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BMW M Motorsport News, 24th July 2023

Our BMW M Motorsport News allows us to give you a regular 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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Andrea Schwab
BMW Group

Björn Lellmann, Head of Customer Racing at BMW M Motorsport:

“In this issue of our newsletter, there is one topic that really stands out from my perspective: We have experienced an incredible winning streak with our new BMW M4 GT4 these past two weeks. Whether in Europe, Asia, or the USA,the car was almost unbeatable in the hands of our BMW M Motorsport teams and drivers. I’m delighted that it seems we have managed to make the second generation of the BMW M4 GT4 even more successful than its highly decorated predecessor. Everyone at BMW M Motorsport who was involved in the development of the car can be very proud of this achievement. I’d like to congratulate all the winners of these past weeks and am already looking forward to seeing what the rest of this season has in store!”

 

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ADAC GT Masters: Marco Wittmann and Project 1 on the Podium at the Nürburgring.

 

The two BMW M works drivers Marco Wittmann (GER) and Neil Verhagen (USA) contested the third event of the ADAC GT Masters 2023 season at the Nürburgring (GER).

 

In preparation for the upcoming DTM races, the Project 1 team took part in the Nürburgring round of the ADAC GT Masters with Wittmann and Sandro Holzem (GER) –and celebrated a podium finish. Wittmann and Holzem moved their way up the field from tenth on the grid into fourth place with the #56 BMW M4 GT3 in the first race. Then, from fourth on the grid in the second race, they were soon on track to finish on the podium and crossed the finish line in second place after 41 laps.

 

“It was my ADAC GT Masters debut,” reported Wittmann. “First and foremost, we were getting ourselves ready for the DTM at the Nürburgring. I was also providing support for Sandro. With fourth place in the race on Saturday and second place on Sunday it was a pretty positive debut. We were also able to test and try out a good number of things. And of course, it was great to be on the podium. I feel that we put in a pretty good performance as a team. It was also the first time for both of us sharing a car. We drove really well in the race on Sunday in particular and were able to close the gap ahead of us. It wasn’t quite enough to get the win, but we can be very pleased with second place.”

 

Verhagen was standing in for FK Performance Motorsport regular driver Igor Walilko (POL), who was unable to compete at the Nürburgring, in the cockpit of the #10 BMW M4 GT3. Alongside Kim-Luis Schramm (GER), Verhagen finished in seventh and ninth places in the two races. In the #20 BMW M4 GT3 of Schubert Motorsport, Eduardo Coseteng (PHI) and Ben Green (GBR) crossed the finish line in eighth and sixth places.

 

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GT4 European Series: BMW M4 GT4 dominant at Misano.

 

Victory in race one and a one-two result in race two was the haul for the BMW M Motorsport teams with the BMW M4 GT4 at the fourth round of the GT4 European Series season Misano, Italy. In mid-summer heat, there was no getting past the customer racing cars of BMW M at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli.

 

In race one a combination of the perfect strategy, optimum timing and a determined finish enabled Michael Schrey (GER) and Gabriele Piana (ITA) in the #2 BMW M4 GT4 of Hofor Racing by Bonk Motorsport to drive from 14th on the grid to victory. Berkay Besler (TUR) and Tom Edgar (GBR) in the #12 BMW M4 GT4 of Borusan Otomotiv Motorsport also battled for a spot on the podium down to the wire, missing out by just two hundredths of a second in fourth place.

 

In the even more exciting second race, the two BMW M4 GT4s were embroiled in a head-to-head race for victory. In the end it was Besler and Edgar who celebrated their first win of the season. Schrey/Piana trailed by just half a second at the finish line and clinched the one-two result for the BMW M4 GT4. Enzo Joulie (FRA) and Yagiz Gedik (TUR) finished the two races in the #11 BMW M4 GT4 of Borusan Otomotiv Motorsport in seventh and fourth place. The W&D Racing Team secured the Am class win in the second race. Massimiliano Tresoldi (ITA) and Davide Meloni (RSM) shared the wheel of the #53 BMW M4 GT4.

 

In the drivers’ championship of the GT4 European Series, Schrey and Piana are in the lead after four of six events, followed by Besler and Edgar. In the team standings, Hofor Racing by Bonk Motorsport is at the top, with Borusan Otomotiv Motorsport in second place.

 

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IMSA: Turner Motorsport narrowly miss out on podium at Lime Rock Park.

