BMW Motorsport used the traditional Season Review event in Munich (DE) to announce significant information about the 2017 driver set-up and present details of the individual programmes for various racing disciplines.
DTM – consistency in the cockpit.
BMW Motorsport will be represented by two teams and six drivers in the 2017 DTM season. The race car will be the new BMW M4 DTM, which is currently completing a comprehensive test and development programme in preparation for the 18 races. Six BMW works drivers with plenty of DTM experience will be behind the wheel. Reigning DTM champion Marco Wittmann (DE) heads the selection. Tom Blomqvist (GB), Augusto Farfus (BR), Timo Glock (DE), Maxime Martin (BE) and Bruno Spengler (CA) will be battling for points and wins alongside him. The six BMW drivers have racked up a total of 399 DTM starts, recording 32 wins and 34 pole positions. BMW Motorsport can boast two DTM champions in its ranks: Spengler (2012) and Wittmann (2014 and 2016). The three BMW M4 DTMs of Wittmann, Glock and Farfus will be fielded by BMW Team RMG, headed by Stefan Reinhold (DE). Bart Mampaey (BE) and his BMW Team RBM will be responsible for the cars of Blomqvist, Martin and Spengler.
BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt: “Our driver selection for 2017 once again includes some of the best the DTM has to offer. Of course, everyone will be chasing champion Marco Wittmann. But our five other drivers have all claimed wins and proved their quality in the DTM. This consistency in the cockpit will do us good. Experience is extremely important in the DTM.”
IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship – new faces from Europe.
In 2017, BMW Team RLL will again be represented by two BMW M6 GTLMs in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship (IWSC). Bill Auberlen (US) and John Edwards (US) will be the regular drivers from the USA next season. They will be joined by two new team-mates from Europe: in 2017, Auberlen will start alongside Alexander Sims (GB), whose fine performances in this season included overall victory for the ROWE Racing team with the BMW M6 GT3 at the 24-hour race in Spa-Francorchamps (BE). At the wheel of the second BMW M6 GTLM, BMW works driver Martin Tomczyk (DE) will join Edwards for the GTLM class races. The quartet will be supported by DTM drivers Augusto Farfus and Bruno Spengler, as well as Kuno Wittmer (CA) and Nick Catsburg (NL) for the endurance races on the calendar. Auberlen, Sims, Farfus and Spengler will also share driving duties in the BMW M6 GTLM Art Car for the 24 Hours of Daytona (US) on 28th/29th January 2017, a car designed by US artist John Baldessari.
BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt: “We are looking forward to an exciting second season with the BMW M6 GTLM in North America. Of course, our goal is to record the first win with this car. Competing with the 19th BMW Art Car in Daytona will be a real highlight to start the year off. I’d like to thank Dirk Werner and Lucas Luhr for their hard work last season – and now it’s time to welcome Alexander Sims and Martin Tomczyk. I am convinced that they will both settle in very quickly at BMW Team RLL and will soon be successful. I wish Dirk all the best in his new sporting challenges. We have been delighted to have him on board since 2010. He impressed us with his speed, his professionalism and his down-to-earth nature.”
GT and endurance races – the next chapter in a success story.
In 2017, BMW Team Schnitzer will enhance an already strong BMW set-up in international GT and endurance racing. The team headed by Charly Lamm (DE) will compete in races alongside ROWE Racing, winners of the 24-hour race in Spa-Francorchamps, and Schubert Motorsport, and will be doing their best to record the 20thoverall win for BMW in the classic 24-hour race at the Nürburgring (DE). BMW Team Schnitzer is also scheduled to compete with the BMW M6 GT3 at the ADAC GT Masters. The three teams will also represent BMW at many other GT events – such as the VLN Endurance Championship Nürburgring (VLN) or the Blancpain GT Series. Among others, former BMW Motorsport Junior Jesse Krohn (FI) will compete in a BMW M6 GT3 in the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring, alongside the works drivers active in the DTM.
BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt: “The BMW M6 GT3 made a successful all-round debut in 2016. We are aiming for more wins and titles next season with our top model in customer racing. The three teams, ROWE Racing, Schubert Motorsport and BMW Team Schnitzer all have a special role to play and will compete with this car in various series. After winning in Spa in 2016, we now want to continue our long-running success story on the Nordschleife. As far as teams and drivers are concerned, we are ideally equipped to do this.”
BMW customer racing – major tests for the BMW M4 GT4.
