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BMW Motorsport News – Issue 16/16
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Tom Blomqvist celebrates his debut in the BMW M6 GT3 – Martin Tomczyk and the BMW M4 DTM visit Budapest.

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VLN: Tom Blomqvist celebrates his debut in the BMW M6 GT3.

The second race of the VLN Endurance Racing Championship, at the Nürburgring-Nordschleife (DE), saw BMW DTM driver Tom Blomqvist (GB) compete in the new BMW M6 GT3 for the first time. Together with Christian Krognes (NO) and last year’s BMW Motorsport Junior Victor Bouveng (SE), the young Brit lined up on the grid in the number 36 car for Walkenhorst Motorsport. The young trio will also take part in the 24-hour race on 28th and 29th May in the Walkenhorst BMW M6 GT3. Blomqvist and his team-mates reached 11th in the 41st DMV 4-hour race. This represented the best finish for a BMW M6 GT3 in what was once again a turbulent race. Their team-mates Matias Henkola (FI), Michele Di Martino (DE) and Kazunori Yamauchi (JP) claimed 13th position in the number 35 BMW M6 GT3. Until the final phase of the race, the best-placed BMW M6 GT3 was the ROWE Racing number 22 car, with BMW DTM driver Maxime Martin (BE) and Klaus Graf (DE) at the wheel. A podium finish was within reach for them, but, around 20 minutes from the end, Graf was forced to retire from fourth place due to a mechanical problem. Their ROWE Racing team-mates in the number 23 BMW M6 GT3, the BMW works drivers Alexander Sims (GB) and Philipp Eng (AT), also had to retire, after an accident in the first hour of the race. The weather conditions in the Eifel region proved to be difficult and unpredictable once more. The track was damp to start with as temperatures hovered around 5 degrees centigrade, but dried out only for rain to set in at the end of the race. In the BMW M235i Racing Cup class, in which a total of 20 cars took part, Michael Schrey (DE) and former BMW Motorsport Junior Alexander Mies (DE) from Team Bonk Motorsport repeated their season-opening performance to secure another victory. BMW teams celebrated a total of five class wins.

 

Three questions for ... Tom Blomqvist.

 

Tom, it was your first race in the BMW M6 GT3, how do you like racing on the Nürbürgring-Nordschleife with this new GT car?

Tom Blomqvist: “I thoroughly enjoyed it. The track is amazing and the BMW M6 GT3 has more power and more grip than the BMW M235i Racing that I raced here before. So you can push more and it really is a lot of fun to take the BMW M6 GT3 around the Nordschleife. This weekend, we had all the conditions, so it was good for me to learn and to prepare for the 24-hour race.”

 

Was it easy to adapt to the BMW M6 GT3 after you had competed at the Nürburgring-Nordschleife with the BMW M235i Racing?

Blomqvist: “The first couple of laps were a bit different, for sure, as you are going a lot faster. But at the same time, you have more grip and the characteristic of the car is more to what I am used to driving. So for me it was even a little bit easer to take the BMW M6 GT3 to the limit than the BMW M235i Racing. Now I just have to gain some more experience. But I am happy with the performance at my first time in the car.”

 

Next weekend you will race you BMW M4 DTM again. How much are you looking forward to the DTM season opener in Hockenheim?

Blomqvist: “Very much. It has been a long time since we raced in the DTM. The testing went very well and now it will be interesting to see where everyone stands. I am fully motivated and really excited to get the race season in the DTM started.”

 

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DTM: Martin Tomczyk and the BMW M4 DTM visit Budapest.

