BMW Group Strengthens Leadership Position in Battery Technology with Investment in Solid-State Innovator Solid Power

BMW:BMW Group Strengthens Leadership Position in Battery Technology with Investment in Solid-State Innovator Solid Power

 ### Start of joint Press Release from all partners involved ###

Louisville, Colorado, USA. Solid Power, an
industry-leading producer of all solid-state batteries for electric
vehicles, today announced a $130 million Series B investment round led
by the BMW Group, Ford Motor Company and Volta Energy Technologies.
Ford and the BMW Group have also expanded existing joint development
agreements with Solid Power to secure all solid-state batteries for
future electric vehicles.

The investment positions Solid Power to produce full-scale automotive
batteries, increase associated material output and expand in-house
production capabilities for future vehicle integration. The BMW Group
and Ford aim to utilize Solid Power’s low-cost, high-energy all
solid-state battery technology in forthcoming electric vehicles.

“BMW and Ford now share leading positions in the race for solid-state
battery-powered electric vehicles,” said Doug Campbell, CEO and
co-founder of Solid Power. “Solid Power now plans to begin producing
automotive-scale batteries on the company’s pilot production line in
early 2022 as a result of our partners’ continued commitment to Solid
Power’s commercialization efforts.”

Solid Power has demonstrated its ability to produce and scale
next-generation all solid-state batteries that are designed to power
longer range, lower cost and safer electric vehicles using existing
lithium-ion battery manufacturing infrastructure.

Solid Power’s leadership in all solid-state battery development and
manufacturing has been confirmed with the delivery of hundreds of
production line-produced battery cells that were validated by Ford and
BMW Group late last year, formalizing Solid Power’s commercialization
plans with its two long-standing automotive partners. 

“Solid-state battery technology is important to the future of
electric vehicles, and that’s why we’re investing directly,” said Ted
Miller, Ford’s manager of Electrification Subsystems and Power Supply
Research. “By simplifying the design of solid-state versus lithium-ion
batteries, we’ll be able to increase vehicle range, improve interior
space and cargo volume, deliver lower costs and better value for
customers and more efficiently integrate this kind of solid-state
battery cell technology into existing lithium-ion cell production processes.”

“Being a leader in advanced battery technology is of the utmost
importance for the BMW Group. The development of all solid-state
batteries is one of the most promising and important steps towards
more efficient, sustainable, and safer electric vehicles. We now have
taken our next step on this path with Solid Power,” said Frank Weber,
Member of the Board of Management BMW AG, Development. “Together we
have developed a 20 Ah all solid-state cell that is absolutely
outstanding in this field. Over the past 10 years BMW has continuously
increased the battery cell competence– important partners like Solid
Power share our vision of a zero-emission mobility.”

Solid Power is currently producing 20 ampere hour (Ah) multi-layer
all solid-state batteries on the company’s continuous roll-to-roll
production line, which exclusively utilizes industry standard
lithium-ion production processes and equipment.

Both Ford and the BMW Group will receive full-scale 100 Ah cells for
automotive qualification testing and vehicle integration beginning in
2022. Solid Power’s all solid-state platform technology allows for the
production of unique cell designs expected to meet performance
requirements for each automotive partner. Solid Power’s truly
all-solid cell designs achieve higher energy densities, are safer and
are expected to cost less than today’s best-performing lithium-ion
battery cells.

“Volta invested early in Solid Power when our team of energy and
commercialization experts found they had not only promising
technology, but also a fundamental focus on manufacturability. After
all, a breakthrough battery will not find a place in the market if it
can’t be produced at scale with acceptable costs,” said Dr. Jeff
Chamberlain, CEO of Volta Energy Technologies, a venture capital firm
spun out of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National
Laboratory focused on investing in breakthrough energy storage and
battery innovations. “The fact that Solid Power is already producing
multi-layer all solid-state batteries using industry-standard
automated commercial manufacturing equipment is why Volta is excited
to ramp up its earlier investment. The company’s partnership with BMW
and Ford will further accelerate the full commercialization of Solid
Power’s batteries and position both car companies to be among the
first to have EVs on the road powered by safer, affordable,
high-energy solid-state batteries.”

                   ### end of joint Press Release from all partners
involved ###

For the BMW Group, it is clear that high-performance and sustainable
energy storage systems are the key success factor for the individual
mobility of the future. The development of highly innovative and
sustainable battery cells is therefore one key element of the next
phase of transformation of the BMW Group.

The BMW Group is accelerating its development for the battery
technology of the future: This goal is also reflected in the Neue
Klasse, which the BMW Group first presented at its annual conference
in March. This new generation of vehicles, which will be launched by
the middle of this decade, will be uncompromisingly electric, digital,
circular – and clearly focused on all-electric drivetrains.

With the Neue Klasse, the BMW Group aims at the level of
state-of-the-art internal combustion engines in terms of range and
manufacturing costs. Therefore, electric mobility “engineered by
BMW” is intended to appeal to and convince new groups of buyers
worldwide. For this sixth generation of BMW e‑drive technology,
featuring the next level of Lithium-Ion batteries, the company
evaluates correspondingly different cell formats, cell chemistry and
also cell modules in the current development phase. A key goal is to
create truly green, low-carbon and recyclable batteries.

Solid-state battery for serial use – demonstrator vehicle well
before 2025

However, the BMW Group with its extensive in-house expertise in the
complete value chain of electric drive for years, is already planning
further into the future beyond this next generation:

By the end of the decade, the energy density of battery cells is
expected to increase by at least a mid-double-digit percentage range –
from an already high level today.

The battery cell of the future will be powerful, safe,
cost-effective, and recyclable – from material selection to
recyclability after the use in the vehicle. For the end of the decade
the BMW Group has announced an automotive-compatible all solid-state
battery for series production. A first demonstrator vehicle featuring
this technology will be on the road well before 2025.

Electric offensive in full swing

Thanks to intelligent vehicle architectures and a highly flexible
production network, the BMW Group will have around a dozen
all-electric models on the road as early as 2023.

In addition to the BMW i3*, MINI Cooper SE* and BMW iX3*, which are
already on the market, two key innovation drivers, the BMW i4* and the
BMW iX* will be put on the road this year– the BMW i4 even three
months earlier than originally planned.

In the coming years, all-electric versions of the high-volume BMW 5
Series and the BMW X1 will follow. In addition, there will be an
all-electric BMW 7 Series as well as the successor to the MINI
Countryman and other models. As early as 2023, the BMW Group will have
at least one all-electric model on the road in around 90 percent of
its current market segments.

By 2025, the BMW Group will increase sales of all-electric models by
an average of significantly more than 50 percent per year – more than
ten times more than in 2020. In total, the company will have delivered
around two million all-electric vehicles to customers by the end of 2025.

Based on current market expectations, the BMW Group is planning that
by 2030 at least 50 percent of its global sales will consist of
all-electric vehicles. In total, the company will bring about ten
million all-electric vehicles onto the road over the approximately
next ten years. This also means that the BMW Group is strategically on
target of achieving the EU’s ambitious CO2 reduction targets in 2025
and 2030.

