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BMW Motorsport News – Issue 43/16.

BMW driving dynamics training with Marco Wittmann – season finale in the Japanese Super GT and Australian GT Championship.

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Whether in the DTM, the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar 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.

DTM: Wittmann provides winter sports athletes with BMW driving dynamics training.

While the current DTM season recently ended for Marco Wittmann (DE), the winter sports athletes supported by BMW are under starter’s orders for their new season. The Bobsleigh and Luge Federation for Germany (BSD) visited technology partner BMW this week in Maisach (DE). As part of the season-opening press conference, winter sports athletes including Olympic luge champions Felix Loch, Natalie Geisenberger, Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt, as well as world champions Francesco Friedrich (bobsleigh) and Tina Hermann (skeleton, all DE), enjoyed exclusive BMW driving dynamics training with newly-crowned DTM champion Wittmann. Wittmann ensured that his passengers experienced adrenalin rushes in the BMW M4 Coupé. The youngest two-time DTM champion also instructed the winter sports stars as they took the wheel and put the pedal to the metal, delighting all concerned. “I am a big winter sports fan. I admire the way these boys and girls race through the ice channel. It was great to meet them today, and to step on the gas. You can feel that they are ambitious, and that they want to go to the limit. I always enjoy getting to know other athletes from the BMW sporting family,” said Wittmann.

DTM: Second DTM test in Portimão.

Just two weeks after the first DTM test in preparation for the 2017 season, featuring two-time DTM champion Marco Wittmann (DE) and his team-mate Timo Glock (DE) in action at Oschersleben (DE), the next test is scheduled for this coming week. From 14th to 17th November, Bruno Spengler (CA) and Augusto Farfus (BR) will be driving the BMW M4 DTM in Portimão (PT).

DTM: BMW Motorsport Juniors Ricky Collard and Joel Eriksson complete Young Driver Test in the BMW M4 DTM.

From 29th November until 2nd December BMW Motorsport will give its two junior drivers, Ricky Collard (GB) and Joel Eriksson (SE), the opportunity to gain extensive experiences at the wheel of the BMW M4 DTM as part of the DTM Young Driver Test in Jerez de la Frontera (ES). Both drivers are part of the BMW Motorsport Junior Programme this season. While Collard has been in action in the BMW M235i Racing at the Nürburgring-Nordschleife (DE) as part of his training, Eriksson has taken to the track in the BMW M4 DTM Race Taxi at several DTM race weekends. Eighteen-year-old Eriksson was contesting his rookie season in the Formula 3 FIA European Championship in 2016, where he has caused a stir right from the word go. At the end of the season, he finished fifth in the overall standings and was named “Rookie of the Year”. Eriksson was also victorious at the prestigious “Zandvoort Masters of Formula 3” in August. In addition to his appearances as part of the BMW Motorsport Junior Programme, Collard has also been in action in the British Formula 3 Championship in 2016 – and with great success. The 20-year-old was fighting for the title until the season finale in Donington (GB) and finished second in the overall standings. It will be his first outing in the BMW M4 DTM. This sees BMW send two of the most talented current Formula 3 drivers into action at Jerez de la Frontera.

Formula E: Debut in Africa at the Marrakesh ePrix.

The 2016/17 FIA Formula E Championship continued in Morocco at the weekend. The second race of the season, the Marrakesh ePrix, featured BMW i as “Official Vehicle Partner” and the MS Amlin Andretti Team supported by BMW. The race in the “Red City” was a special debut: it was the first Formula E event to take place in Africa. The MS Amlin Andretti Team just missed out on the points this time: Robin Frijns (NL) finished in 11th place. BMW works driver António Félix da Costa (PT) was on his way to another top-six result, but had to retire early due to system problems with his car. The circuit also welcomed some high-ranking international politicians: the Marrakesh ePrix took place at the same time as the United Nations Climate Change Conference and the participants took the opportunity to find out more about the innovative race series only for electric-powered formula cars. The third race in the 2016/17 FIA Formula E Championship is scheduled for 18th February 2017 in Buenos Aires (AR).

Japanese Super GT Championship: Season finale in Motegi.

This weekend saw two races at the season finale of the Japanese Super GT Championship. The third race of the season had been cancelled in June due to the severe earthquake damage in Kumamoto (JP), and the rescheduled event took place at the Twin Ring Motegi (JP). The drivers also competed in the final race of the season as scheduled. Both BMW teams endured a weekend that was characterised by bad luck. Shinichi Takagi (JP) and Takashi Kobayashi (JP) from the Autobacs Racing Team Aguri still had a chance of claiming the title before this race weekend, but had to retire early after an accident. The two drivers were then not able to compete in the final race on Sunday. Jörg Müller (DE) and Seiji Ara (JP) from BMW Team Studie had a difficult time in qualifying and finished the races in 15th and 12th places respectively, in their BMW M6 GT3. Takagi/Kobayashi claimed fifth place in the overall standings, while Müller/Ara finished in 15th.

Australian GT Championship: Season finale at Highlands Motorsport Park.

This weekend’s finale at Highlands Motorsport Park (NZ) also marked the end of the 2016 Australian GT Championship season. BMW Team SRM, which supported BMW’s comeback in Australia with the BMW M6 GT3, collected more points to conclude an eventful season. Starting from 13th position, Steve Richards (NZ) and Max Twigg (AU) were able to progress to seventh place in the first sprint race on Saturday. The duo retired early in the second race. After six events, Richards and Twigg finished in 27th place in the overall standings for the Australian GT Championship. The two drivers also competed in the Australian Endurance Championship, finishing the season in 23rd place. 

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The fuel consumption, CO2 emissions and operating range figures were determined according to the prescribed test procedure in the version applicable at the time of type approval (Regulation No 715/2007). The figures refer to a vehicle with basic configuration in Germany and considers the different sizes of the selected wheels/tyres.

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