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BMW Motorsport News – Issue 36/2019.

Historic BMW race cars in action in DTM support programme – Alessandro Zanardi with the BMW Team Italia at Mugello.

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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.  


DRM Classics: Flasch and Thiemer at the wheel of the BMW 320 Group 5.

The DRM Classics demo runs were highlights in the support programme of the Hockenheim (GER) DTM finale. More than 20 race cars from DTM‘s predecessor series “Deutsche Rennsport-Meisterschaft“ (DRM) took to the track on all three days. The series played a major role in the German-speaking racing world between 1972 and 1985. A total of nine BMW race cars were in action, among them the BMW M1, the BMW 2002 and the BMW 3.0 CSL. The BMW 320 Group 5 from 1977, the former car of the legendary BMW Junior Team, also took part in the highspeed demo runs. Jochen Neerpasch, the first CEO of the BMW Motorsport GmbH, was present, while Markus Flasch, the Director of BMW M GmbH, sat at the wheel on Friday and Saturday. “This has been a fascinating experience,“ he said. “Our brand is defined by its heritage. If you see the ongoing enthusiasm of the fans for the BMW 320 Group 5, then it‘s something really special. I‘m proud to be able to do such drives with M - the strongest letter in the world.“ On Sunday, Jens Thiemer, Head of BMW Brand Management, sat at the wheel. He added: “This obviously is a legendary car that wrote history for BMW. Therefore it was an honour for me to drive such a car during the DRM Classics in the DTM support programme. The BMW 320 Group 5 ran really well in the rain, although you first had to get used to the conditions out there. After four or five laps, however, everything felt fine.“


GT4 Scandinavia: Söderström and Serwanski secure second place in the Pro-Am standings. 

The GT4 Scandinavia finale took place this weekend at Mantorp Park (SWE) - and the Lestrup Racing team rounded off the season with two more top ten finishes. In the #97 BMW M4 GT4, Oliver Söderström and Robert Serwanski (both SWE) claimed eighth and fifth places in the two races on Saturday. The duo can look back over a successful season that featured a total of four wins. They concluded the season 13 points away from first place, just missing out on the title in the Pro-Am drivers’ standings.


Italian GT Championship: Bad luck for Alex Zanardi and BMW Team Italia.

The Italian GT Championship weekend did not quite go to plan for the BMW Team Italia. At the penultimate race of the season at Mugello (ITA), BMW works driver Alessandro Zanardi (ITA), BMW Motorsport Junior Erik Johansson (SWE) and Stefano Comandini (ITA) in the #15 BMW M6 GT3 were forced to retire early due to a technical issue. The team had approached the race weekend with high hopes. The guest appearance by Zanardi stirred memories of past successes. He had previously appeared at the Italian GT Championship finale in 2016. That was his debut appearance in the BMW M6 GT3 and his victory in Sunday's race was celebrated throughout the paddock. Zanardi returned to Mugello in the cockpit of a modified BMW M6 GT3, racing for BMW Team Italia headed by team principal Roberto Ravaglia (ITA). However, retiring from the penultimate race of 2019 put paid to any hopes of claiming the series title. 


Nonetheless, BMW Team Italia still had reason to celebrate. Giuseppe Fascicolo, Francesco Guerra and Andrea Fontana (all ITA) reached the podium in the GT4 class with the trio in the #207 BMW M4 GT4 crossing the line in second place.

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