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BMW M Motorsport News, 12th October 2021.

BMW M Motorsport teams are once again in action all over the world in 2021. They are challenging for race wins and titles with the BMW M6 GT3, the BMW M4 GT4, the BMW M2 CS Racing, and other BMW M Motorsport race cars. 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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GTWC: Premiere for the new BMW M4 GT3 at Barcelona.

 

Premiere for the new BMW M4 GT3 in the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup: the new GT flagship made its first appearance in the series as a guest starter at the season finale at Barcelona, where it completed another important test under race conditions. The #82 BMW M4 GT3 was driven by Philipp Eng (AUT), Augusto Farfus (BRA) and Jesse Krohn (FIN). After three hours of racing, the trio crossed the finish line in 16th place.

 

“It was an interesting weekend, at which we learned an awful lot about the car,” said Eng. “We were able to focus fully on the performance set-up. In Barcelona, it was all about fine-tuning the car for qualifying and the long run in the race in one of the toughest GT3 racing series in the world. We gained a lot of knowledge and can now build on the performances. The whole team worked extremely hard and it was once again great fun to drive the BMW M4 GT3.”

 

“It has been another good run with the BMW M4 GT3,” said Farfus. “We are very pleased with the mileage and with the first face-to-face comparison against the other GT3s. This showed us that we are going into the right direction but also gave us very good indications what needs to be improved and where we need to work on the car. It was great to see the GTWC, to see how strong the field is and also to see the last show of the BMW M6 GT3. Next year, we will be racing with the BMW M4 GT3 and I am sure that it will be a very successful car.” Krohn added: “It was really exciting to finally drive the BMW M4 GT3 in race conditions. I think overall the weekend was a success. We have taken some steps forward with the car and we showed a little of the potential of the BMW M4 GT3. Now I am really looking forward to the next race and I think we can still take some more good steps and improve the car even further.”

 

The three-hour race at Barcelona also saw the BMW M6 GT3 bid farewell to the series. However, it proved to be a tough weekend for the BMW M Motorsport teams. David Pittard, Jake Dennis and Nick Yelloly (all GBR) finished 21st in the #34 Walkenhorst Motorsport BMW M6 GT3. Their team-mates Martin Tomczyk (GER), Thomas Neubauer (FRA) and Nick Catsburg (NED) failed to finish in the #35 car. In the Pro-Am class, Boutsen Ginion battled their way to tenth place in the #10 BMW M6 GT3, after the car had been forced into a gravel bed by a rival. Jens Klingmann, Jens Liebhauser (both GER) and Karim Ojjeh (KSA) alternated at the wheel for Boutsen Ginion. 

 

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Nürburgring Endurance Series: Danny Brink and Philipp Leisen remain champions.

In a dramatic finale on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife (GER), BMW drivers Danny Brink and Philipp Leisen (both GER) successfully defended the Nürburgring Endurance Series (NLS) title. The two Adrenalin Motorsport Team Alzner Automotive drivers, competing in the V4 class in the #1 BMW 325i, arrived at the ninth and final round of the 2021 NLS season as championship leaders. Their closest rivals in the title race were unable to catch them the final race, which was reduced to three hours and 15 minutes due to fog. So Brink and Leisen, who also took the class victory in the V4 category alongside Christopher Rink (GER) at NLS 9, secured their third title in the overall NLS classification, having previously been crowned champions in 2018 and 2020.

 

Brink and Leisen also topped the table in the NLS Production Car Trophy, as well as winning the V4 championship together with Rink. Rink also competed with Philipp Stahlschmidt and Daniel Zils (both GER) in the #481 BMW 330i of Adrenalin Motorsport Team Alzner Automotive in the large VT2 field. That trio also came into the weekend with a good chance of winning the title in the VT2 class. A puncture, however, meant they eventually had to settle for fifth place in the class in the final race of the season. That was not enough to give them the overall title, but Rink, Stahlschmidt and Zils did end the season at the top of the VT2 class. The race win in the VT2 category went to the AVIA Sorg Rennsport team with the #487 BMW 330i, driven by Moran Gott, Brett Lidsey (both GBR) and Emir Asari (TUR).

 

Also competing in the VT2 class at NLS 9 was Markus Flasch (AUT), CEO of BMW M GmbH. He shared the #482 BMW 330i, run by Adrenalin Motorsport Team Alzner Automotive, with Jacob Erlbacher (GER). They ended the race ninth in class.

 

In the Cup5 class, the BMW M2 CS Racing Cup NLS, this season’s champions are Marc Ehret, Moritz Oberheim and Nico Otto (all GER). After a winning run in the #875 BMW M2 CS Racing of FK Performance Motorsport, second place in class in the final race was sufficient to secure the title. The race win in the Cup5 class went to Francesco Merlini (ITA), Yannick Fübrich (GER) and David Griessner (AUT) in the #870 car of Adrenalin Motorsport Team Alzner Automotive. Florian Weber, Davide Dehren (both GER) and Matthew Greenwood (GBR) finished third in the #888 Walkenhorst Motorsport BMW M2 CS Racing. The title in the BMW M240i class was won by Michael Fischer (AUT). He also picked up another class victory in the final race of the season, alongside Markus Fischer (AUT) in the #700 BMW M240i Racing run by the Hofor Racing by Bonk Motorsport team.

