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BMW M Motorsport News, 26th September 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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Björn Lellmann, Head of Customer Racing at BMW M Motorsport:

“Autumn has started with fantastic success for our BMW M Motorsport teams and drivers. With the BMW M4 GT3, we not only enjoyed a one-two in Sunday’s DTM race at the Red Bull Ring, but also a one-two in the ADAC GT Masters at the same venue, courtesy of FK Performance and Schubert Motorsport. Walkenhorst Motorsport continued its winning run on the Nordschleife. Plus, we had the dominant success for BMW Ceccato Racing in the Italian GT Endurance Championship. In the GT Cup Championship too, victory went to the BMW M4 GT3. Furthermore, our BMW M4 GT4 and the BMW M2 CS Racing also celebrated more great successes in Europe and the USA. At this point, I would like to congratulate our two champions who won titles at the weekend: Colin Garrett in TC America and Leyton Fourie in the BMW M2 Cup. All this success makes us hungry for the conclusion to the season in the many championships around the world.”

 

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Top topics in this newsletter:

 

  • NLS: Walkenhorst Motorsport makes it three wins in a row.
  • ADAC GT Masters: One-two for the BMW M4 GT3 at the Red Bull Ring.
  • Italian GT Endurance Championship: Dominant win for BMW Ceccato Racing at Monza.
  • TC America: Colin Garrett is crowned champion with races to come.
  • BMW M2 Cup: Leyton Fourie is the 2023 champion.

 

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NLS: Walkenhorst Motorsport makes it three wins in a row.

 

Two weeks after their brace of wins at the 12h Nürburgring (GER), Christian Krognes (NOR) and Jakub Giermaziak (POL) were again unbeatable in race eight of the Nürburgring Endurance Series (NLS). The duo in the Walkenhorst Motorsport #34 BMW M4 GT3 claimed its third victory in a row. This was the fourth win of the year for Krognes, while Giermaziak has five victories to his name.

 

Krognes and Giermaziak started the four-hour race from fifth on the grid. The pair soon made progress towards the front of the field and, with drizzle falling in the final third of the race, Walkenhorst Motorsport made the right tactical decisions. As a result, the #34 claimed its latest victory with a big lead. Their team-mates Dylan Pereira (LUX) and Sami-Matti Trogen (FIN) were fifth in the #35 BMW M4 GT3.

 

As well as overall victory, there were also seven class wins for BMW M Motorsport teams in the eighth and penultimate round of the season. The leaders in the NLS standings, Philipp Leisen, Oskar Sandberg and Daniel Zils (all GER) from Adrenalin Motorsport Team Motec, once again won the VT1-R+4WD class in the #1 BMW 330i. In the SP10 class, Michael Schrey, Thorsten Wolter and Nick Wüstenhagen (all GER) secured the latest victory for FK Performance Motorsport and the #187 BMW M4 GT4. Victory also went to the BMW M4 GT4 in the SP8T class in which the winning pair were Carrie Schreiner (GER) and Beitske Visser (NED) for GITI Tire Motorsport by WS Racing in the #151 car. The BMW M240i, BMW M2 CS, V4 and H4 classes also yielded victories for BMW M Motorsport teams and drivers.

 

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ADAC GT Masters: One-two for the BMW M4 GT3 at the Red Bull Ring.

 

The ADAC GT Masters was at the Red Bull Ring in Austria at the weekend, where Saturday’s race produced a one-two for the BMW M4 GT3. Among those in action at the Red Bull Ring was BMW M works driver Bruno Spengler (CAN). He was sharing the cockpit of the #10 BMW M4 GT3 with Maxime Oosten (NED) for FK Performance Motorsport. The duo crossed the finish line third in the Saturday race, but were subsequently handed the victory when the first two cars were disqualified after the race. Second place consequently went to Ben Green (GBR) and Eduardo Coseteng (PHI) in the Schubert Motorsport #20 BMW M4 GT3. The onset of rain made for difficult and unpredictable conditions in Sunday’s race. Coseteng/Green were ninth, Spengler/Oosten came home tenth.

 

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Italian GT Endurance Championship: Dominant victory for BMW Ceccato Racing at Monza.

 

The royal park in Monza (ITA) hosted round three of the Endurance Cup in the Italian GT Championship in mid-September. The two-hour race ended with a BMW M4 GT3 on the top step of the podium. BMW Ceccato Racing took overall victory with a dominant performance. At the finish, the #7 BMW M4 GT3, driven by Stefano Comandini, Marco Cassará (both ITA) and Alfred Nilsson (SWE), had a lead of almost 40 seconds over their closest rivals. The team’s #8 BMW M4 GT3 ended the race in tenth place. Francesco Guerra, Salvatore Tavano and Carlo Tamburini (all ITA) alternated at the wheel of this car.

