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BMW M Motorsport News, 24th August 2021.

Our BMW M Motorsport News allows us to give you an overview of the race action in various championships around the world and any success enjoyed by the BMW M Motorsport teams.

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DTM: Marco Wittmann enjoys more success in the BMW M6 GT3 at the Nürburgring.

Two weeks after taking victory at Zolder (BEL), Walkenhorst Motorsport again had cause for celebration at round four of this season’s DTM at the Nürburgring (GER): Marco Wittmann (GER), in the #11 BMW M6 GT3, finished third in race two to claim another podium. Wittmann had previously secured a promising third place on the grid in Saturday’s qualifying for race one. However, the team knew that it would be tough to achieve a podium finish, due to the extra 25 kilograms he was carrying following the victory at Zolder. At the end of the 40-lap race, Wittmann crossed the finish line in fifth place.

 

In a wet qualifying for race two on Sunday, the two-time DTM champion again put the #11 BMW M6 GT3 third on the grid. The safety car then made two appearances in an eventful race. As Walkenhorst Motorsport had already come in for an early pit stop, Wittmann had to fight his way back past those drivers that had not yet stopped at the restarts. He did so superbly and ultimately came home in third place to secure the final spot on the podium. “That was one of the most eventful races of my DTM career,” said Wittmann. “The second restart was particularly chaotic. We were five cars side-by-side coming into the first corner, and I just hoped that I would somehow get through in one piece. I passed five or six cars within just a few corners. It could easily have gone wrong, but it worked out and I had a lot of fun.” Wittmann now lies third in the Drivers’ Championship.

 

The ROWE Racing team had a mixed weekend. Sheldon van der Linde (RSA) fought back from 18th on the grid to finish sixth in the #31 BMW M6 GT3 in Saturday’s race. In the Sunday race, the South African was in with a shout of a podium finish until his BMW M6 GT3 was hit by another car at the second restart. The result was a broken steering, which forced van der Linde out of the race. His team-mate Timo Glock (GER) had to settle for 19th place in the Saturday race. However, the tide turned on Sunday when Glock, in the #16 BMW M6 GT3, worked his way from 20th on the grid to eighth place. In doing so, he scored his first points of the DTM season. After the race, he was promoted to seventh place following a penalty handed to one of his rivals.

 

DTM Trophy: One-two for the BMW M4 GT4 in the Eifel mountains.

BMW M Motorsport teams in the DTM Trophy once again impressed with a strong display at the Nürburgring (GER). Saturday’s race produced a one-two for the BMW M4 GT4. The dominant driver was Ben Green (GBR) in the #10 BMW M4 GT4 of FK Performance Motorsport. Starting from pole, Green took a comfortable lights-to-flag victory. Michael Schrey (GER) followed him home in second place, in the #2 BMW M4 GT4 of Hofor Racing by Bonk Motorsport, to make it a BMW one-two.

 

Schrey finished fourth in the Sunday race, but was then handed a five-second penalty which saw him relegated to eighth place. The best-placed BMW driver was Yann Zimmer (SUI) in the #50 BMW M4 GT4, who finished sixth for FK Performance Motorsport. His team-mate Green finished just behind him in seventh, ahead of Schrey. Green and Schrey lie second and third in the Drivers’ Championship. Green trails the current leader by just three points.

 

BMW M2 Cup: Exciting battle for the championship lead.

The new BMW M2 Cup was also at the Nürburgring (GER) at the weekend for its third event of the season. An exciting battle for the championship lead developed over the course of two thrilling races on Saturday and Sunday.

 

In Saturday’s opening race, Louis Henkefend (GER) took a comfortable second win of the season in the #17 BMW M2 CS Racing. He crossed the finish line almost six seconds clear of his closest rival. In doing so, Henkefend extended his championship lead - briefly. “That was a perfect race,” said Henkefend afterwards. “I grabbed the lead in turn one and then had a clear track in front of me. I am really happy, as I have scored valuable points in the championship.” Behind him, Fabian Kreim (GER / #43) and Nicolas Hancke (GER / #99) were embroiled in a hard-fought battle for second place. Kreim had the upper hand for a long time, but it was Hancke who eventually prevailed and took second place. As such, the podium featured Henkefend, Hancke and Kreim.

