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BMW SIM News, May 2021.

In our monthly BMW SIM News, we briefly summarise news from the world of virtual racing, and provide information on driver backgrounds, teams, technology, and much more.

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The inaugural season of the BMW SIM GT Cup at the virtual Nürburgring Grand Prix Circuit on the iRacing platform concluded with a thrilling finale and a one-two for the Coanda Simsport team. The participants in the final race had qualified for round five in the first four events of the season and then had another opportunity to secure one of the sought-after tickets for the grand finale at the end of the season. As had been the story throughout the entire season, the final race was characterised by a thrilling battle between Team Redline and Coanda Simsport, with the latter once again coming out on top with a one-two. After two hours of racing, Dayne Warren (AUS) and Mack Bakkum (NED) crossed the finish line first in their BMW M8 GTE to qualify for the grand finale at the end of the year. They will be joined there by runners-up David Williams (GBR) and Paschalis Gkergkis (GRE).

At the end of the first season of the BMW SIM GT Cup, twelve drivers have now been confirmed for the season finale. Team Redline is represented by four drivers, in the form of Jonas Wallmeier (GER) and Gianni Vecchio (GER), and Enzo Bonito (ITA) and Maximilian Benecke (GER), who won the first two races. Defending champion Joshua Rogers (AUS), Mitchell deJong (USA), Jeremy Bouteloup (FRA) and Charlie Collins (GBR), who all line up for Coanda Simsport, complete the starting field so far. The remaining competitors will be determined in season two of the BMW SIM GT Cup, in which the new BMW M4 GT3 will be used instead of the BMW M8 GTE.

BMW SIM M2 CS Racing Cup.
Marcell Csincsik (HUN) won the final two races of this season’s BMW SIM M2 CS Racing Cup on the rFactor2 platform. These represented win numbers three and four for the Varga Simracing Team driver in the inaugural season of the BMW SIM M2 CS Racing Cup, in which six drivers qualified for the grand finale at the end of the year. As well as Csincsik, Jiri Toman (CZE) and defending champion Erhan Jajovski (MKD) have also secured their tickets for the season finale at the end of the year, courtesy of victories in races three and four of the season. Michal Smidl (CZE), Risto Kappet (EST) and Philipp Drayss (GER) have also qualified. The remaining six sim racers will be determined in season two of the BMW SIM M2 CS Racing Cup 2021.

IMSA iRacing Pro Series.
Philipp Eng (AUT) is the new champion in the IMSA iRacing Pro Series. Third place in the final race at the virtual Road Atlanta circuit was enough for the BMW works driver to secure the title in the GTE class. “Winning the title in the IMSA iRacing Pro Series means an awful lot to me,” said Eng. “I have invested a lot of work and time, trained a lot, and done an awful lot of set-up work together with BMW Team BS+COMPETITION. The collaboration was really perfect. For this reason, I am very happy with this title win.” The race win went to Agustín Canapino (ARG), who was followed over the finish line by Rodrigo Pflucker (PER) in second place. As such, the BMW M8 GTE claimed its third victory in three races. Eng had previously won the first two races, which were held on the Sebring and Laguna Seca circuits, to lay the foundation for his title win in the IMSA iRacing Pro Series, which was held for the second time. In last year’s inaugural season, Bruno Spengler (CAN) won the title – again in the BMW M8 GTE. As well as Spengler, the field in season two again included some big-name drivers – Connor De Phillippi (USA), Augusto Farfus (BRA), John Edwards (USA) and Robby Foley (USA) – who also compete in BMW cars in the real IMSA Series.

SimGrid Sprint Cup.
Title win for BMW Team G2 Esports in the SimGrid Sprint Cup. Second place at the final round of the championship, which is held on the Assetto Corsa Competizione platform, was sufficient for drivers Nils Naujoks, Arthur Kammerer and Gregor Schill (all GER) to wrap up the title on the virtual Suzuka circuit. Over the course of the season, the trio in the virtual BMW M6 GT3 had won two races and claimed a second place. “We honestly did not expect to win the title, so we are overjoyed that we did. We proved that the BMW M6 GT3 is capable of winning in the right hands and with a strong team behind it,” said Naujoks. “At the start of the season, we did not know what to expect. Gregor has only just joined the team and we were actually expecting to start as underdogs. Plus, we were also unsure of how the success ballast system would play out.”

V10 R-League.
The BMW SIM Racing Team is the new champion in the V10 R-League. In the Grand Final, Kevin Siggy, Alen Terzic (both SLO) and Michael Romanidis (GRE) defeated the Aston Martin Cognizant Esports Team 2:1 to win the title for the first time at the second attempt. “We led the final 2:0, but it then got very close again. Fortunately, I was able to secure pole position in the all-important final race and just bring home the win. We have now won the title for BMW SIM Racing – that is awesome,” said Siggy, who was crowned ‘Driver of the Season’ after the final. As well as Siggy, Terzic and Romanidis, the BMW SIM Racing Team also included Felix Quirmbach (GER).

The virtual racing series, which is held on the Assetto Corsa Competizione platform, sees three of the four team members go head-to-head, taking on the opposition in three different race formats. The car of choice is a Formula car, which has been developed specially for this racing series. The rounds leading up to the finale had already caused great excitement. Having trailed 0:2 in the quarter-final, the BMW SIM Racing Team launched an impressive fightback against the Yas Heat team to progress to the semi-final. Siggy, Romanidis and Terzic then defeated defending champions Team Redline 3:1 to earn their place in the Grand Final, in which they won the title. “Our semi-final victory over Redline was actually the biggest shock,” said Siggy. “Nobody expected that, and it was probably the key moment on the road to the title.”

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