The GT season concludes with another highlight this weekend: Four BMW M6 GT3 cars will race in the FIA GT World Cup at the iconic Guia Circuit in Macau (CHN) on 18th and 19th November. Much attention will be focussed on one car in particular: the 18th BMW Art Car, designed by Chinese multimedia artist Cao Fei. BMW works driver Augusto Farfus (BRA) will be at the wheel of this special car. The rolling work of art will be run by BMW Team Schnitzer. The team from Freilassing (GER) is the record winner in Macau, with 13 victories to its name.
As well as the BMW Art Car, a further three BMW M6 GT3 race cars will do battle in the narrow urban canyons. ROWE Racing will field one car, with Tom Blomqvist (GBR) at the wheel, while Marco Wittmann (GER) and Chaz Mostert (AUS) will drive for FIST – Team AAI in the former Portuguese colony.
“The Guia Circuit is iconic. BMW has enjoyed many big wins there in the past,” said BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt. “We are represented by a strong contingent at this year’s FIA GT World Cup year, consisting of four BMW M6 GT3s, three works drivers with plenty of Macau experience between them, and an ace from the V8 Supercars Championship. From a BMW Motorsport point of view, this event highlights a number of fascinating stories, such as the return of multiple Macau winners BMW Team Schnitzer. However, the focus will definitely be on the race debut of the new BMW M6 GT3 Art Car. The tradition of the Art Car is more alive than ever in 2017. At the start of the year, John Baldessari’s BMW M6 GTLM Art Car was in action in Daytona. That is now followed by Cao Fei’s number 18 Art Car in China. Macau is undoubtedly a worthy venue for the conclusion to this season – and we are obviously hoping for a good result.”
Cao Fei commented: “I’m very excited for the upcoming race! This is a completely new experience for me to see one of my artworks set to motion at breathtaking speed. May the best car and driver win! No matter the result, Macau is a one-of-a-kind city with a thrilling race, and this will surely be unforgettable. No matter what, me and my family will be cheering together with the BMW team for Augusto Farfus and my Art Car all the way to the finishing line.”
The 18th BMW Art Car – created by Cao Fei.
Cao Fei’s work is a reflection on the speed of change in China, on tradition and future. With her BMW Art Car project, she delves into a trajectory spanning thousands of years, paying tribute to Asia’s ancient spiritual wisdom as it swiftly spreads into the third millennium. The multimedia artist approached the BMW Art Car in a way typical of her artistic practice, building a parallel universe. The body of work consists of three different components: a video focusing on a time travelling spiritual practitioner, augmented reality features picturing colourful light particles, accessible via a dedicated app (App Store: keyword “BMW Art Car #18”), and the BMW M6 GT3 racecar in its original carbon black. Paying tribute to the carbon fibre structure of the racecar chassis, Cao Fei’s holistic use of a non-reflective black incorporates the car into the possibilities of the digital world. Within this concept, Cao Fei’s implementation of video art, as well as augmented reality, creates an environment of which the BMW M6 GT3 is an essential part. In her video work, the practitioner executes spiritual movements, which echo in colourful streams of light. When the app is used within the premises of the car, these light swishes become an AR installation floating above and around the BMW M6 GT3 – involving the spectator as an interactive agent of participation.
The 18th BMW Art Car enjoyed its world premiere on 31st May 2017 at the Minsheng Art Museum in Beijing (CHN), and is now set for its first on-track appearance. The 6.120-kilometre Guia Circuit is one of the most spectacular street circuits in the world. The importance of the GT race in Macau was increased significantly in 2015, when it was named the official FIA GT World Cup. As well as the GT race, the renowned Macau Grand Prix for Formula 3 cars will be held on the street circuit again this year. The FIA World Touring Car Championship will be among the other series in action in Macau.
Long success story in Macau for BMW Team Schnitzer.
BMW Team Schnitzer has been responsible for more than one major BMW triumph in Macau and, with 13 victories to its name, is the record holder. The first win for Charly Lamm’s (GER) team came back in 1980. Back then, Hans-Joachim Stuck (GER) was first across the finish line in the BMW 320. BMW Team Schnitzer last tasted success at the Guia Circuit eight years ago: In 2009, Farfus won a race in the FIA WTCC there in a BMW 320si WTCC. He now returns to the scene of that success with the Schnitzer team. This represents Farfus’ second opportunity this year to drive a BMW Art Car. Back in January, at the 24 Hours of Daytona (USA), he alternated at the wheel of the BMW M6 GTLM Art Car, designed by John Baldessari (USA), with Alexander Sims (GBR), Bill Auberlen (USA) and Bruno Spengler (CAN).
Strong trio of drivers in the remaining BMW M6 GT3s.
As well as Farfus, a further two BMW works drivers will take on the challenging Guia Circuit: Marco Wittmann, the 2014 and 2016 DTM champion, will drive a BMW M6 GT3 for FIST – Team AAI. Macau is by no means uncharted territory for Wittmann, who was successful there in his Formula 3 days. Wittmann also gained GT experience at this demanding circuit in 2014, when he finished seventh in the BMW Z4 GT3. Back then, he was also driving for AAI Motorsports. The team from Taiwan will field a second BMW M6 GT3 in Macau. In the driving seat will be Chaz Mostert. He competes in the Australian V8 Supercars Championship, and contested the 12 Hours of Bathurst (AUS) in a BMW M6 GT3 at the start of the year. Mostert made his first appearance for AAI in October – and with great success: Together with Jesse Krohn (FIN) and Jun San Chen (TPE), he claimed a GT victory in the BMW M6 GT3 at the opening round of the Asian Le Mans Series in Zhuhai (CHN).
The BMW ROWE Racing team also returns to Macau. When the BMW M6 GT3 made its debut at the Guia Circuit in 2016, Hans-Peter Naundorf’s (GER) team finished seventh. This year, Blomqvist will race for ROWE Racing in Macau. The 23-year-old knows the circuit well from several starts in Formula 3. Blomqvist also made a guest appearance in Macau in the Formula BMW Pacific series in 2010, when he finished third to take his place on the podium.