PressClub Middle East · Article.
Inaugural season full of highlights: Review of BMW Motorsport SIM Racing in 2020.
30.11.2020 Press Release
The 2020 season was the first in which BMW Motorsport established sim racing as a standalone, equal pillar in its racing programme. The focus was on the BMW SIM 120 Cup and the BMW SIM M2 CS Racing Cup as separate digital BMW one-make cups with a top-class field, but BMW cars and BMW works drivers also enjoyed numerous successes at renowned sim racing events outside of these cups.
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Munich. The 2020 season was the first in which BMW Motorsport established sim racing as a standalone, equal pillar in its racing programme. The focus was on the BMW SIM 120 Cup and the BMW SIM M2 CS Racing Cup as separate digital BMW one-make cups with a top-class field, but BMW cars and BMW works drivers also enjoyed numerous successes at renowned sim racing events outside of these cups.
“Top teams, top drivers, and full starting grids. The response to the two BMW SIM cups that we set up in collaboration with iRacing and rFactor2 in our first year was massive,” said Rudolf Dittrich, Head of BMW Motorsport SIM Racing. “The world’s best sim racers contested both one-make cups, and made for fantastic racing action. You can see just how seriously they took the competition by the impressive line-up for the finals at BMW SIM Live. We, along with the community, are looking forward to spectacular final races.”
BMW SIM 120 Cup.
In the BMW SIM 120 Cup on the simulation platform iRacing, more than 2,000 drivers from around the world contested the six races of the season at Daytona, Sebring, the Nürburgring, Spa-Francorchamps, Road Atlanta and Interlagos. The reward for each victory was 2,400 US dollars, while the second-placed team received 1,200 US dollars. The drivers in third place shared 600 US dollars. In the finals, further cash prizes of more than 27,000 US dollars in total are at stake.
Teams that have qualified for BMW SIM Live:
- Maximilian Benecke / Maximilian Wenig – Team Redline
- Josh Rogers / Mitchell deJong – Coanda Simsport
- Laurin Heinrich / Alexander Voß – BS+COMPETITION
- Agustín Canapino / Sami-Matti Trogen – Williams Esports
- Tuomas Tähtelä / Valtteri Alander – KOVA Esports
- Sebastian Job / Graham Carroll – Red Bull Racing Esports
BMW SIM M2 CS Racing Cup.
In the second BMW one-make cup, the best sim racers went head to head on the platform rFactor2 in the virtual BMW M2 CS Racing at the legendary Nürburgring. Most of the races were on the Nordschleife, in a variety of conditions. Come sunshine, rain or darkness: only the real ‘Green Hell’ experts prevailed there. The best of them will now contest the finals at BMW SIM Live, where they will do battle for a total prize fund of 3,500 euros.
Drivers that have qualified for BMW SIM Live:
- Michal Smidl – Varga Sim Racing
- Risto Kappet – R8G Esports
- Nikodem Wisniewski – Williams Esports
- Erhan Jajovski – R8G Esports
- Zbigniew Siara – Buttler-Pal Motorsport
- Peyo Peev – HM Engineering
- Jakub Brzezinski – Williams Esports
- Yuri Kastorp – R8G Esports
- Hany Alsabti – R8G Esports
- Joonas Ravio – Zansho Simsport
Other sim racing successes for BMW cars and drivers.
“Aside from our own BMW SIM cups, we have also seen tremendous momentum in sim racing this year, in part due to the pandemic, which has spawned new race series in very rapid succession,” said Dittrich. “BMW cars and BMW drivers brought home numerous wins and titles on various simulation platforms. It was particularly interesting to see with just how much passion and ambition many BMW works drivers got involved with sim racing. And some of them were rewarded with prestigious wins. I would love for us to be able to build on that in 2021.”
One of the big winners among the ranks of the BMW works drivers was Bruno Spengler (CAN). He won two titles on the platform iRacing. First, in the virtual BMW M8 GTE, he won the IMSA iRacing Pro Series, set up by the IMSA series during the enforced break from real-world racing. In addition to Spengler, many other regular IMSA drivers contested the series, including BMW representatives Nick Catsburg (NED), Philipp Eng (AUT), Jesse Krohn (FIN), John Edwards, Connor De Phillippi and Robby Foley (alle USA). In autumn, Spengler also won the title in the Digital Nürburgring Endurance Series powered by VCO with Team BMW Bank and his driver colleagues Kay Kaschube and Nils Koch (both GER) at the wheel of the BMW Z4 GT3. All of the races in the series were at the Nürburgring-Nordschleife.
Also in the virtual BMW Z4 GT3, Eng alongside Laurin Heinrich, Alexander Voß (both GER) and Team BS+COMPETITION celebrated the overall win at the iRacing 24h Nürburgring. BMW i Andretti Motorsport driver Maximilian Günther (GER) won the Pro title in ‘THE RACE All-Star Cup’ on the platform rFactor 2 and also performed very well in the ‘ABB Formula E Race at Home Challenge’ with a few race wins. In that competition, Team Redline driver Kevin Siggy (SLO) in the virtual BMW iFE.20 won the sim racers title, which saw him also snag a starting spot in the finals of the BMW SIM M2 CS Racing Cup at BMW SIM Live. The twelfth and final starting place for these finals went to Cem Bölükbasi (TUR) for his win at the sim racing event organised by Jochen Schweizer. Bölükbasi, Siggy and Heinrich joined forces with Coque Lopez (ESP) to form the BMW Motorsport SIM Racing Team for the V10 R-League on the Assetto Corsa platform and enjoyed several successes against top-class competition in the inaugural season of the team competition.
The DTM also held a digital championship this year. The team title in the DTM Esports Championship on the platform RaceRoom went to the crew of team captain and BMW DTM driver Sheldon van der Linde (RSA). Timo Glock (GER) and Lucas Auer (AUT) were also in action in the virtual BMW M4 DTM as pro racing driver representatives. The sim racer driver’s title went to Moritz Löhner (GER), who, as a member of Sheldon van der Linde’s team, was also racing in a BMW M4 DTM.
BMW SIM Live on 5th December 2020.
BMW SIM Live 2020, which will be broadcast from 4.00 PM CET on 5th December via a livestream on the BMW Motorsport and BMW Esports channels, will include the final races in the BMW SIM 120 Cup and the BMW SIM M2 CS Racing Cup. When the season’s race winners come together they will be competing for a total prize fund in excess of 25,000 euros.
BMW Motorsport SIM Racing will use the event framework to present its extensive programme for the upcoming season. This will be expanded significantly in many areas, to do justice to the momentum of the rapidly emerging digital racing sector. Plans include the one-make cup competitions, hardware developments and collaborations. BMW Motorsport SIM Racing will present several spectacular world premieres in these areas at BMW SIM Live 2020.