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Action-packed race at Bathurst – BMW works drivers fascinated by new BMW M760Li xDrive.

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. “BMW Motorsport News” allows us to regularly summarise all the action for you in a compact and informative manner so you are always up to speed.

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Bathurst 12 Hour: Tough race for BMW M6 GT3 teams.

The passionate Australian fans at “Mount Panorama” were able to check out four BMW M6 GT3s at the iconic 12-hour race in Bathurst (AUS). Unfortunately, only one of them – the number 60 car – finished the race. DTM champion Marco Wittmann (GER), Steve Richards (AUS) and Mark Winterbottom (AUS) had qualified third, but technical issues caused them to fall back through the field in the race. They ultimately had to settle for a battling 14th place. Despite this, BMW Team SRM did impress with fast lap times at the challenging circuit. The second BMW Team SRM car, driven by Timo Glock (GER), Mark Skaife (AUS), Russell Ingall (AUS) and Tony Longhurst (AUS), was forced to retire after a crash. The same fate befell the number 90 car, run by the MARC Cars Australia team, which had started the race from second on the grid. The number 99 BMW M6 GT3 of Walkenhorst Motorsport was unable to start the race following a crash in qualifying.

General: BMW works drivers go for a spin in Palm Springs.

610 hp, from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.7 seconds: over the past two weeks, 120 national and international journalists made sure that it is not only the technical data from the new BMW M760Li xDrive that is impressive, but also its handling when the car was revealed in Palm Springs, California (USA). Alongside their instructors and the BMW works drivers Marco Wittmann, Martin Tomczyk (both GER), Bruno Spengler (CAN) and Augusto Farfus (BRA), they put the latest, most exclusive M Performance model from BMW M through its paces. In addition to trips on public roads, active driving workshops at the BMW Performance Center West premises in Thermal (USA) were also scheduled. The Performance Center was successfully certified by a team of inspectors from the BMW and MINI Driving Experience in Germany and now bears the seal of quality “BMW Driving Experience, Official Partner of BMW M.”

The latest model caused a buzz among both journalists and racing drivers right from the start. “I’ve driven a lot of BMW models, but this was the first time that I had been in a BMW 7 Series,” said Wittmann. “The day here in Palm Springs with the journalists was a lot of fun. The torque and the acceleration of the BMW M760Li xDrive are really impressive and the lateral as well as the longitudinal dynamics and the direct response of the car surprised me.” The BMW M760Li xDrive takes just 3.7 seconds to go from 0 to 100 km/h. That makes it the fastest accelerating BMW series-produced car of all time. “It really is an amazing car,” said Tomczyk. “It deserves the M in its name. The first M Performance 7 Series model is incredibly agile and sporty – also on the racetrack. You notice immediately that the collective expertise of M GmbH is in this car.” The international industry professionals still have until Wednesday to experience the combination of luxury and performance of the 610 hp BMW M760Li xDrive with a TwinPower Turbo twelve-cylinder petrol engine.

DTM: Spengler makes sure there is plenty of action on ice and snow.

Just four days after contesting the 24 Hours of Daytona (USA) in the BMW M6 GTLM Art Car, Bruno Spengler (CAN) has risen to another very special challenge. This time the contest didn’t take place on the racetrack, it was on ice and snow, but biathlon fan Spengler feels right at home on this terrain as well. At the Winter Challenge organised by BMW Bank, Premium Partner of BMW Motorsport in the DTM, just like at the event’s 2016 debut, the Canadian competed against biathlon idol Fritz Fischer and luge legend Georg Hackl (both GER), who between them have won eight Olympic medals and been world champion twelve times. The sports stars were each supported by a team of fans, who were invited to the Winter Challenge after winning a competition organised by BMW Bank. The athletes battled for the win in three disciplines. 

The competition got underway in Ruhpolding (GER) with Fischer, where the competitors gave it their all in the biathlon camp. Then Hackl invited everyone to experience the ice arena in Königssee (GER). At the ARBÖ driving safety centre in Straßwalchen (AUT), Bruno Spengler’s team challenged their rivals to prove their driving skills in a driving challenge and although the entrants got competitive, the focus of the BMW Bank Winter Challenge was on fun with the fans and athletes having that in abundance. Everyone agreed on one thing when all was said and done: It had been a long time since winter sport had been this exciting.

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