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BMW Motorsport News - Issue 17/2019.

Pure excitement in the ‘BMW 120 at Le Mans’ on iRacing – Catsburg and Eng produce spectacular fightback.

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Sim racing: Williams Esports wins the ‘BMW 120 at Le Mans’ with the BMW M8 GTE.
The two-hour ‘BMW 120 at Le Mans’ on iRacing enjoyed an exciting premiere when over 140 teams, and just short of 300 sim racers, from all over the world were in action at the wheel of virtual BMW M8 GTE. After 32 laps of racing, victory in the ‘Top Split’ race went to the Williams Esports team with drivers Laurin Heinrich and Alexander Voss (both GER). The duo was rewarded with two BMW M Motorsport VIP tickets to the 24 Hours of Le Mans (FRA) in June. Their win came at the end of a thrilling battle with the VRS Coanda Simsport team and its two drivers Mitchell de Jong (USA) and Josh Rogers (AUS), who finished runners-up. BMW works drivers Philipp Eng (AUT) and Nick Catsburg (NED), who will compete for BMW Team MTEK in the real La Sarthe classic, also fought hard to achieve a top result under the name BMW Team CATENG. Eng, in the #25 BMW M8 GTE, fought his way up to 15th place by the halfway point of the race, having started from 43rd following an off-track penalty. Eng and Catsburg ultimately finished twelfth. The winning team in another race, selected at random, was also presented with a great prize; they each received a ClubSport Steering Wheel BMW GT2 from Fanatec.

Three questions for... Philipp Eng.

Philipp, how did the ‘BMW 120 at Le Mans’ go for BMW Team CATENG?

Philipp Eng: “The race was extremely cool for Nicky and me. I would definitely like to take part again next time. The quality of the drivers and teams on iRacing is incredible. In my opinion, we pretty much need a support engineer from BMW next time who can calculate the fuel strategy for us. For a long time, we were uncertain whether we should change tyres or not – in the end, we opted for a double stint. It is great fun and I was just as tense as I am in real races.”

You are leading the Drivers’ Championship in the DTM. How does that feel?

Eng: “It is obviously a great feeling to be top of the pile in the DTM at the moment. It is a nice position to be in. However, it does not change anything for Misano. I don’t look at the championship standings. I calculate how many points I have after every qualifying and every race.”

What will be important next time out at Misano?

Eng: “We will have to do as good a job as at Zolder, take advantage of situations, and have the same kind of pace we had last race weekend. I am sure we will manage that, as we currently have a very good package of cars, engineers and drivers. That is shown by the fact that all four pole positions so far have gone the way of BMW. Long may that continue.”

24h Series European Championship: Podiums for the BMW M4 GT4 and BMW M240i Racing.
The 24h Series European Championship was at Brno (CZE) this weekend. The Hofor Racing by Bonk Motorsport team enjoyed a double podium success in the 12-hour race at ‘Automotodrom Brno’. Martin Kroll (SUI), Michael Bonk (GER), Michael Fischer, Gustav Engljaehringer and Thomas Jäger (all AUT) finished second in the GT4 class in the #50 BMW M4 GT4. Also in action in the BMW M4 GT4 were Richard Gonda, Tomáš Erdélyi (both SVK), Robert Šenkýř and Marek Fried (both CZE), who came home fourth to narrowly miss out on a podium in the #409 BMW M4 GT4 run by Šenkýř Motorsport. The Hofor Racing by Bonk Motorsport team also had cause to celebrate in the A3 class, in which the quartet of Axel Burghardt, Jürgen Meyer, Nicole Holzer (all GER) and Martin Kroll finished runner-up in the #869 BMW M240i Racing. Michael Winkler and Michael Rienhoff (both AUT) crossed the finish line third in the #666 BMW 123D fielded by the Winkler Tuning team. Round four of the 24h Series European Championship takes place on 6th and 7th July at Portimão (POR).

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