). At
the Brands Hatch (GBR) final, Team BMW won the team title and topped
the manufacturer’s standings for BMW in the 2020 season. Driver Colin
Turkington (GBR) ended the year second in the driver’s standings.
Three races were scheduled for the final, which was held in somewhat
variable conditions. Turkington finished in ninth, fourth and ninth
place in his BMW 330i M Sport. His team-mate Tom Oliphant (GBR)
finished the races in tenth, 15th and 13th
place. Turkington also received a special award after the qualifying
session; he was presented with the first ever ‘Goodyear Wingfoot
Award’, a special award for the driver with the best overall
qualifying results throughout the season.

DTM: BMW Team RBM wins Hankook Best Pitstop Award 2020.

To round off the 2020 DTM season, BMW Team RBM was presented with
another special award. The team won the Hankook Best Pitstop Award
2020 with Philipp Eng’s (AUT) crew. In line with the scoring system in
the races, the individual car crews were awarded points for the
fastest pit stops after each race weekend. Eng’s BMW Team RBM crew
picked up the maximum haul of 25 points for the fastest stop of the
weekend in four of the season’s nine events. Their final tally in the
Hankook Best Pitstop Award was 151 points. In second place was BMW
Team RMG with Timo Glock’s (GER) crew. They racked up 118 points and
were the crew with the fastest pit stop three times this season.

 

Original Press Release

Twelve Hours of Sebring: BMW Team RLL racing to clinch the endurance title.

BMW:Twelve Hours of Sebring: BMW Team RLL racing to clinch the endurance title.

Sebring
.
BMW Team RLL is ready for the Twelve Hours of Sebring (USA)
this coming weekend. The endurance classic marks the 2020 season
finale in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship (IMSA). John
Edwards (USA) and Jesse Krohn (FIN) travel to Sebring as the leaders
in the Michelin Endurance Cup and have their focus set on winning
the title. They also can finish the season second in the driver
championship. The same goes for BMW Team RLL in the team
championship and BMW in the manufacturer standings.

 

Traditionally, the Twelve Hours of Sebring is held in March as the
second round of the season but in 2020 it was postponed to November
due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It will therefore mark the final round
of an outstanding IMSA season for BMW Team RLL with a total of nine
podium finishes with the MOTUL BMW M8 GTE, including victories at the
24 Hours of Daytona (USA) and the six-hour race at Road Atlanta (USA).

 

The Michelin Endurance Cup is a four-race championship representing
the four endurance races of a season. Edwards and Krohn have scored 37
points so far this season while Augusto Farfus (BRA) follows in second
place with 31 points – level on points with the closest BMW
competitors. Farfus will again compete with Edwards and Krohn in the
#24 MOTUL BMW M8 GTE and with a success, the trio can secure first and
second places in this classification. The #25 MOTUL BMW M8 GTE will be
driven by regular drivers Connor de Phillippi (USA) and Bruno Spengler
(CAN) as well as Colton Herta (USA). In the GTD class, Turner
Motorsport will enter the #96 BMW M6 GT3 driven by Bill Auberlen,
Robby Foley and Dillon Machavern (all USA). The 12-hour race will
start on Saturday, 14th November, at 10:10 local time.

Quotes ahead of the Twelve Hours of Sebring.

 

Bobby Rahal (Team Principal BMW Team RLL): “We have
had success at Sebring in the past, won the race several times and
qualified well. We just have to continue to push as hard as we can, to
make sure we have great pit stops and to also make sure we explore the
strategies we might be able to use that can help us win. Victory does
not always go to the fastest, it goes to the smartest. To win the
Michelin Endurance Cup would be a major accomplishment. It comprises
races like Daytona, Sebring and the Petit Le Mans and we were on the
podium in each of those races aside from winning Daytona. It has been
a demanding year for everybody. When we finished Daytona, we thought
we would continue the momentum and within a month and a half the
season was on hold. Once we got going again, some of the races were so
gruelling in terms of weather, temperature or a super-compressed
schedule which was very demanding for all of the teams and series. And
of course, we missed the spectators at most events. Everyone is
looking forward to finishing off this season on a high like we started
it and turning our focus to 2021.”

