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BMW Motorsport News - Issue 07/2018.

Car numbers for BMW DTM drivers released – Another endurance test for the BMW M8 GTE at Portimão.

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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.

DTM: Car numbers for the 2018 season released.
With 79 days remaining to the opening round of the DTM season at Hockenheim (GER), the numbers that will adorn the cars of the six BMW DTM drivers have been confirmed. Bruno Spengler (CAN), Marco Wittmann (GER), Augusto Farfus (BRA) and Timo Glock (GER) will take to the track with familiar car numbers, as they line up with the same numbers as last season: 7 for Spengler, 11 for Wittmann, 15 for Farfus, and 16 for Glock. BMW DTM newcomer Philipp Eng (AUT) will start in the number 25 car – a number closely associated with the history of BMW Motorsport. Back in 1975, the number 25 BMW 3.0 CSL won the 12 Hours of Sebring (USA). This triumph kick-started the story of BMW Motorsport in North America. The number is still associated with BMW in North America today: BMW Team RLL traditionally runs the number 25 car in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship (IWSC). Up until 2017 that was the BMW M6 GTLM, but it was replaced in 2018 by the BMW M8 GTE. In 2010, the number 25 played the lead role on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife: the number 25 BMW M3 GT took victory at the iconic 24-hour race at the Nürburgring. Eng will now race with the 25 in the DTM. “It is very special for me to have this iconic number on my BMW M4 DTM. I will line up proudly in the number 25,” said Eng. His team-mate Joel Eriksson (SWE), another new face in the BMW DTM squad, opted for the number 47: “I had this number in karting and was crowned Swedish kart champion with the number 47. That is why I went for 47 again.”

FIA WEC: BMW M8 GTE completes next endurance test.
This week, BMW Motorsport continued preparations for entering the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) with an endurance test at Portimão (POR). BMW works drivers Augusto Farfus (BRA), António Félix da Costa (POR), Martin Tomczyk (GER), Nick Catsburg (NED) and Philipp Eng (AUT) all had the chance to take the wheel of the BMW M8 GTE. The quintet of drivers completed a range of performance tests and set-up tasks, as well as an endurance run that lasted several hours. The drivers also had the opportunity to take to the track with LMP1 cars and gather some experience of dealing with these speedy prototypes. The season kicks off on 5th May with the six-hour race at Spa-Francorchamps (BEL), preceded by the WEC Prologue at Le Castellet (FRA) on 6th and 7th April. The highlight of the season comes with the 24 Hours of Le Mans (FRA), which will take place on 16th/17th June.

IWSC: BMW Team RLL attends test at the “Sebring International Raceway”.
Just three weeks ahead of the second race of the season in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship (IWSC), the iconic 12 Hours of Sebring (USA), BMW Team RLL has been racking up more kilometres of testing with the new BMW M8 GTE. Over the course of five test sessions, two of which took place in the dark, Bobby Rahal’s (USA) team continued its preparations for the second endurance classic of the season at the “Sebring International Raceway”. Bill Auberlen (USA), Connor De Phillippi (USA) and Alexander Sims (GBR) took to the track in the number 25 BMW M8 GTE at the official IMSA test but an incident at the end of Friday's first session saw them unable to continue with the test. John Edwards (USA), Jesse Krohn (FIN) and Colton Herta (USA) were at the wheel of the number 24 car and continued to gather data for the team. Herta, who took part in the Formula E rookie test in Marrakech (MAR) for the MS&AD Andretti Formula E team in mid-January, will be supported by BMW of North America as a BMW Motorsport Junior in 2018. This was the 17-year-old’s first outing in a GT car.

International GT Open: BMW Team Teo Martín tests in Barcelona.
BMW Team Teo Martín officially began its preparations for the new season in the International GT Open last week. The first winter test of the season took place at the “Circuit de Catalunya” near Barcelona (ESP). As they did last year, Fran Rueda (ESP) and Lourenço Beirão da Veiga (POR) took to the track in the BMW M6 GT3. Joining the team this year is Brazilian Marcio Basso. Over the course of the eight test sessions, the team, which finished second in the Driver and Team competitions last year, clocked the third fastest time. The new season in the International GT Open gets underway on 14th April at Estoril (POR). Prior to that, another test will take place at “Circuit Paul Ricard” in Le Castellet (FRA) on 2nd and 3rd March.

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