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BMW Motorsport News - Issue 34/2019.

Alessandro Zanardi sets new world record – Virtual BMW M8 GTE appearance at ‘BMW Driving Experience 120 at Road Atlanta’.

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Whether in the DTM, the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, the ABB FIA Formula E 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. 


Alessandro Zanardi: new world record in endurance triathlon.

Just one week after winning two more world champion titles in paracycling, BMW works driver Alessandro Zanardi (ITA) set a new world record in an endurance triathlon. On Saturday, Zanardi competed in the ‘Ironman Italy Emilia-Romagna’ in Cervia (ITA), and beat his own record from last year. The BMW brand ambassador completed the 3.8 kilometres of swimming in the Mediterranean Sea, 180 kilometres of cycling with his handbike and the concluding 42.2 kilometres marathon distance in his wheelchair in 8:25.30 hours. This is the fastest ever time to date for a physically impaired triathlete. Zanardi was one of the very best athletes taking part in the event and finished in eighth place overall in the field of 2,560 entrants. “I’m really pleased,” said Zanardi afterwards. “It was a difficult race to start with because the sea was really choppy. We all had to battle with it, but it was particularly tough for me without legs. That’s why I lost ten minutes compared with last year. But then I was really fast with the handbike, and the running didn’t go badly either. When you consider that I hadn’t trained at all with my racing wheelchair this year, because I was focussing on the paracycling world championship, I’m not only really pleased, but a little bit surprised. Obviously, I am very tired, but very happy.”


After just one night of rest, Zanardi contested the Ironman 70.3 on Sunday. He finished the race in 4:31.38 hours.


BMW sim racing: stage clear for the ‘BMW Driving Experience 120
at Road Atlanta’.

The next sim racing event is scheduled for this coming Sunday, which BMW Motorsport is hosting in collaboration with iRacing. In the ‘BMW Driving Experience 120 at Road Atlanta’, sim racers from around the world will form teams of two and take it in turns at the wheel of the BMW M8 GTE. The winners of the ‘top split’, in which the highest ranked participants will compete, can look forward to a ride in a real BMW racing car and will each take part in a BMW M Race Track GT training course (level 1) with the BMW M4 GT4. A surprise team of BMW works drivers will also compete with the BMW M8 GTE. The competition gets started on Sunday at 3:00 p.m. CEST with a short qualifying session, before heading straight into the two-hour race. At the end of May, more than 140 teams took part in ‘BMW 120 at Le Mans’, with the win going to Alexander Voss and Laurin Heinrich (both GER). The ‘BMW Driving Experience 120 at Road Atlanta’ will be broadcast live on Twitch and YouTube.


International GT Open: points in the rain.

Heavy rain leading up to the race and a safety car turned the first race of the International GT Open at the “Circuit de Catalunya” (ESP) into a lottery. On a drying track, Šenkýř Motorsport team opted to switch to slicks, which saw Richard Gonda (SLO) and Beitske Visser (NED) pick up points and finish in seventh place. In the second race of the weekend Gonda/Visser came home ninth with the BMW M6 GT3.


TC America: one-two-three result for the BMW M240i Racing.

The BMW M240i Racing celebrated a one-two-three result in the race on Saturday in the TC America. After 14 laps, James Clay (USA) of Team Copart / BimmerWorld Racing crossed the finish line in first place at Road America (USA). In second place, trailing by just 0.232 seconds, was Toby Grahovec (USA) of Classic BMW. In the Rooster Hall Racing #80 BMW M240i Racing, Johan Schwartz (DNK) finished in third place to round off BMW’s success in the TC class. The second race of the weekend had not finished at the time of the editorial deadline.


GT4 America: podium success for the BMW M4 GT4.

Sean Quinlan and Gregory Liefooghe (both USA) had reason to celebrate at the GT4 America SprintX & East race weekend. After 19 laps at Road America (USA), they finished third in the Stephen Cameron Racing #19 BMW M4 GT4 to make it onto the podium in the race on Saturday. Their podium success also saw them secure victory in the Pro Am category. Fifth place overall went to Classic BMW’s Justin Raphael (USA) and Stevan McAleer (GBR). Their team-mates Chris Ohmacht and Toby Grahovec (both USA) finished in eighth place.


In the first race in the GT4 America Sprint, Sean Quinlan (USA) in the Stephen Cameron Racing #19 BMW M4 GT4 was the best-ranked BMW driver. He crossed the finish line in twelfth place overall after 22 laps, which was fifth place in the Am class. The second race of the series had not finished at the time of the editorial deadline.


Blancpain GT World Challenge America: top-ten result for the

It was a difficult race for BMW Teams in the Blancpain GT Challenge America. Henry Schmitt and Gregory Liefooghe (both USA) were the best-ranked BMW drivers in the overall standings, finishing tenth in the Stephen Cameron Racing BMW M6 GT3. With 13thplace in the first race, Naoto Takeda and Takuya Shirasaka (both JPN) in the Turner Motorsport #96 BMW M6 GT3 claimed first place in the Am classification. The second race of the Blancpain GT Challenge America in Road America (USA) had not started at the time of the editorial deadline.

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