Impressive premiere in the double-cone building at BMW Welt. BMW hosted its first major sim racing event in Munich (GER). BMW SIM LIVE 2019 saw ten of the best sim racers in the world go head to head with ten BMW works drivers, passionate BMW Motorsport fans, media representatives and influencers in exciting races.
While victory in the Pro Race and a winner’s cheque for 10,000 Euros went to Mitchell deJong (USA) of VRS Coanda Simsport in the BMW M8 GTE, the Fan Race was won by Michi Hoyer (GER). BMW Motorsport and BMW M presented the BMW M2 CS Racing to the public for the first time, following which the future entry-level model in the BMW M Customer Racing range made its virtual racing debut.
The newly-developed sim version of the BMW M2 CS Racing was used on the rFactor2 gaming platform for two races involving media representatives and fans who had qualified in advance via BMW Motorsport social media channels. This is the first time that a new BMW Motorsport race car has been presented in both real and virtual form at the same time.
The BMW M2 CS Racing will have its world premiere in front of customers. In the Pro Race and the Works Drivers’ Race, the participants took to the virtual track with the BMW M8 GTE on the iRacing platform.
“That was a successful premiere for the BMW SIM LIVE end-of-year event,” said BMW Group Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt. “We witnessed great motorsport in today’s races and saw how much of a buzz BMW cars create on the virtual tracoo. The fact that we launched a real and a virtual race car – the BMW M2 CS Racing – simultaneously for the first time just goes to show how important the greater involvement in sim racing is to us. Simulation plays an increasingly important role at BMW Motorsport and in the BMW Group. Furthermore, with sim racing we are lowering the barriers that must be overcome to enter the world of motorsport. It is fantastic to be able to bring our works drivers together with sim pros, our fans and representatives of the media. This kind of thing is only possible in a virtual world.”
Stefan Ponikva, Vice President BMW Brand Experience, said: “Our vision is clear: As a premium automobile manufacturer with strong motorsport DNA, BMW wants to play the leading role in the field of sim racing. As a modern and innovative brand, we are also entering the world of virtual racing as a credible key player. Through this commitment, we want to impassion young target groups, like generation Y and Z, and let them be thrilled by the brand. I would like to thank iRacing, rFactor2 and Fanatec, who have all contributed to the successful premiere of BMW SIM LIVE.”
The Pro Race at BMW SIM LIVE 2019 was especially exciting. The sim racers produced some thrilling battles with the BMW M8 GTE at ‘Daytona International Speedway’ in a race that showcased the high standard of their driving. DeJong crossed the finish line in first place, followed by Laurin Heinrich (GER, Williams eSports) and Maximilian Benecke (GER, Pure Racing Team) in second and third who received cheques over 5,000 and 2,500 Euros respectively.
DeJong said: “The day was pretty awesome for me. We got to meet the factory drivers and all the other sim racers. It was a privilege to be here. And we had a really fun race to cap it off. It really went well for me – and it was really exciting.” Sim influencer Jimmy Broadbent (GBR) claimed victory in the Media Race, while Hoyer came first in the Fan Race.