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BMW Motorsport News – Issue 44/16

Catsburg and Félix da Costa successful in Macau – Wittmann and Glock competing at the 12 Hours of Bathurst.

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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.

FIA GT World Cup: Good Macau debut for Catsburg.
Nicky Catsburg (NL) from the ROWE Racing Team claimed seventh place in the FIA GT World Cup on the legendary “Guia Circuit” in Macau (CN) on Sunday. He had already concluded the qualifying race on Saturday with the same result in his BMW M6 GT3. However, Sunday’s race in the former Portuguese colony was anything but normal for Catsburg and the team. At the start of the race, Ricky Capo (AU) in the BMW Z4 GT3 from Team Modena Racing had hit a crash barrier, necessitating a long interruption to allow repair work to take place at the “Guia Circuit”. Capo had finished in 16th place on Saturday. Shortly after the restart, Audi driver Laurens Vanthoor (BE) survived a terrifying incident when he clipped the wall and catapulted his car into the air before crashing to the asphalt, upside-down. The race was stopped – but victory still went to Vanthoor as classification was based on the lap before the incident. “The whole weekend was an unbelievable experience,” said Catsburg, who also claimed second place in the “Independence” standings. “This circuit is unique, and extremely difficult. This was the first time here for me and the team, so it was a major challenge. We got faster with each session. But that main race was just crazy. The main thing is that Laurens is okay after his accident. The race wasn’t that exciting for us, as we hardly drove at all. But overall it was a sensational experience to race the BMW M6 GT3 at high speed, so close to the crash barriers.”

FIA F3 World Cup: Wonderful Macau comeback for Félix da Costa.
The BMW works driver António Félix da Costa was the subject of close attention on his return to the most important Formula 3 event of the year, having won the Macau Grand Prix in 2012 – and the Portuguese driver proved once again why he is one of the best racers in the world. He dealt expertly with the challenging street circuit in Macau (CN) right from the start of the FIA F3 World Cup, and his dominant performance was rewarded with victory in the qualifying race. On Sunday, he lost first place to Sérgio Sette Câmara (BR) at the start but returned to the lead as the race progressed. Félix da Costa then crossed the finishing line to claim victory in the FIA F3 World Cup, repeating his triumph from four years ago. BMW works driver Alexander Sims (GB) also competed in Macau, finishing in tenth place in the main race. BMW Motorsport Junior Joel Eriksson (SE) did not finish.

BMW customer racing: Wittmann and Glock to make debut in Bathurst.
DTM Champion Marco Wittmann (DE) and his BMW team-mate Timo Glock (DE) will contest the legendary 12-hour race of Bathurst (AU) in Australia in 2017. They will support BMW Team SRM, who contested the entire 2016 season of the Australian GT Championship with the BMW M6 GT3. Wittmann will share stints at the wheel of the number 100 car with team boss Steve Richards (NZ) and reigning V8 Supercars champion Mark Winterbottom (AU). Glock will contest the endurance classic in the number 7 sister car. He will have Australian motorsport legends Mark Skaife, Russell Ingall and Tony Longhurst (all AU) at his side. It will be the debut at the Mount Panorama Circuit (AU) for both Wittmann and Glock. "It is super exciting to compete at the 12 Hours of Bathurst," said Wittmann. "I haven't ever been to Australia, so I have plenty of new impressions in store, which I am really looking forward to. I only know the track from a games console at the moment. It is legendary and will no doubt be a great deal of fun. I can hardly wait to complete my first laps there in the BMW M6 GT3." Glock added: "It is fantastic to return to racing in Australia after a few years break. I love the country and the people and always arrived a week before the Formula 1 races to do some sightseeing. The Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne was my favourite race. I haven't driven in Bathurst yet, but the track in the Blue Mountains is legendary. I'm really looking forward to the challenge and my first race in the BMW M6 GT3."

DTM: Wittmann entered into two "Golden Books".
Great honour for Marco Wittmann: A month after winning his second DTM title, he was honoured for his exceptional performances on the racetrack in Fürth (DE) town hall on Monday evening. At the reception in the historic chamber, Wittmann was entered into the "Golden Book" of Fürth and of his former home parish of Markt Erlbach (DE). "The entry into the 'Golden Book' is a great honour for me," said the DTM Champion. "Of all the trophies and awards that I have received, naturally this is something very special. It isn’t every day that you are immortalised in two ‘Golden Books’. Since I'm very attached to my roots, this day means a great deal to me."

DTM: The new BMW M4 DTM clocks up additional test kilometres.
The preparations for the 2017 DTM season are still in full swing. This week, Portimão (PT) hosted the second test of the new generation BMW M4 DTM from Monday to Thursday. The car, kitted out with numerous 2017 edition components, completed its initial kilometres on the racetrack at the "Motorsport Arena Oschersleben" (DE) at the end of October. Augusto Farfus (BR) and Bruno Spengler (CA) were in action for BMW on the 4.692-kilometre track in Portugal. Together they completed 414 test laps. The BMW M4 DTM will make its next appearance at the DTM and Young Driver test in Jerez de la Frontera (ES) from 29th November to 2nd December.

IWSC: BMW M6 GTLM and BMW M6 GT3 complete test in Daytona.
The 2017 season of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship (IWSC) is already causing a lot of excitement. A two-day test with the BMW M6 GTLM took place at the "Daytona International Speedway" (US) on Tuesday and Wednesday. In an intensive programme, BMW Team RLL prepared the car for its first racing action of 2017, the 24 Hours of Daytona (US). The Turner Motorsport team was also in action with the BMW M6 GT3 in Florida. 

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