BMW Motorsport provides a real highlight in their promotion of grass-roots level racing. The 2018 BMW Sports Trophy winners and VLN champions, Christopher Rink, Danny Brink and Philipp Leisen (all GER), are set for their race debuts at the wheel of the BMW M4 GT4. The trio, which won the Drivers’ title in last year’s VLN Endurance Championship Nürburgring (GER) in the BMW 325i, will drive the latest BMW Customer Racing car at the iconic Nürburgring 24 Hours in June. To prepare, the three drivers will also start in the 6-hour qualifying race on 19th May.
The race outings in the BMW M4 GT4 are BMW Motorsport’s way of recognising the extraordinary performances that Rink, Brink and Leisen produced on the Nordschleife last season. The car will feature a special BMW M Motorsport livery with the letting ‘BMW Sports Trophy’ at the 24-hour race. BMW works driver Dirk Adorf (GER) will take his place in the cockpit as the fourth driver, and will comment live during his stints for TV station Nitro. Furthermore, with his vast wealth of experience on the Nordschleife and in the development of the BMW M4 GT4, Adorf will also serve as an important adviser for Rink, Brink and Leisen.
“I am really pleased that, as well as the prize money and trophies, we are also able to present our BMW Sports Trophy winners with these extraordinary race outings in recognition of their impressive performances,” said BMW Group Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt. “Customer Racing is one of the central pillars of the BMW M Motorsport programme. It is the customer racing drivers who, with their success, do such an outstanding job of representing the BMW brand as ambassadors. We are very grateful for that. I will have my fingers crossed for Christopher Rink, Danny Brink and Philipp Leisen, and can hardly wait to see the BMW M4 GT4 race at the 24h race and follow the fascinating live commentary from Dirk Adorf in the cockpit.”
A test at Portimão (POR) provided Rink, Brink and Leisen with the opportunity to gain their first experience at the wheel of the BMW M4 GT4. “The Portimão test was very important for us, because we were able to get a lot of laps in the BMW M4 GT4 under our belt, to familiarise ourselves with the car. The data analysis with the BMW Motorsport engineers was obviously also extremely valuable,” said Brink. Rink added: “The test at Portimão was super! I have also had the opportunity to drive the car on the Nordschleife once, in VLN1. It makes a very good impression there too. The driving experience is absolutely nothing like the production-based BMW 325i.” Leisen said: “The BMW M4 GT4 is a real racing car. I am excited to see how it feels on the Nordschleife. The qualifying race will be an important test for us, before it really counts in the 24-hour race.” Marcel Lenerz (GER) will contest the qualifying race as the fourth driver this Sunday, before Adorf will be in action at the iconic endurance race in June.
“I have been involved in the development of the BMW M4 GT4 from the first test kilometres to its race outings, so I know the car very well. As such, I am obviously happy to offer advice to my three fellow drivers,” said Adorf. “In Christopher, Danny and Philipp we have the three VLN champions from 2018 on board. That means I don’t need to tell them anything when it comes to racing on the Nordschleife, as they already have plenty of experience.” Adorf primarily sees himself as the link between the racing action and the spectators. “I will be an expert, commentator and racing driver, so I can give the spectators an all-round package,” said Adorf. “I feel my main job is to bring the fans watching at home as close as possible to the fascination of the 24-hour race on the Nordschleife.”
The BMW M4 GT4 race outings will be organised by Adrenalin Motorsport – the team with which Rink, Brink and Leisen achieved so much success in 2018. Team principal Matthias Unger and his crew won the BMW Sports Trophy Team Competition four times in a row between 2014 and 2017.