With the BMW M6 GT3 spearheading the product range for privateer teams and drivers, BMW Motorsport will be getting a new challenger ready over the course of the 2017 season: the BMW M4 GT4. With this car, customers will be able to race cost-effectively at the very highest level at events around the world from 2018. Numerous test events are scheduled throughout the 2017 season, including the 24-hour race in Dubai (UA) in January. Drivers and teams around the world will continue to compete with the current entry-level model, the BMW M235i Racing, in such competitions as the BMW M235i Racing Cup classes in Germany, Belgium and China. A total of 170 examples of the BMW M235i Racing have been built.
BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt: “Our international customers have celebrated many triumphs in the first year with the BMW M6 GT3. We hope this will continue in 2017. The comprehensive test programme with the BMW M4 GT4 will go on in parallel. We will also see the car in action in a couple of races. Our privateer teams will then compete with the newest model from our product range in 2018. I am particularly pleased that the BMW M235i Racing remains so popular. The widespread use of this race car and the positive feedback from our customers show that this model has been a hit since its introduction in 2014.
FIA Formula E Championship – the way to Montréal.
The MS Amlin Andretti team supported by BMW has started the FIA Formula E Championship 2016/17 with two thrilling races in Hong Kong (CN) and Marrakesh (MA). On the way to the season finale in Montréal, BMW works driver António Félix da Costa (PT) and Robin Frijns (NL) will be competing in some of the most exciting cities in the world, including Buenos Aires (AR), Mexico City (MX), Paris (FR), Berlin (DE) and New York (US). The exchanges between the team and the BMW Motorsport engineers will gradually increase in intensity throughout the year. Works involvement is planned from season 5 (2018/19) onwards. BMW i also enjoys a prominent position as “Official Vehicle Partner” in Formula E, providing the Qualcomm Safety Car BMW i8.
BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt: “The first Formula E races since the announcement of our partnership with the MS Amlin Andretti team has made us hungry for more. We are really looking forward to the season taking off from February 2017. Our primary aim is to gather experience in the Formula E environment. Close cooperation with the Andretti Formula E team is extremely valuable.”
FIA World Endurance Championship – the countdown is on.
After the announcement at the end of September that BMW Motorsport will compete in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) from 2018, some more details have now been confirmed. BMW Team MTEK will spend the coming season on a comprehensive test and preparation programme for competition in the following year. The drivers in this phase will be Martin Tomczyk, Alexander Sims and António Félix da Costa.
BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt: “The countdown to 2018 has started. We will prepare meticulously for our entry into the FIA WEC throughout the coming season. BMW Team MTEK is ready to start and is extremely motivated.”
First place in the BMW Sports Trophy Drivers’ Competition goes to Michael Schrey – Pixum Team Adrenalin Motorsport defends Team title
The season’s most successful privateer BMW drivers and teams were honoured at the traditional BMW Motorsport Season Review at the premises of BMW Group Classic in Munich (DE) on Friday. Of the 332 drivers who registered, Michael Schrey scored the most points to pick up a cheque for 30,000 Euros. He will also get a test drive in the BMW M6 GT3 in 2017. In the Team Competition, Pixum Team Adrenalin Motorsport triumphed for the third year in a row.
The BMW Sports Trophy allows BMW Motorsport to honour the performances of privateer drivers and teams over the course of the season. Points were scored at the wheel of BMW racing cars in various championships and at prestigious individual events throughout the 2015/2016 scoring period. There was once again great interest in this competition: in total, 332 participants from 35 countries and 59 teams registered for the BMW Sports Trophy. With more than 700 of over 4,000 top-ten results recorded, the BMW M235i Racing was the most successful car in the hands of privateer drivers and teams. A total prize purse of 250,000 Euros was up for grabs in the Drivers’ Competition in the 55th staging of the BMW Sports Trophy. The ten most successful teams received a share of 100,000 Euros.
“Every year, I am impressed by the fantastic development of the BMW Sports Trophy,” said BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt. “The global BMW Motorsport family continues to grow every season. With their victories with BMW racing cars in such a diverse range of series, privateer drivers and teams are excellent ambassadors for the BMW brand and BMW Motorsport. Thank you to all 332 drivers and 59 teams who scored points over the past season. I would obviously particularly like to congratulate Michael Schrey and Pixum Team Adrenalin Motorsport. To come out on top against such strong opposition is an impressive performance.”