John Edwards (BMW Team RLL, #24 MOTUL BMW M8 GTE)
: “We have had some big ups and downs this season,
but all of it has put us only one point away from second place in the
overall championship. We are also leading the North American Endurance
Championship, so we have a lot on the line at this year’s Twelve Hours
of Sebring. The margins in GTLM are super close as always, so we will
have to be really on top of our game to close out the season with a
strong result. Hopefully, we be able to finish the season the same we
started it at Daytona – on top of the podium.”

 

Jesse Krohn (BMW Team RLL, #24 MOTUL BMW M8 GTE): “We
are leading the standings for the Michelin Endurance Cup so our first
job will be to seal the deal for BMW. Also, we are only one point
behind second in GTLM driver points, so a good result is especially
important to finishing the season on a high note.”

Augusto Farfus (BMW Team RLL, #24 MOTUL BMW M8 GTE):
“I am excited to return to BMW Team RLL for the Twelve Hours of
Sebring. After our strong weekend at Petit Le Mans with third place in
the #24 BMW M8 GTE I believe we can keep our endurance race momentum
going for another podium result.”

 

Bruno Spengler (BMW Team RLL, #25 MOTUL BMW M8 GTE)
: “This will be my second time racing the famous
Twelve Hours of Sebring. My first opportunity came in 2016 with BMW
Team RLL. I co-drove the #25 BMW M6 GTLM to a second-place finish with
Bill Auberlen and Dirk Werner. Sebring will be a very special place to
finish my first full IMSA season and I am looking forward to both the
challenge and a good result.”

 

Connor De Phillippi (BMW Team RLL, #25 MOTUL BMW M8
GTE):
“The Twelve Hours of Sebring is always a flat-out brawl
of a race. Typically, the pace is fast, there aren’t many yellows and
a consistent car is super important. I know we’ve done a lot of
analysis since our sprint race there a few months ago and I have high
hopes that we can go there to fight for the win.”

Colton Herta (BMW Team RLL, #25 MOTUL BMW M8 GTE): “I
am super exited to join BMW Team RLL and my teammates Connor and Bruno
for another weekend. In my opinion, Sebring is the toughest track in
North America to put a lap together. I feel very privileged to drive
the #25 BMW M8 GTE this weekend.”

Original Press Release

Victories, titles and spine-tingling moments: the personal highlights of the BMW DTM drivers since the comeback in 2012.

BMW:Victories, titles and spine-tingling moments: the personal highlights of the BMW DTM drivers since the comeback in 2012.

Munich. Last weekend’s finale to the 2020 DTM season at
Hockenheim (GER) saw BMW Motorsport contest the last races in a
unique era stretching back nine years. BMW returned to the DTM with
a works programme in 2012, but the realignment of the platform has
brought this works involvement to an end – sufficient reason to look
back on the greatest successes, highlights and emotions from the
past nine years.

The ‘old DTM’ was closely associated with BMW. It all began in 1984
with the very first DTM race and victory for Harald Grohs (GER) in a
BMW 635 CSi at Zolder (BEL). In the 1980s and at the start of the
1990s, BMW had a works presence in the DTM. During that time, the
Bavarian manufacturer claimed the Driver title three times with Volker
Strycek (GER), Eric van de Poele (BEL) and Roberto Ravaglia (ITA). BMW
also won the Manufacturers Championship seven times between 1984 and
1990. To this day, the BMW M3 remains the most successful touring car ever.

BMW returned to the DTM with a works programme in 2012. The
statistics for the past nine years: 140 races, 40 victories, 124
podium finishes, three Driver titles and three Manufacturer titles.
However, far more important than the bare figures are the memories
behind them. With this in mind, BMW DTM drivers past and present cast
their mind back over their most emotional moments in the series.

 

The initial tests: when it all began.

BMW drivers were experiencing emotional moments long before the start
of the 2012 season. “There were obviously a lot of special moments,
but the first test was certainly one that stands out. I was the main
test driver and was involved in preparing for the return to the DTM,”
recalled Augusto Farfus (BRA), who competed for BMW in the DTM from
2012 to 2018. For very personal reasons, Farfus also associates these
first tests with emotional memories as at the very same time as he was
in Europe working on the BMW M3 DTM with BMW, his daughter was born in
Brazil. “That was a very important time in my life,” he stressed.

