Επιστροφή στο Forum : The “Green Hell” is calling


BMW Power
16-03-15, 15:41
The “Green Hell” is calling: BMW teams with a strong driver-line up for the first appearances of the season on the Nordschleife.

16.03.2015

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29th March 2014, VLN Langstreckenmeisterschaft Nürburgring, Round 1, Nürburgring-Nordschleife (DE). Jörg Müller (DE), Marco ...
Munich (DE), 16th March 2015. BMW will be taking on the “Green Hell” once again in 2015: On 28th March, the first race in the VLN Endurance Championship opens the racing season on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife (DE). As in previous years, BMW Sports Trophy Team Schubert and BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS, each with two works-supported BMW Z4 GT3s, will compete on the most difficult track in the world.

“We're convinced that with BMW Sports Trophy Team Schubert and BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS, as well as our outstanding driver line-up, we are in an excellent position for the endurance season on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife,” said BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt. “Our team has a mix of old-hands and young talent, who all have experience of the Nordschleife, are familiar with GT racing and are fast even in difficult conditions. With this combination we are ready for success in the special challenges that the Nordschleife has in store once again in 2015.”

The two BMW teams will start the VLN season with some of the most experienced drivers on the Nordschleife. This track is like a second home to Lucas Luhr (DE), Jörg Müller (DE), Dirk Müller (DE), Dirk Werner (DE), Dirk Adorf (DE) and Claudia Hürtgen (DE). They have all celebrated countless victories there. The other drivers – Jens Klingmann (DE), Markus Palttala (FI), winner of the 2014 BMW Sports Trophy, Alexander Sims (GB), Dominik Baumann (AT) and Nick Catsburg (NL) – also have a vast experience of GT racing and the Nordschleife. Richard Westbrook (GB), who has been an established name in international GT racing for many years, makes his debut in the BMW Z4 GT3.

Also, four BMW DTM drivers, notably reigning champion Marco Wittmann (DE), are in action for the VLN and the qualifying races. Augusto Farfus (BR) celebrated overall victory in the 24-hour race with BMW Motorsport in 2010, Maxime Martin (BE) won the heart of fans with strong performances in the Eifel in the past. Martin Tomczyk (DE) and Wittmann have also contested many successful races on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife and are looking to add to their success rate on this track.

BMW Sports Trophy Team Schubert and BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS are using the first two VLN races (28th March/25th April) and the qualifying race for the 24 Hours Nürburgring (12th April) to prepare for the endurance classic on 16th/17th May. The selection of drivers used for the preparatory races will also provide the drivers who will take the wheel of the two BMW Z4 GT3s in the 24-hour race.

The first VLN race also gets the new season underway for the participants in the BMW M235i Racing Cup class, which will once again be held as part of the VLN Endurance Championship. After its successful debut last year, when up to 15 cars battled for points and wins, the number of participants for the ten rounds will be even higher in 2015.

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BMW Power
18-03-15, 11:08
Η “Πράσινη Κόλαση” ανοίγει τις πόρτες της: Οι ομάδες της BMW με ένα ισχυρό team οδηγών ετοιμάζονται για το ξεκίνημα της σεζόν στην πίστα Nordschleife.

17.03.2015

Μόναχο. Η BMW θα αντιμετωπίσει την “Πράσινη Κόλαση” για μία φορά ακόμα το 2015: Στις 28 Μαρτίου, ο πρώτος αγώνας του Πρωταθλήματος Αντοχής VLN ανοίγει την αγωνιστική σεζόν στο Nürburgring-Nordschleife (DE). Όπως και τα προηγούμενα χρόνια, η BMW Sports Trophy Team Schubert και η BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS, με δύο εργοστασιακές BMW Z4 GT3, θα αγωνιστούν στην πιο απαιτητική πίστα του κόσμου.

«Είμαστε πεπεισμένοι ότι με τις BMW Sports Trophy Team Schubert και BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS, καθώς και με την εξαιρετική ομάδα οδηγών μας, έχουμε άριστες προοπτικές για τον αγώνα αντοχής του Nürburgring-Nordschleife», δήλωσε ο Αγωνιστικός Διευθυντής της BMW Jens Marquardt. «Η ομάδα μας διαθέτει ένα μίγμα παλιών ‘χεράδων’ και νέων ταλέντων με εμπειρία από τη Nordschleife, εξοικείωση σε αγώνες GT και ταχύτητα ακόμα και σε δύσκολες συνθήκες. Με τέτοιο συνδυασμό είμαστε έτοιμοι ανταπεξέλθουμε με επιτυχία στις ιδιαίτερες προκλήσεις της Nordschleife για μια φορά ακόμα το 2015».

Οι δύο ομάδες της BMW θα ξεκινήσουν τη σεζόν VLN με κάποιους από τους πιο έμπειρους οδηγούς της Nordschleife. Η πίστα είναι σαν δεύτερο σπίτι για τους Lucas Luhr (DE), Jörg Müller (DE), Dirk Müller (DE), Dirk Werner (DE), Dirk Adorf (DE) και Claudia Hürtgen (DE). Όλοι έχουν γιορτάσει αμέτρητες νίκες εδώ. Οι υπόλοιποι οδηγοί – Jens Klingmann (DE), Markus Palttala (FI), νικητής του 2014 BMW Sports Trophy, Alexander Sims (GB), Dominik Baumann (AT) και Nick Catsburg (NL) – διαθέτουν επίσης τεράστια εμπειρία από αγώνες GT και τη Nordschleife. Ο Richard Westbrook (GB), αναγνωρισμένο όνομα σε διεθνείς διοργανώσεις GT επί πολλά χρόνια, κάνει το ντεμπούτο του με BMW Z4 GT3.

Επίσης, τέσσερις οδηγοί BMW DTM, με πρώτο και καλύτερο τον ενεργεία πρωταθλητή Marco Wittmann (DE), προετοιμάζονται για το VLN και τους κατατακτήριους αγώνες. Ο Augusto Farfus (BR) γιόρτασε νίκη γενικής κατάταξης στον 24ωρο αγώνα με τη BMW Motorsport το 2010, ενώ ο Maxime Martin (BE) έχει μαγέψει τους πάντες στο παρελθόν με τις επιδόσεις του στο Eifel. Ο Martin Tomczyk (DE) και ο Wittmann έχουν επίσης τρέξει σε πολλούς επιτυχημένους αγώνες στο Nürburgring-Nordschleife και φιλοδοξούν να προσθέσουν ακόμα περισσότερες επιτυχίες σε αυτή την πίστα.

Οι BMW Sports Trophy Team Schubert και BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS χρησιμοποιούν τους δύο πρώτους αγώνες VLN (28 Μαρτίου/25 Απριλίου) και τον κατατακτήριο γύρο για το 24 Hours Nürburgring (12 Απριλίου) σαν προετοιμασία για τον κλασικό αγώνα αντοχής στις 16 /17 Μαΐου. Από την ομάδα των οδηγών που θα τρέξουν στους προπαρασκευαστικούς αγώνες θα αναδειχτούν όσοι τελικά καθίσουν στο τιμόνι των δύο BMW Z4 GT3s στον 24-ωρο αγώνα.

Ο πρώτος αγώνας VLN σηματοδοτεί επίσης την έναρξη της νέας σεζόν για την κατηγορία BMW M235i Racing Cup, που για μία ακόμα φορά θα διεξαχθεί σαν μέρος του Πρωταθλήματος Αντοχής VLN. Μετά το περσινό επιτυχημένο ντεμπούτο, όπου έως και 15 αυτοκίνητα αγωνίστηκαν για βαθμούς και νίκες, ο αριθμός συμμετεχόντων στους δέκα γύρους θα είναι ακόμα υψηλότερος το 2015.

BMW Power
15-04-15, 11:15
BMW wins 24 Hours qualifying race.
BMW Sports Trophy Team Schubert won the qualifying race for the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring.

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Dominik Baumann, Claudia Hürtgen, Jens Klingmann and BMW DTM driver Martin Tomczyk in the number 20 BMW Z4 GT3 crossed the finish line ahead of the second-placed Porsche after 41 laps and six hours on the legendary Nordschleife. It was the second win in a row at the 24-hour qualifying race for the BMW Z4 GT3 after the car celebrated a one-two-three-four result in 2014.
The other three BMW Z4 GT3s also put in consistently good performances and finished in the top ten. The second BMW Sports Trophy Team Schubert car driven by Dirk Müller, Alexander Sims, Dirk Werner and DTM Champion Marco Wittmann crossed the finish line in fifth. The two BMW Z4 GT3s from Team Walkenhorst Motorsport finished in sixth and seventh. The number 17 car in sixth was driven by BMW works driver John Edwards, Michela Cerruti and Felipe Laser. The sister number 18 car was shared by team principal Henry Walkenhorst, Ralf Oeverhaus and Christian Bollrath.
Like last year the BMW M235i Racing media car also competed in this qualifying race, in action for BMW Motorsport in cooperation with Walkenhorst Motorsport. BMW Motorsport Junior Victor Bouveng shared the cockpit with Harald Grohs and motorsport journalist Bernd Ostmann. The trio finished 25th in the overall standings. The number 235 car will also contest the 24-hour race.
First place in the BMW M235i Racing Cup class went to Michele Di Martino and Moritz Oberheim from Team TKS-Motorsport. They finished ahead of the number 306 and 307 cars of Team Bonk Motorsport. Like the 24-hour race, the qualifying race won't count for the rankings in this season’s BMW M235i Racing Cup. Only the results of the VLN races are taken into account.

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BMW Power
24-04-15, 08:09
The “dream” team is complete: Glock and Spengler to team up with Zanardi at the 24-hour classic in Spa for BMW Motorsport.

24.04.2015

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Munich (DE) 24th April 2015. BMW Motorsport, BMW works drivers Bruno Spengler (CA), Alessandro Zanardi (IT), Timo Glock (DE). ...

