BMW:BMW M Motorsport News, 31st May 2021
BMW M Motorsport teams are once again in action all over the world in
2021. They are challenging for race wins and titles with the BMW M6
GT3, the BMW M4 GT4, the BMW M2 CS Racing, and other BMW M Motorsport
race cars. Our BMW M Motorsport News allows us to give you a regular
overview of the race action in various championships around the world
and any success enjoyed by the BMW M Motorsport teams. Throughout the
year, we also highlight certain topics in specific press releases.
Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe: Walkenhorst Motorsport’s
battle for the podium remains unrewarded.
The second endurance race of the season in the Fanatec GT World
Challenge Europe powered by AWS took place last weekend. The six-hour,
1000-kilometre race was hosted by the “Circuit Paul Ricard” in Le
Castellet (FRA). The Walkenhorst Motorsport team was battling for a
podium finish with both BMW M6 GT3s, but their strong performances
went unrewarded in the end. Sheldon van der Linde (RSA), Marco
Wittmann (GER) and David Pittard (GBR) were at the wheel of the #34
BMW M6 GT3. Martin Tomczyk, Timo Glock (both GER) and Thomas Neubauer
(FRA) shared driving duties in the #35 car.
Starting from fifth and 13th on the grid, Pittard and Tomczyk were
both able to put the BMW M6 GT3s on course for the podium early on as
they moved into second and third places. The #35 fell back later on,
while Wittmann and van der Linde kept the #34 in the top three until
the final hour of the race, battling for the lead after a full-course
yellow phase. However, a collision with another car around 50 minutes
before the end meant that they lost time during repairs and also
dropped down through the field. After six hours of racing, the #34 BMW
M6 GT3 crossed the line in eighth place, with the #35 car right behind
in ninth position.
The Boutsen Ginion Racing team finished seventh in the Pro-Am class
with the #10 BMW M6 GT3. The car was driven by Karim Ojjeh (KSA), Jens
Liebhauser and Jens Klingmann (both GER).
The next endurance race in the series is the 24 Hours of
Spa-Francorchamps (BEL) on 31st July/1st August.
Reactions to the race at Paul Ricard.
Sheldon van der Linde: “It was a very good weekend
for us and positive in terms of raw pace and speed from Friday
onwards. We always had a good car from the first free practice on. In
the race, David and Marco did a great job, and we were always in the
top-three. Then the car seemed to have lost some pace, but I defended
second place as long as I could. At the end of my first stint I had a
very light contact, which was just enough to lift the bonnet up. So we
had to box a bit earlier for our mandatory pit stop for tyres and
fuel, and obviously I had to wait a bit longer to repair the bonnet.
That kind of destroyed our hopes for the podium. But we were still
able to score some points and it’s a very good pace to build on for
Spa. Walkenhorst Motorsport have shown in the past that they are able
to win that race, so I think we have a strong package to go there, and
that gives me a lot of confidence.”
Marco Wittmann: “Of course, it’s a disappointing way
for it to end, when you’ve been on track for a podium finish for the
whole race and then fall back to eighth after a collision like that 50
minutes before the end. Nonetheless our pace was good for the whole
weekend, which allows us to be optimistic about the 24h hour race in
Spa. We can build on that. We will definitely not bury our heads in
the sand and will come back stronger.”
Martin Tomczyk: “Starting from 13th on the grid was
not ideal, but overall we were pretty confident about our race
performance. I did the first two stints and moved up from 13th to
second place. Unfortunately, we then started to encounter some
problems. Thomas Neubauer struggled a bit with the setup, but was able
to consistently hold on to fifth place. The door latch unfortunately
stopped working during the changeover to Timo Glock and he had to make
an extra pit stop for us to fix the door. Of course, that cost us more
time and we fell back after that. It didn’t finish as we had expected,
as our racing pace was definitely better than the result itself.
However, we are still confident that there will be a race in which our
form will be reflected in the result it deserves. But that is racing.”
Timo Glock: “As far as I’m concerned, Martin produced
the performance of the race, driving a crazy opening double stint to
move the car up from 13th to second place. He did a super job. Thomas
was also consistently in the top five. However, the door did not close
properly when I got in during the pit stop, so we had to come back
into the pits during a full-course yellow, and that cost us a bit of
time. But I had problems in my first stint with no balance and no grip
on the tyres. I don’t know what caused that. My second stint was then
a bit better. I was satisfied with my qualifying performance over one
lap, but I still have to learn about the race distance. Thanks to the
team for doing such a great job without any errors over the whole
weekend. I had a lot of fun.”
IMSA series: Another record win for Bill Auberlen in Mid-Ohio.
Tumultuous celebrations in the Turner Motorsport team: Bill Auberlen
and Robby Foley (both USA) proved unbeatable in the #96 BMW M6 GT3 at
the third race of the season in the 2021 IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car
Championship (IMSA series) in Mid-Ohio (USA). They celebrated victory
in the GTD class after 2 hours and 40 minutes of racing. This enabled
Auberlen to improve his impressive, unique record in the IMSA series
as he recorded his 63rd win. Foley had moved up quickly to second
place from the start and then took the lead after an early pit stop.
After 69 laps he handed over to Auberlen, who claimed victory by
crossing the finishing line nearly three seconds clear after 111 laps.
“The BMW M6 GT3 is back where it belongs – in the winner’s circle,”
stated Auberlen. “We had some bad luck in the last race at Sebring,
but Robby and I are back in the points and we’re moving forward.”
One day earlier Turner Motorsport had secured fifth place in the
Mid-Ohio race in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge with the #96 BMW M4
GT4, driven by Foley and Vincent Barletta (USA). Auberlen and Dillon
Machavern (USA) suffered some bad luck in the #95 car: they were
struck by a rival car and had to retire early.