The investment in Solid Power again demonstrates the BMW Group´s
capability to identify the leading tech start-ups and to join forces
on the way to achieve pathbreaking next generation technology. Various
BMW Technology scouting offices around the world, outstanding startup
accelerators, the BMW Startup Garage and BMW i Ventures, are always on
the lookout for leading edge or disruptive tech in an increasingly
competitive ecosystem.
As a result, BMW sets the standard for
successful start-up collaboration, venture funding and corporate investment.


In the event of enquiries please contact:

Corporate Communications

Bernhard Ederer, BMW Group Innovation Communications
Tel.: +49
(0) 176 601 28556, e-mail:

Max-Morten Borgmann, BMW Group Corporate
Tel: +49 89 382-24118, e-mail:

Benjamin Titz, Head of BMW Group Design, Innovation &
Motorsport Communications
Tel.: +49 (0)179 – 743 80 88, e-mail:

Media website:





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

Paddy Hopkirk: Gentleman, legend in the classic Mini and fifth Beatle.

BMW:Paddy Hopkirk: Gentleman, legend in the classic Mini and fifth Beatle.

Munich. The Ford Falcon was powered by eight
cylinders and had a lead of 17 seconds. Paddy Hopkirk had stowed a can
of caviar in the toolbox of his Mini Cooper S and he had just mastered
the “Night of the Long Knives” in a rumbustious drive. In 1964, the
Monte Carlo Rally was still a genuine adventure for all the competing
racing drivers and the spectacle was broadcast live on television.
This was the era when automobile manufacturers all over the world
discovered rally sport as the perfect stage for presenting their
models. And consequently, vehicles from different weight and
performance classes competed against each other with a handicap
formula providing appropriate compensation when allocating points.
When Hopkirk, now 87 years old, talks about his tour-de-force driving
the classic Mini with start number 37, the fascination of classic
motor sport immediately comes alive.

Today, Hopkirk can still get excited about the driving
characteristics of the classic Mini. “The Mini was a very advanced
motor car. Its front-wheel drive and the transversely mounted engine
at the front presented significant advantages, just like the fact that
the car was small given that the roads had lots of bends and were
narrow,” explained the rally driver from Northern Ireland as he
recalled his greatest triumph. When we met up at the foot of the Col
de Turini, he slid in nimbly behind the steering wheel of a classic
Mini. This time, the little car was styled in a livery of British
Racing Green, there was no snow on the carriageway, and time was
available to enjoy the magnificent landscape and the view of Monte
Carlo nestling in the valley. But Hopkirk still finds the ideal line
from the start and steers the classic Mini out of the bend with a
broad smile and forceful pedal-to-metal acceleration. Driving fun
comes back immediately, along with the memories of the event 56 years ago.

Incidentally, the caviar originated from Minsk. In the winter of
1964, Hopkirk and his English co-pilot Harry Liddon started out from
Minsk in the Monte Carlo Rally, which at that time commenced as a star
rally from nine different European cities. The six Mini works cars and
the other vehicles in the starter field only met up in Rheims, France.
At that time, Patrick or “Paddy” Hopkirk was already able to look back
on an impressive career in which he had won hillclimb races and come
out victorious five times in the Circuit of Ireland. Hopkirk had also
attracted attention in the Tulip Rally staged in the Netherlands, the
Austrian Alpine Rally and the Safari Rally. In 1962, he crossed the
finishing line driving a Sunbeam Rapier in third place in the overall
placings of the Monte Carlo Rally. And because he had such a taste for
adventure and had never driven on Soviet roads, Hopkirk registered
voluntarily to start the race in Minsk in 1964.

He started off successfully, and along the country roads in France a
duel quickly developed between Hopkirk driving the Mini Cooper S and
Swedish driver Bo Ljungfeldt in the Ford Falcon. The showdown came on
the Col de Turini and this was destined to presage the ultimate
outcome for the race. On the day before, there had been a big snowfall
and this significantly slowed down powerful and heavy vehicles steered
by competing drivers. However, this wasn’t the case for the little
challenger. According to Hopkirk: “The Mini performed particularly
well going downhill, and the tests had all been uphill and down dale
so that we were able make good anything we lost going uphill when we
were driving downhill.”

Everything else was dealt with by the handicap formula. Ljungfeldt
made up 17 seconds during the “Night of the Long Knives” and gained a
lead of half a minute in the final circuit race on the Monte Carlo
Grand Prix track, but this was not enough to displace Paddy Hopkirk
from his position as number one in the overall placings. At the
finishing line, it took some time before all the times had been
compared and all the points had been totted up. However, ultimately
the first overall victory achieved by the classic Mini in the Monte
Carlo Rally was established.

The surprising coup won acclaim worldwide, and feverish celebrations
followed in the United Kingdom. The classic MINI became a motor-sport
legend and Paddy Hopkirk shot to fame as the United Kingdom’s most
illustrious rally driver overnight. After the winner’s podium
ceremony, driver and vehicle were repatriated to the United Kingdom
where they starred in the immensely popular TV show of the time,
“Sunday Night at the London Palladium”. Fans, celebrities and even the
British Government sent telegrams to convey their congratulations.
Hopkirk’s most treasured memorabilia include an autograph card from
the Beatles with the message: “Now you are one of us, Paddy!”

The MINI Cooper S continued to dominate the Monte Carlo Rally in
subsequent years. Hopkirk’s Finnish teammates Timo Mäkinen and Rauno
Aaltonen, who had taken places four and seven in 1964, succeeded in
driving the Mini Cooper S to second and third place in the overall
standings in 1965 and 1967 respectively. Rally fans named the trio
“The Three Musketeers”. In 2010, they were all welcomed as the first
members of the Finnish “Rally Hall of Fame”.

In 1967, Hopkirk took sixth place in the overall standings and in the
following year he crossed the finishing line of the “Monte” in fifth
place. However, it was inevitable that the golden era of this
diminutive adventurous runabout was coming to an end, particularly
since the competition had been busily working on developments. Hopkirk
changed to other models and won a number of races including the
Acropolis Rally. In 1968, Paddy Hopkirk highlighted his reputation as
a fair sportsman and gentleman in the London-Sydney Marathon when he
and his co-pilot Tony Nash stopped their Austin, which was in the
lead, in order to rescue a team from their burning car that had been
involved in a serious accident.

At the beginning of the 1970s, Paddy Hopkirk retired from
professional rallying and built up a career importing automobiles to
his homeland of Northern Ireland and the sale of accessory products
sold under the brand named after him. He was also involved in the
relaunch of the MINI brand as a consultant to the BMW Group. The
veteran rally driver still engages in a wealth of honorary activities
to this day. During his active driving career, Hopkirk supported a
large number of road safety campaigns and he is still involved today
as an ambassador for the charity organisation IAM RoadSmart. His
commitments also include working on the Board of Management of the
British Racing Drivers’ Club and supporting WheelPower, an association
dedicated to promoting wheelchair sport. In 2016, Paddy Hopkirk
received the award of Member of the Order of the British Empire from
Princess Anne.