Munich (DE), 24th April 2015. The driver line-up has been announced for a very special motorsport project: BMW works driver Alessandro Zanardi (IT) will contest the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps (BE) alongside BMW DTM drivers Timo Glock (DE) and Bruno Spengler (CA).

The 67th running of the marathon at the “Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps” will take place on 25th/26th July 2015. Zanardi, Glock and Spengler will share the cockpit of a specially modified BMW Z4 GT3. All three drivers have been permanent fixtures in international motorsport for many years and have celebrated huge success in various race series. Spa-Francorchamps will mark the first time that the trio takes on the challenges of a 24-hour race together. The car will be run by the ROAL Motorsport team, with which Zanardi made his highly acclaimed return to racing back in 2003.

The BMW Motorsport engineers are developing new technical solutions for this unique project. For the first time, BMW Brand Ambassador Zanardi, who lost both his legs in a crash in 2001, will swap places at the wheel of the BMW Z4 GT3 with fully-abled drivers. Various modifications to the car make it possible to complete the driver changeovers between Zanardi, Glock and Spengler within the shortest time possible. The engineers at BMW Motorsport are also working together with the drivers to ensure the steering wheel, seat and pedals are perfectly positioned.

“At BMW Motorsport we usually avoid using superlatives, but this project in this form is unique and very special to us,” said BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt. “We were able to turn a few wishes into reality. Alex's dream of competing in a 24-hour race will come true. And Timo and Bruno have also been waiting to compete in a classic such as the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps. The fact that they get to do this alongside Alex as part of this unique project is a real highlight for both of them. All three of them have a wealth of experience in many different areas. It will be really exciting to see them together in the BMW Z4 GT3. Our BMW Motorsport engineers are also fascinated by this unusual project. They are really enthusiastic about working with the drivers to find the optimal technical solutions. We are confident that we will have a great 24-hour race with this unique trio of drivers and our BMW Z4 GT3.”

“Timo and Bruno are two fantastic people, great guys and outstanding racing drivers,” said Zanardi. “I think we will form a really strong team. Everyone in the BMW Motorsport family has a very close relationship. However, one thing really touched me: when we started planning for the 24-hour race, everyone was hooked immediately. That makes me very proud, since they are all real racers who want to be successful. That showed me that they all believe in me and trust me to be competitive enough. They not only see it as an adventure to drive with me at this endurance race, but also believe they have a good chance of getting a good result for BMW. That is definitely what we will be aiming for.

“When BMW asked me whether I would be willing to get involved in this project, I did not hesitate for a second,” said Glock. “Alex had already told me in the winter that he really wanted to do a 24-hour race at some point. Back then I told him I would definitely be on board if he and BMW were to embark such a fantastic venture. And now that opportunity has actually presented itself. It is an incredibly exciting project. It requires a completely different approach to usual. It is also a very emotional project for me as I have always followed Alex Zanardi ever since his time in Formula One and ChampCar. It is fantastic to share a car with him now.”

“I am really looking forward to the 24-hour race at Spa-Francorchamps,” said Spengler. “I drove the 24 Hours of Daytona in January and really enjoyed it. But the fact that BMW is now giving me the opportunity to race alongside Alex in a BMW Z4 GT3 is amazing. It really is an honour for me to be part of this team. This project will be a great experience for me, and I am very motivated. Alex, Timo and I are a good team and I can hardly wait to compete together.”

In preparation for the endurance classic, Zanardi, Glock and Spengler will race in the Blancpain Endurance Series at the “Circuit Paul Ricard” in Le Castellet (FR) on 19th and 20th June. The three BMW works drivers will then take part in the official test for the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps on 24th June.


Facts and Figures.

Alessandro Zanardi.

Date of birth: 23rd October 1966
Birthplace: Bologna (IT)
Residence: Padua (IT)
Family status: married, one son

Racing career.

2014 Blancpain Sprint Series with BMW
2004-2009 FIA World Touring Car Championship with BMW (four wins)
2003 Comeback with BMW in the FIA European Touring Car Championship
2001 CART Championship, serious crash on 15th September at the Lausitzring, in which he lost both legs
1999 Formula One
1997/1998 CART World Series (2x champion)
1996 IndyCar World Series
199-1994 Formula One

Timo Glock.

Date of birth: 18th March 1982
Birthplace: Lindenfels (DE)
Residence: Landschlacht (CH)
Family status: married, one son

Racing career.

since 2013 BMW works driver in the DTM
2008-2012 Formula One
2007 1st place GP2 Championship, Formula One test driver for the BMW Sauber F1 Team
2005 ChampCar World Series, Rookie of the Year
2004 Formula One
2001 1st place Formula BMW ADAC Championship
2000 1st place BMW ADAC Formula Junior Cup


Bruno Spengler.

Date of birth: 23rd August 1983
Birthplace: Schiltigheim (FR)
Residence: Möhlin (CH)
Family status: single

Racing career.

since 2012 BMW works driver in the DTM, DTM Champion in 2012 with the BMW M3 DTM
2005-2011 DTM
2002 1st place Formula Renault North America, 2nd place Formula Renault Germany

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BMW Power
27-04-15, 11:02
Impressive fightback.
BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS finished fifth and sixth in the final race ahead of the Nürburgring 24 Hour.

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The second round of the VLN Endurance Championship was dominated by the typically unsettled Eifel weather. The rain started to fall in qualifying, making the battle for grid positions something of a lottery. BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS was unlucky with the timing of its fastest laps and started the four-hour race from down in 26th place with the number 26 BMW Z4 GT3. The number 25 car was hampered by a puncture, and was consequently forced to start the race from the back of the initial 63-car field.
The race commenced on a dry track, with Lucas Luhr, Maxime Martin, Markus Palttala and Richard Westbrook in the number 25 car, and Dirk Adorf, Augusto Farfus and Jörg Müller in the number 26 car wasting no time in working their way up the field. A heavy shower shortly before the halfway point mixed the field up again, but BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS defied the extremely difficult conditions to finish strongly. The number 25 car came home fifth, while car number 26 ended the race in sixth place.
The Walkenhorst Motorsport team also fielded two BMW Z4 GT3s. John Edwards shared the driving duties in the number 36 car with Michela Cerruti and Felipe Fernándes Laser. The trio were running in a strong sixth place until just a few laps from the end, but were then forced to retire from the race with a technical problem. The number 35 car failed to finish after being involved in a crash through no fault of its own.
Victory in the first race of the BMW M235i Racing Cup class went to Scheid Motorsport’s “Eifelblitz” car. Drivers Uwe Ebertz, Michael Schrey and Jörg Weidinger in the number 666 car came home ahead of the Adrenalin Motorsport and MPB Racing teams in second and third respectively. The field comprised 21 BMW M235i Racings. In total, BMW drivers claimed six class wins at the 40th DMV 4-Hour Race.

BMW Power
27-04-15, 11:09
Nürburgring 24 Hours: start list published for highlight of season.
The countdown is on: it is now just three weeks (16th/17th May) until the highlight of the endurance season at the Nürburgring-Nordschleife, in the form of the iconic 24-hour race.

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As it does every year, the starting grid will feature a large contingent of BMW racing cars. In the SP9 class for GT3 cars, a total of six BMW Z4 GT3s will be in action. BMW Sports Trophy Team Schubert and BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS will both field two BMW Z4 GT3s. Dirk Werner, Dirk Müller, Alexander Sims and DTM champion Marco Wittmann will compete in BMW Sports Trophy Team Schubert’s number 19 BMW Z4 GT3. The second BMW Sports Trophy Team Schubert car – number 20 – will be driven by Jens Klingmann, Dominik Baumann, Claudia Hürtgen and BMW DTM driver Martin Tomczyk. This quartet was victorious a fortnight ago at the six-hour qualifying race for the 24 Hours on the Nordschleife.
At the wheel of the number 25 BMW Z4 GT3 of BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS will be BMW DTM driver Maxime Martin, Lucas Luhr, Markus Palttala and Richard Westbrook. The number 26 BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS car also boasts a strong squad of drivers in Jörg Müller, Nick Catsburg, Dirk Adorf and Augusto Farfus from the DTM.
Walkenhorst Motorsport will field a further two BMW Z4 GT3s: John Edwards, Michela Cerruti, Felipe Laser and Ferdinand Stuck will drive the number 17 car. The second car, number 18, will be shared by team principal Henry Walkenhorst, Ralf Oeverhaus, Christian Bollrath and Stefan Aust. In addition, more than 40 other BMW racing cars will compete in the various classes in the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring-Nordschleife. Fifteen cars have registered for the BMW M235i Racing Cup, the Cup 5 class. As it did last year, the BMW M235i Racing media car will compete again in 2015. This will be run by BMW Motorsport in cooperation with Walkenhorst Motorsport. It will be driven by BMW Motorsport Junior Victor Bouveng and Harald Grohs, together with motorsport journalists Bernd Ostmann and Christian Gebhardt.

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BMW Power
11-05-15, 14:52
Highlight at the "Green Hell": BMW Sports Trophy teams are ready for the Nürburgring 24 Hours.

11.05.2015

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Nürburgring (DE), 25th April 2015. VLN Langstreckenmeisterschaft, Nordschleife, BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS, BMW Z4 GT3. ...

