BMW M Motorsport News, 12th October 2021.

GTWC: Premiere for the new BMW M4 GT3 at Barcelona.


Premiere for the new BMW M4 GT3 in the Fanatec GT World Challenge
Europe Endurance Cup: the new GT flagship made its first appearance in
the series as a guest starter at the season finale at Barcelona, where
it completed another important test under race conditions. The #82 BMW
M4 GT3 was driven by Philipp Eng (AUT), Augusto Farfus (BRA) and Jesse
Krohn (FIN). After three hours of racing, the trio crossed the finish
line in 16th place.


“It was an interesting weekend, at which we learned an awful lot
about the car,” said Eng. “We were able to focus fully on the
performance set-up. In Barcelona, it was all about fine-tuning the car
for qualifying and the long run in the race in one of the toughest GT3
racing series in the world. We gained a lot of knowledge and can now
build on the performances. The whole team worked extremely hard and it
was once again great fun to drive the BMW M4 GT3.”


“It has been another good run with the BMW M4 GT3,” said Farfus. “We
are very pleased with the mileage and with the first face-to-face
comparison against the other GT3s. This showed us that we are going
into the right direction but also gave us very good indications what
needs to be improved and where we need to work on the car. It was
great to see the GTWC, to see how strong the field is and also to see
the last show of the BMW M6 GT3. Next year, we will be racing with the
BMW M4 GT3 and I am sure that it will be a very successful car.” Krohn
added: “It was really exciting to finally drive the BMW M4 GT3 in race
conditions. I think overall the weekend was a success. We have taken
some steps forward with the car and we showed a little of the
potential of the BMW M4 GT3. Now I am really looking forward to the
next race and I think we can still take some more good steps and
improve the car even further.”


The three-hour race at Barcelona also saw the BMW M6 GT3 bid farewell
to the series. However, it proved to be a tough weekend for the BMW M
Motorsport teams. David Pittard, Jake Dennis and Nick Yelloly (all
GBR) finished 21st in the #34 Walkenhorst Motorsport BMW M6 GT3. Their
team-mates Martin Tomczyk (GER), Thomas Neubauer (FRA) and Nick
Catsburg (NED) failed to finish in the #35 car. In the Pro-Am class,
Boutsen Ginion battled their way to tenth place in the #10 BMW M6 GT3,
after the car had been forced into a gravel bed by a rival. Jens
Klingmann, Jens Liebhauser (both GER) and Karim Ojjeh (KSA) alternated
at the wheel for Boutsen Ginion. 


Nürburgring Endurance Series: Danny Brink and Philipp Leisen
remain champions.

In a dramatic finale on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife (GER), BMW
drivers Danny Brink and Philipp Leisen (both GER) successfully
defended the Nürburgring Endurance Series (NLS) title. The two
Adrenalin Motorsport Team Alzner Automotive drivers, competing in the
V4 class in the #1 BMW 325i, arrived at the ninth and final round of
the 2021 NLS season as championship leaders. Their closest rivals in
the title race were unable to catch them the final race, which was
reduced to three hours and 15 minutes due to fog. So Brink and Leisen,
who also took the class victory in the V4 category alongside
Christopher Rink (GER) at NLS 9, secured their third title in the
overall NLS classification, having previously been crowned champions
in 2018 and 2020.


Brink and Leisen also topped the table in the NLS Production Car
Trophy, as well as winning the V4 championship together with Rink.
Rink also competed with Philipp Stahlschmidt and Daniel Zils (both
GER) in the #481 BMW 330i of Adrenalin Motorsport Team Alzner
Automotive in the large VT2 field. That trio also came into the
weekend with a good chance of winning the title in the VT2 class. A
puncture, however, meant they eventually had to settle for fifth place
in the class in the final race of the season. That was not enough to
give them the overall title, but Rink, Stahlschmidt and Zils did end
the season at the top of the VT2 class. The race win in the VT2
category went to the AVIA Sorg Rennsport team with the #487 BMW 330i,
driven by Moran Gott, Brett Lidsey (both GBR) and Emir Asari (TUR).


Also competing in the VT2 class at NLS 9 was Markus Flasch (AUT), CEO
of BMW M GmbH. He shared the #482 BMW 330i, run by Adrenalin
Motorsport Team Alzner Automotive, with Jacob Erlbacher (GER). They
ended the race ninth in class.


In the Cup5 class, the BMW M2 CS Racing Cup NLS, this season’s
champions are Marc Ehret, Moritz Oberheim and Nico Otto (all GER).
After a winning run in the #875 BMW M2 CS Racing of FK Performance
Motorsport, second place in class in the final race was sufficient to
secure the title. The race win in the Cup5 class went to Francesco
Merlini (ITA), Yannick Fübrich (GER) and David Griessner (AUT) in the
#870 car of Adrenalin Motorsport Team Alzner Automotive. Florian
Weber, Davide Dehren (both GER) and Matthew Greenwood (GBR) finished
third in the #888 Walkenhorst Motorsport BMW M2 CS Racing. The title
in the BMW M240i class was won by Michael Fischer (AUT). He also
picked up another class victory in the final race of the season,
alongside Markus Fischer (AUT) in the #700 BMW M240i Racing run by the
Hofor Racing by Bonk Motorsport team.


