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BMW Motorsport News - Issue 11/2018.

BMW Motorsport Juniors start in the GT4 European Series 2018 at Zolder – Podiums at British Touring Car Championship season-opener.

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GT4 European Series: Strong BMW line-up at season-opener in Zolder.

The GT4 European Series season started at the weekend with a total of ten BMW M4 GT4s at Circuit Zolder (BEL) and with BMW Motorsport Juniors Beitske Visser (NED) and Nico Menzel (GER) in action. The duo will be spending the whole season in the RN Vision STS team #110 BMW M4 GT4 and scored points in both races at the season-opener. The car crossed the line in seventh place on Saturday and again on Sunday. On Sunday, Visser and Menzel put in a great chasing performance after starting from 17th position. The best-placed BMW M4 GT4 in both races was the MDM Motorsport team #1 car. Simon Knap and 2017 BMW Sports Trophy winner, Max Koebolt (both NED), secured fifth place on Saturday and finished sixth on Sunday.

 

3 questions for ... Beitske Visser and Nico Menzel.

 

What conclusions did you draw from the first race weekend in the GT4 European Series?

 

Beitske Visser: “I am quite happy with the season-opener. Recording two seventh-place finishes in a field of 40, on a circuit that perhaps is not ideally suited to the BMW M4 GT4 is a good result. And if all the framework and conditions being perfect, we might have even achieved more.”

 

Nico Menzel: “It was fair to middling, in my opinion. With such a strong field, qualifying is crucial. It did not go so well for us on Saturday and we had to make do with starting from eighth and 17th. It’s really difficult to make it to the front from there, although our race speed was great, especially on Sunday.”

 

What is it like to be working together, and with the new RN Vision STS team?

 

Visser: “We are working together really well. I get on great with Nico. I think that once we have got to know one another even better over the next few race weekends, and the circuits are more suited to the BMW M4 GT4, we will soon be in the running for podium finishes.”

 

Menzel: “We all make a really good team. It is very nice to be working with the RN Vision STS people; everything is concentrated yet relaxed. Racing with Beitske is also an example of good teamwork, such as during my stint on Sunday - I was only able to move so far up because she had taken good care of the tyres and handed me a car in perfect working order. We work very well together.”

 

Your season in the BMW Motorsport Junior programme started with the fitness camp at Formula Medicine. How did you find that?

 

Visser: “Physically, it was tough, but that is what a fitness camp is supposed to be. I find the mental aspect at Formula Medicine particularly impressive. I don’t think you can get such good mental training anywhere else in motorsport.”

 

Menzel: “Of course you have to be in great physical shape to be able to complete a fitness camp like that, but I think we all are. At Formula Medicine, I always learn a lot about myself. How do I react to stress situations, or to errors that I have made? Learning how to deal with situations like that gives the camps at Formula Medicine real added value.”

 

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Blancpain GT Series: opening weekend for the Sprint Cup at Zolder.

The Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup also held its first race weekend at Zolder. The 3Y Technology team is competing in the Silver Cup class with a BMW M6 GT3. In Saturday’s race, the driver duo of Andrew Watson (GBR) and Lukas Moraes (BRA) finished fourth, just missing out on the podium in their category. They finished fifth in their class on Sunday.

 

Japanese Super GT Championship: Season-opener for the BMW M6 GT3 at Okayama .

The Japanese Super GT Championship season kicked off at Okayama (JPN), the first of eight races. In action once again this year are the Autobacs Racing Team Aguri (ARTA), which finished last season in second place overall in the GT300 class. In 2018, Shinichi Takagi (JPN) and Sean Walkinshaw (GBR) will again be sharing the cockpit of the #55 ARTA BMW M6 GT3. The duo claimed sixth place at the season-opener.

 

BTCC : Podium finishes for WSR to start the new season .

Fans of the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) were treated to a turbulent start to the 2018 season in Brands Hatch (GBR). The BMW drivers from the West Surrey Racing (WSR) team, which celebrated the Team and Constructors’ titles in the previous season, were among the main protagonists on the short Indy circuit. In the first of three races on Sunday, Colin Turkington (GBR) was involved in a battle for the lead in his BMW 125i M Sport, right to the finish line. He missed out on the win by just 0.547 seconds, claiming second place. His team-mate Andrew Jordan (GBR) joined him on the podium by finishing third. Rob Collard (GBR) crossed the line in 15th position. Stephen Jelley (GBR) of Team Parker Racing, also competing in a BMW 125i M Sport, finished in 22nd place. Changeable weather conditions turned the field on its head in the second race. It had rained before the start and Jordan was involved in a three-way battle for the lead, having moved ahead during the first half of the race. Conditions then changed dramatically as the circuit dried out and the leading pack fell back, with no chance of improvement on wet-weather tyres. Jordan crossed the line in 21st place. Collard finished in 26th position, Turkington in 27th and Jelley was forced to retire from the race. These results defined the grid positions for the third and final race. Turkington began the chase and worked his way up to ninth place at the chequered flag. Jordan was 17th, Jelley finished 23rd. Collard retired.

 

ADAC GT Masters: Klingmann adds support to Team MRS .

BMW works driver Jens Klingmann (GER) will be supporting the BMW customer racing Team MRS at the ADAC GT Masters season-opener this coming weekend (14th and 15th April) at Oschersleben (GER). Klingmann will be sharing the cockpit of the BMW M6 GT3 with regular driver Christopher Zöchling (AUT). MRS is competing with the BMW M6 GT3 for the first time in the ADAC GT Masters. A total of three BMW M6 GT3 are competing in the 2018 ADAC GT Masters. The other two cars are racing for BMW Team Schnitzer, with the driver duos of Timo Scheider (GER)/Mikkel Jensen (DEN) and Dennis Marschall (GER)/Victor Bouveng (SWE).

 

Readers’ choice: BMW favourite manufacturer in the touring car category. 

The readers of “MOTORSPORT aktuell” magazine were recently asked to choose their “Racer of the Year 2017” – and they selected BMW as the best in several categories. They were asked to choose, amongst other categories, their favourite manufacturer brand in automobile racing. 24.6 % of participants voted for BMW in the “Touring Car” category, putting the brand in first place. The readers also chose their favourite model within a car category, selecting the preferred competition for the chosen model at the same time. This then indicates which competitions most favourably affect the positive perception of the production model. The BMW 1 series and BMW 2 series models won in the “Compact Class”, with 18.9 % of votes cast. Popular reasons for this choice were competing in one-make cups and the appearances in touring car racing. In the “(Upper) Mid-Size” class, 33.0% of the votes ensured that first place went to the BMW 3 series and BMW 4 series models. These models enjoy particular popularity with readers thanks to their appearances in touring car racing. The complete results of the “Racer of the Year 2017” vote were published in the current edition of “MOTORSPORT aktuell”. 

 

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