Munich (DE), 11th May 2015. The "Green Hell" is calling: The highlight of the endurance season for the BMW teams is scheduled for this weekend. The BMW Sports Trophy teams will be represented by strong drivers at the 24-hour race on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife (DE), which will be run for the 43rd time this year. Six BMW Z4 GT3s will compete in the SP9 class and want to be fighting for the top places in the overall standings. Then there are the starters in the BMW M235i Racing Cup class, a BMW M235i Racing entered by BMW Motorsport as a media car and naturally a large number of privateers in their BMW cars.
"We are all really looking forward to the highlight of the endurance season and are convinced that we are in an excellent position with our two teams and our outstanding driver line-up," said BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt. "Two further privateer BMW Z4 GT3 complete our squad in the SP9 class. On top of this, in collaboration with Walkenhorst Motorsport, we will once again field a BMW M235i Racing media car. Two renowned motorsport journalists will be given the opportunity to contest the endurance classic alongside Harald Grohs and BMW Motorsport Junior Victor Bouveng. I look forward to wishing our GT cars the best in the battle for the top places, following the gripping duels in the BMW M235i Racing, as well as watching the many BMW privateers go on their hunt through the 'Green Hell'."
As a result of the tragic accident at the first VLN race for safety reasons there will be speed limits on some of the dangerous sections of track at this year's 24-hour race. Teams and drivers were given enough time to get used to these new conditions during the preparation race.
BMW Sports Trophy Team Schubert will compete on the Nordschleife for the fourth time with works support from BMW Motorsport, and will field two BMW Z4 GT3s. Car number 19 will be driven by Dirk Werner (DE), Dirk Müller (DE), Alexander Sims (GB) and DTM Champion Marco Wittmann (DE). The cockpit of car number 20 will once again be shared by Dominik Baumann (AT), Claudia Hürtgen (DE), Jens Klingmann (DE) and BMW DTM driver Martin Tomczyk (DE). The quartet celebrated victory at the six-hour qualifying race in mid April.
BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS will also contest the race with works support and a top-class driver line-up. Lucas Luhr (DE), Markus Palttala (FI), BMW DTM driver Maxime Martin (BE) and Richard Westbrook (GB) will take it in turns at the wheel of the number 25 BMW Z4 GT3. Car number 26 will be driven by Jörg Müller (DE), Nick Catsburg (NL), Dirk Adorf (DE) and BMW DTM driver Augusto Farfus (BR). In addition to these four cars, the Walkenhorst Motorsport team will field two BMW Z4 GT3s in the SP9 class.
A total of 15 teams have registered for the BMW M235i Racing Cup. A 16th BMW M235i Racing will be fielded by BMW Motorsport in collaboration with Walkenhorst Motorsport. The two motorsport journalists Bernd Ostmann (DE) and Christian Gebhardt (DE) will share the car with Harald Grohs (DE) and BMW Motorsport Junior Victor Bouveng (SE).
Driver quotes ahead of the 24-hour race.
Dirk Müller (BMW Sports Trophy Team Schubert, car number 19):
"I can hardly wait to get started. As in previous years, there will be a large number of cars driving for the win. But the past has repeatedly shown that you need to get through the race without making any mistakes or getting even so much as a scratch on the car. Then you are in with a chance of being at the front at the end of the race. This is the target we have set ourselves. We are extremely well prepared, have four outstanding cars with fantastic drivers, two good teams and also two very good cars from Walkenhorst Motorsport. So we are in a great position - and the many BMW fans supporting us at the track give us that extra momentum."
Marco Wittmann (BMW Sports Trophy Team Schubert, car number 19):
"I'm looking forward to racing in the BMW Z4 GT3. The 24-hour race is the highlight of the year in endurance racing. The proximity to fans, countless spectators and the unique Nordschleife make this event really special. That's what makes it so appealing to drive there. Our aim is to win the 24-hour race. I hope that, together with my team-mates, I will be able to deliver a good performance and that we will be able to fight for the win."
Jens Klingmann (BMW Sports Trophy Team Schubert, car number 20):
"The 24-hour race on the Nürburgring is one of my personal highlights every year. The four of us know each other very well. We drove together last year and are an established team. It's the final year that we will compete in the BMW Z4 GT3. Which is why all of us are even more motivated, and the objective is clear; to see BMW get the overall win again at this endurance classic. We are well prepared and will give it our all to achieve this goal."
Martin Tomczyk (BMW Sports Trophy Team Schubert, car number 20):
"As a DTM driver, the race is special to me in many ways. It is a nice change to race in the fantastic BMW Z4 GT3. And the approach is different; we aren't in a sprint race, rather a 24-hour race, and I'm sharing the cockpit with three very strong team-mates. Our task is to get through the race without incident, while driving at the necessary speed. But you can never lose sight of the pitfalls of the Nordschleife. My aim is definitely to win the race. It's the third time that I will compete for BMW there. It was very close last year, but you always need that little bit of luck at the Nürburgring. I hope that there won't be any freak weather conditions."
Lucas Luhr (BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS, car number 25):
"The 24-hour race at the Nürburgring is the absolute highlight of the season, and it has always been my personal highlight of the year. The Nordschleife is still the best racetrack in the world. I grew up just around the corner, so it is like a home race for me, which I am incredibly excited about. It will be a challenge, but one that we all enjoy taking on."
Maxime Martin (BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS, car number 25):
"The Nürburgring 24 Hours is a very special event. We are well equipped and will try to get the overall win. We have a strong driver line-up and an outstanding car, and the team is extremely well prepared. I'm looking forward to contesting the race and trying to attack at the front."
Dirk Adorf (BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS, car number 26):
"Just like every year, the anticipation is immense. The 24-hour race is a real highlight for BMW Motorsport – and for me too, because I get to drive in my "back garden". The competition is extremely strong, but we have the advantage of an extremely powerful driver line-up and a very well organised car. If we also have that little bit of luck, we should be able to be up there at the top. The first one and a half hours really count. There is so much chaos and it is important to get through it well, not get confused and to find a good race rhythm quickly. The field has sorted itself out after 12 hours, and if you are still doing well after 18 hours then you are up there at the front at the end."
Augusto Farfus (BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS, car number 26):
"I'm already looking forward to the weekend. I just love this track and this event. Everything about the Nürburgring 24 Hours is special - the track, the fans, the whole setting. It is one of the best races in the world, and it is great fun contesting this race every time. We will try to get the win. We have a very strong overall package with an outstanding car - and I can't wait to get started."

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BMW Power
11-05-15, 15:48
Double podium for BMW Sports Trophy Team Brasil.
A successful Sunday of racing for BMW Sports Trophy Team Brasil: At the second race of the season in Brands Hatch, Átila Abreu and Valdeno Brito in the number 77 BMW Z4 GT3 celebrated a double podium with two second places.

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The Brazilian duo finished third in the one-hour qualifying race held early on Sunday afternoon. Abreu/Brito later moved up into second after a time penalty was awarded to the original team who finished second. Abreu was initially in third in the main race in the afternoon, but he and his team-mate made up a position during a pit stop. Brito refused to relinquish this second place during the second half of the race. “Two second places is a wonderful gift,” said Abreu, who celebrated his 28th birthday on Sunday. Brito added: “If someone had told me we would finish second after finishing sixth in qualifying yesterday, I wouldn’t have believed them. But we did a good job and the team was fantastic during the pit stops, which are crucial. I’m delighted.” Their team-mates Sergio Jimenez and Caca Bueno in the number 0 BMW Z4 GT3 finished in a strong fourth place in both races. Joe Osborne and Lee Mowle finished second and third in the Pro-Am class (15th and 16th overall) at their home race in the number 888 Triple Eight Racing BMW Z4 GT3 .

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BMW Power
11-05-15, 15:49
BMW Sports Trophy teams are ready for the Nürburgring 24 Hours.
The "Green Hell" is calling: The highlight of the endurance season for the BMW teams is scheduled for this weekend.