 

Meanwhile, the BMW Junior Team was unfortunate in the final race of the season. After two wins and a further two podiums, Dan Harper (GBR), Max Hesse (GER) and Neil Verhagen (USA) also challenged for the podium with the #44 BMW M6 GT3 at NLS 9 but they were forced to retire from the race after being hit by another car. Harper, Hesse and Verhagen ended the season in second place in the SP9 Pro class. They were also second in the NLS Speed Trophy.

 

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IMSA: Success and misfortune for Turner Motorsport in Virginia.

 

The penultimate event of the 2021 IMSA series led the Turner Motorsport team to the VIRginia International Raceway (USA). It was another eventful weekend for Will Turner’s (USA) team. Saturday’s race in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship ended in dramatic fashion. Robby Foley and Bill Auberlen (both USA) were leading the GTD class in the #96 BMW M6 GT3 and were on course for victory when they were hit by a GTLM car. That resulted in a puncture, forcing Auberlen to come into the pits for a tyre change. They eventually crossed the finish line in 12th place.

 

That was followed by a successful qualifying for the race in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge, in which Dillon Machavern (USA) secured pole position for the team’s #95 BMW M4 GT4, which he shared with Auberlen. Machavern led the field for the first half of Sunday’s two-hour race. After two full course yellow periods, which made the pit stop strategy a lottery, the #95 had fallen well down the field, but Auberlen launched one of his famous fightbacks. He finished fourth, but was subsequently promoted to third place and a spot on the podium when a rival was disqualified. The #96 BMW M4 GT4, driven by Foley and Vincent Barletta (USA), came home eleventh. Machavern and Auberlen lead the GS class going into the final round which takes place on 12th November at Road Atlanta (USA).

 

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Italian GT: Class victory for BMW Team Italia in the sprint finale at Mugello.

 

In the Italian GT Championship, Mugello (ITA) hosted the final two sprint races of the season at the weekend. In Saturday’s opening race, Stefano Comandini (ITA) and Marius Zug (GER) finished an impressive fourth overall in the #7 BMW M6 GT3 of BMW Team Italia. That was enough to earn them third place in the GT3 PRO class. In the second sprint race on Sunday, the #7 BMW M6 GT3 was on course for the overall podium. However, with roughly a quarter of an hour remaining, Comandini was hit and spun by another car. Comandini was initially able to continue, but then had to give up.

 

The BMW Team Italia GT4 drivers, Nicola Neri and Giuseppe Fascicolo (both ITA), took victory in the GT4-AM class on Saturday at the wheel of the #215 BMW M4 GT4. In Sunday’s race, they finished runner-up in their class.

 

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GT4 European Series: Podium for Borusan Otomotiv Motorsport at the Barcelona finale.

 

Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya (ESP) hosted the final round of this season’s GT4 European Series at the weekend. The big field of 41 cars included three BMW M4 GT4s. In Saturday’s opening race, Cem Bölükbasi and Berkay Besler (both TUR) finished an impressive third overall in the #12 BMW M4 GT4 run by Borusan Otomotiv Motorsport. That also earned them second place in the Silver class. In race two on Sunday, the duo was unfortunate and missed out on another top result. Their team-mates Hasan Tansu and Yagiz Gedik (both TUR) ended race one in seventh place in the PAM class in the #11 BMW M4 GT4, before failing to finish race two. In the AM class, Paolo Meloni (SMR) and Massimiliano Tresoldi (ITA) finished fourth in both races for the W&D Racing Team in the #50 BMW M4 GT4.

 

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BMW M2 CS Racing Cup Italy: Gustavo Sandrucci crowned champion.

 

The 2021 champion in the BMW M2 CS Racing Cup Italy is Gustavo Sandrucci (ITA). At the season finale in Mugello (ITA), Sandrucci once again showed all his skill in the #16 BMW M2 CS Racing to take victory in both races. After six events, Sandrucci wrapped up the title with 181 points. Second overall was Luigi Ferrara (ITA) with 138 points, followed by Filippo Maria Zanin (ITA) with 118 points.

 

Sandrucci won both the final two races in very close finishes. In race one, he was followed over the finish line by Marco Zanasi (ITA) in second place and Ferrara in third. In race two, second place went to Jody Simone Vullo (MON) and third to Zanasi.

 

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BTCC: Win number 60 for Colin Turkington.

 

Colin Turkington (GBR) once again showed his class at the ninth and penultimate race weekend of the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) at Donington Park (GBR). At the wheel of the #2 BMW 330i M Sport, he claimed his 60th BTCC victory in total. Having finished fifth and eleventh in the first two races, Turkington started race three from pole position and took full advantage of the ideal starting position. He drove the perfect race, set the fastest lap, and secured the victory. Turkington climbed into second place in the championship on the back of his latest success. He now trails the leader by 32 points, with a total of 67 points still up for grabs at the Brands Hatch finale in two weeks’ time. BMW holds a significant lead at the top of the Manufacturer standings.

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