BMW Team RLL on the podium at Road America – Multiple successes for BMW M Customer Racing teams.
Whether in the DTM, the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, the ABB FIA Formula E Championship, or countless other championships: Week after week BMW teams and drivers around the world do battle for points, victories and titles. Away from the track too, members of the large BMW Motorsport family around the world are also creating headlines. The “BMW Motorsport News” allows us to regularly summarise all the action for you in a compact and informative manner. This way, you are always up to speed.
IMSA series: Podium for BMW Team RLL at a rainy Road America.
BMW Team RLL returned to the podium in the fourth race of this season’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at Road America (USA). After a chaotic conclusion to the 2:40-hour race, John Edwards (USA) and Jesse Krohn (FIN) came home third in the GTLM class in the #24 MOTUL BMW M8 GTE. Connor de Phillippi (USA) and Bruno Spengler (CAN) finished sixth in the second BMW Team RLL car, after suffering a mechanical issue shortly before the end of the race. A heavy shower with 40 minutes to go caused the race to be suspended. When the race was given the green flag with roughly seven minutes remaining, Edwards, who had switched to wet tyres on his BMW M8 GTE just in time, led the GTLM field. As the rain intensified, he was initially able to defend his lead. However, the aquaplaning was so bad on the final lap that Edwards, like a number of other drivers, skidded off the track. Whilst this did result in the loss of first place, the American was able to rescue third place and came home behind the two Corvettes to claim the third spot on the podium.
In the GTD class, Bill Auberlen and Robby Foley (both USA) were on course for a podium finish in the #96 Turner Motorsport BMW M6 GT3 before the race was interrupted due to heavy rain. As Auberlen was not on wet tyres at that point, he had to come in for a pit stop, which saw him drop back to seventh place. Auberlen and Foley also raced together for Turner Motorsport in the Michelin Pilot Challenge. They finished fifth in the #95 BMW M4 GT4, making them the best-placed BMW team.
Quotes on race four of the season at Road America.
John Edwards (#24 MOTUL BMW M8 GTE, third place): “Although we scored a podium finish, it’s a disappointing day for me after spinning out of the lead. Conditions were very sketchy and, unfortunately, I aquaplaned and was unable to save the car from going off. The team made a great call to go to wet tyres on my final stop as the rain was imminent. The result does not reflect what they deserved. Still, we ended up with respectable points.”
Bruno Spengler (#25 MOTUL BMW M8 GTE, sixth place): “We had a great chance to win today, but unfortunately we had a failure. The team did a great job and we deserved a better result. We’ll hope for better luck next time.”
NLS: ROWE Racing wins fourth race of the season.
The BMW M6 GT3 was the dominant force in race four of this season’s Nürburgring Endurance Series on the Nordschleife (GER). After four hours of racing on an initially damp but fast-drying track, the Dutch duo of Nick Catsburg and Stef Dusseldorp took victory in the ROWE Racing #99 BMW M6 GT3. They were followed over the finish line in second place by the Walkenhorst Motorsport trio of Mikkel Jensen (DEN), Christian Krognes (NOR) and David Pittard (GBR) in the #34 BMW M6 GT3. The car which won the opening round of the season, and had finished on the podium in every race so far, leads the overall standings in the ROWE Speed Trophy. In the SP10 class, the BMW M4 GT4 claimed a top-four lock-out. Victory went to the #1 car, with reigning VLN champions David Griessner (AUT) and Yannick Fübrich (GER) joined by Florian Naumann (GER) at the wheel. The #1 BMW M4 GT4 is run by Pixum CFN Team Adrenalin Motorsport. Second place went to FK Performance Motorsport, with Hofor Racing by Bonk Motorsport taking third and fourth place.
In the BMW M240i Racing Cup class, the race was won by Heiko Eichenberg and Moritz Oberheim (both GER) from the AVIA Sorg Rennsport team. The duo finished with a lead of almost 50 seconds over Griessner, Fübrich, Sindre Setsaas (NOR) and Francesco Merlini (ITA) of Pixum CFN Team Adrenalin Motorsport. Third place went to Schnitzelalm Racing GmbH with drivers Marcel Marchewicz and Tim Neuser (both GER). In total, BMW teams took seven class victories. As well as the SP9 Pro success for ROWE Racing, SP10 victory for Pixum CFN Team Adrenalin Motorsport and the CUP5 triumph for the AVIA Sorg Rennsport team, BMW M Customer Racing teams also emerged triumphant in the SP4, V4, VT2 and H4 classes.