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The "Green Hell" is calling: The highlight of the endurance season for the BMW teams is scheduled for this weekend. The BMW Sports Trophy teams will be represented by strong drivers at the 24-hour race on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife, which will be run for the 43rd time this year. Six BMW Z4 GT3s will compete in the SP9 class and want to be fighting for the top places in the overall standings. Then there are the starters in the BMW M235i Racing Cup class, a BMW M235i Racing entered by BMW Motorsport as a media car and naturally a large number of privateers in their BMW cars.
"We are all really looking forward to the highlight of the endurance season and are convinced that we are in an excellent position with our two teams and our outstanding driver line-up," said BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt. "Two further privateer BMW Z4 GT3 complete our squad in the SP9 class. On top of this, in collaboration with Walkenhorst Motorsport, we will once again field a BMW M235i Racing media car. Two renowned motorsport journalists will be given the opportunity to contest the endurance classic alongside Harald Grohs and BMW Motorsport Junior Victor Bouveng. I look forward to wishing our GT cars the best in the battle for the top places, following the gripping duels in the BMW M235i Racing, as well as watching the many BMW privateers go on their hunt through the 'Green Hell'."
As a result of the tragic accident at the first VLN race for safety reasons there will be speed limits on some of the dangerous sections of track at this year's 24-hour race. Teams and drivers were given enough time to get used to these new conditions during the preparation race.
BMW Sports Trophy Team Schubert will compete on the Nordschleife for the fourth time with works support from BMW Motorsport, and will field two BMW Z4 GT3s. Car number 19 will be driven by Dirk Werner, Dirk Müller, Alexander Sims and DTM Champion Marco Wittmann. The cockpit of car number 20 will once again be shared by Dominik Baumann, Claudia Hürtgen, Jens Klingmann and BMW DTM driver Martin Tomczyk. The quartet celebrated victory at the six-hour qualifying race in mid April.
BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS will also contest the race with works support and a top-class driver line-up. Lucas Luhr, Markus Palttala, BMW DTM driver Maxime Martin and Richard Westbrook will take it in turns at the wheel of the number 25 BMW Z4 GT3. Car number 26 will be driven by Jörg Müller, Nick Catsburg, Dirk Adorf and BMW DTM driver Augusto Farfus. In addition to these four cars, the Walkenhorst Motorsport team will field two BMW Z4 GT3s in the SP9 class.
A total of 15 teams have registered for the BMW M235i Racing Cup. A 16th BMW M235i Racing will be fielded by BMW Motorsport in collaboration with Walkenhorst Motorsport. The two motorsport journalists Bernd Ostmann and Christian Gebhardt will share the car with Harald Grohs and BMW Motorsport Junior Victor Bouveng.
Driver quotes ahead of the 24-hour race.
Dirk Müller (BMW Sports Trophy Team Schubert, car number 19):
"I can hardly wait to get started. As in previous years, there will be a large number of cars driving for the win. But the past has repeatedly shown that you need to get through the race without making any mistakes or getting even so much as a scratch on the car. Then you are in with a chance of being at the front at the end of the race. This is the target we have set ourselves. We are extremely well prepared, have four outstanding cars with fantastic drivers, two good teams and also two very good cars from Walkenhorst Motorsport. So we are in a great position - and the many BMW fans supporting us at the track give us that extra momentum."
Marco Wittmann (BMW Sports Trophy Team Schubert, car number 19):
"I'm looking forward to racing in the BMW Z4 GT3. The 24-hour race is the highlight of the year in endurance racing. The proximity to fans, countless spectators and the unique Nordschleife make this event really special. That's what makes it so appealing to drive there. Our aim is to win the 24-hour race. I hope that, together with my team-mates, I will be able to deliver a good performance and that we will be able to fight for the win."
Jens Klingmann (BMW Sports Trophy Team Schubert, car number 20):
"The 24-hour race on the Nürburgring is one of my personal highlights every year. The four of us know each other very well. We drove together last year and are an established team. It's the final year that we will compete in the BMW Z4 GT3. Which is why all of us are even more motivated, and the objective is clear; to see BMW get the overall win again at this endurance classic. We are well prepared and will give it our all to achieve this goal."
Martin Tomczyk (BMW Sports Trophy Team Schubert, car number 20):
"As a DTM driver, the race is special to me in many ways. It is a nice change to race in the fantastic BMW Z4 GT3. And the approach is different; we aren't in a sprint race, rather a 24-hour race, and I'm sharing the cockpit with three very strong team-mates. Our task is to get through the race without incident, while driving at the necessary speed. But you can never lose sight of the pitfalls of the Nordschleife. My aim is definitely to win the race. It's the third time that I will compete for BMW there. It was very close last year, but you always need that little bit of luck at the Nürburgring. I hope that there won't be any freak weather conditions."
Lucas Luhr (BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS, car number 25):
"The 24-hour race at the Nürburgring is the absolute highlight of the season, and it has always been my personal highlight of the year. The Nordschleife is still the best racetrack in the world. I grew up just around the corner, so it is like a home race for me, which I am incredibly excited about. It will be a challenge, but one that we all enjoy taking on."
Maxime Martin (BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS, car number 25):
"The Nürburgring 24 Hours is a very special event. We are well equipped and will try to get the overall win. We have a strong driver line-up and an outstanding car, and the team is extremely well prepared. I'm looking forward to contesting the race and trying to attack at the front."
Dirk Adorf (BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS, car number 26):
"Just like every year, the anticipation is immense. The 24-hour race is a real highlight for BMW Motorsport – and for me too, because I get to drive in my "back garden". The competition is extremely strong, but we have the advantage of an extremely powerful driver line-up and a very well organised car. If we also have that little bit of luck, we should be able to be up there at the top. The first one and a half hours really count. There is so much chaos and it is important to get through it well, not get confused and to find a good race rhythm quickly. The field has sorted itself out after 12 hours, and if you are still doing well after 18 hours then you are up there at the front at the end."
Augusto Farfus (BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS, car number 26):
"I'm already looking forward to the weekend. I just love this track and this event. Everything about the Nürburgring 24 Hours is special - the track, the fans, the whole setting. It is one of the best races in the world, and it is great fun contesting this race every time. We will try to get the win. We have a very strong overall package with an outstanding car - and I can't wait to get started."

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BMW Power
16-05-15, 12:14
Poleposition in the "Hell".
BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS and BMW Sports Trophy Team Schubert established excellent starting positions for the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring.

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Augusto Farfus landed the number 26 BMW Z4 GT3 on pole position for BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS. The BMW DTM driver clocked a time of 8:17.394 minutes for the faster of his two qualifying laps on the iconic Nordschleife. This is the first pole position for the BMW Z4 GT3 since 2012 and the first time BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS has set the fastest qualifying time in the Eifel Mountains.
Jens Klingmann qualified third in the number 20 BMW Z4 GT3, fielded by BMW Sports Trophy Team Schubert, closely followed by his team-mate Dirk Müller in the number 19 car. Maxime Martin was sixth fastest in BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS’s second BMW Z4 GT3. The fifth BMW in the Top-30 Qualifying session – that of the Walkenhorst Motorsport team – qualified 26th with Felipe Férnandez Laser at the wheel.
In the BMW M235i Racing Cup class, pole position went to the “Eifelblitz” car: Michael Schrey, Max Partl, Uwe Ebertz and Jörg Weidinger start the race from first place in the number 303 BMW M235i Racing. The 43rd staging of the endurance classic gets underway at 16:00 on Saturday.
Reactions to Top-30 Qualifying for the Nürburgring 24 Hours.
Jens Marquardt (BMW Motorsport Director):
“Congratulations to Augusto Farfus and BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS. Augusto and the Nordschleife have a very special relationship. To improve by five tenths of a second on his second lap is worthy of the utmost respect. Our other qualifying drivers also did a great job. Having four cars on the first three rows of the grid puts us in a very good starting position for the race. However, our opposition is extremely strong, as we saw both yesterday and today. Although it is nice to be right at the front of the grid, the race is not decided at the start, but at the end of the 24 hours.”
Augusto Farfus (BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS, car number 26, 1st):
“It is great to be on pole position, and to have completed two clear laps of the Nordschleife without any traffic. That is an awesome experience. However, the starting position is not the be all and end all at a 24-hour race. We know that we have a strong car and an equally strong team. Hopefully we can capitalise on that in the race and be just as successful as we have been in qualifying.”
Jens Klingmann (BMW Sports Trophy Team Schubert, car number 20, 3rd):
“Augusto showed today that he is one of the fastest drivers on the Nordschleife. Congratulations to him on the pole position. I am also very happy to have been able to convert the speed of the car into a very good starting position in the Top-30 Qualifying. That is a very good starting position for the car, because you are able to keep out of the close battles in the middle of the pack in the first few corners. Despite this, a 24-hour race is obviously very long – and we have not won anything yet.”
Dirk Müller (BMW Sports Trophy Team Schubert, car number 19, 4th):
“I am very happy. Fourth place on the grid is a fantastic result. To have two completely clear laps of the Nordschleife – that only happens very rarely. Therefore, I really enjoyed qualifying in the BMW Z4 GT3. I would like to thank the team for providing me with a perfect car. Four BMWs in the top six: that is a great basis for tomorrow’s race.”
Maxime Martin (BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS, car number 25, 6th):
“Unfortunately I lost some time overtaking a Porsche on my second flying lap. Despite that, sixth place on the grid is absolutely fine. We can be happy with that. After all, this is a 24-hour race. An awful lot can happen. One thing is clear: our BMW Z4 GT3 has the pace. I am looking forward to the race. Anything is possible.”
BMW Sports Trophy Team Schubert
No 19 BMW Z4 GT3, Dirk Werner (DE), Marco Wittmann (DE), Dirk Müller (DE), Alexander Sims (GB) – 4th
No 20 BMW Z4 GT3, Claudia Hürtgen (DE), Dominik Baumann (AT), Jens Klingmann (DE), Martin Tomczyk (DE) – 3rd
BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS
No 25 BMW Z4 GT3, Maxime Martin (BE), Lucas Luhr (DE), Richard Westbrook (GB), Markus Palttala (FI) – 6th
No 26 BMW Z4 GT3, Dirk Adorf (DE), Augusto Farfus (BR), Nick Catsburg (NL), Jörg Müller (DE) – 1st
Walkenhorst Motorsport powered by Dunlop
No 17 BMW Z4 GT3, Felipe Laser (DE), Michela Cerruti (IT), John Edwards (US), Daniel Keilwitz (DE) – 26th
No 18 BMW Z4 GT3, Henry Walkenhorst (DE), Ralf Oeverhaus (DE), Christian Bollrath (DE), Stefan Aust (DE) – 36th
BMW M235i Racing media car
No 235 BMW M235i Racing, Bernd Ostmann (DE), Christian Gebhardt (DE), Victor Bouveng (SE), Harald Grohs (DE) – 2nd (SP 8T)

BMW Power
18-05-15, 08:51
Poleposition in the "Hell".
BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS and BMW Sports Trophy Team Schubert established excellent starting positions for the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring.

