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BMW Motorsport News - Issue 13/2017.

New changes announced for the 2017 DTM season – Alex Zanardi wins in Rome.

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Whether in the DTM, the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, or countless other championships, week after week BMW teams and drivers around the world do battle for points, victories and titles. Away from the track, members of the large BMW Motorsport family around the world are also creating headlines. The “BMW Motorsport News” allows us to regularly summarise all the action for you in a compact and informative manner. That way, you are always up to speed.

DTM: Two races of equal length per weekend in 2017.
The changes for the coming DTM season, announced this week, promise even more action and even more spectacle for spectators to feast on. The two races, one on Saturday and one on Sunday, will now be the same length. Each race will last 55 minutes plus one lap. The sporting regulations also stipulate one mandatory pit stop per race. Furthermore, the use of tyre blankets is no longer permitted this season. As such, the drivers are now faced with the challenge of getting their tyres up to optimal temperature as quickly as possible. The number of crew members the teams can call on for pit stops has also been reduced to eight mechanics, while only two wheel guns are available per car and the stops can be taken at any time. The 2017 DTM season kicks off with the opening two races on 6th and 7th May at the Hockenheimring (GER).

Blancpain GT Series: ROWE Racing in the points at season-opener.
The ROWE Racing team enjoyed a successful start to this season’s Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup this weekend in Misano (ITA). The team improved session by session to end the weekend with two points-finishes. Tom Blomqvist (GBR) and Philipp Eng (AUT) started Saturday’s qualifying race from 25th place in the number 99 BMW M6 GT3. Their team-mates Markus Palttala and Jesse Krohn (both FIN) started from 28th but the quartet showed admirable fighting spirit. Krohn and Palttala qualified tenth, while Blomqvist and Eng secured 16th place on the grid for Sunday’s main race. The two duos backed up Saturday’s performances and both established themselves in the top ten shortly after the start. Blomqvist and Eng ultimately came out just on top, finishing sixth ahead of their team-mates Palttala and Krohn in seventh. This year’s Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup consists of five events. The next races will take place at Brands Hatch (GBR) on 6th and 7th May.

General: Alessandro Zanardi celebrates sixth victory at the Rome Marathon .
Successful Sunday with his handcycle in the Italian capital: BMW works driver and BMW Brand Ambassador Alessandro Zanardi (ITA) has again won the Rome Marathon. It was his sixth victory at this prestigious event. For the first half of the race conditions were dry but then torrential rain started, resulting in very slippery streets. Despite the conditions, Zanardi crossed the line after 1:10.06 hours as the winner. He was only 50 seconds slower than last year, when he had set a new record time in completely dry weather. “Halfway though the distance, all hell broke loose and it was raining heavily until the finish line,” Zanardi reports. “But I am extremely pleased with my performance. I was going very fast but it was not easy to maintain that speed in the rain. Maybe it would have been possible at events like the BMW Berlin Marathon, where the route is flat and fast but in Rome with the tight turns and the cobblestones it was like racing on ice so I had to slow down and the difficult conditions cost me a lot of time. So overall I am really happy with my result and with my sixth victory in Rome.” The Rome Marathon dates back to 1995 and is one of the biggest marathon events in Europe.

British Touring Car Championship: Successful season-opener at Brands Hatch .
The West Surrey Racing team kicked off the new season of the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) with a strong overall showing this weekend. In race one on Sunday, Andrew Jordan and Rob Collard (both GBR) came home sixth and seventh in their BMW 125i M Sports, having started the race in eleventh and 15th place. In contrast, Colin Turkington (GBR) endured a disappointing start to the season. He was involved in a collision with another car on the opening lap, and was consequently forced to retire. In race two, Collard climbed into second place and was rewarded with a podium finish on the first race weekend of the season. His team-mate Jordan was also able to celebrate another top-ten result, finishing seventh. However, probably the most impressive performance came from Turkington: starting way down in a lowly 32nd place, the 35-year-old battled his way through the majority of the field and was rewarded for his efforts with tenth place. Race three produced the ideal end to a perfect opening weekend in the BTCC. After a thrilling battle at the head of the field, Jordan eventually came home ahead of team-mate Turkington to take victory. Collard crossed the finish line sixth after 24 laps of racing to complete an outstanding team performance. The second race weekend of the season takes the drivers and teams to Donington (GBR) on 15th and 16th April.

24h Silverstone: Nine BMW cars finish.
A total of nine BMW cars successfully came through this weekend’s 24-hour race in Silverstone (GBR). The QSR team finished sixth overall with the BMW M235i Racing. It was enough to give them victory in the Cup1 class. The overall standings featured another BMW, in the form of the Securtal Sorg Rennsport BMW M235i Racing, which came home eighth to earn second place in the Cup1 class. They were followed in third and fourth place by the JJ Motorsport and DUWO Racing teams. In the SP3-GT4 class, Moss Motorsport UK took the class victory with its BMW M3. Intersport Racing finished third in the same class with a BMW M3 CSL. Cor Euser Racing rounded off a successful weekend for the BMW M3, finishing third in the A3 class.


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