BMW Junior Team: Successful debut in the BMW M4 GT4.
After three races in the BMW M240i Racing and class victory in round three of the Nürburgring Endurance Series, the BMW Junior Team made its first appearance in the BMW M4 GT4 in the fourth race of the season. Dan Harper (GBR), Max Hesse (GER) and Neil Verhagen (USA) competed in the #181 BMW M4 GT4 in the SP8T class and promptly finished second. “That was a great weekend for us,” said Hesse. “As we did not have any experience at all in the BMW M4 GT4, it was incredibly important for us to get as many laps under our belt as possible on the Friday morning on the Grand Prix Circuit. The car is awesome and suits my driving style more than the BMW M240i Racing. When we then headed out onto the Nordschleife for the first time on the Friday afternoon, I had a big smile on my face the whole time.”
In the week prior to the race, the BMW Junior Team was in Munich (GER), where they took part in a sim race as part of an event in the Jochen Schweizer Arena. The kick-off event for a new Jochen Schweizer sim racing project was presented by BMW works driver Martin Tomczyk (GER).
DTM Trophy: BMW M4 GT4 wins both races at season-opener.
The BMW M4 GT4 and BMW M Customer Racing teams made their mark on the inaugural round of the DTM Trophy at Spa-Francorchamps (BEL). The podium featured two BMW drivers after both the Saturday and the Sunday race – one of them on the top-step each time. On Saturday, Ben Tuck (GBR) was victorious in the Walkenhorst Motorsport BMW M4 GT4. His team-mate Max Koebolt (NED) finished third. In the Sunday race, it was the turn of Ben Green (GBR) to take the win for the FK Performance Motorsport team, with Koebolt again third. Green failed to finish the opening race. 24 hours after his victory on Saturday, Tuck came home sixth on Sunday, just ahead of Luke Wankmüller (GER) in the second FK Performance Motorsport BMW M4 GT4. Wankmüller had previously finished 13th on Saturday.
Italian GT Championship: GT4 victory and GT3 podium for BMW Team Italia.
The first event of this season’s Italian GT Sprint Championship at Misano (ITA) saw BMW Team Italia follow on where it left off at the opening Endurance round, which took place two weeks ago at Mugello (ITA). In the GT3 class, Stefano Comandini (ITA) and Marius Zug (GER) finished runner-up in the BMW M6 GT3 on Saturday – the same position as they achieved at Mugello. On Sunday, the duo narrowly missed out on another podium, finishing fourth. In the GT4 class, Francesco Guerra and Simone Riccitelli (both ITA) claimed their first win of the season on Saturday in the BMW M4 GT4 run by BMW Team Italia. They were then forced to retire with a technical issue on Sunday. Paolo Meloni (SMR) of the W&D Racing Team ended the two races in seventh and fifth place. Fifth place on Sunday earned him victory in the GT4-AM class.
ADAC GT Masters: Season-opener features three BMW M6 GT3s at the Lausitzring.
This season’s ADAC GT Masters got underway this weekend at the Lausitzring (GER). Schubert Motors is celebrating its 30th anniversary and fields two BMW M6 GT3s. A third car is racing in MRS GT-Racing colours. In terms of pace, the BMW M6 GT3 struggled in the hot conditions in the Lausitz region. On Sunday, following an impressive performance in qualifying, BMW works driver Nick Yelloly (GBR) was on course for a top-ten finish. However, he then collided with a lapped car, through no fault of his own, and was consequently forced to retire with a brake issue. The other cars, with the likes of BMW works drivers Joel Eriksson (SWE) and Jens Klingmann (GER) at the wheel, failed to finish in the top 20.
BTCC: A win and two podiums for Team BMW.
Team BMW kicked off this season’s British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) with one win and two podiums at Donington Park (GBR). Defending champion Colin Turkington (GBR), in the BMW 330i M Sport, won race two on Sunday, having already finished runner-up in the opening race. His team-mate Tom Oliphant (GBR), who was sixth in race one, came home third in race two to claim a spot on the podium. Oliphant and Turkington picked up more valuable points in race three, finishing ninth and tenth.
British GT Championship: Podium at season-opener.
The British GT Championship got its season underway at Oulton Park (GBR). Among those in action were two BMW M4 GT4s belonging to Century Motorsport. In the GT4S class, Ben Hurst (CAN) and Andrew Gordon-Colebrooke (GBR) finished third in the Sunday race. The duo had previously come home sixth on Saturday. David Whitmore and Luke Sedzikowski (both GBR) were the only starters in the GT4AM class in the second Century Motorsport car.