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Augusto Farfus landed the number 26 BMW Z4 GT3 on pole position for BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS. The BMW DTM driver clocked a time of 8:17.394 minutes for the faster of his two qualifying laps on the iconic Nordschleife. This is the first pole position for the BMW Z4 GT3 since 2012 and the first time BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS has set the fastest qualifying time in the Eifel Mountains.
Jens Klingmann qualified third in the number 20 BMW Z4 GT3, fielded by BMW Sports Trophy Team Schubert, closely followed by his team-mate Dirk Müller in the number 19 car. Maxime Martin was sixth fastest in BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS’s second BMW Z4 GT3. The fifth BMW in the Top-30 Qualifying session – that of the Walkenhorst Motorsport team – qualified 26th with Felipe Férnandez Laser at the wheel.
In the BMW M235i Racing Cup class, pole position went to the “Eifelblitz” car: Michael Schrey, Max Partl, Uwe Ebertz and Jörg Weidinger start the race from first place in the number 303 BMW M235i Racing. The 43rd staging of the endurance classic gets underway at 16:00 on Saturday.
Reactions to Top-30 Qualifying for the Nürburgring 24 Hours.
Jens Marquardt (BMW Motorsport Director):
“Congratulations to Augusto Farfus and BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS. Augusto and the Nordschleife have a very special relationship. To improve by five tenths of a second on his second lap is worthy of the utmost respect. Our other qualifying drivers also did a great job. Having four cars on the first three rows of the grid puts us in a very good starting position for the race. However, our opposition is extremely strong, as we saw both yesterday and today. Although it is nice to be right at the front of the grid, the race is not decided at the start, but at the end of the 24 hours.”
Augusto Farfus (BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS, car number 26, 1st):
“It is great to be on pole position, and to have completed two clear laps of the Nordschleife without any traffic. That is an awesome experience. However, the starting position is not the be all and end all at a 24-hour race. We know that we have a strong car and an equally strong team. Hopefully we can capitalise on that in the race and be just as successful as we have been in qualifying.”
Jens Klingmann (BMW Sports Trophy Team Schubert, car number 20, 3rd):
“Augusto showed today that he is one of the fastest drivers on the Nordschleife. Congratulations to him on the pole position. I am also very happy to have been able to convert the speed of the car into a very good starting position in the Top-30 Qualifying. That is a very good starting position for the car, because you are able to keep out of the close battles in the middle of the pack in the first few corners. Despite this, a 24-hour race is obviously very long – and we have not won anything yet.”
Dirk Müller (BMW Sports Trophy Team Schubert, car number 19, 4th):
“I am very happy. Fourth place on the grid is a fantastic result. To have two completely clear laps of the Nordschleife – that only happens very rarely. Therefore, I really enjoyed qualifying in the BMW Z4 GT3. I would like to thank the team for providing me with a perfect car. Four BMWs in the top six: that is a great basis for tomorrow’s race.”
Maxime Martin (BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS, car number 25, 6th):
“Unfortunately I lost some time overtaking a Porsche on my second flying lap. Despite that, sixth place on the grid is absolutely fine. We can be happy with that. After all, this is a 24-hour race. An awful lot can happen. One thing is clear: our BMW Z4 GT3 has the pace. I am looking forward to the race. Anything is possible.”
BMW Sports Trophy Team Schubert
No 19 BMW Z4 GT3, Dirk Werner (DE), Marco Wittmann (DE), Dirk Müller (DE), Alexander Sims (GB) – 4th
No 20 BMW Z4 GT3, Claudia Hürtgen (DE), Dominik Baumann (AT), Jens Klingmann (DE), Martin Tomczyk (DE) – 3rd
BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS
No 25 BMW Z4 GT3, Maxime Martin (BE), Lucas Luhr (DE), Richard Westbrook (GB), Markus Palttala (FI) – 6th
No 26 BMW Z4 GT3, Dirk Adorf (DE), Augusto Farfus (BR), Nick Catsburg (NL), Jörg Müller (DE) – 1st
Walkenhorst Motorsport powered by Dunlop
No 17 BMW Z4 GT3, Felipe Laser (DE), Michela Cerruti (IT), John Edwards (US), Daniel Keilwitz (DE) – 26th
No 18 BMW Z4 GT3, Henry Walkenhorst (DE), Ralf Oeverhaus (DE), Christian Bollrath (DE), Stefan Aust (DE) – 36th
BMW M235i Racing media car
No 235 BMW M235i Racing, Bernd Ostmann (DE), Christian Gebhardt (DE), Victor Bouveng (SE), Harald Grohs (DE) – 2nd (SP 8T)

BMW Power
18-05-15, 08:52
Eventful start at the Nürburgring.
Three hours into the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring, the BMW teams have experienced an eventful start to the endurance classic in the Eifel Mountains.

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BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS is currently running second with the number 26 car. This makes Dirk Adorf, Augusto Farfus, Nick Catsburg and Jörg Müller the best-placed quartet of BMW drivers.
Martin Tomczyk, at the wheel of the number 20 BMW Z4 GT3, initially took the lead for BMW Sports Trophy Team Schubert, followed by fellow BMW drivers Jörg Müller (BMW Z4 GT3 #26) and Dirk Werner (BMW Z4 GT3 #19). However, a heavy shower roughly one and a half minutes after the start made for extremely difficult conditions on the 25.378-kilometre Nordschleife.
Claudia Hürtgen, who had by this time replaced Tomczyk in the cockpit of the number 20 car, crashed in the Pflanzgarten area of the wet circuit, causing serious damage to the front of her BMW Z4 GT3. The car is currently still in the garage being repaired. Werner, Marco Wittmann, Dirk Müller, Alexander Sims are fourth for BMW Sports Trophy Team Schubert.
The number 17 BMW Z4 GT3 of Walkenhorst Motorsport, driven by Felipe Laser, Michela Cerruti, John Edwards and Daniel Keilwitz is running in the top 15 and currently eleventh overall, followed in twelfth by the #25 BMW Z4 GT3 of Maxime Martin, Lucas Luhr, Richard Westbrook and Markus Palttala.
Michael Schrey, Max Partl, Uwe Ebertz and Jörg Weidinger lead the BMW M235i Racing Cup class in the number 303 car after the opening phase of the race. The media car, with Bernd Ostmann, Christian Gebhardt, BMW Motorsport Junior Victor Bouveng and Harald Grohs sharing the driving duties, leads the SP 8T class.
Reactions and positions – after three hours.
Jörg Müller (BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS, car number 26):
“It was a difficult stint. Our tactics were actually to come in for an early stop, in order to avoid the busiest periods in the pit lane. But I noticed that our tyres were perfect and I was very quick, so we stayed out there longer and changed the tyres later. It then started to rain in my second stint and it was very tricky driving on slicks. However, I got through the stint well.”
Claudia Hürtgen (BMW Sports Trophy Team Schubert, car number 19):
“I jumped over a crest in Pflanzgarten. The spot a landed in was every wet and I lost the rear. I didn’t have a chance. I tried to slam on the brakes, but the car spun 360 degrees. I hit the crash barrier with the front right of the car. There was no warning that it would be so wet at this point on the circuit.”
John Edwards (Walkenhorst Motorsport powered by Dunlop, car number 17):
“The first stint was promising. We made up a few positions and were just outside the top ten after the first pit stop. That shows the car has good pace. I am confident for the rest of the race. For me, as an American, it is a great honour to be here. I really wanted to take part in this 24-hour race. The Nordschleife is the greatest challenge you can face as a racing driver. At the same time, it is also the circuit that gives the most back if you nail a perfect lap.”
Victor Bouveng (BMW Motorsport, car number 235):
“It was an incredible feeling to drive at the start and hear the crowds of fans cheering. I will remember that moment for my entire life. On the whole, my stint was a good one and I had a good battle with our direct rivals in the class. I really enjoyed it.”

BMW Power
18-05-15, 08:53
Three within the top-ten.
The long night of the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring has begun.

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After nine hours of racing, three BMW Z4 GT3 cars are running within the top-ten. Maxime Martin, Lucas Luhr, Richard Westbrook and Markus Palttala from BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS are heading the BMW line-up on the Nordschleife. They are currently fifth in the number 25 BMW Z4 GT3. Their team-mates Dirk Adorf, Augusto Farfus, Nick Catsburg and Jörg Müller are in seventh with the number 26 car.
The BMW trio within the top-ten is completed by Walkenhorst Motorsport. Felipe Laser, Michela Cerruti, John Edwards and Daniel Keilwitz are placed in eighth in the number 17 BMW Z4 GT3.
BMW Sports Trophy Team Schubert, however, experienced some bad luck. As happened to the number 20 BMW Z4 GT3 in the beginning of the race, the number 19 sister car was involved in an accident shortly after 23:00hrs. Dirk Werner was running on slicks, when heavy rain started. He spun and hit the barrier. Werner was able to drive the heavily damaged car back to the garage but it was not possible to repair all the damage. As a result, the BMW works driver and his team-mates, DTM champion Marco Wittmann, Dirk Müller and Alexander Sims had to retire.
Also the number 20 BMW Z4 GT3 of Claudia Hürtgen, Dominik Baumann, Jens Klingmann and Martin Tomczyk cannot take part any longer in the endurance classic after an early accident in the wet.
In the BMW M235i Racing Cup class, Team Scheid-Honert Motorsport with Uwe Ebertz, Michael Schrey (DE), Jörg Weidinger nd Max Partl is in the lead. The media car with Bernd Ostmann, Christian Gebhardt, BMW Motorsport junior Victor Bouveng and Harald Grohs continues to lead in the SP 8T class.
Reactions and positions – after nine hours.
Maxime Martin (BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS, car number 25, fifth):
“In the early stages, the race was pretty difficult for us. We lost some time as we did not make the best tyre choice during the first shower of rain. But now we are fighting our way back towards the front. Conditions are pretty tricky in the dark, especially when it is raining in places while it is dry in others. We just need to be careful and should not risk too much.”
Nick Catsburg (BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS, car number 26, seventh):
“It’s a difficult race. The traffic is, as it usually is here, pretty crazy. I feel like we have good pace in the car, but we are slightly hampered because we can’t go quite as long on fuel as some of our competitors.” 
Dirk Werner (BMW Sports Trophy Team Schubert, car number 19, retired):
“It was raining heavily on my lap, basically starting from the Bergwerk section. There had been already many accidents out on track. I was running on slicks and when I entered the Döttinger Höhe I suddenly lost the rear. As a result I spun and slid into the barrier. I still managed to bring the car back to the garage. The team tried all its efforts to repair the BMW Z4 GT3. However, this was not possible. It is a real shame and I am obviously very disappointed.”

BMW Power
18-05-15, 08:53
Strong showing in the “Green Hell”.
BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS finished second at the Nürburgring 24 Hours.