The DTM returns to Hungary’s capital city, Budapest, in the 2016 season that starts next weekend in Hockenheim (DE). In September, the eighth race of the season will take place on the Hungaroring. Hungarian fans have already been treated to a taster of what awaits them, thanks to the “Great Run Budapest” event. Taking part: Martin Tomczyk (DE) and the BMW M Performance Parts M4 DTM race taxi. He and a host of other drivers were able to put their skills to the test on a special “city course” on the banks of the Danube and in the heart of the old town. Several hundred thousand spectators lined the track to watch the cars pass by Buda Castle and the Chain Bridge - and Tomczyk delighted them with donuts and burn-outs. “The event in Budapest was sensational,” said Tomczyk. “It was great to be there with the DTM. There were around 300,000 fans at trackside and it is just a fantastic feeling to drive the BMW M4 DTM through Budapest city centre and over the Danube. I am really looking forward to coming back to Budapest this year. The fans here are something special. At this event, it was clear to see that they are passionate about motorsport. It was great fun!” The DTM races on the Hungaroring take place on the 24th and 25th September.

 

ADAC GT Masters: Bob pilot Nico Walther visits BMW Motorsport Juniors.

The ADAC GT Masters weekend at the Sachsenring (DE) was the ideal occasion for a meeting between young talents from motorsport and the world of bobsleigh. The two BMW Motorsport Juniors, Jesse Krohn (FI) and Louis Delétraz (CH), met the rising star in the German bobsleigh team, Nico Walther. Walther, who claimed second place in the four-man bob at the 2015 World Championships in Winterberg (DE) and headed the overall World Cup standings in 2016, is a big motorsport fan and did not want to miss the chance of taking a closer look at the BMW M6 GT3, and of getting a look around the cockpit of the GT car with the BMW drivers. “If you are involved in bobsleigh, you have speed in the blood - and getting so close to a fantastic race car like the BMW M6 GT3 has me itching to race one myself,” said Walther. “Luckily, BMW gives us the opportunity to take its cars out for a drive at various events. We met up with Timo Glock in Sölden at the Snow Driving Challenge. That was great fun, and I even managed to beat him at the Drift Challenge. Bobsleigh is, of course, the most important thing for me. Our target is to win medals at the next World Championships and Olympic Games.” BMW has been Premium and Technology Partner for the German Bobsleigh Federation (BSD) since 2010. 

 

IWSC: Fourth round of the season in Laguna Seca.

It is the fourth round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship (IWSC) at Laguna Seca (US) in California this weekend. In a difficult qualifying for the GTLM class, the BMW Team RLL cars were seventh and tenth. Dirk Werner (DE) qualified the number 25 BMW M6 GTLM he shares with Bill Auberlen (US) seventh, while Lucas Luhr (DE) was in the number 100 car he shares with John Edwards (US) in tenth. The race starts late on Sunday evening European Time. In the GTD class, the Turner Motorsport number 96 BMW M6 GT3 of Bret Curtis (US) and Jens Klingmann (DE) qualified seventh, the number 97 sister car of Michael Marsal (US) and Markus Palttale (FI) will line up in 13th on the grid. Their race starts four and a half hours later than the one for the GTLM class.

 

ICTSC: Clay and Cooke just miss out on a podium.

In Saturday’s two-and-a-half-hour IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge (ICTSC) race at Laguna Seca (US) the number 84 BimmerWorld Racing BMW 328i of James Clay (US) and Tyler Cooke (US) was the highest placed BMW in the field with a fourth place finish in the Street Tuner (ST) class – just 0.061secs behind the third placed finisher. A seventh place ST finish was scored by the number 65 Murillo Racing BMW 328i of Justin Piscitell (US) and Tim Probert (US).

 

Italian GT Championship: Season-opener in Monza.

The 2016 season in the Italian GT Championship started in Monza (IT) this weekend. The BMW M6 GT3 from BMW Team Italia claimed fourth place on Saturday, in the first of two races. The new GT car was driven by Stefano Comandini (IT) and Alberto Cerqui (IT). In the second race on Sunday, the duo finished in 14th.

 

British GT Championship: Second race of the season in Rockingham.

Both BMW teams in the British GT Championship had their second race of the season this weekend, in Rockingham (GB). Lee Mowle (GB) and Joe Osborne drove the BMW Z4 GT3 from the AmDTuning.com team to ninth place. The BMW Z4 GT3 from Team ABBA Rollcentre Racing, driven by Richard Neary (GB) and Martin Short (GB), finished the two-hour race in 11th.

 

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