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BMW Motorsport News - Issue 02/2018.

First race outing for BMW M4 GT4 in customer hands – BMW M6 GT3 victorious in Buriram.

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Whether in the DTM, the FIA World Endurance Championship, 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. 


24h Dubai: First race outing for BMW M4 GT4 in customer hands.
Successful debut: the BMW M4 GT4 mastered its first race outing in the hands of customers successfully, and proved its reliability in the process. All three BMW M4 GT4s in action made it to the finish line after 24 hours in the desert marathon in Dubai (UAE). Securtal Sorg Rennsport coped best with the extreme conditions in the Dubai desert and completed a total of 534 laps of the 5.390-kilometre track in the BMW M4 GT4 to finish fifth in the class ranking. Two other BMW M4 GT4s were in action for 3Y Technology. “The most recent addition to our BMW Motorsport product family was in action for privateer customer teams for the first time – and at this extremely challenging endurance race in the desert,” said BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt. “We have many months of intensive development and testing behind us. I am delighted to see the BMW M4 GT4 in action for customers. During the course of the season it will prove itself in countless races across the globe. A total of ten BMW cars were on the entry list in Dubai. It was an enjoyable start to the 2018 customer racing season.”

24h Dubai: Five BMW M235i Racings in the field; Hofor Racing get the win.
Five BMW M235i Racings contested the CUP1 class of the 24-hour race in Dubai (UAE). Car number 131, in action for Hofor Racing powered by Bonk Motorsport, was victorious after 519 laps on the 5.390-kilometre desert track with Martin Kroll (SUI), Michael Schrey (GER), Michael Fischer (AUT), Bernd Küpper (GER) and Gustav Engljähringer (AUT) at the wheel. Second place went to Securtal Sorg Rennsport, while Team QSR Racingschool finished third.

Asian Le Mans Series: BMW M6 GT3 wins in Buriram.
Second win in three races: FIST-Team AAI won the third race of the Asian Le Mans Series with the BMW M6 GT3. After six hours, the car with Jesse Krohn (FIN), Jun San Chen (TPE) and Chaz Mostert (AUS) at the wheel crossed the finish line on the 4.554-kilometre track in Buriram (THA) in first place in the GT class. After the opening win in Zhuhai (CHN) and second place in Fuji (JPN), AAI extended their lead in the overall ranking of the GT class and are now in with a great chance of clinching the title at the final race. The fourth and final round of the Asian Le Mans Series will take place in Sepang (MYS) on 4th February.

FIA Formula E: Spengler and Eriksson at rookie test in Marrakech.
The day after the third race of the season, the MS&AD Andretti Formula E team was involved in the official rookie test of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship in Marrakech (MAR). Bruno Spengler (CAN) was in action in car number 27. The BMW works driver and experienced DTM driver broke new ground; it was his first ever outing in a Formula E racing car. “It was a big challenge for me since the last time I was in a single-seater racing car was back in 2004. Besides that, there was a lot of new things for me to learn but I really enjoyed it,” said Spengler. “The car reacts very differently to what I am used to. I was surprised at how much power the engine has, particularly when you are accelerating out of the pit lane. I was also not used to hearing all the noises which you don’t usually hear because of the loud engine. For example, you hear how the car lands every time. In the race simulations I had to make sure that I drove very differently from how I usually would since you have to take your foot off the accelerator early so that the battery can recharge. I learned new things little by little and it was great fun working with the team.” The 17-year-old American Colton Herta took to the track in the MS&AD Andretti team car number 28. Spengler’s new BMW DTM team-mate Joel Eriksson (SWE) also picked up his first experience of Formula E at the rookie test in Marrakech; he completed a test in one of DS Virgin Racing’s cars.

Driver line-up for BTCC: West Surrey Racing builds on consistency.
Never change a winning team: with an unchanged driver line-up, West Surrey Racing will embark on ‘Mission Defend Title’ in the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC). Just like last year, Rob Collard (GBR) and Colin Turkington (GBR) will compete with two BMW 125i M Sports. In 2017, WSR and BMW won the title in both the team championship and the manufacturer’s championship. Collard and Turkington racked up a total of 20 podiums in the process, which saw them finish in second and fifth place in the driver’s championship. As in the previous season, the 2013 BTCC title holder, Andrew Jordan (GBR), completes the line-up in a third BMW 125i M Sport. The 2018 BTCC season gets underway at Brands Hatch (GBR) on 8th April.

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