BMW SIM News, April 2021.

BMW:BMW SIM News, April 2021.

BMW SIM Racing has an extensive and diverse programme in store for
the Esports community in 2021 – from BMW SIM Cups and BMW SIM Racing
teams to technical innovations. In our monthly BMW SIM News, we
briefly summarise news from the world of virtual racing, and provide
information on driver backgrounds, teams, technology, and much more.
Over the year, we also regularly focus on individual subjects in
separate press releases.

Kevin Siggy at the wheel of a real Formula E car.

A dream came true for BMW Team Redline driver Kevin Siggy (SLO) last
weekend. Ahead of the Valencia E-Prix in the ABB FIA Formula E World
Championship, he was able to claim his prize for topping the overall
standings in the 2020 ‘ABB Formula E Race at Home Challenge’, the
chance to drive a real Formula E car. Siggy completed his laps in the
Gen2 car at the ‘Circuit Ricardo Tormo’ and had a first taste of the
forces at work in the cockpit. “The car was really cool and it was
fantastic to be able to drive on the real racetrack in it,” said Siggy
afterwards. “I hadn’t expected it to feel so lively through the fast
turns. I had oversteer a few times and the front wheels locked up a
few times when braking. The Formula E car is tricky to drive. That’s
why it’s absolutely understandable that we went out behind the safety
car. In particular, I was impressed by the torque and the power that
is applied through the turns and under braking. You just don’t feel
that in the simulator. Overall, I tried to squeeze every last drop of
enjoyment out of this drive.”

Siggy spent the entire race weekend in the paddock, visiting the pit
area for BMW i Andretti Motorsport, where team principal Roger
Griffiths showed him the BMW iFE.21 and explained how everything works
in the team. Siggy also met BMW i Andretti Motorsport driver
Maximilian Günther (GER), who he had coached last year for his sim
racing appearances in the ‘Race at Home Challenge’.

IMSA iRacing Pro Series.

Two out of three races in the IMSA iRacing Pro Series took place in
April. BMW works drivers celebrated some fine results. This applied
first and foremost to Philipp Eng (AUT), who drive the virtual BMW M8
GTE to victory in the season-opener at Sebring and in the second race
at Laguna Seca. After these two wins from two races, he heads the
overall standings before the third and final race on 6th May, at Road
Atlanta. “I am delighted to be back racing in the IMSA iRacing Pro
Series,” said Eng. “I think it is always great for there to be a
virtual race series taking place in parallel to the one in the real
world. The calendar is short and sweet, with three races. I have
prepared extremely well for all three races and, just like last year,
I am taking it very seriously. We are lucky that we have a very strong
team in the background to take care of setup and strategy. Now I am
really excited about the finale. The competition is really strong, so
winning the championship would mean even more to me.” Behind Eng,
Bruno Spengler (CAN) and Connor De Phillippi (USA) secured one-two
results for BMW in Sebring and Laguna Seca respectively. Augusto
Farfus (BRA), John Edwards (USA) and Turner Motorsport driver Robby
Foley (USA) are also competing for BMW.

iRacing 24h Nürburgring.

The BMW SIM Racing Teams celebrated a top-three lock-out in the
virtual BMW M4 GT3 at one of the highlights of the season on the
iRacing simulation platform, the Special 24h Nürburgring powered by
VCO. After 153 laps on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife, Maximilian
Benecke (GER), Chris Lulham (GBR) and Formula 1 driver Max Verstappen
(NED) claimed victory for the BMW Team Redline. “Pole position,
fastest lap and then the race win – that was a mega race for us and
there were only a few heart-stopping situations. The car did really
well and it felt like we could go to the limit on every lap,” was how
Benecke summed it up. Team BMW Bank crossed the line in second place,
followed by the BMW Team GB in third position.

G2 Esports.

The BMW Team G2 Esports has enjoyed an eventful month with numerous
races on the Assetto Corsa Competizione platform. Without a doubt, the
greatest success was Nils Naujoks’ title win in the British GT Esports
Championship with the virtual BMW M4 GT4 in the GT4 class. Naujoks had
already won the race at the start of April on the Brands Hatch
circuit, where his team-mate Gregor Schill finished in third place.
After finishing fourth in the penultimate race, Naujoks recorded a
dominant victory from pole position in the season finale to claim the
class win and the title.

G2 Esports was also very active at the wheel of the virtual BMW M6
GT3 in April. The high point was marked by victory for Naujoks and
Arthur Kammerer in the third round of the SimGrid Sprint Cup at the
Imola circuit. The G2 Esports team crossed the line in 16th place at
the season-opener in the prestigious ‘The SimGrid x VCO World Cup’,
the 12h Bathurst.

Interview with Nils Naujoks.

Congratulations on winning the title in the British GT Esports
Championship! What did you think about the season and the
championship format?

Nils Naujoks: “Many thanks! The races with multiple classes were
certainly something new for us. For virtually my entire sim racing
career, I have been involved in one-make cups or have just raced
within one class. And if I had been involved in a race with multiple
classes, I was normally in one of the faster cars. So, I had to get
used to looking in the mirror a lot more and learn how to let the
faster GT3 cars go past without losing any time myself. In addition,
the real racing drivers also had to adjust to the sim racing
environment and they had to get used to the level as well. That
improved from race to race, so that there were no more major incidents
towards the end of the season.”

How important is collaboration like that with BMW SIM Racing
for you as a team, and for the Assetto Corsa Competizione platform?

Naujoks: “It helps the whole sim racing scene hugely when a major
player like BMW decides to get involved. It demonstrates recognition
of what we are doing and helps us to make our intensive hobby more
professional, as well as making sim racing more attractive for
partners. Of course, we at G2 Esports benefit from this as we have
more resources to work with than other teams, and it provides
additional motivation.”

What highlights do you and the team have to look forward to now?

Naujoks: “The British GT Esports Championship was only the beginning
– the season is just getting started. We are focusing on the SimGrid
and SRO series, which have already begun or will be starting soon.
This series contain sprint and endurance formats, meaning that the
weeks and months ahead will be anything but boring for us. The results
in the British GT Esports Championship mean that I have received a
wildcard for the SRO championship, which is a huge help in terms of
time management. I won’t have to complete hot laps each week to
qualify. We only have to wait a few weeks for the next highlight, the
24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps in the ‘Sim Grid x VCO World Cup’, where
we are hoping to score plenty of points in the BMW M6 GT3.”

BMW SIM M2 CS Racing Cup.

Jiri Toman (CZE) and defending champion Erhan Jajovski (MKD) are the
latest pair of sim racers to secure their tickets for this year’s BMW
SIM M2 CS Racing Cup finale on the rFactor 2 platform. Toman was
declared the winner after a dramatic finish to the third race of the
season in the virtual one-make trophy at Silverstone. Second place
went to Marcell Csincsik (HUN), who had already claimed his ticket for
the finale with victories in the first two races. Risto Kappet (EST)
finished in third place. Jajovski secured his first win of the season
in the fourth race of the season, which took place on the Nürburgring
Grand Prix circuit. Jajovski had dominated the series last year before
winning the season finale at the BMW SIM Live 2020 event. Johannes
Drayss (GER) and Joonas Raivio (FIN) followed him to complete the
podium. Csincsik, Toman and Jajovski will be joined at the finale by
Michal Smidl (CZE), who secured his place by finishing second in the
second race of the season. The two final races in the BMW SIM M2 CS
Racing Cup take place on 3rd May (Sebring) and on 17th May (Indianapolis).

Original Press Release