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BMW Motorsport News - Issue 18/2018.

Zanardi warms up for his guest DTM start – Success for BMW teams in the Australian GT Championship.

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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 .


Three questions for... Alessandro Zanardi.

On Friday and Saturday, BMW works driver and brand ambassador Alessandro Zanardi (ITA) visited the BMW teams in Budapest in preparation for his guest start in the DTM races at Misano (ITA). He was given an insight into the drivers’ workflows, attended technical meetings, signed countless autographs and gave more than his fair share of interviews.  The 51-year-old discussed his latest project with BMW M Motorsport and his preparations for the two DTM races in his native Italy.


Alex, has your trip to Budapest put you in the mood for your guest appearance in the DTM?

Alessandro Zanardi: “Yes, it was really great fun – and I gained a lot of experience. It was also great to see people’s reactions. I saw a lot of smiling faces and I am really looking forward to the races in August. However, it also showed me again just how incredibly high the standard of competition is in the DTM. I have the greatest respect for that. Despite that, I will obviously try to make the most of my start.”


How did you react the first time BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt discussed the guest appearance with you?

Zanardi: “Honestly? I thought it was a joke. But Jens was being deadly serious. Then we go straight down to discussing details. I was delighted to receive the invitation. It is a fantastic opportunity. Asking me whether I would like to drive at Misano is like asking a cat whether it likes mice. It is going to be a unique experience.”


The races at Misano are an important step on the way to another major goal...

Zanardi: “Yes, the plan is to race at the 24 Hours of Daytona in 2019. That has always been one of my dreams. With that goal in mind, the races at Misano will play a special role. We will make a lot of findings there that will help us in Daytona, particularly from a technical point of view. Plus, it is a while since I went racing. For that reason too, Misano will certainly be an important milestone on the road to Daytona.”




Australian GT Championship: BMW Team SRM on the podium at Phillip Island – Victory for the BMW M4 GT4.

An impressive display from BMW Team SRM in the Australian GT Championship: Steve Richards (NZL) and Michael Almond (AUS) finished second overall in the #100 BMW M6 GT3 in the endurance race at the “Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit”. The GT3 class featured 15 cars in total. In the GT4 category, the BMW drivers made it one step higher on the podium when RHC Jorgensen/Strom by MARC team’s Daren Jorgensen and Brett Strom (both USA) took the chequered flag after 73 laps of racing.


Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup: Eleventh place for ROWE Racing at Le Castellet.

The Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup was at Le Castellet (FRA) this weekend. Three BMW M6 GT3s raced in the 1000-kilometre race at the “Circuit Paul Ricard”. After 172 laps of racing, Jens Klingmann (GER), Chaz Mostert (AUS) and Tom Blomqvist (GBR) finished eleventh in the #99 ROWE Racing car. A 30-second time penalty shortly before the end of the race cost them a top ten finish. The team’s #98 car failed to finish following a crash. In the AM Cup, Ralf Oeverhaus (GER), Anders Buchardt (NOR) and Immanuel Vinke (GER) finished fourth in the #36 BMW M6 GT3.


IMSA: Seventh place for Turner Motorsport in Detroit.

Detroit (USA) hosted the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship on Saturday. Only cars in the Prototype and GTD class were in action on the street circuit in the American metropolis. BMW of North America Ambassador Bill Auberlen and Robby Foley (both USA) alternated at the wheel of the #96 BMW M6 GT3 for Turner Motorsport. The duo finished seventh after 64 laps.


International GT Open: Joel Eriksson in action for Šenkýř Motorsport.

Another BMW M6 GT3 will take its place in the starting field at round three of the International GT Open at Spa-Francorchamps (BEL) on 9th/10th June: Šenkýř Motorsport is returning to the series with a strong pair of drivers. BMW works driver Joel Eriksson (SWE), in action in the DTM this weekend, will share the cockpit of the BMW M6 GT3 with Slovakia’s Richard Gonda. Gonda made his Šenkýř Motorsport debut in the International GT Open at the 2017 season finale in Barcelona (ESP). “We want to be competing at the front of the field,” said team principal Robert Šenkýř. “It is going to be an exciting weekend at the best GP circuit in the world.”

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