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After 156 laps, the number 25 BMW Z4 GT3 crossed the line at the 43rd running of the endurance classic just 40.729 seconds behind the winning car. It was the closest finish in the history of the event since 1970. Maxime Martin, Lucas Luhr, Markus Palttala and Richard Westbrook shared the driving duties over the course of the 24 hours and, like the team, produced impressive performances. In the end, however, they just came up short of what would have been a 20th overall victory for BMW.
BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS repeated its result from 2013, when it finished the runners-up with the BMW Z4 GT3 – again with Martin at the wheel. The second BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS car also claimed an excellent result in front of 200,000 spectators: Dirk Adorf, Augusto Farfus, Nick Catsburg and Jörg Müller were at the wheel of the number 26 car and narrowly missed out on a podium finish, coming home in fourth place. Catsburg clocked the fastest lap of the entire race on lap 120, with a time of 8:18.690 minutes.
The number 17 BMW Z4 GT3 of the Walkenhorst Motorsport team, driven by Felipe Laser, Michela Cerruti, BMW USCC driver John Edwards and Daniel Keilwitz, came home sixth to complete a strong BMW showing. The sister car, the number 18, crossed the finish line in 15th place. In contrast, BMW Sports Trophy Team Schubert endured a luckless race: both the number 19 and the number 20 BMW Z4 GT3s were forced to retire following crashes.
“Over the past 24 hours we have seen virtually everything that makes this endurance classic so enthralling,” said BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt. “In a thrilling race, we eventually finished an excellent second and came within a whisker of winning. That is a fantastic result for the BMW Z4 GT3 on its last works-assisted outing – especially given the strong opposition. Although we did not quite get our 20th overall victory, the combination of a flawless job by the team and drivers, and a robust, mature car kept the race extremely exciting right through to the finish. Our quartet of drivers, who worked perfectly with each other, deserve particular mention: Lucas Luhr, Maxime Martin, Richard Westbrook and Markus Palttala never let anything knock them off their stride – even in some extremely difficult conditions. They were fast when they had to be, but reined themselves in when necessary. They did a very good job. The second BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS car also had a very good race. It dropped back a bit due to some problems during pit stops, but was still able to claim a good result.”
“Although we are all pleased about the great overall result, I feel particularly sorry for BMW Sports Trophy Team Schubert today. The team also did a very good job – but it just goes to show how quickly your luck can change here in the Eifel Mountains. Two sudden showers, two scary moments for Claudia and Dirk, and suddenly you are denied any chance of winning. The Walkenhorst team also enjoyed a fantastic race: they also had a flawless race with the number 17 car and finished an excellent sixth. Another great performance came from the Sorg Rennsport team in the BMW M235i Racing Cup: 25th place overall – that is not to be sniffed at. And our media BMW M235i Racing was also flawless. The drivers showed incredible consistency and ultimately came home 42nd overall. I would also like to highlight the extraordinary backdrop to this race: the great fan community created a genuine festival atmosphere. Although I have been coming here for many years, I really noticed it this year. And that is despite the tragic events in the run-up to the race. However, we saw that the measures put in place were effective, thanks in no small part to the discipline shown by the competitors. At this point, we would like to dedicate our podium finish to the spectator who died a few weeks ago. Congratulations to the Audi WRT team.”
The BMW M235i Racing Cup class, which featured a strong field of 14 cars, saw Michele Di Martino, Moritz Oberheim, Kevin Warum and Torsten Kratz of the Securtal Sorg Rennsport team emerge victorious. They finished an impressive 25th overall in the number 301 car.
The number 235 BMW M235i Racing, in which the two motorsport journalists Bernd Ostmann (DE) and Christian Gebhardt alternated with BMW Motorsport Junior Victor Bouveng and Harald Grohs at the wheel, enjoyed a successful race, winning the SP 8T class and finishing 42nd overall. This marked Grohs’ 30th start at the Nürburgring 24 Hours – and his last, as he announced after the race.
Reactions and positions.
Bas Leinders (BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS, Team Principal):
“It is fantastic to finish with both cars – and in second and fourth places. An incredible amount of work goes into keeping the cars in the face for the full 24 hours. We are delighted to have achieved that. My team did an awesome job. Thank you to everyone in the team. On the other hand, we obviously came to the Nordschleife to win. That was our goal. It was a great fight, but unfortunately we lost it.”
Lucas Luhr (BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS, car number 25, 2nd):
“Even though we lost a few minutes in the opening hours of the race, it was always clear to me that we could still challenge at the front if we came through the night unscathed. We did that, because we went for the right tyre when it started to rain heavily late in the evening. All in all, I had a huge amount of fun all weekend at the Nürburgring with the team and my fellow drivers. However, we obviously came here to win.”
Maxime Martin (BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS, car number 25, 2nd):
“It was a really close race. The winning Audi produced a great race – and the same goes for us. We were close to winning, but it was not meant to be. That is racing for you sometimes. We will be back for another shot.”
Markus Palttala (BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS, car number 25, 2nd):
“I am proud of the guys in the team. The car worked superbly, the drivers were all consistently quick and we did a very good job. Unfortunately it was not quite good enough to win. However, although we obviously wanted to win, second place is still a very good effort. For me personally, this is actually my first podium at this race.”
Richard Westbrook (BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS, car number 25, 2nd):
“That was a fantastic race with some great duels. You can obviously look for reasons why we narrowly missed out on the win, but on the whole we should be proud of the second place we achieved here. Appearing here with BMW, this magnificent team and fantastic team-mates was an awesome experience for me.”
Augusto Farfus (BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS, car number 26, 4th):
“I am disappointed, because we had a car we could have won with. We were on pole and clocked the fastest lap of the race. Unfortunately we made small mistakes with both cars, which ultimately cost us the win. That shows that the standard of racing at this race is so high that you cannot afford even the slightest slip-up.”
Dirk Adorf (BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS, car number 26, 4th):
“Congratulations to Audi on the win, but above all compliments to our team. We did everything right that you have to do right at a 24-hour race. And we were very fast. Unfortunately the misfortune during the pit stop in the night cost us too much time. Second and fourth is an excellent result for the team, but it is a shame we could not quite get a win with the BMW Z4 GT3 at its farewell race.”
Jörg Müller (BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS, car number 26, 4th):
“We were positive. That is definitely the positive we can take from this race. Unfortunately, however, we made a mistake, which we could not afford against such strong opposition. Despite this, the team deserves a huge compliment. I have never driven a car in the final stint of a 24-hour race that still feels as good as it did in the first stint. The BMW Z4 GT3 had really been prepared perfectly.”
Nick Catsburg (BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS, car number 26, 4th):
“I think we all did a perfect job and have nothing to be ashamed of. We had the speed to finish on the podium, but unfortunately came up just short due to the time we lost in the night. Despite this, I am very proud of our performance.”
John Edwards (Walkenhorst Motorsport powered by Dunlop, car number 17, 6th):
“That was 24 very long hours – definitely the most exhausting endurance race I have ever been involved in. The Nürburgring is a very special challenge. When you see the teams that finished ahead of us, sixth place is an outstanding result for a privateer team like Walkenhorst Motorsport. I am delighted for the guys.”
Victor Bouveng (BMW Motorsport, car number 235, 1st SP 8T):
“My first 24-hour race was an incredible experience. Driving in the night, double stints, the masses of fans at the side of the track – that was all completely new to me. We did a perfect job as a team and brought the car home without a single scratch. It doesn’t get much better than that.”
Harald Grohs (BMW Motorsport, car number 235, 1st SP 8T):
“I could not wish for a better ending to my career as a 24-hour racing driver. Therefore, I can now announce that that was my final start at this kind of endurance race. At 71 years of age, I think I prepared superbly for this challenge again, and mastered it without any problems. However, the time has come for me to focus more on my other roles. Our BMW M235i Racing was absolutely perfect and we did not receive a single penalty. My fellow drivers deserve great praise for that. It was hugely enjoyable.”

BMW Power
18-05-15, 08:53
BMW in contention at the Nürburgring.
With just six hours of the race remaining, the battle for victory at the Nürburgring 24 Hours is heating up nicely.

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Maxime Martin, Lucas Luhr, Richard Westbrook and Markus Palttala in the number 25 BMW Z4 GT3 are embroiled in a thrilling duel at the head of the field. The BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS drivers moved into the lead for the first time on lap 70. Since then, they have alternated at the front with the number 28 Audi, due to different pit stop strategies. The BMW quartet is currently running second.
The second BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS car, the number 26 with Dirk Adorf, Augusto Farfus, Nick Catsburg and Jörg Müller at the wheel, is also well placed in fourth as the endurance classic heads towards a thrilling climax.
The third BMW Z4 GT3 in the top ten is the number 17 Walkenhorst Motorsport car. Felipe Laser, Michela Cerruti, John Edwards and Daniel Keilwitz are currently running seventh. The two BMW Sports Trophy Team Schubert cars were forced to retire after two crashes at the start of the race and during the night.
Michele Di Martino, Moritz Oberheim, Kevin Warum and Torsten Kratz of the Securtal Sorg Rennsport team lead the BMW M235i Racing Cup class in the number 301 BMW M235i Racing and are a very respectable 26th in the overall standings. The media cark, with Bernd Ostmann, Christian Gebhardt, BMW Motorsport Junior Victor Bouveng and Harald Grohs sharing the driving duties, enters the final phase of the race leading the SP 8T class.
Reactions and positions – after 18 hours.
Maxime Martin (BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS, car number 25, 2nd):
“My last two stints this morning were very difficult, because we had a lot of yellow flags. The situation was not always clear at certain spots. I really had to be careful to avoid picking up a penalty, but still to stay on the pace. We are in a very tight battle at the front. We will have to wait and see how it pans out. Whatever happens, we will do our very best.”
Jörg Müller (BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS, car number 26, 4th):
“Unfortunately we lost time in the night because of a problem during a pit stop. That is why we are not right up there with the leaders. However, the pace of the car is good and we will definitely give it our all right down to the final minute. You never know, the teams in front of us might run into problems.”
Daniel Keilwitz (Walkenhorst Motorsport powered by Dunlop, car number 17, 7th):
“I had a lot of yellow phases at the start of my stint, but was able to put my foot down again on the last couple of laps and closed the gap to the Mercedes in front of me. I am impressed how seamlessly the BMW Z4 GT3 is running. This is my first race in this car, and I had to adapt to it a bit at first – particularly the high cornering speeds. However, I am loving it now.”
Harald Grohs (BMW Motorsport, car number 235, 1st SP 8T):
“The car is still running perfectly and does not have a single scratch on it. Although I spent a lot of time in the car during the night, I am not suffering in the slightest physically. We are working superbly as a team and are all doing a very good job. The fact that there have been so many crashes means you really have to be on the ball out there. Our goal was to get through the race without any incidents or penalties – and we are on course to achieve that.”

