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BMW Motorsport News - Issue 37/2018.

BMW drivers celebrate overall win in the VLN – Augusto Farfus and BMW Team Schnitzer competing at Macau.

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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.

VLN: Rink, Brink and Leisen claim the title.
BMW Hat-trick in the VLN: Christopher Rink, Danny Brink and Phillipp Leisen (all GER) have secured overall victory in the VLN Endurance Championship Nürburgring (GER) with the Pixum Team Adrenalin Motorsport #490 BMW 325i. This means that a BMW car has topped the overall standings for the third consecutive time, as the winner from the last two seasons had driven a BMW M235i Racing. It marks the 16th title for BMW. The trio rounded off a great season, securing the V4 class victory in the final race of the season at the Nordschleife. “I can still hardly believe what we have achieved,” said Rink after the race had finished. Brink added: “that's a huge relief, especially after everything that happened after the eighth race.” The BMW 325i had been disqualified due to a technical protest after the eighth race. The team lodged an appeal against this decision and the DMSB appeal court then found in their favour. “We were under a lot of pressure and we are delighted that we have finally been able to claim the title,” said Leisen.
Six BMW M6 GT3s competed in the SP9 class for the final race of the season and the fastest of these came from the ROWE Racing ranks. BMW works drivers Jesse Krohn (FIN) and Nick Catsburg (NED) were joined by Nico Bastian (GER) in the #99 BMW M6 GT3, just missing out on the podium by finishing in fourth place. Christian Krognes (NOR) had already caused a stir in qualifying when he recorded a new VLN lap record in the Walkenhorst Motorsport #34 BMW M6 GT3, claiming pole position with a time of 7:52.578 minutes. More than 50 BMW cars competed in the ninth race of the VLN season, recording five class wins. Heiko Eichenberg (GER) and Yannick Mettler (SUI), of Securtal Sorg Rennsport, drove the #828 BMW M4 GT4 to victory in the hard-fought SP10 class. That also enabled them to claim the SP10 class title.

BMW M235i Racing Cup: triple title for Pixum Team Adrenalin Motorsport.
It was not just the VLN overall standings that gave Pixum Team Adrenalin Motorsport reason to celebrate. Matthias Unger's (GER) team claimed three titles in the BMW M235i Racing Cup. Yannick Fübrich (GER) and David Griessner (AUT) secured the drivers’ title. In the final race of 2018, they recorded a sixth win of the season in the #650 BMW M235i Racing. Their closest competitor, Tristan Viidas (EST), finished second in Securtal Sorg Rennsport’s #694 BMW M235i Racing and secured this final placing in the championship as well. The Estonian driver also celebrated victory in the VLN Junior Trophy. Tobias Müller, Nico Otto and Lars Peucker (all GER) followed him over the finishing line in the #666 BMW M235i Racing. The trio from the Scheid - Honert Motorsport team also finished third in the final standings. Victory also went to the Pixum Team Adrenalin Motorsport in the team championship, with the top three being completed by Securtal Sorg Rennsport and Hofor Racing powered by Bonk Motorsport. In addition to his overall victory in the drivers’ championship, Griessner also secured first place in the Junior championship. Guido Wirtz (GER) from the FK Performance team claimed the title in the Gentlemen standings.

Japanese Super GT: ARTA wins vital points in title race.
At the penultimate race weekend in the Japanese Super GT Championship at Autopolis (JPN), the Autobacs Racing Team Aguri (ARTA) took another important step towards winning the title in the GT300 class. After difficulties in qualifying, drivers Shinichi Takagi (JPN) and Sean Walkinshaw (GBR) had to start from 22nd place in the #55 BMW M6 GT3 before putting on a successful recovery performance. The duo gradually moved up through the field to cross the finishing line in fourth place. Takagi and Walkinshaw now lead the drivers’ championship by twelve points. ARTA also tops the team standings. The destination of the title will be decided at the season final from 10th to 11th November in Motegi (JPN).

International GT Open: season finale in Barcelona.
The International GT Open season drew to a close this weekend at Barcelona (ESP). Four BMW M6 GT3s were in action. It was an especially exciting time for Fran Rueda (ESP) and Andrés Saravia (GUA) in the #47 BMW M6 GT3 of Teo Martín Motorsport, as the duo’s performances throughout the season meant that they still had a good chance of claiming the title. After finishing eighth in Saturday's race, Rueda/Saravia secured pole position on Sunday and then finished fourth. That was not quite enough to overhaul their competitors in the title race and they had to be content with second place overall. Their team-mates endured some bad luck in the final race; Lourenço Beirão da Veiga (POR) and Juan Cruz Álvarez (ESP) inthe #3 BMW M6 GT3 had to retire early, as did Marcio Basso and Guilherme Salas (both BRA) in the #7 car. Beirão da Veiga/Álvarez had secured tenth place on Saturday, while Basso/Salas crossed the line in second place in the Am standings. BMW Motorsport Junior Mikkel Jensen (DEN) and regular driver Richard Gonda (SVK) put on an impressive performance at the wheel of the fourth BMW M6 GT3. The duo claimed fourth and fifth places for the Senkyr Motorsport team.

FIA GT World Cup: BMW Team Schnitzer returns to Macau.
On 17th/18th November, BMW Team Schnitzer will compete with a BMW M6 GT3 at the FIA GT World Cup, racing around the legendary “Guia Circuit” on the streets of Macau (CHN). BMW works driver Augusto Farfus (BRA) will be behind the wheel, having driven the 18th BMW Art Car for BMW Team Schnitzer at the same place last year. “It is an honour for me to be competing at Macau with BMW Team Schnitzer,” said Farfus. “I competed in my first race for BMW Motorsport with Charly Lamm as team principal and I am really looking forward to being part of the team to mark his farewell.”
The FIA GT World Cup will be the final race for Charly Lamm as team principal at BMW Team Schnitzer. As of 1st January 2019, he will be handing over management duties at Schnitzer Motorsport GmbH to Herbert Schnitzer Jnr, son of team founder Herbert Schnitzer Snr. Lamm said “The legendary street circuit at Macau has a special place in the history of Schnitzer Motorsport, as we have celebrated many great successes there. My personal history at the ‘Guia Circuit’ began in 1980, when we claimed our first win with Hans-Joachim Stuck in the BMW 320 Group 5. Now we are really looking forward to competing again with Augusto Farfus after appearing with the BMW M6 GT3 Art Car last year. We will give our all and try to secure a top result at Macau one more time.”
While Farfus is battling for a top position with BMW Team Schnitzer at Macau, Tom Blomqvist (GBR) will reprise his Fuji (JPN) role and continue to replace the Brazilian driver alongside António Félix da Costa (POR) for BMW Team MTEK at the fifth race of the FIA World Endurance Championship season at Shanghai (CHN). “It was not an easy decision to miss out on the WEC race and drive at Macau instead,” sais Farfus. “but Macau is just a very special race and I know that the BMW M8 GTE is in very good hands with António and Tom.“ In addition to Farfus, there will be another BMW works driver at Macau: DTM driver Joel Eriksson (SWE) is also competing in the renowned Formula 3 Grand Prix.

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