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BMW Motorsport News - Issue 31/2019.

Title win for MDM Motorsport in the BMW M4 GT4 – BMW works drivers compete against some of the best sim racers in the world.

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Whether in the DTM, the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, the ABB FIA Formula E 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 too, 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. This way, you are always up to speed.


Sim racing: ‘BMW Team Green Hell’ in action at Nürburgring.

BMW works drivers Nick Catsburg (NED) and Bruno Spengler (CAN) took on some of the best sim racers in the world as ‘BMW Team Green Hell’ as part of the ‘ADAC SimRacing EXPO’ at the Nürburgring (GER) this weekend. The duo took part in the ‘ADAC Digital GT500’, a digital endurance race on the track at Spa-Francorchamps (BEL), in a virtual BMW M8 GTE. The field of 24 starters included some of the best sim racing drivers and teams in the world, of which 13 opted for a simulation of the BMW M8 GTE. Catsburg, who competed in the sim racing event ‘BMW 120 at Le Mans’ this year alongside BMW works driver Philipp Eng (AUT), qualified tenth from where he started the race, before getting caught up in a collision that pushed ‘BMW Team Green Hell’ right down the field. Catsburg and Spengler ended up crossing the finish line in 18th place. “I really enjoyed the day and the nice change of sim racing,” said Catsburg. “It was great to compete against these world-class sim racers. Unfortunately, things didn’t go very well in the race, but it was a lot of fun anyway.” Spengler said: “I was impressed by the professionalism and the incredibly high level of racing. We really noticed that we are lacking in practice and experience in sim racing, but we kept on improving. I had a great deal of fun and would love to be able to get involved in something like this again.” The race ended after 71 laps with a one-two-three result for the BMW M8 GTE. Mitchell deJong (USA) and Josh Rogers (AUS) of VRS Coanda Simsport finished in first place. “We had a fantastic race,” said deJong. “Josh drove a fantastic qualifying session and was able to pull away at the start. Then we just had to maintain the lead and cross the finish line without making any mistakes.”

GT4 European Series: Title win for MDM Motorsport.

In a dramatic season finale of the GT4 European Series at the Nürburgring (GER), Simon Knap (NED) and Alec Udell (USA) clinched the title win in the BMW M4 GT4 of MDM Motorsport. Fifth and sixth places in the races on Saturday and Sunday was enough for the duo, with the same number of points but more season wins, to prevail over Max Koebolt (NED) and Jan Kisiel (POL). Victory at the final race of the season went to Ricardo van der Ende (NED) and Euan McKay (GBR) of BMW Customer Racing Team Ekris Motorsport. The two drivers also finished on the podium on Saturday, in second place. Gabriele Piana (ITA) and Marius Zug (GER) in the BMW M4 GT4 of RN Vision STS won both Pro-Am Class races, but narrowly missed out on winning the title despite their strong performances at the Nürburgring.

GT4/TC America: BMW teams win at Watkins Glen.

In the Saturday race of the GT4 America SprintX at Watkins Glen (USA), the Stephen Cameron Racing team made it onto the podium with both BMW M4 GT4s. Sean Quinlan and Gregory Liefooghe (both USA) took the win in the #19 car. Aristotle Balogh and Tom Dyer (both USA) crossed the finish line in third place in the #190 sister car. In TC America, Johan Schwartz (DEN) of Team Rooster Hall Racing won Sunday’s race in the BMW M240i Racing, ahead of his team-mate Steve Streimer (USA). On Saturday, Schwartz had to make do with second place after a thrilling duel with Paul Terry (USA, Nissan). In third place, Robert Nimkoff (USA) in the BMW M240i Racing of Team Auto Technic Racing also finished on the podium. In the GT World Challenge America, Turner Motorsport celebrated second place in the Am category on Saturday in the BMW M6 GT3 driven by Naoto Takeda and Takuya Shirasaka (both JPN). The Sunday races in the GT4 America SprintX and the GT World Challenge America had not finished at the time of writing.

China Endurance Championship: FIST Team AAI wins in the BMW M6 GT3.

FIST Team AAI won the main race in the China Endurance Championship at Shanghai (CHN). In heavy rain, BMW works drivers Nick Yelloly (GBR) and Jesse Krohn (FIN) together with their team-mate Lin Yu (CHN) asserted themselves against their rivals. After third place in qualifying and second place in the qualifying race, the trio started the main race from the front row of the grid. On a wet track, Yelloly was able to take and keep hold of the lead until the race was red flagged due to increasingly heavy rain.

24h Barcelona: Class win for the BMW M240i Racing.

Hofor Racing powered by Bonk Motorsport celebrated victory with the BMW M240i Racing in the A3 class at the Barcelona (ESP) 24 hour race. Martin Kroll (SUI), Michael Fischer (AUT), Michael Bonk, Axel Burghardt and Volker Piepmeyer (all GER) finished first after 579 laps. In the GT4 class, the team also made it onto the podium with third place for drivers Kroll, Fischer, Bonk as well as Michael Schrey (GER) and Thomas Jäger (AUT). Second place on the podium in the GT4 class went to the BMW M4 GT4 of Sorg Rennsport with drivers Olaf Meyer, Björn Simon, Stephan Epp, Torsten Kratz (all GER) and Simon Tibbett (USA).

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