Bruno Spengler (CAN) also has fond memories of the winter of 2011/12.
“My very first DTM test with BMW was definitely a highlight for me,”
he confirmed. “It was very exciting to get behind the wheel of a BMW
DTM car for the first time. The entire development period was a super
time when we all did a great job as a team and developed a winning car.”

2012: Title treble in comeback year.

A winning car – the BMW M3 DTM was precisely that. The comeback
season in 2012 was a sensational year, ending in a title treble.
Spengler was champion driver, BMW Team Schnitzer won the Team title,
and BMW triumphed in the Manufacturers Championship. No wonder
Spengler has so many fond memories of that special year.

“One stand-out memory is the Lausitzring, where we claimed the first
victory for BMW since returning to the series, together with BMW Team
Schnitzer. It was a great team, in which I always felt like part of a
family. That first win for BMW was very, very emotional and special
for me,” said Spengler. Joining him on the podium was Farfus, who also
lists this as one of his finest moments: “Bruno’s victory and my third
place were an important milestone for BMW and for me personally.” A
little later, Farfus climbed onto the top step of the podium himself.
He not only took his maiden DTM victory at Valencia (ESP), but also
secured pole position and set the fastest lap of the race: “At the
time, I think it was rather unique for a rookie to come into the
series, to be competitive from the word go, and to be so successful in
the first year.”

However, the biggest highlight of 2012 was still to come: Spengler’s
victory at the finale at Hockenheim (GER), and the ensuing titles for
him, his team and BMW. Even today, the Canadian still gets goosebumps
when he thinks about that day: “I had to win the race to win the
championship. For us then to win all three titles was a very emotional
moment. I remember driving into Parc Fermé and how I was given such a
great reception by all the mechanics and engineers who had worked so
hard. That was very special.”

Spengler’s team-mate back then was Martin Tomczyk (GER), who also
looks back on 2012 as “one of the best years”. “Partly because Bruno,
with whom I had battled for the title the previous year, was now my
team-mate. We were both in a promising position – for me, it was about
defending my title. For him, it was an opportunity to win his first
title.” However, instead of rivalry, what developed was a strong team
spirit. “We valued and respected each other. Together, we actively
helped BMW find its feet so quickly and successfully in the DTM era.
It was a very formative year for me, and obviously a successful year
for BMW. Generally speaking, the team spirit we have within BMW is
outstanding. That is not only the case in the DTM, but that solidarity
runs throughout the entire BMW Motorsport family and all of BMW’s activities.”

From top rookie to two-time champion.

Marco Wittmann (GER) made his DTM debut in 2013, and the young German
immediately showed that he was one to watch out for. He secured his
first pole position, claimed his first podium finish, and ended the
season as the best rookie. In the following season, 2014, the BMW M3
DTM was replaced by the BMW M4 DTM, and Wittmann really hit the ground
running. He took his maiden DTM victory and the first win for the new
car at the season-opener at Hockenheim. Further successes were to
follow before he wrapped up his first DTM title at the Lausitzring
(GER) in race eight of the ten-race season.

“The first title in 2014 was obviously the ultimate highlight. It was
extremely emotional and to this day remains the greatest success of my
motorsport career,” said Wittmann. Two years later, in 2016, he was
crowned DTM champion for the second time. “That title was far more
difficult than in 2014, as it went right down to the final race of the
season. However, we still had a really good season. We did not make a
single mistake, neither the team nor me, and that is ultimately what
won us the title. It is extremely difficult to make it through a full
season without making any mistakes. And becoming the champion for the
second time was obviously a nice confirmation that the first title was
not just a flash in the pan. That was also very special and very emotional.”

However, even the two titles are not top of Wittmann’s personal
highlights list. “There is one moment that, from an emotional point of
view, I would actually rank even higher: winning my home race at the
Norisring in 2018,” said Wittmann. “It was just such a special feeling
to win my home race in front of my home crowd, then to run down the
start/finish straight and celebrate the victory with all the fans, my
family and friends. Standing on the top step of the podium afterwards
was also a very special moment. That is something I will remember for
the rest of my life.”

Speaking of the Norisring, Spengler also associates a special and
very important moment with the narrow street circuit: “That was in
2019, when I celebrated my fifth victory at that racetrack. That made
me the DTM record winner at the Norisring, and was also a very special
and emotional moment.”

Hockenheim 2018: The edge-of-your-seat duel.

