Whether in the DTM, the FIA World Endurance Championship, the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, the ABB FIA Formula E Championship, or countless other championships: Week after week BMW teams and drivers around the world do battle for points, victories and titles.
Away from the track too, members of the large BMW Motorsport family around the world are also creating headlines. The “BMW Motorsport News” allows us to regularly summarise all the action for you in a compact and informative manner. This way, you are always up to speed.
W Series: Beitske Visser earns a seat in new race series.
Beitske Visser (NED) – part of the BMW Motorsport Junior programme since 2017 and official test and reserve driver in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship this season – has done it! The Dutch driver has secured one of the 18 seats in the W Series, the first Formula series exclusively for women. Visser impressed the jury again at the crucial shootout at Almería (ESP). The W Series races feature on the same bill as the DTM. As well as her outings in Formula E and the W Series, Visser will also contest selected races at the wheel of the BMW M6 GT3 in 2019.
Three questions for… Beitske Visser.
?Beitske, you are one of the 18 drivers who have made it into the W Series. How did you feel after the official announcement?
Beitske Visser: “I was absolutely delighted when the decision was announced. On the morning of day four of the selection procedure, we arrived at the track and were told that the first twelve drivers who had made it would be announced that morning. The other candidates would have another day at the circuit and would battle it out for the six remaining places. I was one of the first twelve, which I was very happy about. Although I would obviously have liked to have driven again on the final day, it felt good to have made it straight through.”
What expectations do you have of yourself in the new series?
Visser: “I would obviously like to be in contention to win races. That is certainly not going to be easy. The past few days in Spain showed that it is going to be very close. We have a second test at the Lausitzring in just under two weeks. I will work hard to improve and ensure I am as well prepared as possible for the opening race at Hockenheim but I really hope I can challenge for the win.”
Formula E, the W Series and GT racing: How do you manage to switch between the different racing series?
Visser: “It is definitely going to be a busy year for me, with Formula E, the W Series and my outings in GT races. My main job will be to prepare very well for every race – no matter which – and to know exactly what I need to do. If I can manage that, then it shouldn’t be a problem switching between the individual cars. GT race cars are obviously very different from single-seater cars, but that is actually what makes it easier to switch between them.”
DTM: Philipp Eng to drive the ZF BMW M4 DTM in 2019.
BMW M Motorsport heads into the coming DTM season with a new Premium Partner. At the opening round at Hockenheim (GER) on 4th May, Philipp Eng’s (AUG) BMW M4 DTM will line up on the grid in the ZF livery. BMW M Motorsport has enjoyed a long partnership with ZF Friedrichshafen AG. To date, the technology group has been involved in the DTM as ‘Official Partner of BMW M Motorsport’, providing custom-made racing clutches and shock absorbers for the touring car series, Formula E and the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring (GER). Now comes the next step. “We are pleased to take the long-term collaboration with ZF to the next level this season,” said BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt. “In doing so, we are not only building on the success we have already enjoyed together, but also underlining the mutual trust that exists between us. On this basis, we are out to continue our success story together in 2019.” Eng, who made his DTM debut last season and immediately achieved top results in his rookie year, will drive the #25 car again in 2019. “I am delighted that ZF is my Premium Partner in the DTM,” said Eng. “It is a huge company with the most advanced products in nearly all areas of mobility, and I am proud that I am able to represent the company with BMW in the DTM. I obviously hope our car will be seen at the front of the grid and top of the standings as often as possible. I am looking forward to a successful season with ZF.”
Norbert Odendahl, Managing Director at ZF Race Engineering, added: “The DTM is and will remain an important platform for us, on which to repeatedly demonstrate the performance of our technology under the toughest conditions. Philipp Eng showed in his first season in the DTM that he is capable of racing at the very front of the field. As such, we are all the more delighted to be able to expand our involvement in the DTM together with BMW M Motorsport and Philipp.” As is tradition, the 2019 DTM season kicks off with the opening races on 4th and 5th May at Hockenheim. The season comprises nine events and ends in October, back at Hockenheim. Between the two events at the Hockenheimring, the DTM will also visit Zolder (BEL), Misano (ITA), the Norisring (GER), Assen (NED), Brands Hatch (GBR), the Lausitzring and the Nürburgring (both GER) this year.
ZF is a global leader in driveline and chassis technology as well as active and passive safety technology. It has a global workforce of around 146,000 with approximately 230 locations in some 40 countries. ZF and BMW enjoy a historic partnership at the highest stage, because nowhere else can ZF demonstrate the capacity of its components better than in motorsport. ZF collaborates with BMW in the road car range, but also develops customised racing clutches and shock absorbers for the DTM, Formula E, the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and the 24h race at the Nürburgring as Official Partner BMW Motorsport. The experience gained in racing is readily used in research and development work for the automotive industry, providing many advantages for each and every BMW driver.
BMW Motorsport: Top results in the ‘MOTORSPORT AKTUELL’ readers’ choice awards.
BMW Motorsport models enjoyed success in several categories at the annual specialist magazine ‘MOTORSPORT AKTUELL’ readers’ choice awards. In the ‘(Upper) Middle Class’, the readers crowned the BMW M4 DTM/BMW 4 Series ‘Model of the Year’ with 21.6 percent of the vote. In the ‘Compact Class’, the BMW M235i Racing/BMW 2 Series was top of the class with 16.2 percent. The BMW M8 GTE/BMW 8 Series was second in the ‘Sports Car/Luxury Class’. In total, 71 different models of car were up for selection in five individual categories. BMW works driver Philipp Eng also had cause for celebration: he finished second in the vote for ‘Sports Car Driver of the Year’.
12H MUGELLO: BMW teams celebrate six podium finishes.
The 12H MUGELLO, the first race of the 24H SERIES European Championship, took place at the Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello (ITA) this weekend. BMW teams celebrated a total of six podium finishes. In the GT4 class, the Hofor Racing by Bonk Motorsport team claimed the class victory by some distance. Martin Kroll (SUI), Michael Schrey (GER), Michael Fischer, Gustav Engljaehringer and Thomas Jäger (all AUT) had shared driving duties at the wheel of the #50 BMW M4 GT4. Franjo Kovac (CRO), Thomas Tekaat (GER) and Tomas Pekar (CZE) reached third place in the MRS GT-Racing #426 car. In the A3 class, Dave Cox, Jason Cox, George Hayes and Guy Povey (all GBR) secured second place in their #639 BMW M3 from WEC Motorsport. The Munckhof Racing team crossed the line in the same position in the SP3 category, with Eric van den Munckhof and Marco Poland (both NED) at the wheel of the #310 BMW M4 GTR. JR Motorsport rounded off the successful Mugello weekend as they celebrated second and third places in the SP2 class. Ted van Vliet and Ruud Olij (both NED) in the #202 BMW M3 finished ahead of their team-mates Ward Sluys (BEL), Michael Verhagen and Max Weering (both NED) in the #203 BMW M4 Silhouette.
GT4 SprintX West: BMW M4 GT4 dominant at Laguna Seca.
This weekend, the BMW M4 GT4 was the car to beat in both Pirelli GT4 SprintX West races at Laguna Seca (USA), which took place as part of the California 8 Hours. In the first race on Friday morning, Greg Liefhooghe and Sean Quinlan (both USA) claimed victory in the Stephen Cameron Racing car after a thrilling battle with the second-placed Ginetta. The second race took place in the afternoon and saw BMW Customer Racing teams record a one-two result. Jon Miller and Harry Gottsacker (both USA) from ST Racing Team emerged from a close-fought duel ahead of Liefhooghe and Quinlan.