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PressClub Global · Article.

BMW Motorsport News - Issue 43/2017.

BMW M8 GTE for North America prepared in Munich – Interview with Charly Lamm ahead of the FIA GT World Cup.

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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: The countdown is on.

Next weekend, four BMW M6 GT3s will be in action at the FIA GT World Cup in Macau (CHN) including the 18th BMW Art Car, designed by Cao Fei (CHN) and driven by Augusto Farfus (BRA). This rolling work of art will be run by BMW Team Schnitzer, who return to the Guia Circuit for the first time since 2009. Speaking in an interview, Team Principal Charly Lamm (GER) discusses the team’s return to the narrow urban canyons of Macau.

 

Three questions for ... Charly Lamm.

 

Mr Lamm, BMW Team Schnitzer is returning to Macau. How does that feel to you as Team Principal? “Our team and Macau share a long history together. We first raced there in 1980, and won the last time in Macau in 2009. Interestingly, Augusto Farfus was at the wheel back then too – he took victory at the final round of the World Touring Car Championship in a BMW 320si WTCC. After such a long time away, we are now intrigued to see how Macau has changed. I am particularly looking forward to the special magic that surrounds this street circuit. It is nice to be racing there with a GT3 car for the first time – especially with Augusto and the 18th BMW Art Car.” 

 

Why has BMW Team Schnitzer always done so well at Macau in the past?

Lamm: “The BMW touring cars we fielded in Macau in the past were always very competitive cars. But we also always had exactly the right driver for the job – from Hans-Joachim Stuck right through to Augusto Farfus. Macau is a unique street circuit, and winning there was always very special for us.”

 

BMW Team Schnitzer will run the 18th BMW Art Car in Macau. What does this assignment mean to you?

Lamm: “The idea behind the BMW Art Cars dates back to the 1970s. It is extremely impressive to see how Jochen Neerpasch’s idea has developed since then. We have had the honour of running a BMW Art Car on a few occasions now. This time too, it is very special to appear with the latest model – particularly in China, with a piece created by the first Chinese Art Car designer, Cao Fei. The FIA GT World Cup is definitely set to be a highlight for us again.”

 

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IWSC: Season preparations underway for BMW Team RLL.

Next year’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship (IWSC) is looming on the horizon. A number of BMW Team RLL engineers and technicians are currently at the BMW Motorsport headquarters in Munich (GER) to be closely involved in the next stage of preparations of the BMW M8 GTE for the 2018 season, and to gain valuable experience with the new car. The first US-bound BMW M8 GTE is expected to arrive at the team headquarters in Hilliard (USA) at the end of November, with the first IMSA test scheduled for 5th and 6th December at Daytona (USA). BMW Team RLL is entering its tenth season as a BMW works team in North America. “Coming off one of our most successful years with BMW, I am very pleased that we will continue to work together in the years to come to gain more victories and titles for BMW,” said Bobby Rahal (USA), Team Principal. “This has been a tremendous, long-term relationship that started in 2009 and we are very honoured and privileged to represent BMW on the race tracks of North America. An enhanced RLL organisation for 2018 will no doubt help in the development and running of the new BMW M8 GTE, which surely is one of the most exciting new cars of 2018.” The new season gets underway for BMW Team RLL and BMW Motorsport with the iconic 24 Hours of Daytona on 28th/29th January.

 

Japanese Super GT Championship: Podium for the BMW M6 GT3.

Autobacs Racing Team Aguri (ARTA) concluded the 2017 season of the Japanese Super GT Championship with second place in the GT300 class. The grand finale took place at the “Twin Ring Motegi” (JPN) at the weekend. The #55 ARTA BMW M6 GT3 started the final race of the year from second on the grid. Shinichi Takagi (JPN) and Sean Walkinshaw (GBR) led the race for a while, before dropping back to second place in the closing stages. Jörg Müller (GER) and Seiji Ara (JPN) of BMW Team Studie finished 13th in the #7 BMW M6 GT3.

 

DTM: Bruno Spengler and BMW Bank thrill participants at “Drive like Bruno” at Spielberg and Hockenheim.

This year, BMW DTM driver Bruno Spengler (CAN) and BMW Motorsport premium partner BMW Bank once again bid farewell to the 2017 motor racing season with the spectacular “Drive like Bruno” events – and again thrilled hundreds of lucky guests in the process. The Red Bull Ring at Spielberg (AUT) and the Hockenheimring (GER) provided the venues for the sixth edition of “Drive like Bruno”. Over the course of the five days, roughly 100 BMW Bank customers and fans enjoyed a wide range of driving activities in fascinating BMW models. Among the highlights of the event were on-track training in a Formula BMW FB02 and flying laps as a passenger in the BMW Bank M4 DTM race taxi. Never far from the action was Bruno Spengler, who has been the figurehead of this series of events since 2012. “Drive like Bruno has developed into a real brand over the years,” said Spengler. “I love these events. They are always a fantastic way to end the season. It is awesome to see how much fun the guests have at the driving events. Plus, the team has become a real family, and I look forward to seeing them every year.” Felix Laabs, Head of Marketing and Sales at BMW Bank: “Drive like Bruno is a unique experience for our customers. The combination of the various programme items and the opportunity to meet Bruno up close and personal means you can sense the excitement among all the guests.”

 

24h Series: Seven BMWs in action in Austin.

Austin (USA) hosted the final round of the 24h Series this weekend. In total, 41 race cars took their places on the grid. The first 14 hours of the race were held from 09:00 to 23:00 local time. A Parc Fermé regulation was in place for all cars during the night. The remaining ten hours of racing at the 5.49-kilometre “Circuit of the Americas” (USA) took place from 08:00 to 18:00 on Sunday. The race had not finished by the time this newsletter went to press. After the first part of the race, the JR Motorsport team run BMW was on course for a podium finish in the SP3 class. The Classic BMW team had their nose in front in the BMW M235i Racing Cup. They were followed in second place by QSR Racingschool, ahead of Sorg Rennsport in third. In total, seven BMW racing cars took part in the 24 Hours of Austin.

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