Last week, BMW M Motorsport teams Walkenhorst Motorsport and Schubert Motorsport attended the official tests at Hockenheim (GER), where they prepared for the start of the DTM season, which gets underway at Portimão (POR) at the last weekend in April. Two-time DTM champion Marco Wittmann (GER) and Estaban Muth (BEL) were in action for Walkenhorst. “Despite the changeable weather, the test really helped us to understand the new BMW M4 GT3 even better and to get the car into the right set-up window,” said Wittmann. “For us, the main focus was initially basis work, and I immediately felt comfortable in the car. I am now looking forward to the second Portimão test, where we will go to work on the fine-tuning, and then obviously to the start of the season.” BMW M works drivers Sheldon van der Linde (RSA) and Philipp Eng (AUT) attended the tests for Schubert Motorsport. “It was great fun to be back in the DTM environment and to work on the set-up of the BMW M4 GT3 together with Schubert Motorsport and Sheldon van der Linde,” said Eng. “We complement each other superbly as a team, and go about our work with a good mix of professionalism and ease. In my view, the test was a success.” Despite the April weather, the 29 DTM drivers completed 3,804 laps over the course of the two days in Hockenheim – that is a distance of 17,400 kilometres.
The drivers and teams in the DTM trophy were also at the Hockenheimring for their first tests of the year. They included three BMW M Motorsport teams, with a total of seven BMW M4 GT4s. Walkenhorst Motorsport were second fastest in both sessions with Theo Oeverhaus (GER). The two BMW M2 Cup drivers from last year, Louis Henkefend (GER) and Colin Caresani (NED), were in action for Projekt 1. FK Performance took part with four cars and drivers Moritz Löhner (GER), Terry Folev (BEL), Marc de Fulgencio (ESP) and Jordan Wallace (USA).
BMW M2 Cup: Big interest in the opening test at Hockenheim.
No sooner had the DTM tests finished at Hockenheim, the BMW M2 CS Racing cars also took to the track to prepare for the 2022 season of the BMW M2 Cup. The event was an important opportunity to give the many drivers a taste of what to expect in the new season. As well as the event in Baden-Württemberg, potential competitors will have other opportunities to test and familiarise themselves with the BMW M2 CS Racing, and to stake their claim to a starting place in the Cup. Personal supervision from a driver coach is part and parcel of the BMW M2 Cup and ensures that the rookies are also able to adapt quickly to their new equipment.
Skills behind the wheel are not the only important aspect of the work with the young drivers in the BMW M2 Cup, however. The programme included workshops on data analysis and set-up work, as well as an insight into media work within the championship. The team at Speed Academy was responsible for the fitness element. A fitness camp was held in March on the North Sea island of Langeoog (GER), under the guidance of Axel Funke. Training trips like this, joint sport units and training sessions in the simulator are just three measures to prepare the talented youngsters for their time in professional motorsport.
BMW M2 CS Racing Cup Benelux: First event of the season at Zandvoort.
The BMW M2 CS Racing Cup Benelux kicked off its season with two races at Zandvoort (NED). Victory in the opening race went to Willem Meijer and Lorenzo van Riet (both NED). They were joined on the podium by Tomasz Magdziarz (POL) and Dan Pijl (NED), and Fred Caprasse (BEL). In race two, the duo was embroiled in a thrilling battle with Maxime Oosten (NED). The lead changed hands several times and, after some fierce wheel-to-wheel battles, Oosten eventually took victory ahead of Meijer and van Riet. Oosten had previously failed to finish race one. Third place in race two again went to Fred Caprasse.
ESET Cup Series: BMW M4 GT3 makes its debut at the Hungaroring.
No fewer than three BMW M Motorsport race cars were in action at the opening round of this season’s ESET Cup Series at the Hungaroring (HUN): the BMW M4 GT3, BMW M6 GT3 and BMW M4 GT4. The new BMW M4 GT3 was making its debut in the series in the hands of the Racing Trevor team. Gregor Zsigo (SVK) finished eighth overall in the first sprint race of the weekend, making it onto the GT3 podium in second place at the first attempt. In the subsequent endurance race, Zsigo shared the cockpit of the BMW M4 GT3 with Dennis Waszek (CZE). The duo took an early lead, but then dropped back through the field. They were eventually given second place in the GT3 class, despite being well behind. Zsigo switched to the BMW M6 GT3 for the second sprint race and again finished runner-up in the GT3 class. The Šenkýř Motorsport team fielded two BMW M4 GT4s at the Hungaroring. Petr Švantner (CZE) twice finished runner-up and also took a third place in the GT4 class. Samuel Vetrák and Marian Bíž (both SVK) were third in the endurance race.
GT4 European Series: Season-opener at Imola.
This season’s GT4 European Series began at Imola (ITA) the weekend before last. Borusan Otomotiv Motorsport and the W&D Racing team ran the BMW M4 GT4 at the season-opener. Race one saw Will Burns (GBR), the 2021 British GT GT4 champion, and Berkay Besler (TUR) finish ninth overall for Borusan Otomotiv Motorsport, and fourth in the silver class. The duo came home tenth (sixth in the silver class) in race two. In the AM category, Paolo Meloni (SMR) and Massimiliano Tresoldi (ITA) from the W&D Racing team finished sixth. They had previously missed out on a place in the top ten in race one, as had Borusan Otomotiv Motorsport drivers Yağız Gedik and Jason Tahincioglu (both TUR) in the Pro-Am class.