 

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GT World Challenge America: Success for the BMW M4 GT3 in Sebring.

 

At the penultimate season event of the Fanatec GT World Challenge America in Sebring (USA), the BimmerWorld team raced to the podium with the BMW M4 GT3 in both races. For the ST Racing squad with Samantha Tan (CAN) and BMW M works driver Neil Verhagen (USA), the weekend was an emotional rollercoaster.

 

The duo displayed remarkable comebacks in both races driving the ST Racing #38 BMW M4 GT3. Due to a penalty after qualifying, they had to start both races from the back of the field. In the Saturday race, they worked their way up to second place in the Pro-Am class (sixth overall). In the second race, Verhagen and Tan managed to take the #38 car all the way to the front of the field, securing their team’s first overall victory in the Fanatec GT World Challenge America. However, the joy was short-lived as the race officials later moved their car to the back of the class. ST Racing has appealed this decision, so the result remains provisional.

 

Bill Auberlen and Chandler Hull (both USA) finished the Saturday race in the BMW M4 GT3 from BimmerWorld in second place overall. In the second race, they crossed the finish line in third place but moved up to second in the provisional results due to the #38 car’s penalty. In both cases, the result also corresponds to second place in the Pro classification. In the championship standings for this category, Auberlen and Hull are in second place.

 

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GT Cup Championship: Dan Harper and Darren Leung win at Donington Park.

 

BMW M works driver Dan Harper and his partner Darren Leung (both GBR) are not only successful with the Century Motorsport BMW M4 GT3 in the British GT Championship, but also the GT Cup Championship. They showed that at the penultimate event of the season at Donington Park (GBR) in mid-September. A race weekend in the GT Cup Championship features a total of four races: a Sprint Race (25 minutes) and a Pit Stop Race (50 minutes) with a driver changeover are held on both the Saturday and the Sunday.

 

In Saturday’s Sprint Race, Leung secured the third spot on the podium, followed by another third place for Leung and Harper in the afternoon’s Pit Stop Race. On Sunday, the #9 BMW M4 GT3 of Century Motorsport was unbeatable. Starting from pole position, Leung comfortably claimed his maiden GT Cup victory. In the Pit Stop Race on Sunday afternoon, Leung and Harper refused to be stopped by a sudden downpour. They gave a controlled drive to secure the second win of the day. 

 

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GT World Challenge Asia: Jens Klingmann and Jesse Krohn at the finale at Sepang.

 

BMW M works drivers Jens Klingmann (GER) and Jesse Krohn (FIN) were in action at the weekend at Sepang (MAL), where they supported GH-Team AAI at the finale of the 2023 FANATEC GT World Challenge Asia. Klingmann shared the cockpit of the #91 BMW M4 GT3 with Kevin Chen Chun Hua (CHN). The duo ended the two races in 15th and ninth places. Krohn was unlucky as his team-mate Jun-San Chen (TWN) was involved in a collision in the #90 BMW M4 GT3 in race one. The car was so badly damaged that it was unable to start race two.

 

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Japanese Super GT Series: Bruno Spengler at Sugo with BMW M Team Studie.

 

BMW M works driver Bruno Spengler was in action in the Japanese Super GT Championship again in mid-September, when he supported BMW M Team Studie in the race at Sugo (JPN). Spengler again shared the cockpit of the #7 BMW M4 GT3 with Seiji Ara (JPN) in the sixth race of the season. Spengler and Ara finished 13th in an eventful race, which lasted just short of three hours before it was stopped after 40 laps following a crash.

 

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IMPC: Podium for Random Vandals Racing, championship lead for Turner Motorsport.

 

The race in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (USA) in mid-September could not have been more dramatic or action-packed. At the end of the thrilling four hours of racing, a BMW M4 GT4 made it onto the podium. Paul Sparta and Kenton Koch (both USA) made a fantastic fightback in the #92 car for Random Vandals Racing. Having started 22nd, they finished third to secure the final spot on the podium.

 

Fifth place went to Robby Foley and Vin Barletta (both USA) in the Turner Motorsport #96 BMW M4 GT4. Foley and Barletta moved to the top of the championship on the back of this result. The CarBahn with Peregrine Racing also secured a top-ten result, finishing ninth in the #39 BMW M4 GT4.

 

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GT4 France: Another podium for L’Espace Bienvenue.

 

The L’Espace Bienvenue team claimed another podium at the penultimate race weekend of this season’s GT4 France at Lédenon (FRA). Ricardo van der Ende (NED) and Benjamin Lessennes (BEL) finished third overall in the #17 BMW M4 GT4 in Sunday’s race. That also earned them second place in the Silver class. In the Saturday race, the duo came home fourth in its class (ninth overall).

 

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GT4 / TC America: Colin Garrett is crowned champion with races to come.