One race that will probably go down in motorsport history books for
eternity was the Sunday race at the opening round of the 2018 season
at Hockenheim. The battle between Timo Glock (GER) and Gary Paffett
(GBR) is still regarded as an absolutely epic duel, and no review of
the DTM would be complete without it. The scrap between Glock in the
BMW M4 DTM and the Mercedes driver lasted eleven nerve-racking laps,
or 50 kilometres, with the lead changing hands no fewer than six
times. All in all, Glock and Paffett spent 119 seconds wheel-to-wheel.
That is a distance of roughly six kilometres – and at a top speed of
271 km/h. With five minutes of the race remaining, Glock finally
emerged triumphant and went on to win the race.

It should come as no surprise that Glock lists this battle as
“probably by far the best moment” of his DTM career. Even today, he is
emotional when describing the scenes. “As far as driving is concerned,
that was an absolute highlight for me. I was under constant pressure
for 20 long minutes. As a DTM driver, you always have high adrenalin
levels, but I think these 20 minutes surpassed everything. It was
very, very intense. As a racing driver, it is simply fantastic to go
up against someone who is on a par with you. You feel like two knights
facing off, battling it out with a sword – but letting the other
person live.”

That is what made that duel so special, even through all the
wheel-to-wheel action, it was all done fairly. “There were obviously
certain moments when there was contact and a little aggression, and I
thought to myself: ‘Hey, he is crashing into me. What’s that all
about?’ However, in the same breath, I knew that I had done exactly
the same thing. There were so many emotional factors that all came
together to make it so special. We have all been involved in races, in
which we have had battles like that for tenth place, but not for the
win. To come out on top in the end was an absolute highlight for me,
and one I enjoy looking back on.”

The Class 1 turbo era and dreams come true of a first victory.

In 2019, the DTM introduced Class 1 regulations with turbo engines –
exactly 50 years after the first BMW turbo made motorsport history by
winning the European Touring Car Championship in 1969. The BMW M4 DTM
now lined up in the DTM with a turbo engine, and Wittmann promptly
presented the new race car with its first pole position and maiden
victory at the season-opener at Hockenheim.

The second race weekend of the season at Zolder (BEL) saw another BMW
driver climb onto the top step of the podium after the Saturday race:
Philipp Eng (AUT). The Austrian, a works driver since 2016, had
previously won the 24-hour races at Spa-Francorchamps (BEL) and
Daytona (USA) with BMW – now here he was on the top of the DTM podium
in his second DTM season. “When I crossed the finish line, all I could
do was scream,” Eng recalled. “That was a huge weight off my
shoulders. Ever since I started out as a racing driver, I had always
wanted to win a DTM race. It was a huge relief for me personally. Not
because I was put under pressure by anyone or anything else, but
because I really, really wanted it. One thing is certain, I will never
forget my first DTM win.”

One year later, in 2020, his younger team-mate Sheldon van der Linde
(RSA) followed in his footsteps: The 21-year-old claimed his first DTM
victory at Assen (NED) – from the very back of the grid. This was
undoubtedly the highlight of van der Linde’s career so far. “I will
never forget it. I was so emotional when I climbed out of the car.
Especially as I had started from last on the grid – victory was the
last thing we reckoned with. On the day, everything played out exactly
as we needed it to. I am proud that I can now say I am a DTM winner.
When I joined the DTM, my two main objectives were to finish on the
podium and to win races, and I have achieved both those goals this
season. Under the circumstances we were faced with this year,
including the fact that Audi was stronger than us, I think this was a
very special success and one that I will always be proud of.”

Van der Linde is also proud that he was part of the Class 1 era in
the DTM. Like many of his BMW DTM colleagues, he said: “These cars are
so impressive to drive. Pushing them to the limit at full throttle is
something really special. Not many things will live up to that. I will
really miss my BMW M4 DTM.”

 

Original Press Release

BMW Motorsport News – Issue 22/2020.

BMW:BMW Motorsport News – Issue 22/2020.

Whether in the DTM, the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar
Championship, the ABB FIA Formula E Championship, or countless other
championships, week after week BMW teams and drivers around the
world do battle for points, victories and titles. Away from the
track too, members of the large BMW Motorsport family around the
world are also creating headlines. The “BMW Motorsport News” allows
us to regularly summarise all the action for you in a compact and
informative manner. This way, you are always up to speed.