With 486 points to his name, Schrey was able to fend off the challenges of his closest rivals Christopher Rink (DE, 465) and Danny Brink (DE, 435). He contested the entire season alongside Alexander Mies (DE) in the BMW M235i Racing Cup, which was held within the VLN Endurance Championship at the Nürburgring (DE), and not only won the Cup, but also finished top of the overall VLN standings. He also enjoyed successful starts in other series, including a class victory at the Nürburgring 24 Hours (DE).
“This award is the icing on the cake,” said Schrey, who was presented with the trophy by DTM champion Marco Wittmann (DE). “I had a fantastic season, winning the title in both the VLN and the BMW M235i Racing Cup. However, victory in the BMW Sports Trophy Drivers’ Competition is also very special. It is an international title, and one you cannot win every year. This season, everything came together perfectly. I am incredibly proud of this.”
After winning the Team Competition for the past two years, Pixum Team Adrenalin Motorsport was once again the dominant force in 2015/16. Team principal Matthias Unger’s (DE) outfit won its third Team title in the BMW Sports Trophy with a score of 1,058 points. “It feels fantastic to win again,” said team principal Unger after receiving the award from Stefan Reinhold (DE), team principal of BMW Team RMG in the DTM. “This third win in a row was once again earned through hard work. We may have had a lot of cars in action, but every single class we start in is fiercely-competitive. Scoring the necessary points in these series is far from a matter of course. I would like to thank my team and the drivers, without whom this title would not have been possible.”
In total, Pixum Team Adrenalin Motorsport claimed 22 class victories and ended the season ahead of the West Surrey Racing and Securtal Sorg Rennsport teams (both 809 points).
BMW Motorsport stars celebrate end of 2016 season – Awards for successful drivers and teams
BMW Motorsport celebrated the end of the racing year with a varied and entertaining programme at its annual Season Review on Friday. Some of the year’s key protagonists assembled at the new home of BMW Group Classic on Moosacher Straße in Munich (DE), where they spent an enjoyable evening among the BMW Motorsport family. During the evening, the drivers and teams who made history and produced fascinating stories in 2016 were honoured.
Among the prize winners was Marco Wittmann (DE), who was responsible for one of the many sporting highlights of the 2016 season from a BMW Motorsport point of view, winning his second title in the DTM. After receiving the “Victory of the Year” award from BMW Brand Ambassador and works driver Alessandro Zanardi (IT), it was Wittmann’s turn to present awards to the year’s most successful BMW privateers. First place in the BMW Sports Trophy went to VLN champion Michael Schrey (DE), while Pixum Team Adrenalin Motorsport won the Team competition for the third time in a row.
Zanardi, who was presented with the “Achievement of the Year” award by BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt, was given a standing ovation once again. He had not only added to his medal collection on the handbike in Rio de Janeiro (BR), but also claimed victory on his debut with the BMW M6 GT3 on his guest appearance in the Italian GT Championship. Marquardt also thanked all the teams and drivers whose successes ensured that the new BMW M6 GT3 enjoyed such an impressive debut season. These included ROWE Racing, who won the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps (BE) with the BMW M6 GT3 and drivers Maxime Martin (BE), Alexander Sims (GB) and Philipp Eng (AT). The inaugural “Supplier of the Year” award went to the company Leimeister Modell- & Prototypenbau.
The evening was officially opened by Klaus Fröhlich, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Development. Marquardt then gave a positive review of what was an eventful and thrilling 2016 motorsport season. “We have every cause to celebrate again. An emotional year of racing with countless highlights lies behind us. Marco Wittmann’s triumph in the DTM and victory for ROWE Racing with the newly-developed BMW M6 GT3 at Spa-Francorchamps are obviously worthy of particular mention. In the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, the new BMW M6 GTLM challenged for podium finishes from the outset. The BMW Sports Trophy also produced many victories for our privateer teams and drivers again in 2016.”
The event concluded with Marquardt giving a detailed look at what to expect in the 2017 season and revealing changes within the framework of the strategic alignment of BMW Motorsport, which will be even more diverse in the future.
An overview of the winners of the 2016 BMW Motorsport awards.
BMW Sports Trophy Driver of the Year:
Michael Schrey (DE)
BMW Sports Trophy Team of the Year:
Pixum Team Adrenalin Motorsport
BMW Motorsport Achievement of the Year:
Alessandro Zanardi (IT)
BMW Motorsport Victory of the Year:
Marco Wittmann (DE)
BMW M235i Racing Cup Team of the Year:
BMW M235i Racing Cup Drivers of the Year:
Alexander Mies, Michael Schrey (both DE)
BMW Motorsport Supplier of the Year:
Leimeister Modell- & Prototypenbau