 

Race two on Sunday was another thriller with the drivers in the BMW M2 CS Racing cars making a host of spectacular manoeuvres on a dry track. This time, it was Hancke who added victory to the second place he recorded on Saturday. “It has been a long road onto the podium. I was lacking a bit of pace in the first few races, but it was better here at the Nürburgring. I am incredibly happy with the result,” said the #99 BMW M2 CS Racing driver. Second place went to Kreim, with Davit Kajaia (GEO / #5) taking third. Henkefend had to settle for sixth place after receiving a penalty for failing to observe track limits.

 

That result saw the championship lead change hands and Kreim is the new leader with 97 points. Henkefend is now second with 95 points, followed in third place by Hancke (76 points). The BMW Junior Team visited the BMW M2 Cup paddock at the Nürburgring weekend. Dan Harper (GBR), Neil Verhagen (USA) and Max Hesse (GER) called upon their experience to give the drivers some valuable tips. More information on the BMW M2 Cup is available on the official website: bmwm2cup.com. There, you will find images and videos to download in the ‘Media’ section.

 

GTWC: New driver pairings for Walkenhorst Motorsport.

Walkenhorst Motorsport will compete with three established drivers and three new drivers in the cockpits of the two BMW M6 GT3 in the remaining two races of the season in the Endurance Cup, within the FANATEC GT World Challenge Europe, at the Nürburgring (GER, 5th September) and Barcelona (ESP, 10th October). Jake Dennis (GR) will make his GT debut for BMW M Motorsport alongside regular driver David Pittard (GBR) in the #34 car. Just a few days ago, he ended his rookie season in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship with BMW i Andretti Motorsport in third place in the overall standings. The third driver in the all-British line-up will be Nick Yelloly (GBR). At the wheel of the #35 BMW M6 GT3, regular drivers Martin Tomczyk (GER) and Thomas Neubauer (FRA) will be ably assisted by Nick Catsburg (NED). Catsburg and Yelloly not only won the 2020 Nürburgring 24 Hours together in a BMW M6 GT3, but also raced for Walkenhorst Motorsport in the Intercontinental GT Challenge so know the team very well. The change in the driver line-up is due to a schedule clash with the DTM, in which Marco Wittmann (GER) is driving for Walkenhorst Motorsport on the same weekends, while Sheldon van der Linde (RSA) and Timo Glock (GER) compete for ROWE Racing.

 

Super GT Championship: BMW Team Studie in action at Suzuka.

BMW Team Studie was back in action in the Japanese Super GT Championship last weekend – this time at Suzuka (JPN). The 300-kilometre race was originally scheduled for the end of May, but had to be postponed to August due to the coronavirus. The #7 BMW M6 GT3 of BMW Team Studie was once again driven by Seiji Ara and Tomohide Yamaguchi (both JPN). In Saturday’s qualifying session, the duo was 14th fastest. However, in Sunday’s race, which took place under cloudy skies and in temperatures of about 30 degrees, the #7 dropped back through the field as the result of a drive-through penalty. In the end, Ara/Yamaguchi came home in 25th place.

 

GT4 Scandinavia: Second event of the season at Gelleråsen.

GT4 Scandinavia staged its second event of the season last weekend. This time, Gelleråsen Arena (SWE) hosted the two races. Flying the flag for BMW was the 996 Lestrup Racing Team with the #98 BMW M4 GT4. Alternating at the wheel were Joakim Walde and Victor Bouveng (both SWE). The duo had previously taken victory and claimed another podium result in the Pro-Am class at the season-opener at Fällfors (SWE) in June. At Gelleråsen, Walde/Bouveng finished fourth, narrowly missing out on another podium. They were then unfortunate and failed to finish in race two on Sunday.

 

BTCC: Milestone victory for Colin Turkington at Knockhill.

Colin Turkington (GBR) reached a milestone at round five of the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) at Knockhill (GR) in mid-August. In the first of the three races, Turkington took a comfortable victory in the #2 BMW 330i M Sport run by Team BMW – this was the team’s 100th victory in the BTCC and the 75th time they had celebrated together with BMW. Turkington then finished runner-up in race two. His team-mate Stephen Jelley (GBR) stepped onto the podium after race three, having finished third in the #12 BMW 330i M Sport. Turkington ended the third and final race of the weekend in eighth place. After five race weekends, BMW tops the Manufacturer standings with 439 points and a lead of 55 over its closest rivals.

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