ADAC GT4 Germany: Hofor Racing by Bonk Motorsport wins the
2020 title.

At the end of an exciting final weekend of ADAC GT Germany at
Oschersleben (GER), the 2020 title went to a BMW M Customer Racing
team. The newly-crowned champions are Hofor Racing by Bonk Motorsport,
Gabriele Piana (ITA) and Michael Schrey (GER). Piana and Schrey laid
the foundations for their title win with victory in Saturday’s race in
their BMW M4 GT4. Sixth place in Sunday’s final race was then
sufficient for the pair to clinch the title with a two-point
advantage. Their team-mates Claudia Hürtgen and Sebastian von Gartzen
(both GER) came home seventh and eighth in the two races. Georg Braun
and Stephan Grotstollen (both GER) from the Lillestoff team finished
tenth in race one and 13th on Sunday. Braun and Grotstollen
won the Trophy competition of the series. The AVIA Sorg Rennsport and
MRS GT Racing teams also ran the BMW M4 GT4 in the 2020 season of ADAC
GT4 Germany.

DTM Trophy: Podium for Walkenhorst Motorsport at the
Hockenheim finale.

The inaugural season of the DTM Trophy drew to a close with another
podium for the BMW M4 GT4. Ben Tuck (GBR) of Walkenhorst Motorsport
came home second to earn a spot on the podium in Sunday’s race at the
finale at Hockenheim (GER). Tuck was also the best-placed BMW driver
in race one on Saturday, finishing fifth. Luke Wankmüller (GER) was
sixth and ninth in the FK Performance BMW M4 GT4. Max Koebolt (NED /
Walkenhorst Motorsport) also claimed top ten finishes in the two
hard-fought races at the Hockenheimring. He came home ninth and
eighth. Tuck ended the twelve-race season on the overall podium, third
in the Drivers’ Championship. Behind him, in fourth place, was Ben
Green (GBR) from the FK Performance team, who also won the Junior
competition. Green, whose BMW M4 GT4 sported Chan Wen Bin’s (MAS)
winning design from the BMW M4 GT4 livery contest at Hockenheim, was
unfortunate at the finale and failed to finish both races.

Italian GT Championship: Endurance finale at Monza.

Monza (ITA) hosted the final race of the Endurance class in the
Italian GT Championship at the weekend. BMW Team Italia secured pole
position with the BMW M6 GT3 at the fast circuit in the Royal Park.
Stefano Comandini (ITA), Marius Zug (GER) and Jesse Krohn (FIN) shared
the driving duties. However, Sunday’s three-hour race did not run
smoothly for the trio, whose race was brought to a premature end after
contact with another car. Their team-mates Francesco Guerra and Nicola
Neri (both ITA) finished second to claim another podium in the GT4
class. The final race weekend of the Italian GT Championship features
sprint races again and takes place at Vallelunga (ITA) on the first
weekend in December.

British GT Championship: GT4 victory for Century Motorsport at
Silverstone finale.

The BMW M4 GT4 was victorious at the final round of the 2020 British
GT Championship at Silverstone (GBR). Century Motorsport made it onto
the top step of the podium in the final race of the year with Rob
Wheldon and Andrew Gordon-Colebrooke (both GBR) winning the GT4 class
in the #42 BMW M4 GT4. They took the chequered flag over a lap clear
of their closest rivals. Their team-mates Ben Hurst and Adam Hatfield
(both GBR) finished seventh in the class.

Customer Racing: BMW M2 CS Racing Cup Benelux to be launched
in 2021.

The BMW M2 CS Racing will not only be in action with an own cup in
the Nürburgring Endurance Series (NLS) from next season, but will also
be a regular sight in Belgium and the Netherlands. The new entry-level
model in the BMW M Customer Racing Range will feature on the same bill
as the BMW M2 CS Racing Cup Benelux, which is supported by BMW Belux
and BMW Netherlands. On a total of five weekends, the BMW M2 CS Racing
Cup Benelux will be held as a support series to the Sprint Challenge
Benelux. The race calendar includes rounds at Zolder,
Spa-Francorchamps, Zandvoort and Assen. Each weekend will consist of
three races: two 25-minute sprints and one 60-minute race. A total
prize purse of € 50,000 will be split among the participants at the
end of the season. Detailed dates will be announced at a later date.

Original Press Release