 

For the first time in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season, only GT cars went head-to-head to get the win at Lime Rock Park (USA). In the GTD class, Robby Foley and Patrick Gallagher (both USA) in fourth place in the #96 BMW M4 GT3 of Turner Motorsport were the best BMW M Motorsport team. After 2:40 hours of racing, the duo were around 1.7 seconds off the podium. Bryan Sellers and Madison Snow (both USA) in the #1 BMW M4 GT3 of Paul Miller Racing were unable to do better than eighth place but defended their lead in the driver and team standings of the GTD category. Bill Auberlen and Chandler Hull (both USA) finished eleventh in the GTD class in the #97 BMW M4 GT3 of Turner Motorsport. At the next IMSA race on 6th August at Road America (USA), BMW M Team RLL and the two BMW M Hybrid V8 prototypes will be back in action in the GTP category.

 

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VP Racing Sports Car Challenge: All podium positions go to BMW M4 GT4 teams.

 

As part of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race weekend at Lime Rock Park (USA), the BMW M4 GT4 teams were impressive as they dominated the two races of the VP Racing Sports Car Challenge, with AutoTechnic Racing being particularly dominant. In the first race last Saturday, John Capresto-Dubets (USA) in the #26 BMW M4 GT4 headed up a one-two-three finish for AutoTechnic Racing in the GSX class. He was followed by his team-mates Jake Walker and Stephen Cugliari (both USA). The Turner Motorsport drivers Francis Selldorff and Vincent Barletta (both USA) crossed the finish line in fourth and fifth place in two further BMW M4 GT4s.

 

The second race painted a similar picture. Once again Capresto-Dubets won ahead of Walker, but this time it was Selldorff who completed the one-two-three result for the BMW M4 GT4, which brought home all six podium positions of the weekend.

 

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British GT Championship: GT4 class win for Century Motorsport.

 

Michael Johnston and Chris Salkeld (both GBR) in the #14 BMW M4 GT4 of Century Motorsport celebrated their first GT4 class win in the British GT Championship at Portimão (POR) last Sunday. The duo kept their cool in a turbulent three-hour race with several safety car periods to bring home their first victory. That saw Johnston and Salkeld take the lead in the Pro-Am driver standings of the GT4 category. And Century Motorsport is also at the top of the team standings.

 

In the GT3 race, BMW M works driver Dan Harper and Darren Leung (both GBR) showed great fighting spirit and finished fifth in their #91 BMW M4 GT3 to pick up valuable points for the championship. The duo battled with bad luck during the safety car periods and with a 30-second stop and go penalty that pushed them right down the field. However, Harper and Leung made it back into the top five in the second half of the race. They are in second place in the driver standings.

 

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GT World Challenge Asia: Four GT4 wins in four races for BMW M Team Studie.

 

The Fanatec GT World Challenge Asia Powered by AWS held four races over two weekends. Over the double header at Suzuka and Motegi (both JPN) with two classification rounds at each venue, there were four opportunities to bring home wins – and Team YZ Racing with BMW M Team Studie made use of them all. Masaki Kano and Manabu Orido (both JPN) in the #50 BMW M4 GT4 were impressive as they drove to victory in the GT4 category four times, which saw them take the lead in the overall standings for their class.

 

In the GT3 class, PLUS with BMW M Team Studie had a harder time with the #5 BMW M4 GT3. Tomohide Yamaguchi and Seiji Ara (both JPN) finished in twelfth and tenth place at Suzuka, while at Motegi they retired from both races.

 

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Sim racing: Team BMW Bank wins 24h Spa on iRacing.

 

The real world is reflected in the virtual world as Team BMW Bank won the 24-hour race of Spa-Francorchamps (BEL) on the simulation platform iRacing. After 617 laps, the BMW M4 GT3 with car #7 fielded by BMW M Team BS+COMPETITION crossed the finish line with a lead of more 23.328 seconds over the second-placed Williams Esports Team. Rainer Talvar (EST), Phillippe Denes (USA) and Felix Quirmbach (GER) took turns at the wheel. The trio had an almost flawless race and were rewarded with the team’s third 24h victory on iRacing. BS+COMPETITION won the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring (GER) in both 2020 and 2022.

 

BMW M Team Redline also did very well for long stretches of the race and were in the lead for quite some time before a collision that wasn’t their fault forced the team to retire. The endurance race at the Spa-Francorchamps track is one of the “iRacing Special Events”. Victories in these events are regarded as the most prestigious successes on this platform.

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