 

GT4 America and TC America held the penultimate race event of their seasons last weekend at Sebring (USA). BMW M Motorsport teams and drivers enjoyed more success with the BMW M4 GT4 and the BMW M2 CS Racing.

 

In GT4 America, the first of the two races produced a one-two for the BMW M4 GT4. Kevin Boehm and Kenton Koch (both USA) took victory for Random Vandals Racing in the #92 car. They were followed over the line in second place by Zac Anderson and John Dubets (both USA) in the #51 BMW M4 GT4 of Auto Technic Racing. Boehm and Koch were then runners-up in race two, with Anderson and Dubets coming home third to join them on the podium again. There were further podiums in the other classes. James Walker Jr. and Tyler McQuarrie (both USA) finished third in the Pro-Am class at the wheel of the #82 BimmerWorldRacing BMW M4 GT4. Their team-mates Charlie Postins and James Clay (both USA) in the #36 car claimed a third and a second place in the Am class. STR38 Racing duo Robert Mau and Chris Allen (both USA) ended the opening race in second place in the Am class in the #438 car.

 

In TC America, Colin Garrett (USA) from the Rooster Hall Racing team won the title in the TCX class with races to come. He won both races in the #44 BMW M2 CS Racing. Behind him, the other BMW drivers made it a BMW one-two-three on both occasions. Lucas Catania (USA / Rigid Speed Company) was runner-up in both races in the #26 car. Third place went to Maddie Aust (USA / Fast Track Racing) in race one and Joseph Pizzuto (USA / Extreme Velocity Motorsports) in race two.

 

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24H Series Barcelona: Hofor Racing by Bonk Motorsport on the GT4 podium.

 

The 24H Barcelona (ESP) in mid-September marked the final 24-hour race of the year in the 24H Series. The Hofor Racing by Bonk Motorsport team competed in the GT4 class and finished on the podium with the #431 BMW M4 GT4. At the end of the 24 hours, the car driven by Martin Kroll (SUI), Maximilian Partl, Michael Mayer, Michael Bonk and Felix Partl (all GER) crossed the finish line second in the class.

 

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BMW M2 Cup: Leyton Fourie is 2023 champion.

 

The winner of the 2023 BMW M2 Cup is Leyton Fourie (RSA). The rookie was crowned champion on his 18th birthday at the Red Bull Ring (AUT) finale. Third place in the first of the two races on Saturday was sufficient for him to wrap up the title with a race still to come. By the time he lined up in the #46 BMW M2 CS Racing in Sunday’s race, he already had an unassailable lead.

 

Saturday’s race was won by Colin Bönighausen (GER) in the #55 BMW M2 CS Racing.  Second place went to Max Rosam (GER), followed by new champion Fourie in third. The Sunday race again produced plenty of dramatic action. In the end, victory went to champion Fourie, ahead of Adrian Rziczny (GER) and Robert Hefler (HUN). Rosam secured second place in the championship, with Bart Horsten (AUS) third overall.

 

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BMW M2 Cup Benelux: Bas Koeten Racing dominates at Zandvoort.

 

In the BMW M2 Cup Benelux, fans were treated to three races at round four of the season, which took place at Zandvoort (NED) in mid-September. The event was dominated by one team: Bas Koeten Racing. They claimed a one-two-three in the opening race, a one-two in race two, and finished first and third in the final race.

 

In the opening race, it was Senna van Soelen (NED) and Leyton Fourie (RSA) who took victory by a big margin in the #24 BMW M2 CS Racing. Their team-mates Sen Roodenburg/Gianni van de Craats (both NED) and Jop Rappange/Dirk Warmerdam (both NED) followed in second and third place.

 

Race two saw van Soelen crash out after contact. Victory this time went to Roodenburg/van de Craats, with Rappange/Warmerdam runners-up. Jayden Post (NED) from the Ferry Monster Autosport team finished third. The third and final race, in which only one driver started per car, was won comfortably by Fourie. Kelvin Snoeks (NED) from the MV Motorsport team was runner-up with Roodenburg completing the podium in third place. 

 

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BTCC: Colin Turkington claims the 150th race win for BMW.

 

Colin Turkington (GBR) achieved a milestone at the penultimate event of this season’s British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) at Silverstone (GBR). At the wheel of the BMW 330e M Sport run by Team BMW, he claimed the 150th BTCC win for BMW. Turkington won the last of the weekend’s three races after Jake Hill (GBR) had secured victory in a wet opening race for Laser Tools Racing with BMW Motorsport.

 

The two Silverstone victories saw BMW extend its lead in the Manufacturer competition. Going into the finale at Brands Hatch (GBR), BMW (730 points) now holds a 19-point advantage over its closest rivals. Hill and Turkington lie third and fourth in the Drivers’ Championship.

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