In case of queries, please contact:

Press and PR

Matthias Bode, Press Officer Production Communication MINI

Phone: +49-89-382-61742, Fax: +49-89-382-28567


Andreas Lampka, Head of Communication MINI

Phone: +49- 89-382-23662, Fax: +49 89-382-28567


Jennifer Treiber-Ruckenbrod, Head of Communication MINI and BMW Motorrad

Phone: +49-89-382-35108, Fax: +49-89-70-35108


The values of fuel consumption, CO2 emissions and electricity
consumption shown were determined according to the test procedure
defined in the European Directive VO (EU) 2007/715 in the version
applicable at the time of type approval. The figures refer to a
vehicle with basic configuration in Germany and the range shown
takes account of optional equipment and the different size of wheels
and tyres available on the selected model. These factors can change
during the configuration.

The values of some vehicles are measured according to the new
WLTP (Worldwide Harmonised Light-Duty Vehicles Test Procedure) and
converted to NEDC (New European Driving Cycle) for comparison
purposes. The taxes or other duties for these vehicles may be based
on fuel consumption and CO2 emissions data which differ from that
shown here.

Further information on official fuel consumption and official
specific CO2 emissions of new passenger cars is given in the
‘Handbook of fuel consumption, the CO2 emissions and power
consumption of new passenger cars’, which can be obtained free of
charge at all sales outlets and from Deutsche Automobil Treuhand
GmbH (DAT), Hellmuth-Hirth-Str. 1, 73760 Ostfildern-Scharnhausen,
and at

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 2019, the BMW Group sold over 2.5 million passenger vehicles
and more than 175,000 motorcycles worldwide. The profit before tax
in the financial year 2019 was € 7.118 billion on revenues amounting
to € 104.210 billion. As of 31 December 2019, the BMW Group had a
workforce of 126,016 employees.

The success of the BMW Group has always been based on long-term
thinking and responsible action. The company has therefore
established ecological and social sustainability throughout the
value chain, comprehensive product responsibility and a clear
commitment to conserving resources as an integral part of its strategy.






Original Press Release

Bruno Spengler tops overall standings in the IMSA iRacing Pro Series – John Edwards on the podium at season finale.

BMW:Bruno Spengler tops overall standings in the IMSA iRacing Pro Series – John Edwards on the podium at season finale.

Munich. Bruno Spengler (CAN) is the first champion of the IMSA
iRacing Pro Series. An early not-at-fault accident saw the BMW
driver record a zero-point result at the season finale in Watkins
Glen (USA), but he was able to stay ahead of fellow BMW driver Nick
Catsburg (NED). Catsburg finished fourth to end the season second in
the overall standings. John Edwards (USA) claimed third place in the
BMW M8 GTE to reach the podium at Watkins Glen. The virtual BMW M4
GT4 celebrated a successful debut in an official sim racing event at
the IMSA iRacing Challenge Series race in the same location.


Spengler endured a tumultuous start to the season finale in the IMSA
iRacing Pro Series. Starting from eighth place, he was hit by another
car at the start of lap one. This serious accident caused severe
damage to his virtual BMW M8 GTE and he was forced to make an extended
repair stop. It was then clear that he had no chance of making his way
back to the front and would post his non-scoring result for the season
in Watkins Glen. After a strong chasing performance, he crossed the
line in 14th position. Catsburg would have had to win the
race to come out on top in the battle for the title within BMW. He
displayed plenty of fighting spirit but could not improve on fourth
place. This result confirmed his second place in the overall
standings. Victory went to Rodrigo Pflucker (PER, Ford), while John
Edwards (USA) finished third to reach the podium for BMW. A total of
five BMW M8 GTEs made it into in the top 10. Turner Motorsport driver
Robby Foley (USA) and the two BMW Team RLL drivers Connor De Phillippi
(USA) and Jesse Krohn (FIN) claimed fifth, sixth and eighth positions.


Bruno Spengler (#7 BMW M8 GTE, BMW IMSA Team Red,
“I am delighted to have won this title. The
unbelievably hard work involved in preparing for the races over the
past months really paid off. Many thanks to everyone who supported me,
and thanks to IMSA management for organising this virtual race series
for us, the drivers, and the fans in these testing times. It was
fantastic and so much fun. Today’s race was full of emotion. After the
accident on the first lap, I was unbelievably disappointed and could
only think ‘That’s blown my title chances.’ But slowly, it became
clear that I would still do it, as Nicky was unable to win the race. I
was able to relax a bit and enjoy the final laps.”

IMSA iRacing Challenge Series.

Ahead of the season finale in the IMSA iRacing Pro Series, the IMSA
iRacing Challenge Series hosted its race at the same location. Only
recently made available as a car in iRacing, the BMW M4 GT4 celebrated
its debut in an official event. The start grid featured a total of 13
virtual versions of the BMW M customer racing car, six of which
recorded top ten results. Nils Koch (GER) from the BS+COMPETITION team
and Robby Foley (USA), sporting the colours of Turner Motorsport,
finished second and third respectively to reach the podium. Also in
the top ten were BMW works driver Beitske Visser (NED) in sixth place,
BMW Sports Trophy ‘Rookie of the Year’ Marius Zug (GER) in eighth and
YouTube influencer Jimmy Broadbent (GBR) in ninth.

The next major debut awaits for the BMW M4 GT4 on Saturday. That is
when it will be competing in the SP10 class at the H&R 3-hour
race, in the Digital Nürburgring Endurance Series powered by VCO.
Marius Zug will once again be behind the wheel when he will be
supported by the familiar face of BMW DTM driver Timo Glock (GER) who
will celebrate his race debut on the Nordschleife (GER) in the virtual

Livestream of the H&R 3-hour race in the DNLS powered by
VCO (Sat., 12:30 CET):




Original Press Release

Jochen Neerpasch on the BMW Junior Team: “Learn together to improve together”.

BMW:Jochen Neerpasch on the BMW Junior Team: “Learn together to improve together”.

Munich. With the prospect of the Nürburgring Endurance Series
(NLS) kicking off its season at the end of June, preparations for
the first race outing of the BMW Junior Team are picking up speed
again. Current situation permitting, the Juniors will get their
first race laps on the Nordschleife under their belt on
27th June. One keen observer will be Jochen Neerpasch.
The first Managing Director of BMW Motorsport GmbH and the BMW
Junior Team is supporting the current crop of Juniors – Dan Harper
(GBR), Max Hesse (GER) and Neil Verhagen (USA) – as a mentor. In an
interview, he compares their current situation with the
prerequisites of the legendary first BMW Junior Team back in 1977.

Video clips on Jochen Neerpasch and the BMW Junior Team:

Jochen Neerpasch on the beginnings of BMW youth development:

Jochen Neerpasch on the founding of BMW Motorsport GmbH:

The BMW Junior Team on working with Jochen Neerpasch:

Mr Neerpasch, you have shaped the history of BMW Motorsport
for many years since 1972. You have now breathed new life into the
idea of the BMW Junior Team. How did that come about?

Jochen Neerpasch: “BMW Motorsport came to me and
asked me to help them develop a new prioritisation for youth
development. I then suggested going back to supporting a BMW Junior
Team. After all, BMW had succeeded in bringing through some very
successful, talented youngsters in recent decades – but always individually.”

Why does team spirit play such a key role for you?