Meanwhile, the BMW Junior Team was unfortunate in the final race of
the season. After two wins and a further two podiums, Dan Harper
(GBR), Max Hesse (GER) and Neil Verhagen (USA) also challenged for the
podium with the #44 BMW M6 GT3 at NLS 9 but they were forced to retire
from the race after being hit by another car. Harper, Hesse and
Verhagen ended the season in second place in the SP9 Pro class. They
were also second in the NLS Speed Trophy.


IMSA: Success and misfortune for Turner Motorsport in Virginia.


The penultimate event of the 2021 IMSA series led the Turner
Motorsport team to the VIRginia International Raceway (USA). It was
another eventful weekend for Will Turner’s (USA) team. Saturday’s race
in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship ended in dramatic
fashion. Robby Foley and Bill Auberlen (both USA) were leading the GTD
class in the #96 BMW M6 GT3 and were on course for victory when they
were hit by a GTLM car. That resulted in a puncture, forcing Auberlen
to come into the pits for a tyre change. They eventually crossed the
finish line in 12th place.


That was followed by a successful qualifying for the race in the IMSA
Michelin Pilot Challenge, in which Dillon Machavern (USA) secured pole
position for the team’s #95 BMW M4 GT4, which he shared with Auberlen.
Machavern led the field for the first half of Sunday’s two-hour race.
After two full course yellow periods, which made the pit stop strategy
a lottery, the #95 had fallen well down the field, but Auberlen
launched one of his famous fightbacks. He finished fourth, but was
subsequently promoted to third place and a spot on the podium when a
rival was disqualified. The #96 BMW M4 GT4, driven by Foley and
Vincent Barletta (USA), came home eleventh. Machavern and Auberlen
lead the GS class going into the final round which takes place on 12th
November at Road Atlanta (USA).


Italian GT: Class victory for BMW Team Italia in the sprint
finale at Mugello.


In the Italian GT Championship, Mugello (ITA) hosted the final two
sprint races of the season at the weekend. In Saturday’s opening race,
Stefano Comandini (ITA) and Marius Zug (GER) finished an impressive
fourth overall in the #7 BMW M6 GT3 of BMW Team Italia. That was
enough to earn them third place in the GT3 PRO class. In the second
sprint race on Sunday, the #7 BMW M6 GT3 was on course for the overall
podium. However, with roughly a quarter of an hour remaining,
Comandini was hit and spun by another car. Comandini was initially
able to continue, but then had to give up.


The BMW Team Italia GT4 drivers, Nicola Neri and Giuseppe Fascicolo
(both ITA), took victory in the GT4-AM class on Saturday at the wheel
of the #215 BMW M4 GT4. In Sunday’s race, they finished runner-up in
their class.


GT4 European Series: Podium for Borusan Otomotiv Motorsport at
the Barcelona finale.


Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya (ESP) hosted the final round of this
season’s GT4 European Series at the weekend. The big field of 41 cars
included three BMW M4 GT4s. In Saturday’s opening race, Cem Bölükbasi
and Berkay Besler (both TUR) finished an impressive third overall in
the #12 BMW M4 GT4 run by Borusan Otomotiv Motorsport. That also
earned them second place in the Silver class. In race two on Sunday,
the duo was unfortunate and missed out on another top result. Their
team-mates Hasan Tansu and Yagiz Gedik (both TUR) ended race one in
seventh place in the PAM class in the #11 BMW M4 GT4, before failing
to finish race two. In the AM class, Paolo Meloni (SMR) and
Massimiliano Tresoldi (ITA) finished fourth in both races for the
WD Racing Team in the #50 BMW M4 GT4.


BMW M2 CS Racing Cup Italy: Gustavo Sandrucci crowned champion.


The 2021 champion in the BMW M2 CS Racing Cup Italy is Gustavo
Sandrucci (ITA). At the season finale in Mugello (ITA), Sandrucci once
again showed all his skill in the #16 BMW M2 CS Racing to take victory
in both races. After six events, Sandrucci wrapped up the title with
181 points. Second overall was Luigi Ferrara (ITA) with 138 points,
followed by Filippo Maria Zanin (ITA) with 118 points.


Sandrucci won both the final two races in very close finishes. In
race one, he was followed over the finish line by Marco Zanasi (ITA)
in second place and Ferrara in third. In race two, second place went
to Jody Simone Vullo (MON) and third to Zanasi.


BTCC: Win number 60 for Colin Turkington.


Colin Turkington (GBR) once again showed his class at the ninth and
penultimate race weekend of the British Touring Car Championship
(BTCC) at Donington Park (GBR). At the wheel of the #2 BMW 330i M
Sport, he claimed his 60th BTCC victory in total. Having
finished fifth and eleventh in the first two races, Turkington started
race three from pole position and took full advantage of the ideal
starting position. He drove the perfect race, set the fastest lap, and
secured the victory. Turkington climbed into second place in the
championship on the back of his latest success. He now trails the
leader by 32 points, with a total of 67 points still up for grabs at
the Brands Hatch finale in two weeks’ time. BMW holds a significant
lead at the top of the Manufacturer standings.