BMW Power
18-05-15, 08:56
Nürburgring 24 Hours: Four top-15 placements in the “Green Hell”.
Second, fourth, sixth and 15th: the BMW Z4 GT3 enjoyed a good result at the Nürburgring 24 Hours.

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Although BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS narrowly missed out on a 20th overall victory for BMW at the classic in the Eifel Mountains, finishing second and fourth, the overwhelming feeling after 156 laps was one of satisfaction with the drivers’ strong, battling efforts and the impressive performance of the BMW Z4 GT3. Many other privateer BMW teams and drivers had reason to celebrate in the Eifel region: in total, four class victories went to BMW.

Podium for BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS at the Nürburgring – Martin, Luhr, Palttala and Westbrook finish runners-up.

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Nürburgring (DE), 14.05.2015 to 17.05.2015. 24h race, BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS , BMW Z4 GT3 #25, Maxime Martin (BE), ...

Nürburgring (DE), 17th May 2015. Strong showing in the “Green Hell”: BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS finished second at the Nürburgring 24 Hours (DE). After 156 laps, the number 25 BMW Z4 GT3 crossed the line at the 43rd running of the endurance classic just 40.729 seconds behind the winning car. It was the closest finish in the history of the event since 1970. Maxime Martin (BE), Lucas Luhr (DE), Markus Palttala (FI) and Richard Westbrook (GB) shared the driving duties over the course of the 24 hours and, like the team, produced impressive performances. In the end, however, they just came up short of what would have been a 20th overall victory for BMW.

BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS repeated its result from 2013, when it finished the runners-up with the BMW Z4 GT3 – again with Martin at the wheel. The second BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS car also claimed an excellent result in front of 200,000 spectators: Dirk Adorf (DE), Augusto Farfus (BR), Nick Catsburg (NL) and Jörg Müller (DE) were at the wheel of the number 26 car and narrowly missed out on a podium finish, coming home in fourth place. Catsburg clocked the fastest lap of the entire race on lap 120, with a time of 8:18.690 minutes.

The number 17 BMW Z4 GT3 of the Walkenhorst Motorsport team, driven by Felipe Laser (DE), Michela Cerruti (IT), BMW USCC driver John Edwards (US) and Daniel Keilwitz (DE), came home sixth to complete a strong BMW showing. The sister car, the number 18, crossed the finish line in 15th place. In contrast, BMW Sports Trophy Team Schubert endured a luckless race: both the number 19 and the number 20 BMW Z4 GT3s were forced to retire following crashes.

“Over the past 24 hours we have seen virtually everything that makes this endurance classic so enthralling,” said BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt. “In a thrilling race, we eventually finished an excellent second and came within a whisker of winning. That is a fantastic result for the BMW Z4 GT3 on its last works-assisted outing – especially given the strong opposition. Although we did not quite get our 20th overall victory, the combination of a flawless job by the team and drivers, and a robust, mature car kept the race extremely exciting right through to the finish. Our quartet of drivers, who worked perfectly with each other, deserve particular mention: Lucas Luhr, Maxime Martin, Richard Westbrook and Markus Palttala never let anything knock them off their stride – even in some extremely difficult conditions. They were fast when they had to be, but reined themselves in when necessary. They did a very good job. The second BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS car also had a very good race. It dropped back a bit due to some problems during pit stops, but was still able to claim a good result.”

“Although we are all pleased about the great overall result, I feel particularly sorry for BMW Sports Trophy Team Schubert today. The team also did a very good job – but it just goes to show how quickly your luck can change here in the Eifel Mountains. Two sudden showers, two scary moments for Claudia and Dirk, and suddenly you are denied any chance of winning. The Walkenhorst team also enjoyed a fantastic race: they also had a flawless race with the number 17 car and finished an excellent sixth. Another great performance came from the Sorg Rennsport team in the BMW M235i Racing Cup: 25th place overall – that is not to be sniffed at. And our media BMW M235i Racing was also flawless. The drivers showed incredible consistency and ultimately came home 42nd overall. I would also like to highlight the extraordinary backdrop to this race: the great fan community created a genuine festival atmosphere. Although I have been coming here for many years, I really noticed it this year. And that is despite the tragic events in the run-up to the race. However, we saw that the measures put in place were effective, thanks in no small part to the discipline shown by the competitors. At this point, we would like to dedicate our podium finish to the spectator who died a few weeks ago. Congratulations to the Audi WRT team.”

The BMW M235i Racing Cup class, which featured a strong field of 14 cars, saw Michele Di Martino (DE), Moritz Oberheim (DE), Kevin Warum (DE) and Torsten Kratz (DE) of the Securtal Sorg Rennsport team emerge victorious. They finished an impressive 25th overall in the number 301 car.

The number 235 BMW M235i Racing, in which the two motorsport journalists Bernd Ostmann (DE) and Christian Gebhardt (DE) alternated with BMW Motorsport Junior Victor Bouveng (SE) and Harald Grohs (DE) at the wheel, enjoyed a successful race, winning the SP 8T class and finishing 42nd overall. This marked Grohs’ 30th start at the Nürburgring 24 Hours – and his last, as he announced after the race.

Reactions and positions.

Bas Leinders (BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS, Team Principal):
“It is fantastic to finish with both cars – and in second and fourth places. An incredible amount of work goes into keeping the cars in the face for the full 24 hours. We are delighted to have achieved that. My team did an awesome job. Thank you to everyone in the team. On the other hand, we obviously came to the Nordschleife to win. That was our goal. It was a great fight, but unfortunately we lost it.”

Lucas Luhr (BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS, car number 25, 2nd):
“Even though we lost a few minutes in the opening hours of the race, it was always clear to me that we could still challenge at the front if we came through the night unscathed. We did that, because we went for the right tyre when it started to rain heavily late in the evening. All in all, I had a huge amount of fun all weekend at the Nürburgring with the team and my fellow drivers. However, we obviously came here to win.”

Maxime Martin (BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS, car number 25, 2nd):
“It was a really close race. The winning Audi produced a great race – and the same goes for us. We were close to winning, but it was not meant to be. That is racing for you sometimes. We will be back for another shot.”


Markus Palttala (BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS, car number 25, 2nd):
“I am proud of the guys in the team. The car worked superbly, the drivers were all consistently quick and we did a very good job. Unfortunately it was not quite good enough to win. However, although we obviously wanted to win, second place is still a very good effort. For me personally, this is actually my first podium at this race.”

Richard Westbrook (BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS, car number 25, 2nd):
“That was a fantastic race with some great duels. You can obviously look for reasons why we narrowly missed out on the win, but on the whole we should be proud of the second place we achieved here. Appearing here with BMW, this magnificent team and fantastic team-mates was an awesome experience for me.”

Augusto Farfus (BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS, car number 26, 4th):
“I am disappointed, because we had a car we could have won with. We were on pole and clocked the fastest lap of the race. Unfortunately we made small mistakes with both cars, which ultimately cost us the win. That shows that the standard of racing at this race is so high that you cannot afford even the slightest slip-up.”

Dirk Adorf (BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS, car number 26, 4th):
“Congratulations to Audi on the win, but above all compliments to our team. We did everything right that you have to do right at a 24-hour race. And we were very fast. Unfortunately the misfortune during the pit stop in the night cost us too much time. Second and fourth is an excellent result for the team, but it is a shame we could not quite get a win with the BMW Z4 GT3 at its farewell race.”

Jörg Müller (BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS, car number 26, 4th):
“We were positive. That is definitely the positive we can take from this race. Unfortunately, however, we made a mistake, which we could not afford against such strong opposition. Despite this, the team deserves a huge compliment. I have never driven a car in the final stint of a 24-hour race that still feels as good as it did in the first stint. The BMW Z4 GT3 had really been prepared perfectly.”

Nick Catsburg (BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS, car number 26, 4th):
“I think we all did a perfect job and have nothing to be ashamed of. We had the speed to finish on the podium, but unfortunately came up just short due to the time we lost in the night. Despite this, I am very proud of our performance.”

John Edwards (Walkenhorst Motorsport powered by Dunlop, car number 17, 6th):
“That was 24 very long hours – definitely the most exhausting endurance race I have ever been involved in. The Nürburgring is a very special challenge. When you see the teams that finished ahead of us, sixth place is an outstanding result for a privateer team like Walkenhorst Motorsport. I am delighted for the guys.”


Victor Bouveng (BMW Motorsport, car number 235, 1st SP 8T):
“My first 24-hour race was an incredible experience. Driving in the night, double stints, the masses of fans at the side of the track – that was all completely new to me. We did a perfect job as a team and brought the car home without a single scratch. It doesn’t get much better than that.”

Harald Grohs (BMW Motorsport, car number 235, 1st SP 8T):
“I could not wish for a better ending to my career as a 24-hour racing driver. Therefore, I can now announce that that was my final start at this kind of endurance race. At 71 years of age, I think I prepared superbly for this challenge again, and mastered it without any problems. However, the time has come for me to focus more on my other roles. Our BMW M235i Racing was absolutely perfect and we did not receive a single penalty. My fellow drivers deserve great praise for that. It was hugely enjoyable.”

--

BMW Sports Trophy Team Schubert
Number 19 BMW Z4 GT3, Dirk Werner (DE), Marco Wittmann (DE), Dirk Müller (DE), Alexander Sims (GB) – DNF

Number 20 BMW Z4 GT3, Claudia Hürtgen (DE), Dominik Baumann (AT), Jens Klingmann (DE), Martin Tomczyk (DE) – DNF

BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS
Number 25 BMW Z4 GT3, Maxime Martin (BE), Lucas Luhr (DE), Richard Westbrook (GB), Markus Palttala (FI) – 2nd

Number 26 BMW Z4 GT3, Dirk Adorf (DE), Augusto Farfus (BR), Nick Catsburg (NL), Jörg Müller (DE) – 4th

Walkenhorst Motorsport powered by Dunlop
Number 17 BMW Z4 GT3, Felipe Laser (DE), Michela Cerruti (IT), John Edwards (US), Daniel Keilwitz (DE) – 6th

Number 18 BMW Z4 GT3, Henry Walkenhorst (DE), Ralf Oeverhaus (DE), Christian Bollrath (DE), Stefan Aust (DE) – 15th

BMW M235i Racing media car
Number 235 BMW M235i Racing, Bernd Ostmann (DE), Christian Gebhardt (DE), Victor Bouveng (SE), Harald Grohs (DE) – 1st (SP 8T)

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BMW Power
22-05-15, 08:06
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XSbH_ArJ1M8&feature=autoshare

BMW Power
22-06-15, 11:23
Zanardi, Glock and Spengler contest their first race together.
The BMW works drivers spent an important weekend at Le Castellet: On Saturday they took part in the 6 Hours of Paul Ricard, which was the third round of the 2015 Blancpain Endurance Series.