Neerpasch: “As a team, you see more, experience more,
chat to each other, and help one another. That was clear for all to
see with the first BMW Junior Team in 1977, and it plays an even
bigger role now, as the Juniors will share a car in the endurance
races on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife. They must learn together, to
improve together. That way, they will develop far faster than if each
were to work alone.”

Why did you decide on Dan Harper, Max Hesse and Neil Verhagen?

Neerpasch: “We looked for drivers who have improved
continuously in their respective classes. They had to have been in the
top third in each category they raced in. Furthermore, it was
important to us to assemble a team of international drivers with
different cultural backgrounds and characters. They should complement
each other and learn from one another.”

For comparison, how was the original BMW Junior Team selected
in 1977?

Neerpasch: “It was basically the same system. Eddie
Cheever, Marc Surer and Manfred Winkelhock were among the most
promising young drivers in various categories at that time – and they
too were an international team with different characters. In their
case, you could see how well they worked as a team and how much faster
they developed as a result. Based on this experience, we took a very
similar approach when putting together today’s BMW Junior Team.”

Back then, Cheever, Surer and Winkelhock were renowned for
their aggressive driving style. However, you did not try to stop
them. Why not?

Neerpasch: “Because that was the philosophy. They
should drive freely. Back then, we even let them take on our
experienced drivers in the German Motor Racing Championship – first to
learn from them, then to challenge them. Our approach was not to win
the title with the BMW Junior Team, but to develop the talented
youngsters. That is how we will handle matters with the current BMW
Junior Team too.”

Are you still in touch with Eddie Cheever and Marc Surer?

Neerpasch: “Yes, absolutely. More than just in touch:
I am sure that we will meet more regularly again as soon as possible.
They are both intrigued to meet their successors, and to watch them at
the racetrack.”

How did you come up with the idea of supporting young racing
drivers in particular?

Neerpasch: “When I used to enter races myself in the
1960s, motorsport was not regarded as a sport. As such, a racing
driver was not seen as an athlete, but a driver. The car did all the
work. Accordingly, the drivers at the time were not as well prepared
physically for the exertions. I focussed on this point as head of
racing, after my active career. I wanted to place the emphasis on the
combination of man and machine, and to support the racing drivers in
their preparation. Back then, I was already convinced that the best
car is worth nothing, if the driver is unable to exploit its full
potential. BMW was the first manufacturer to professionally prepare
drivers for races.”

How has motor racing changed in recent decades, from a
driver’s perspective?

Neerpasch: “The demands placed on a racing driver
today are completely different to my time. Back then, driving a racing
car was more of an adventure, because there were next to no technical
aids. The driver was all by himself in the car, and was only able to
give the engineer any feedback on the way the car was handling once he
returned to the garage. Nowadays, some of the technology is more
advanced than the driver and even tells him how to react in certain
situations. This means that other skills are required of today’s
racing drivers. The sensors he has to use, in order to get the best
out of himself and his car, are something completely different. You
obviously need special training methods to train this – such as the
wholistic mental and fitness training concept at Formula Medicine, for example.”

At the time of the first BMW Junior Team, you were head of BMW
Motorsport GmbH. What do you remember from that time?

Neerpasch: “As early as the end of the 1960, Ford
approached me and asked me to join their management as head of racing.
As I was at the peak of my career as a racing driver at that time,
that was one of the toughest decisions I have ever made. However, I
decided to take them up on their offer, and never regretted doing so.
I single-handedly built up a specific racing department there, and
when we started to beat the BMW coupes of that time with our Ford
Capri, the BMW sales director asked me to come to Munich at the start
of 1972. I signed my contract a few months later. BMW wanted to
reorganise its motorsport commitment. Based on my experience at Ford,
I requested a flexible organisation from the outset. There had to be a
separate motorsport department, which built the racing cars and then,
based on these cars, developed high-performance and sporty cars for
the streets, with which it would be possible to make money. We got
cracking in May 1972 and first developed the BMW 3.0 CSL, which went
on to become the most successful touring car over the following years.
Generally speaking, BMW Motorsport GmbH developed very quickly. That
was the best time of my career.”

How do you look back now on the project you started back then?

Neerpasch: “I am very proud to see what has become of
BMW M GmbH. They build fantastic cars, which are perfect for both the
racetrack and the road.”

One of the icons of BMW M GmbH, and probably your biggest
project, was the BMW M1, wasn’t it?

Neerpasch: “The BMW M1 was definitely the highlight
of my time at BMW. The project was not only big, but also tough. The
idea was not to transform a road car into a racing car, as had been
the way up to then, but to develop a racing car and then derive a road
version from it. As it was not possible to build the BMW M1 in the BMW
plant, we at BMW Motorsport GmbH took full responsibility for
development, production and sales. That was a very ambitious project.
Unfortunately, we had many issues with production, which is why we
were unable to get the BMW M1 homologated for motorsport. Together
with Max Mosley and Bernie Ecclestone, we came up with the idea of
launching the M1 Procar series on the support programme for Formula 1.
The head-to-head battles between Formula 1 stars and established
sports and touring car drivers, in identical cars, were iconic. The
top five Formula 1 drivers always went head to head. Those races in
the BMW M1 were fantastic and real crowd-pullers.”

Do you still drive a BMW M1 now and again these days?

Neerpasch: “I do. The BMW M1 is still fantastic to
drive. I used to have one myself, but sold it at some point. It’s a
shame actually, as it would probably be worth a fortune today.”

Original Press Release

IMSA iRacing Pro Series: Five BMW M8 GTEs reach top ten in Virginia – Bruno Spengler fifth, extends overall lead.

BMW:IMSA iRacing Pro Series: Five BMW M8 GTEs reach top ten in Virginia – Bruno Spengler fifth, extends overall lead.

Munich. The fifth and penultimate race of the IMSA iRacing Pro
Series season at ‘Virginia International Raceway’ (USA) marked the
first time that BMW drivers were unable to convert the great pace of
the virtual BMW M8 GTE into a podium finish. Just before the end,
Bruno Spengler (CAN) fell back from second place to fifth, but
finished as the best-placed BMW driver and extended his overall
lead. Jesse Krohn (FIN) had been in the lead until the penultimate
lap, but spun out after eventual winner Kenton Koch (USA, Ford) hit
him from behind during the battle for the win. He finished the race
in ninth place, behind his BMW team-mates John Edwards, Connor De
Phillippi (both USA) and Philipp Eng (AUT) in sixth, seventh and
eighth positions



Right up until the turbulent closing laps, it seemed that Spengler
and Krohn were assured spots on the podium. They were in second and
third positions, putting leader Koch under pressure when Spengler spun
when forced to evade a lapped car that had left the circuit however.
Not long after, Krohn grabbed the lead in a spectacular battle with
Koch, but fell back even further than Spengler after contact with the
Ford driver during his counter-attack.

There were great recovery performances from Edwards, De Phillippi and
especially Eng, who had started the race just three rows from the back
of the grid. Nick Catsburg (NED), second in the overall standings
ahead of the race, had to start from the penultimate row of the grid
thanks to an error in qualifying. He gave a great drive to reach the
top ten but was also involved in an incident and finished the race in
28th place after his repair stop. The season finale takes
place on 11th June.


