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24h Spa-Francorchamps: BMW M Motorsport teams confident as they travel to world’s biggest GT3 race.

BMW M Motorsport is set to contest the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps (BEL) this weekend, with a huge, top-class squad of drivers and teams aiming to bring home the 25th overall win in the Ardennes region for the BMW brand. With 24 wins to date, BMW is already the record winner, and the conditions for continuing the success story at the biggest GT3 race in the world are looking very good.

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Spa-Francorchamps. BMW M Motorsport is set to contest the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps (BEL) this weekend, with a huge, top-class squad of drivers and teams aiming to bring home the 25th overall win in the Ardennes region for the BMW brand. With 24 wins to date, BMW is already the record winner, and the conditions for continuing the success story at the biggest GT3 race in the world are looking very good. In the Pro category, BMW M Team WRT and ROWE Racing with two BMW M4 GT3s each and 12 BMW M works drivers will be doing battle for the top spot on the podium on Sunday. A total of seven BMW M4 GT3s will be on the starting grid.

 

Belgium’s BMW M Team WRT will be competing with the BMW M4 GT3 for the first time at their home event and are fielding a total of four cars. In the two Pro cars, the Belgian drivers Maxime Martin, Dries Vanthoor and Charles Weerts will be contesting their home race. They will be joined by Valentino Rossi (ITA), Sheldon van der Linde (RSA) and Augusto Farfus (BRA) (details on driver line-ups given at the end of this press release). BMW M Team WRT have been unlucky in this season’s Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS (GTWC) Endurance Cup races thus far and are still waiting for their first podium. In contrast, they enjoyed a very successful first race weekend of the Sprint Cup at Brands Hatch (GBR) with a total of three podiums – including Valentino Rossi’s first in the GTWC. The 24h Spa-Francorchamps is the highlight of the season in both the GTWC Europe and the Intercontinental GT Challenge. In this series, BMW M Team WRT celebrated a one-two result in the previous race of the season in Kyalami (RSA).

 

ROWE Racing boasts an impressive record both at Spa-Francorchamps and in the current GTWC Europe Endurance season. The team has won in the Ardennes twice (2016 & 2020) and in second place has made it onto the podium a further twice (2018 & 2019). This season, Philipp Eng (AUT), Marco Wittmann (GER) and Nick Yelloly (GBR) lead the driver standings of the Endurance Cup after their victory in Monza (ITA) and third place in Le Castellet (FRA). In second place, the members of the BMW Junior Team and BMW M works drivers Dan Harper (GBR), Max Hesse (GER) and Neil Verhagen (USA) also finished on the podium in Monza, and in third place in the driver standings they are making an important contribution to ROWE Racing’s lead in the team standings of the Endurance Cup.

 

Away from the Pro category, Team WRT is entering a BMW M4 GT3 in the Gold Cup and one in the Bronze Cup. Walkenhorst Motorsport, 2018 Spa winner, is also contesting the Bronze Cup with a BMW M4 GT3. The 24h Spa-Francorchamps gets underway at 16:30 CEST on Saturday 1st July.

 

Note to editors:

We are offering two media round tables in the paddock at Spa-Francorchamps:

Thursday, 15:00: Head of BMW M Motorsport, Andreas Roos, WRT team principal, Vincent Vosse, ROWE team principal, Hans-Peter Naundorf

Saturday, 13:00: Head of BMW M Motorsport, Andreas Roos

 

Quotes ahead of the race.

 

Andreas Roos (Head of BMW M Motorsport): “After the Nürburgring and Le Mans, the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps is the third iconic endurance race in the space of just a few weeks. Spa is the biggest pure GT3 race in the world, meaning it is held in very high esteem. Winning there is the ultimate accolade for drivers, teams, and manufacturers. BMW M Motorsport is the record winner in the Ardennes, and we are eager to extend our lead this coming weekend. The conditions are looking very good with our top-class teams and 12 BMW M works drivers. ROWE Racing and BMW M Team WRT have celebrated a multitude of wins and podiums in the races of the GT World Challenge Europe and Intercontinental GT Challenge seasons thus far. The BMW M4 GT3 has proved to be competitive on every track. We want to convert this huge potential into victory, to win the first 24-hour classic with our new GT3 flagship after narrowly missing out at the Nürburgring recently. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for our pro teams and the WRT and Walkenhorst Motorsport crews, who are contesting other classes. In total, there are seven BMW M4 GT3s on the starting grid. That alone is reason enough for every BMW M Motorsport employee to be proud of the development work done on the car.”

 

Dries Vanthoor (#32 BMW M4 GT3, BMW M Team WRT): “We are all extremely motivated to have a good weekend at Spa with our strong driver line-up. Our warm-up test went well, the car feels good on the track. Of course, the first order of the day is to make it through the night without any incidents. Then we’ll see where we are at. I would love to be able to get the win at my home event in Belgium for the first time. Together with the whole team we will be giving it our all to try and achieve this.”

 

Maxime Martin (#46 BMW M4 GT3, BMW M Team WRT): “I’m really looking forward to contesting my home race with BMW M Motorsport again this time around. I’m curious to see what the weather will be like; it could be very changeable in the Ardennes once again. With Augusto and Vale, I have two fantastic drivers by my side, and I want to try and win the 24h Spa-Francorchamps with them, which is something I achieved with BMW in 2016.”

 

Philipp Eng (#98 BMW M4 GT3, ROWE Racing): “It would be amazing to celebrate my third win with BMW and the third ROWE Racing win in Spa. I’m really looking forward to the event, it is always a highlight of the season. The first two races in the GT World Challenge Europe were fantastic with first and third. We are heading into the weekend as championship leaders and will be aiming to pick up plenty of points so that we will be in the running for the overall win at the end of the year.”

 

Neil Verhagen (#998 BMW M4 GT3, ROWE Racing): “I’m super excited for the 24 Hours of Spa this year. It’s something of a comeback, the second time with the BMW M4 GT3. We had a pretty good season last year and are aiming to build on this. This is definitely the goal. The approach will be exactly the same as last year. A clean race with minimum errors. We know that the speed is there. We had it last year. It’s a fantastic event, one of my favourite races of the year. I can’t wait to get back on the track there and am counting down the days until it starts.”

 

 

Overview of the BMW M4 GT3 driver line-ups:

 

Pro Cup.

 

#32 BMW M4 GT3, BMW M Team WRT

Sheldon van der Linde (RSA)

Dries Vanthoor (BEL)

Charles Weerts (BEL)

 

#46 BMW M4 GT3, BMW M Team WRT

Augusto Farfus (BRA)

Maxime Martin (BEL)

Valentino Rossi (ITA)

 

#98 BMW M4 GT3, ROWE Racing

Philipp Eng (AUT)

Marco Wittmann (GER)

Nick Yelloly (GBR)

 

#998 BMW M4 GT3, ROWE Racing

Dan Harper (GBR)

Max Hesse (GER)

Neil Verhagen (USA)

 

Gold Cup.

 

#30 BMW M4 GT3, Team WRT

Niklas Krütten (GER)

Jean-Baptiste Simmenauer (FRA)

Calan Williams (AUS)

 

Bronze Cup.

 

#31 BMW M4 GT3, Team WRT

Adam Carroll (GBR)

Lewis Proctor (GBR)

Tim Whale (GBR)

 

#35 BMW M4 GT3, Walkenhorst Motorsport

Anders Buchardt (NOR)

James Kell (GBR)

Thomas Neubauer (FRA)

Bailey Voisin (GBR)

 

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