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BMW Motorsport News – Issue 40/2017.

Alessandro Zanardi and Lena Gercke visit the DTM finale – BMW wins manufacturer title in the Pirelli World Challenge.

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DTM: Alessandro Zanardi visits BMW Motorsport family.

One of the first to congratulate BMW DTM driver Marco Wittmann (GER) on his victory in Sunday’s race at Hockenheim (GER) was fellow BMW works driver Alessandro Zanardi. The Italian also took his place on the podium, where he took part in the championship presentation ceremony. Zanardi watched the final weekend of the 2017 DTM season at the track with the BMW Motorsport family. “It was a fantastic weekend. As always at Hockenheim, the atmosphere was simply awesome,” said Zanardi. “I am delighted that BMW had a successful end to the season, with Timo’s podium on Saturday and Marco’s victory on Sunday. Marco is a magician. Even in this fiercely-competitive field, he still always finds a way to get the very best out of the car, and he produced another outstanding performance at Hockenheim.” Zanardi took time to meet Hockenheim fans, including at an autograph session and on the starting grid. He also answered users’ questions during a Facebook live session. You can watch the video at the following link:


DTM: Lena Gercke samples DTM atmosphere at Hockenheim.

Among the many VIPs at the DTM finale at Hockenheim (GER) was the new BMW M Brand Ambassador, Lena Gercke (GER). The top model followed the action up close and personal with BMW Motorsport, and was given an exclusive insight into the many aspects of a race weekend. Gercke and BMW works driver Martin Tomczyk (GER) visited Bruno Spengler (CAN) shortly before free practice. Gercke was then given a taste of how it feels to be travelling flat out in a BMW DTM car as Spengler’s passenger in the BMW M4 DTM Race Taxi. “Wow, what a great day with BMW at the DTM at Hockenheim. Super weather, super atmosphere – and it was crazy how many fans were there. I find it fantastic how passionately they support the drivers and teams,” said Gercke. “I was really nervous before my Race Taxi ride, as I had no idea what I was letting myself in for. I asked Bruno to drive a bit slower, but he obviously ignored me. As soon as I sat in the car, I loved it. You can feel the adrenalin in every pore of your body. At the end he told me he had another surprise for me, and did a few doughnuts. One after another. That was a crazy feeling!” Gercke also gave interviews, signed autographs and visited the starting grid ahead of Saturday’s race. 


DTM: BMW Motorrad presents innovative E-scooter at Hockenheim.

The BMW DTM drivers often have to cover great distances in the paddock: pit lane, team truck, hospitality, media centre, and fan area, and usually have little time in which to do so. To help them get around, they use motorcycles, mopeds and even scooters, depending on the circuit. At the DTM finale at Hockenheim (GER), the six BMW drivers and BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt were propelled by a completely new means of transport: the innovative BMW Motorrad X2City, a kick scooter with an electric engine. With a top speed of up to 25 km/h and a range of between 25 and 35 kilometres, the BMW Motorrad X2City is tailor-made for everyday use at the racetrack – above all, however, it is ideal for the city and the ever-increasing traffic chaos. As such, it is perfectly suited to the BMW Group’s vision of zero-emission mobility on two wheels. Classed as a pedelec 25, it can be used by anyone over the age of 14, and without needing a helmet or motorcycle licence. The BMW Motorrad X2City can easily be packed away in the boot of a compact car, as it weighs just 20 kilograms, and features a fold-away steering column. The BMW Motorrad X2City is the result of a cooperation between BMW Motorrad and ZEG, which owns the Kettler brand among others. The innovative, electric kick scooter is expected to be available in shops from the end of the year.


BMW M8 GTE: Successful tests in Budapest.

BMW Motorsport successfully completed another test last week, as it continues to develop the new BMW M8 GTE. The three-day test took place at the Hungaroring, near Budapest (HUN). This time, Philipp Eng (AUT) and António Félix da Costa (POR) were the BMW works drivers to share driving duties. The tests allowed the BMW Motorsport engineers to evaluate further development steps and perform successful long-run simulations. As of the 2018 season, the BMW M8 GTE will be BMW Motorsport’s new flagship on the GT racing scene. The new car will compete in series including the FIA World Endurance Championship (FIA WEC) and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship (IWSC).


Pirelli World Challenge: Podiums at season finale and manufacturer title for BMW.

The 2017 Pirelli World Challenge drew to a close this weekend with races eleven and twelve at Laguna Seca (USA). BMW drivers picked up another four podiums in the TC class. Greg Liefooghe (USA) finished runner-up in both races in the Stephen Cameron Racing Team’s BMW M235i Racing. Pierre Kleinubing (USA, Classic BMW) finished third in both races. Liefooghe ended the season in second place in the championship. Third place in the overall standings went to Nick Wittmer (CAN) of the ST Racing team. BMW claimed the title in the Manufacturer Championship with a margin of 29 points. It has been an extremely successful season for the BMW teams; they won seven of the 12 races and achieved 21 podium finishes with the BMW M235i Racing.


GT4 European Series Southern Cup: More podiums to round off the season.

The 2017 GT4 European Series Southern Cup also reached its conclusion this weekend. The finale took place at Le Castellet (FRA) and produced more top-three finishes for BMW Team France and Ekris Motorsport. Frenchmen Frédéric Johais and Julien Piguet finished second in Saturday’s race in the Ekris M4 GT4 run by BMW Team France. Ekris Motorsport drivers Max Koebolt and Ricardo van der Ende (both NED) came home third in the Ekris M4 GT4 to claim another podium on Sunday. Koebolt and van der Ende had already secured overall victory in the GT4 European Series with races in hand.


BMW Motorsport Juniors: Eriksson wins at Hockenheim.

The final round of the 2017 FIA Formula 3 European Championship took place as part of the DTM weekend at the Hockenheimring (GER). BMW Motorsport Junior Joel Eriksson (SWE) ended the season with another win. He took the chequered flag in Saturday’s opening race, before finishing fourth in race two and narrowly missing out on another podium finish by a few tenths of a second. He was back on the podium on Sunday, however, as runner-up in the final race of the year. This weekend’s results were enough for Eriksson to secure second place in the championship. The Swede was also in action for BMW Motorsport at the weekend; he took his place at the wheel of the BMW M4 DTM for the joint demonstration laps with the other DTM manufacturers and cars from the Japanese Super GT series. 


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