Bruno Spengler (#7 BMW M8 GTE, BMW IMSA Team Red,
5th place):
“I was faster than Koch throughout
the whole race but attempting to overtake him on this circuit would
have been very risky. In view of the championship situation, that was
a risk I was not willing to take. Nonetheless, I looked sure to reach
the podium until a Ferrari spun in front of us. I lost the rear end a
little as I tried to avoid him and Jesse just touched me as he was so
close behind. That was enough to spin me around and I was back in
fifth place. At least I was able to continue and score some more
important points. That was good. Many thanks to everyone who ensured
that my BMW M8 GTE was super-fast once again.”

Original Press Release

IMSA iRacing Pro Series: Bruno Spengler and Philipp Eng reach the podium in the BMW M8 GTE.

BMW:IMSA iRacing Pro Series: Bruno Spengler and Philipp Eng reach the podium in the BMW M8 GTE.

After recording two victories to start the IMSA iRacing Pro
Series, Bruno Spengler (CAN) followed up his sixth-place finish in
Mid-Ohio (USA) with a return to the podium on the virtual circuit at
Road America (USA). A bold tyre strategy helped the Canadian driver
to cross the line second in the BMW M8 GTE. Philipp Eng (AUT) was
right behind him in third place. A total of six BMW M8 GTEs reached
the top ten. Victory went to Nick Tandy (GBR, Porsche).


The BMW drivers were unable to finish ahead of the competition from
Porsche and Ford in the qualifying session on the historic circuit but
improved during the race thanks to a cohesive performance. Spengler
and John Edwards (USA) were the only drivers to use their pit stops to
change just two tyres instead of four, a decision which enabled them
to make up a few places. Spengler took good care of his tyres during
the final phase and claimed a podium position. Edwards was the
third-best BMW driver, finishing in fifth position. Turner Motorsport
drivers Robby Foley (USA), Connor De Phillippi (USA) and Nick Catsburg
(NED) crossed the finish line in seventh, eighth and ninth places.


Bruno Spengler (#7 BMW M8 GTE, BMW IMSA Team Red,
2nd place):
“We knew in advance that competing
against such strong opposition would be tougher on this circuit than
in previous races. The qualifying results in particular confirmed
that. However, choosing a pit stop strategy of just changing the
left-hand tyres with the heavier wear allowed us to make decisive
progress. The older tyres did not have a detrimental effect on the
pace towards the end and I was able to keep hold of second place  All
in all, it was a great day and a super result for me and the entire team.”

Philipp Eng (#26 BMW M8 GTE, BMW Team Austria, 3rd
“With that fourth place in Mid-Ohio and third place
here, things are going very well for me but that should not come as a
surprise. I have been training unbelievably hard for this race. It
involves a crazy amount of work for the entire team and all the
drivers. We work really well together on the set-up and driving style.
I was ahead of Bruno before the pit stop – and on reflection, if I
could reverse the decision to change all four tyres, I would, but
everything is always clearer with hindsight. Nonetheless, it was a
great performance from all of us. Finishing with a total of six BMW M8
GTEs in the top ten is an excellent result.”

Original Press Release

BMW Motorrad International GS Trophy 2020 Oceania. Day 8 / Final Day. South Africa makes it three!

BMW:BMW Motorrad International GS Trophy 2020 Oceania. Day 8 / Final Day. South Africa makes it three!

Do you need help? Please contact our support team from 9 to 17 CET via

PressClub Global · Article.

Sun Feb 16 11:38:08 CET 2020 Press Release

Synopsis of Day 8. Location: Coronet Peak, South Island, New Zealand Weather: Sun / cloud, 18-23ºC Course: 265 km, Wanaka to Coronet Peak Terrain: Highway: 155 km, tracks & gravel: 110 km Tests: SP20: ‘Jerrycan Challenge’, SP21: ‘Final parcour’ Top three teams: 1. South Africa, 2. France, 3. Italy

Press Contact.

Tim Diehl-Thiele
BMW Group

Tel: +49-89-382-57505

send an e-mail

Coronet Peak, near Queenstown, New Zealand. After
eight days and approximately 2500 km the 2020 BMW Motorrad
International GS Trophy has reached its conclusion at the ski resort
of Coronet Peak near Queenstown. And it’s South Africa who are the
champions, having narrowly beaten off the close attentions of Teams
France and Italy. This marks South Africa’s third International GS
Trophy win on the bounce, having won previously in Thailand in 2016
and Mongolia in 2018.

In the tradition of leaving the best until last, day eight
offered some of the most technical riding of this year’s
International GS Trophy, featuring a testing ride over the famous
Nevis Road – New Zealand’s highest public ‘road’ – which is much
more than a road, more an offroad tour de force with a reputed 24
river crossings and countless difficult rocky sections along its
near 70 km length.

Leaving Wanaka at the usual 7:00 am the riders first enjoyed a
flowing road section in the run through to Cardrona, and while
clouds prevented the usual spectacular sunrise it was an unusually
warm 18ºC making for a comfortable opening ride. Following the
line of the Crown Range, after an hour the riders caught a first
sight of the The Remarkables, the 2300 m mountain range that
towers over the adventure activity capital that is Queenstown. But
no sooner had the riders seen the mountains than they were plunged
down a steep track that led to the historic gold rush village of Arrowtown.

Only to enter Arrowtown first they had to ford the Arrow River,
which was over a metre deep in parts causing several riders to
come to a soggy halt before reaching the far bank. Taking an
opportunity to empty their boots of water, in leafy Arrowtown the
riders enjoyed a coffee break in the cafes among the historic
buildings of the village centre.

The break was timely, as from here – after a further road
liaison that took the riders along the eastern shores of the
stunning Lake Wakatipu – the riders were cast upon the Nevis
Road. First came the dramatic 1300 m climb up to the high
country of the Nevis Valley. Then came the challenge of the 24
river crossings. With so many rocks and muddy sections the
riders needed to employ good trials skills, but still many
suffered falls and a few soakings.

Nearing the end of the Road, the riders came to the first
test of the day, the Jerrycan Challenge. Here the GS riders
needed to ride up a track alongside a stream, two-up
carrying two fuel cans. At the top of the trail the pillion
dismounted and with the third team member ran the cans down
through the stream. Meanwhile the rider returned to the
start/finish line where they would be reunited, test
completed. The nerves among the leading teams were in
evidence here as many an error was made, which would be
critical to the outcome of the competition.

After the test, the riders completed their
circumnavigation of The Remarkables by regaining the
highway and heading up to the Coronet Peak ski resort for
the final test, the Parcour. This test carries double
points and with the top three teams being so close on
points it would prove pivotal to the outcome of the
competition. The test called for trials skills combined
with aggression to ensure a fast time with the minimum of
penalties. All three riders in each team rode the test, in
a relay – and again it paid not to drop or stall the bike
if the time and penalties were to be kept to a minimum.
All this set against the incredible backdrop of Queenstown
and Lake Wakatipu nearly 900 metres below.

And when the scores were totaled, newcomers to the
International GS Trophy Team Netherlands had dominated
the day, lifting themselves into fourth in the final
standings, while despite a nervous start to the day,
Team South Africa had done just enough to stay ahead of
their nearest rivals France and Italy to score their
third GS Trophy win.

