At the beginning of February, the ‘Bathurst 12 Hour’ in Australia kicks off the 2020 season of the Intercontinental GT Challenge (IGTC) in which the BMW M6 GT3 will contest the international GT race series once again. Walkenhorst Motorsport will be the race team and will be strengthened by BMW works drivers. The 2020 IGTC season is made up of five races in countries on five continents: Australia, Belgium, Japan, the USA and South Africa.
At the season opener at Bathurst (31st January to 2nd February), Walkenhorst Motorsport will field only one BMW M6 GT3 due to logistical difficulties. BMW works drivers Augusto Farfus (BRA) and Nick Catsburg (NED), and local hero Chaz Mostert (AUS) will take it in turns at the wheel. The team will contest all other races of the season with two BMW M6 GT3s when BMW works drivers Martin Tomczyk (GER) and Nick Yelloly (GBR), and David Pittard (GBR) will also be in action.
The second race after the opener is the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps (BEL) at the end of July. In August, the IGTC will head to Japan for the ‘Suzuka 10 Hours’. New on the calendar is the ‘Indianapolis 8 Hour’ (USA) at the start of October, with the finale being the ‘Kyalami 9 Hour’ in South Africa in November.
Quotes ahead of the IGTC season opener at Bathurst.
Jens Marquardt, BMW Group Motorsport Director: “The International GT Challenge is one of the most important GT race series in the world, so it is a logical step for us to also contest the 2020 season of this series with the BMW M6 GT3. With Walkenhorst Motorsport, we are backing a race team with a wealth of experience which, with successes such as the 2018 victory at the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps and second place at the IGTC finale 2019 at Kyalami, has already demonstrated its prowess in international GT racing. We are confident that Henry Walkenhorst’s team, along with our squad of strong BMW works drivers, will stay on the road to success in the 2020 IGTC. We’re looking forward to a fantastic season with five gripping races on five continents.”
Henry Walkenhorst, Team Principal Walkenhorst Motorsport: “We’re really looking forward to our second season in the Intercontinental GT Challenge. In November we rounded off our maiden year in this series with second place on the podium at Kyalami. We are looking to build on this success in 2020, and we’re in a good position to do so. We learned a great deal about the series in our first year in the IGTC; with the BMW M6 GT3 we have the best racing car we could imagine, and with our drivers’ extraordinary amount of international experience we are fielding a really strong driver line-up. We would like to thank BMW M Motorsport for the trust they have placed in us and can hardly wait for the 2020 IGTC season to get underway at Bathurst.”
Augusto Farfus: “After a perfect start to the season winning the Daytona 24 Hours last weekend, I’m now very much looking forward to Bathurst and the IGTC season. Last year the IGTC proved to be probably the strongest GT3 championship on the planet. The competitiveness of both the drivers and the cars is very high. With one year of experience learning the racetracks I am optimistic that we can put in a strong season. I am looking forward to working with Walkenhorst Motorsport and new, experienced team-mates and am very motivated to go back to Bathurst and to aim for a strong finish there.”
Nick Catsburg: “I am really looking forward to another IGTC season with BMW. The IGTC calendar includes some of the most beautiful endurance races in the world. We are going to Bathurst, we are going to the 24 Hours of Spa, we are going to Suzuka and Kyalami again and we have Indianapolis as a new addition. It’s just a championship that I think every endurance driver wants to be in because of all the cool venues and the nice events so I can’t wait to do it again. We had some proper results last year and I really enjoyed driving for Walkenhorst Motorsport and I think this year, with a little bit more experience under our belt, we will be stronger. Regarding the season opener at Bathurst, I drove there for the first time last year and it’s already one of my favourite tracks. It’s such an enormous challenge to get close to the walls on top of the mountain and then you blast down the hill at nearly 300 km/h. It’s just an amazing event and I can’t wait to be there.”
Chaz Mostert: “I’m excited to be back at Bathurst for the 12-hour event – even more having celebrated my first win at Daytona last weekend. Even though Bathurst an endurance race it really turns into a sprint at the end and that makes it really exciting. We have some unfinished business at Bathurst and it’s awesome that BMW is coming back again with Walkenhorst Motorsport. I have awesome team mates and really can’t wait to get there.“