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BMW Motorsport News - Issue 44/2017.

Interview with Jens Marquardt on Formula E – Podium for the BMW M6 GT3 in the Asian Le Mans Series.

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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.

 

Formula E: Season 4 gets underway in Hong Kong.

The MS&AD Andretti Formula E team kicked off the fourth season of the FIA Formula E Championship with two races in Hong Kong (CHN) this weekend. Furthermore, an announcement was made on Friday that BMW i will continue to be involved in the series as “Official Vehicle Partner”. On Saturday, BMW works driver António Félix da Costa (POR) and Kamui Kobayashi (JPN) finished sixth and 15th. The duo then came home in P11 (Félix da Costa) and P17 (Kobayashi) on Sunday. BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt also visited the Asian metropolis, where he followed the action at the “Hong Kong Central Harbourfront Circuit” at first hand.

 

Three questions for... Jens Marquardt.

 

Mr Marquardt, Season 4 of the FIA Formula E Championship is underway. What was your impression of Hong Kong?

Jens Marquardt: “The opening round of the Formula E season, set against the spectacular backdrop of Hong Kong, showed that the championship has continued to develop and is moving in the right direction. The passion for Formula E is huge – among the fans, and among the drivers and teams. The continuation of the partnership between BMW i and the series was announced in Hong Kong. Furthermore, we and Michael Andretti’s team also gathered more valuable experience with regard to BMW joining the series with a works commitment in Season 5. The future of Formula E looks very promising.”

 

How is the technical development on the Formula E project going in Munich?

Marquardt: “The development of the BMW eDrive power unit for Season 5 is running to plan. The powertrain has successfully completed its first long runs on the test bench, and we are in the middle of the next loop of developments and optimisations. For us, Formula E is a technology lab for BMW iNext and other generations of BMW i models – with many interfaces between motorsport and production development. These include the shared test benches and facilities for prototype construction. The Formula E development team is incorporated in the same department as production predevelopment. More than a quarter of the predevelopment team is working on the Formula E project. That shows just how intense the transfer of technology is.”

 

Are you able to give us any information regarding the E drive?

Marquardt: “It is already interesting to see some figures compared to the production power unit: The BMW eDrive system for Formula E is half the weight, but twice as powerful – and with twice the engine speed. The rpm figures are four times as high as a combustion engine. The engineers are really enjoying being able to focus fully on the performance and efficiency of the power unit. In doing so, they are also making many new findings for production. From a technical point of view, Formula E is a magnificent project.”

 

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IWSC: Connor De Phillippi to drive for BMW Team RLL in 2018.

BMW Motorsport welcomes a new member into its motor racing family in 2018. Connor De Phillippi (USA) will contest the entire season of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship (IWSC) at the wheel of the new BMW M8 GTE for BMW Team RLL. De Phillippi, who despite being just 24 years old has already enjoyed great success – including victory at the Nürburgring 24 Hours (GER) in 2017 and the title in the 2016 ADAC GT Masters – joins John Edwards (USA) as the second American who will line up at all of the races in the 2018 IWSC as a regular driver. De Phillippi and Edwards will receive back-up at the endurance classics in Daytona, Sebring, Watkins Glen and Road Atlanta (all USA) from Bill Auberlen (USA), class winner at the 2017 “Petit Le Mans” and brand ambassador for BMW of North America. The European drivers for the 2018 IWSC season will be announced at the BMW Motorsport Season Review on 15th December.

 

Asian Le Mans Series: Podium for the BMW M6 GT3.

The Asian Le Mans Series held its second race of the 2017/18 season this weekend, against the impressive backdrop of Mount Fuji (JPN). Following their victory at the season-opener in Zhuhai (CHN) a good month ago, Jesse Krohn (FIN), Jun San Chen (TPE) and Chaz Mostert (AUS) were back on the podium. After four hours of racing at the “Fuji International Speedway (JPN), they crossed the finish line second in the GT class at the wheel of the BMW M6 GT3 run by FIST-Team AAI. Having secured pole position, only a stop-and-go penalty prevented them from taking the class victory. The next round of the Asian Le Mans Series takes place on 13th January 2018 in Buriram (THA).

 
 

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