Brandon Grimsted, Team South Africa:
“With just a five points gap coming into this morning
it was a scary start to the day, we were nervous,
shaking even and over-thinking everything! So in the
jerrycan test we had a few problems but we got back up
and carried on. For the final parcour this was one of
the scariest events I’ve ever taken part in. But it
was awesome, we set a fast time with super clean
riding, we felt we’d done all that we could. And it
was enough! We’re super-happy to take the win and we
know for the GS community at home this is cause for
celebration. Our third win, it’s wonderful.

“Equally we had a very fun week, we thoroughly
enjoyed it and

honestly it was some of the best off-road riding
I’ve done. As a team

we were already close, but the week of being in
each other’s company all the hours of every day has
bonded us for life! And the friends we’ve made along
the way, from all these different nations – well, it
makes the experience complete.”

The GS riders had enjoyed an incredible eight
days of adventure riding. New Zealand’s two
islands had delivered a vast range of
natural wonders; from ocean beaches to the peak of
Mt. Cook, the riders had seen so much of the
terrain, and the flora and fauna that makes
this remote country such an intense experience.
And along the way they had made so many new
friendships among the 22 international
teams, proving that through a shared passion it’s
possible to unite all men and women of the world
under the one emblem – that of the GS!

BMW Motorrad International GS Trophy 2020


Final standings:

1 South Africa 394

2 France 382

3 Italy 380

4 Netherlands 375

5 South Korea 361

6 Latin America 355

7 Brazil 335

8 Russia 316

9 Mexico 295

10 Argentina 278

11 Middle East 268

12 Australia 264

13 USA 254

14 Nordic 246

15 UK 238

16 Thailand 222

17 Japan 218

18 Malaysia 208

19 India 200

20 Int. Female Team I 169

21 North Africa 146

22 Int. Female Team II 118

The event’s excitement will also be
relayed with much more information of a more
informal kind via BMW Motorrad’s social
media sources:

“RIDE AND TALK – The BMW Motorrad Podcast”

Watch out for more information on the BMW
Motorrad International GS Trophy 2020 –
brought to you directly from New Zealand!

In case of queries, please contact:

Tim Diehl-Thiele, Head of
Communications BMW Motorrad

Tel.: +49 151 601 57505,

Ingo Wirth, Head of Communications MINI
and BMW Motorrad

Tel.: +49 89 382 25814,

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 2019, the BMW Group sold over
2,520,000 passenger vehicles and more
than 175,000 motorcycles worldwide. The
profit before tax in the financial year
2018 was € 9.815 billion on revenues
amounting to € 97.480 billion. As of 31
December 2018, the BMW Group had a
workforce of 134,682 employees.

The success of the BMW Group has
always been based on long-term thinking
and responsible action. The company has
therefore established ecological and
social sustainability throughout the
value chain, comprehensive product
responsibility and a clear commitment to
conserving resources as an integral part
of its strategy.

My.PressClub Login

BMW Group Streaming.


Los Angeles, 20. November.
Here you can see the webcast of the BMW Group Press Conference at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

Open Streaming Page

CO2 emission information.

The following applies to consumption figures for vehicles with new type approval, September 2017 onward: The figures for fuel consumption, CO2 emissions and energy consumption are obtained in accordance with the specified measuring procedure (EC Regulation No. 715/2007), as issued and amended. The figures are for a basic-version vehicle in Germany. The bandwidths allow for differences in the choice of wheel and tire sizes and items of optional equipment and can be changed by the configuration.

Obtained on the basis of the new “Worldwide harmonized Light vehicles Test Procedure” (WLTP), the figures are converted back to the “New European Driving Cycle” (NEDC) for the sake of comparability. Values other than those stated here may be used for the purposes of taxation and for other vehicle-related duties relating to CO2 emissions.

More information about official fuel consumption figures and the official specific CO2 emissions of new passenger cars can be obtained from the “guideline on fuel consumption, CO2 emissions and current consumption of new passenger cars”, available here:

Original Press Release

11th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art announces dates and venues for epilogue. BMW again Corporate Partner of the 11th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art.

BMW:11th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art announces dates and venues for epilogue. BMW again Corporate Partner of the 11th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art.

Munich/Berlin. The epilogue of the 11th Berlin
Biennale takes place from June 13 to September 13, 2020 at four
permanent exhibition venues: 11th Berlin Biennale c/o ExRotaprint,
daadgalerie, Gropius Bau, and KW Institute for Contemporary Art. This
year´s edition is curated by María Berríos, Renata Cervetto, Lisette
Lagnado, and Agustín Pérez Rubio. The BMW Group is long-term Corporate
Partner of the 11th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art.

The members of this intergenerational, female identified team of
South American curators envision the forthcoming edition of the Berlin
Biennale as a series of lived experiences that evolve as a process. It
begins with three sequential moments, exp. 1, exp. 2, and exp. 3
(experiences), unfolding from September 2019 to May 2020, which
attempt to learn from and build sustainable relations, not only with
participating artists and projects but as importantly, with the city
and people of Berlin. The program includes exhibitions, performances,
artist residencies, lectures, presentations, and workshops. In summer
2020, the upcoming edition of the Berlin Biennale will bring forth all
experiences at four venues.


Epilogue – 11th Berlin Biennale:     13.6.–13.9.2020

Public opening:                                    Friday,
12.6.2020, 7 pm
First exhibition day:                           
 Saturday, 13.6.2020, 10 am–7 pm

Press conference:                             Thursday,
Press preview:                               
     Thursday, 11.6.2020, 10 am–6 pm
                                 Friday, 12.6.2020, 10 am–6 pm

Professional preview:                           Friday,
12.6.2020, 10 am–6 pm


11th Berlin Biennale c/o ExRotaprint

Bornemannstraße 9, 13357 Berlin

The 11th Berlin Biennale space at ExRotaprint—a tenant-run
project initiated by artists, bringing together work, art, and
community—has been a space for the 11th Berlin Biennale’s diverse
experiences since September 2019. ExRotaprint is a model for urban
development that rules out financial profit through ownership and
establishes a heterogeneous, open environment for all parts of the
community. The former site of the Rotaprint AG printing press
manufacturing plant with its buildings dating from the 1950s is
located in Berlin’s Wedding neighborhood. In 2004 visual artists
Daniela Brahm and Les Schliesser formulated a concept for on-site
tenants to take over the property. The goal was to develop the
location to serve a heterogeneous mix of uses for “Arbeit, Kunst,
Soziales” [work, art, community] and to achieve affordable rent for
all. Since 2007, the tenant founded, non-profit ExRotaprint gGmbH has
been dedicated to the restoration and development of the
10,000-square-meter property. Today, ExRotaprint hosts over one
hundred social initiatives, businesses, and spaces for independent
artists and others working in the creative sector.


Oranienstraße 161, 10969 Berlin

In 1965, with the help of the former West Berlin Senate, the
DAAD [German Academic Exchange Service] took over the
“artists-in-residence program” initiated two years earlier by the Ford
Foundation. Under the new title “Berliner Künstlerprogramm des DAAD”
[DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Program], it became a renowned support program
for international artists, writers, and musicians, and later also for
filmmakers. In 1978, the daadgalerie opened as a new exhibition venue
in former West Berlin. The location was intended to bring together the
diverse activities of the artists’ program and offer international
guests a platform within the West German cultural scene. Since 2017,
the daadgalerie has been located at Oranienstraße 161 in Kreuzberg in
“Haus Stiller.” The residential and commercial building was designed
in 1910 by the Jewish-Hungarian architect Oskar Kaufmann.
Interdisciplinary exhibitions and events by current and former guests
of the program are shown on two floors. A dialogue with the local art
scene and other institutions in the city is the primary focus.