ADAC GT Masters: Schubert Motorsport starts the season with a podium.
The season-opener in the ADAC GT Masters took place in Oschersleben
(GER) in mid-May – and the Schubert Motorsport team celebrated a
podium result in its home race. After just missing out on the podium
with a fourth-place finish in Saturday’s race, Nick Yelloly (GBR) and
Jesse Krohn (FIN) secured second place on Sunday in the #10 BMW M6
GT3. The weekend was dominated by changeable and tricky weather
conditions. Strategy became the key to success as rain alternated with
dry periods. Schubert Motorsport got it absolutely right. After second
place in Sunday’s race, Yelloly commented: “The race was very
exciting. Switching to slicks was the right decision, although it was
a bit slippery to start with. The team and I are delighted with the
good result and we hope that we can put on another good performance at
the Red Bull Ring.” The second round of the season in the ADAC GT
Masters will take place from 11th to 13th June in Spielberg, Austria.
ADAC GT4 Germany: two races, two wins for Hofor Racing by Bonk Motorsport.
The Hofor Racing by Bonk Motorsport team could not have made a more
successful start to the 2021 season in the ADAC GT4 Germany. At the
opener, held in mid-May in Oschersleben (GER), Gabriele Piana (ITA)
and Michael Schrey (GER) claimed first place in both races in their #2
BMW M4 GT4. In race one on Saturday last season’s runners-up started
from pole position and chalked up a start to finish win under
difficult weather conditions. “Winning here is a great feeling.
There’s no better way to start a season. We realised after qualifying
that we have put a superb package together,” said Piana afterwards. In
Sunday’s race Piana and Schrey moved up from fourth on the grid. They
crossed the line in second place but were later classified as winners
after the car ahead of them was disqualified. The win for Piana/Schrey
in Sunday’s race is still a provisional result as the decision is
Charlie Martin (GBR) and Sandra van der Sloot (NED) in the Driverse
team’s #12 BMW M4 GT4 also secured third place in the Trophy standings
in Sunday’s race. The team is cooperating with Sorg Rennsport in the
ADAC GT4 Germany.
British GT Championship: Century Motorsport celebrates one-two
result with the BMW M4 GT4.
The Century Motorsport team enjoyed a perfect season-opener in the
British GT Championship – with pole position and a one-two result in
the GT4 class. The first event of the season took place on 22nd and
23rd May in Brands Hatch (GBR). Gus Burton and Will Burns (both GBR)
showed that they are a force to be reckoned with, recording the best
time in qualifying in the #57 BMW M4 GT4. The pair did not let
multiple safety car phases during the race put them off, celebrating
victory after 73 race laps. Their team-mates, Andrew Gordon-Colebrook
and Chris Salkled (both GBR), completed the success in the #9 BMW M4
GT4, claiming second place in the GT4 class and victory in the Pro-Am
category. “To come away with a one-two is just amazing and a true
reflection of the effort everyone has put in during the off season,”
said Nathan Freke, Century Motorsport Team Manager. “The new EVO BMW
M4 GT4s worked faultlessly and are clearly a force to be reckoned
with. I’d like to thank BMW M Motorsport for the continued support and
to congratulate the drivers on their superb performances all weekend.”
Italian GT Championship: BMW Team Italia starts the endurance
The first sprint races of the season in the Italian GT Championship
had taken place in early May, and three weeks later BMW Team Italia
was in Pergusa (ITA) to compete in the first endurance race of the
year. The regular drivers in the #7 BMW M6 GT3, Stefano Comandini
(ITA) and Marius Zug (GER), were supported by BMW works driver Bruno
Spengler (CAN) as the team’s third driver. The trio secured pole
position in qualifying on Saturday. However, they were forced to
retire early from the race. Their team-mates, Nicola Neri, Giuseppe
Fascicolo (both ITA) and Alfred Nilsson (SWE), claimed victory in the
GT4 AM class with the #215 BMW M4 GT4.
Super Taikyu: success for BMW Team Studie in Fuji.
The Japanese Super Taikyu race series visited Fuji (JPN) from 21st to
23rd May and the 24-hour race at the circuit near Tokyo (JPN) proved
to be extremely successful for BMW Team Studie. In the ST-Z class the
#20 BMW M4 GT4 from SS/YZ Racing with Studie secured an outstanding
second place. Driving duties were shared between Tomohide Yamaguchi,
Seiji Ara, Yuya Sakamoto (all JPN) and João Paulo de Oliveira (BRA).
In the ST-1 class BMW Team Studie claimed third place with the #8 BMW
M2 CS Racing. Takayuki Kinoshita, Takayuki Oi, Tomohiko Sunako, Hiroki
Yamada and Takashi Kochi (all JPN) were at the wheel of this car. The
24-hour race also marked the racing debut for the BMW M2 CS Racing in Asia.
BMW M2 CS Racing Cup Benelux: thrilling action in the first
races of the season.
The 2021 season in the BMW M2 CS Racing Cup Benelux began with two
events in May, providing thrilling racing action with some intensive
duels. Three races took place on each weekend: two 30-minute races and
a 55-minute race with a mandatory pit stop. The season-opening event
took place in Zolder (BEL). Victory in the first races in the new
series went to Stienes Longin (BEL) and Sam Dejonghe (BEL), who
The second round of the season followed two weeks later in Zandvoort
(NED). Longin won race one, while Giovanni Scamardi (ITA) celebrated
his first victories of the season in the second and third races.
After the first two events of the season, Scamardi tops the overall
standings in the Pro class with 76 points. The third round in the BMW
M2 CS Racing Cup Benelux will take place on 9th and 10th July in