Gropius Bau

Niederkirchnerstraße 7, 10963 Berlin

In 1881, the Gropius Bau opened as a museum and school of
decorative arts. In view of its eventful history and the variety of
institutions that have been active here over the years, the Gropius
Bau is organized as an open framework for addressing a broad variety
of artistic practices and modes of thinking. Since Stephanie Rosenthal
took over as director in 2018, the program has focused on opening up
the institution as a location for artistic creation and exchange. The
active collaboration with contemporary artists aims at revealing
creative processes, presenting new perspectives, and reflecting the
possibilities of the institution. A central reference point for the
program is also the nuanced examination of the building’s geographical
location, history, and present-day status, including questions of
land, borders, trauma, care, and repair.

KW Institute for Contemporary Art

Auguststraße 69, 10117 Berlin

Since its inception in the early 1990s, KW Institute for
Contemporary Art has devoted itself to the central questions of our
times through the production, presentation, and dissemination of
contemporary art. The Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art, which was
launched soon after, emerged from a pressing desire for an extensive
dialogue with the international discourse around contemporary art. In
addition to other venues across the city, the Berlin Biennale has
regularly used KW’s exhibition spaces since 1998. Numerous outstanding
artists and internationally renowned curators have since realized
important new works and exhibition projects there, establishing the
two institutions located under the roof of KUNST-WERKE BERLIN e. V. as
vibrant venues for progressive artistic practices, both within the
Berlin art scene and internationally.

More information and a selection of images are available via the
website and upon request:
The Berlin
Biennale for Contemporary Art is funded by the Kulturstiftung des
Bundes (German Federal Cultural Foundation) and organized by
The 11th Berlin Biennale for
Contemporary Art is supported by the Senate Department for Culture and Europe.

Besides the Berlin Biennale, the list of long-term commitments
of the BMW Group to the arts in Germany’s capital city includes the
Gallery Weekend and the Preis der Nationalgalerie. Beyond the
extensive commitment to the arts, BMW cooperates with the opera house
Staatsoper Unter den Linden and invites to the long-standing open-air
format “State Opera for All” at Bebelplatz. With BWM OPERA NEXT, the
partnership was extended in 2018 and makes use of the opportunities of
digitalization to open fresh perspectives and new ways accessing the
world of opera for young audiences.

For further questions please contact:

Prof. Dr Thomas Girst
BMW Group Corporate and
Intergovernmental Affairs
Head of Cultural
Telephone: +49 89 382 247 53


Isabell Ertl
Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art
of Communications
Telephone:  +49
30 24 34 59 42


About BMW Group Cultural Engagement

For almost 50 years now, the BMW Group has initiated and engaged
in over 100 cultural cooperations worldwide. The company places the
main focus of its long-term commitment on contemporary and modern art,
classical music and jazz as well as architecture and design. In 1972,
three large-scale paintings were created by the artist Gerhard Richter
specifically for the foyer of the BMW Group’s Munich headquarters.
Since then, artists such as Andy Warhol, Jeff Koons, Daniel Barenboim,
Jonas Kaufmann and architect Zaha Hadid have co-operated with BMW. In
2016 and 2017, female artist Cao Fei from China and American John
Baldessari created the next two vehicles for the BMW Art Car
Collection. Besides co-initiatives, such as BMW Tate Live, the BMW Art
Journey and the “Opera for All” concerts in Berlin, Munich, Moscow and
London, the company also partners with leading museums and art fairs
as well as orchestras and opera houses around the world. As part of
its art programme “Muse”, Rolls-Royce partners for the initiative “The
Dream Commission” with two internationally esteemed art institutions.
Together with Fondation Beyeler and Serpentine Galleries, emerging and
established artists are invited to submit a moving-image work that
delivers an immersive sensory experience. The artists are nominated
and chosen by renowned personalities of the art world like Daniel,
Birnbaum, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Cao Fei, and Theodora Vischer. BMW Group
takes absolute creative freedom in all its cultural activities for
granted – as this initiative is as essential for producing
groundbreaking artistic work as it is for major innovations in a
successful business.

Further information:

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 2019, the BMW Group sold over 2,520,000 passenger vehicles
and more than 175,000 motorcycles worldwide. The profit before tax in
the financial year 2018 was € 9.815 billion on revenues amounting to €
97.480 billion. As of 31 December 2018, the BMW Group had a workforce
of 134,682 employees.

The success of the BMW Group has always been based on long-term
thinking and responsible action. The company has therefore established
ecological and social sustainability throughout the value chain,
comprehensive product responsibility and a clear commitment to
conserving resources as an integral part of its strategy.

Original Press Release

24 Hours Daytona: BMW M Motorsport and BMW Team RLL kick off the 2020 IMSA season with a highlight.

BMW:24 Hours Daytona: BMW M Motorsport and BMW Team RLL kick off the 2020 IMSA season with a highlight.

Munich. The winter break in North America is over: This coming
weekend sees BMW M Motorsport and BMW Team RLL start the 2020 season
of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship (IMSA series).
Traditionally the season kicks off with a real endurance classic,
the 24 Hours of Daytona (USA) from 25th to 26th January. BMW Team
RLL, which will contest the IMSA series with two BMW M8 GTEs, is
heading to the first highlight of the 2020 racing year with a lot of
momentum, after all, team principal Bobby Rahal’s (USA) crew
celebrated the highly acclaimed victory in the GTLM class there last year.

In terms of drivers, BMW Team RLL is going for consistency and proven
names. John Edwards (USA) and Jesse Krohn (FIN) will contest the 2020
season in the #24 car again. At Daytona they will receive support from
last year’s winner Augusto Farfus (BRA) and Chaz Mostert (AUS). The
other three winners from last year will be in the cockpit of the #25
sister car, namely Connor De Phillippi (USA), Philipp Eng (AUT) and
Colton Herta (USA). New to the team is former BMW DTM driver Bruno
Spengler (CAN), who, together with De Phillippi, will make up the
regular team for the full season. In preparation for the race weekend,
BMW Team RLL took part in the three-day “Roar before the 24” pre-test
at the beginning of January.

In the 2020 season, BMW M Motorsport, BMW of North America and BMW
Team RLL will be backed by strong partners in their commitment to the
IMSA. The new oil partner for the IMSA is MOTUL. The French company
specialises in high-tech engine and industrial lubricants, and has
decades of racing experience. The new Official Partner is also the
namesake of the MOTUL BMW M8 GTE, adding to the strong portfolio of
trusted partners Akrapovič, Michelin, Puma, BMW M Performance Driving
School,, AERO Advanced Paint Technology, Inc., Lincoln
Electric and Rousseau.

In addition to BMW Team RLL and their two MOTUL BMW M8 GTEs, the
Turner Motorsport team will also be competing at Daytona. The #96 BMW
M6 GT3 contesting the GTD class will have BMW works driver Jens
Klingmann (GER) and Bill Auberlen, Robby Foley and Dillon Machavern
(all USA) at the wheel. The 2020 edition of the 24 Hours of Daytona
gets underway at 13:35 local time (19:35 CET) on Saturday, 25th January.

Quotes ahead of the 24-hour race at Daytona.

Jens Marquardt (BMW Group Motorsport Director): “The
24 Hours of Daytona is a real classic and is our first major highlight
of the motorsport season each year. The emotions from last year
haven’t been forgotten, when BMW Team RLL drove to a sensational
victory in extremely difficult conditions. It goes without saying that
this success gives the whole team an added motivational boost. Now we
are really excited to see what challenges the 24 Hours of Daytona has
in store for us this year. We are ready to take on these challenges.
BMW Team RLL and the BMW engineers used the winter break to work
intensively on preparing the BMW M8 GTE for Daytona and the 2020 IMSA
season. Now I hope that this hard work will be rewarded with
corresponding success. I’d like to take this opportunity to also thank
our strong partners in our IMSA commitment. They all play their part
in the successes of BMW Team RLL.”

Bobby Rahal (Team Principal BMW Team RLL): “Our
Daytona victory last year was a victory that was really earned across
all aspects of the team and it was a proud moment for all of us. We
have a difficult act to follow for this year, but I think that with it
being one year on for the BMW M8 GTE and the improvements that were
made over the course of last year and the off season, we’ve got to
feel as optimistic as you can ever feel about a race of this length. I
believe there are still a lot of question marks in terms of our
competition, for example, two manufacturers will bring new cars. It
will be a very tough race but as we saw last year, a lot can happen
and we just need to make sure we are in a good spot to take advantage
of the opportunities that present themselves.”

John Edwards (#24 MOTUL BMW M8 GTE): “It felt great
to get back behind the wheel at the Roar. It has been a long break for
everyone except the BMW Team RLL crew and engineers who have been
working flat out, probably since the end of last season. We have a
proven car in the BMW M8 GTE and had a strong three days at Daytona.”

Jesse Krohn (#24 MOTUL BMW M8 GTE): “Knowing the BMW
M8 GTE as well as we do gives me a very good feeling for the 2020
season and especially the 24-hour race. Three strong days at the Roar
test showed we are well prepared.”

Augusto Farfus (#24 MOTUL BMW M8 GTE): “We had a
trouble-free Roar test and that was important for us to be able to get
into a rhythm and run the miles we needed. Of course, based on our win
last year expectations are high, but we are grounded and will attack
the race in a straightforward way. The times show the field will be
very competitive and the BMW M8 GTE is right there.”

Chaz Mostert (#24 MOTUL BMW M8 GTE): “I’m excited to
get the call-up to return with BMW Team RLL for another 24-hour race
at Daytona. Hopefully, the #24 will have a bit better luck this year,
but whether the #24 or #25 BMW M8 GTE wins doesn’t matter as long it’s
a BMW victory.”

Connor De Phillippi (#25 MOTUL BMW M8 GTE): “A new
season has brought a new team-mate for the #25 BMW M8 GTE in Bruno
Spengler. I am looking forward to working with him. The 24-hour race
at Daytona will kick off the third season for the BMW M8 GTE and we
enter the race as last year’s winners. Obviously, we have high
expectations for the race as we’ve proven ourselves and the car already.”

Bruno Spengler (#25 MOTUL BMW M8 GTE): “The 2020 IMSA
season will be very exciting and challenging. I am very motivated to
get it started at the Daytona. This will be my fourth 24-hour race at
Daytona with BMW Team RLL – after 2015, 2016 and 2017 – and my first
race with my new team-mate Connor De Phillippi. We have two more
winners from last year’s race with us, Philipp Eng who I know well
from DTM and Colton Herta, a very fast young man.”

Philipp Eng (#25 MOTUL BMW M8 GTE): “I am very much
looking forward to be racing at Daytona again. The main target will be
to defend our title. We had a good Roar and have all the ingredients
to be successful.”

Colton Herta (#25 MOTUL BMW M8 GTE): “I am very happy
to be back with BMW Team RLL for Daytona. We’ve got most of the
winning band back together from our win last year with Connor De
Phillippi and Philipp Eng. Bruno Spengler will complete the quartet as
Augusto Farfus moves to the #24 car.”

Original Press Release

Podium for BMW Team RLL and the BMW M8 GTE at Laguna Seca.

BMW:Podium for BMW Team RLL and the BMW M8 GTE at Laguna Seca.

Munich. BMW Team RLL once again secured a strong result at the
WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca (USA). John Edwards (USA) and Jesse
Krohn (FIN), who started from the pole position, drove their black
#24 BMW M8 GTE to second place in the penultimate round of the IMSA
WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

Their team-mates, Tom Blomqvist (GBR) and Connor De
Phillippi (USA), came fifth in the GTLM class with their #25 BMW M8
GTE. Victory was secured by the #66 Ford. In the GTD class, Turner
Motorsport’s Bill Auberlen (USA), who contested his 425th
race in a BMW, and Robby Foley (USA) finished seventh, driving the #96

The final round of the 2019 season, the classic Petit Le Mans,
will take place on 12th October.

Bobby Rahal (Team Principal, BMW Team RLL): “Jesse
did a very good job after he experienced a momentary shut-off. It
allowed the Ford to get passed but he recovered and got the job done.
Although we had a good pace, the Ford was just better today. You
usually get the breaks in traffic when you are leading your class and
you don’t when you are second or third. Now, it’s on to Petit Le Mans
and work begins to finish the season just as we started it, with a victory.”

John Edwards (#24 BMW M8 GTE, 2nd place):
“It feels great to be back on the podium and be back in contention,
especially after the previous races where we struggled with our pace.
We regrouped, made the necessary changes to the cars and they paid
off. Last year, our sister car won here on a great fuel strategy so it
is satisfying to be able to compete with the same pace as the other teams.”

Jesse Krohn (#24 BMW M8 GTE, 2nd place):
“Good day overall. Slight hiccup during my stint when I lost
all power and that ultimately cost us the lead and may have cost us
the win. It’s tough to know here because traffic plays such a big part
but if you are the first car going through the traffic you most likely
gain so losing that lead early-on was a bad blow for us. Overall, the
team executed very well, the car was working pretty well and we came
away with P2. Considering the issue we had, we can be very happy with
our result.”

Tom Blomqvist (#25 BMW M8 GTE, 5th place):
“Very close at the end and to come so close to the podium and not get
the result is a bit disappointing. The guys did a great job this
weekend but the Corvettes just managed to get by at the end. Connor
did a very commendable job keeping them at bay as long as he did and
that helped John and the entire team.”

Connor De Phillippi (#25 BMW M8 GTE, 5th
“It was a difficult race with tyre degradation issues
at the end. I was just trying to hold off the Corvettes at the end but
I just could not keep them behind me long enough. We were able to hold
them off enough to give the #24 car a good gap and keep it on the
podium however. I am very happy with our effort and now we will try to
get both cars on the podium at Petit Le Mans.”

Original Press Release