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BMW Motorsport, ROAL Motorsport and the drivers used the opportunity to evaluate under racing conditions the modifications made to the BMW Z4 GT3. Over the past months, the engineers at BMW Motorsport had developed numerous technical solutions that allow Zanardi, who had both legs amputated, to share the car with Glock and Spengler.
All the modifications tested at Le Castellet worked well, and the engineers collected valuable information to further optimise the car over the next weeks. In addition, Zanardi, Glock and Spengler got acquainted with the procedures in endurance racing and practiced driver changes. Unfortunately they had to retire after two thirds of the race. During a routine pit stop fluids were leaking from the car and BMW Motorsport and ROAL Motorsport decided not to continue in the race. With the important official 24h test day at Spa-Francorchamps in only a few days, they did not want to risk avoidable damage to the car. The cause for the problem will now be investigated.
“This weekend we saw an awful lot of positives in what we have learnt here,” said Zanardi. “These include the competitiveness we displayed in free practice and the first part of qualifying, in some of the laps that we all put in throughout the the race and in learning a lot as a team, because we are a new team that has to work together and try to live this great adventure which is the 24 hours of Spa. However, as a team we are running a car which does not have a lot of miles on it, and it is very normal that when you run a new car you have this and that piece that needs to be adjusted. We are going home with some very good experiences. I am very much encouraged that we can make everybody at BMW proud with our performance in Spa.”
“It was my first race weekend in the BMW Z4 GT3 and I enjoyed it very much,” enthused Glock. “The car is great; it is easy and consistent to drive. In preparing for Spa-Francorchamps, this weekend was very important for us. We have learnt where we can still further improve the car and how to optimise the driver changes. For sure we would have liked to race into the night, as neither Alex nor I have any experience of driving in the dark, but we will get this in the night practice at Spa-Francorchamps. The race weekend served as a test for us and all went smoothly. Another positive is the fact that all three drivers prefer the same set-up. That makes life much easier for the engineers. Now we are fully focused on the test day at Spa-Francorchamps, and then we will try to head to the 24-hour race as well prepared as possible.”
“It was very important for us to test here in order to get the experience of a race weekend and to find out how well the modifications work for us,” explained Spengler. “I have to say that BMW Motorsport did the perfect job. For example, it is not an easy task to optimise the seat and the seating position in a way that makes all three drivers happy. But this has been the case. I did a one-hour stint without any issues. Already everything is working very well, so we only need to fine-tune some details. We would have liked to race a bit longer in order to collect even more experience, but now we will focus on the test in Spa-Francorchamps where the entire team will continue to work hard preparing for the 24-hour race.”
BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS flies the flag for BMW Motorsport on the podium. Markus Palttala and BMW works drivers Lucas Luhr and Maxime Martin finished third in their number 46 BMW Z4 GT3. The official 24h test day at Spa-Francorchamps will take place this Wednesday, 24th June. The 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps will be held on 25th and 26th July.

BMW Power
22-06-15, 11:24
Podium success for BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS.
With 60 starters, the Blancpain Endurance Series had another top-class field on the third weekend at the "Circuit Paul Ricard".

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After a nerve-wracking six-hour race, BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS only missed out on the win by ten seconds. Despite starting from the pit lane, Markus Palttala and BMW works drivers Lucas Luhr and Maxime Martin in their number 46 BMW Z4 GT3 made it onto the podium in third place. The win went to the Nissan drivers Wolfgang Reip, Alex Buncombe and Katsumasa Chiyo. A total of nine BMW Z4 GT3s took on the challenge of the six-hour race on the track near Le Castellet. Among them were BMW works drivers Alex Zanardi, Timo Glock and Bruno Spengler. The "Dream Team" contested its first joint race in the modified BMW Z4 GT3 as preparation for the 24 Hours of Spa. BMW Motorsport, ROAL Motorsport and the drivers took the opportunity to test the modifications to the BMW Z4 GT in competition conditions. The AM class was also fiercely contested. Timur Sardarov and Leo Matchitski in the BMW Z4 GT3 of Team Russia by Barwell finished in second place and ended up missing out on the win by just 1.3 seconds. Behind them, Karim Ojjeh and Olivier Grotz of Team Boutsen Ginion finished in third. The next race in the Blancpain Endurance Series is the 24 Hours of Spa on 25th and 26th July.

BMW Power
24-06-15, 08:58
24h Spa “dream team”: BMW Motorsport unveils numerous innovative technical features for the BMW Z4 GT3 raced by Zanardi, Glock and Spengler.

23.06.2015

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Preparations for 2015 24h Spa-Francorchamps (BE). BMW Motorsport, BMW works drivers Bruno Spengler (CA), Alessandro Zanardi ...

Spa-Francorchamps (BE) / Munich (DE), 23rd June 2015. BMW Motorsport has entered the final phase of its very special project: this Wednesday (24th June), BMW works drivers Alessandro Zanardi (IT), Timo Glock (DE) and Bruno Spengler (CA) will join the official test day for the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps (BE) in their modified BMW Z4 GT3.

This year’s staging of the traditional 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps marks a milestone in motorsport. For the first time, Zanardi, who had both legs amputated, shares the cockpit with other drivers who are able-bodied. The project in this form is unique and very special for BMW Motorsport. Over the past months, a team of up to nine engineers have developed numerous innovative technical solutions that allow all three drivers to optimally race over the 24-hours, and to make the driver changes between one handicapped and two able-bodied drivers in the shortest possible time.

“This project is a really exciting challenge. This is a real first for us and we are all very enthusiastic about this project - the drivers, engineers and everyone at BMW Motorsport,” said BMW Motorsport director Jens Marquardt. “Our engineers have worked intensively and developed a whole series of modifications and features for the BMW Z4 GT3, which have already been well proven at the race track. We are proud of the great work done by everyone involved in that outstanding project, and can’t wait to tackle this 24h adventure with Alex, Bruno and Timo.”

Modifications were made in the following areas: pedal box, clutch, steering wheels. In addition, the engineers optimised the seat’s position, installed air conditioning and found a new solution regarding the engine software. In total, the development time has been five months.

On 11th and 12th June, the drivers, BMW Motorsport and ROAL Motorsport completed a successful roll-out at Adria Raceway (IT). Last weekend, the next step was taken: Zanardi, Glock and Spengler took part in the 6-hour race of Paul Ricard in Le Castellet (FR) to test the modifications to their BMW Z4 GT3 in race conditions.

Please find details of all the technical modifications and features below.


BMW Z4 GT3 for Alessandro Zanardi, Timo Glock, Bruno Spengler, 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps – Technical modifications and features in detail:
Car:

BMW Motorsport used the base chassis raced by Zanardi last year in the Blancpain Sprint Series, but completely revised and optimised it. When rebuilding the car, the engineers used some of the existing components, but most of the parts are new. So, in fact, the BMW Z4 GT3 is a completely new car.

From its basic design, the car is the same as all the other BMW Z4 GT3s in racing. BMW Motorsport just did the modifications which allow Zanardi to drive the car. All other components are as homologated. Modifications were made in the following areas: pedal box, clutch, steering wheels. In addition, the engineers optimised the seat’s position, installed air conditioning and found a new solution regarding the engine software.


Pedal box in general:

From right to left, the pedal box contains: the brake pedal for Zanardi, a divider, the throttle and brake pedal for Glock and Spengler and, on the far left, a footrest for Zanardi. The complete pedal box is lower than usual, and this helps Zanardi to brake.

The needs of all three drivers are fulfilled: Zanardi needs to have his pedals as far apart as possible, while Glock and Spengler need them as close together as possible.


Brake pedal and footrest Zanardi:

Last year, Zanardi used a normal brake pedal that was modified with the addition of a bracket. He was braking with the right foot pretty far to the left, so the movement of his hip was far from ideal. This cost some power when braking. Therefore, the engineers were looking for a solution that allows Alex to move his hip in the most natural and efficient way as possible when braking to make full use of the strength of his muscles. In addition, it was important that the brake pedal does not take up too much space, as there are also the pedals for Spengler and Glock, and their throttle should not move too far to the left compared to its usual position.

Because of this, BMW Motorsport came up with the solution of a pin attached to the brake pedal, which allows Zanardi to just slip his prosthetic leg onto the brake pedal. This pin solution has several advantages: it does not take up much space and offers a fixed connection between the brake pedal and Zanardi’s prosthetic leg. As Zanardi has only restricted control over his leg, it could happen that the foot moves to the side. This is not possible with the pin; it holds the leg fixed in its position.

Also the prosthetic leg itself has been modified. The upper part, the femur, is Zanardi’s normal prosthesis. But he can adapt the lower part, the lower leg. For this, a special foot adapter for the lower part below the knee was developed. The foot is designed to fit on the pin on the pedal and is adjustable.

Next to the brake pedal a side divider was installed. This avoids Spengler or Glock accidently slipping over onto Zanardi’s brake pedal.

On the very left side of the pedal box, the clutch pedal was removed and instead a footrest was installed for Zanardi. This footrest is very important for Zanardi, as it gives him additional support for his left leg and, as a result, he has the full power to brake with his right leg.

The brake itself is activated by the brake pedal for Glock and Spengler. The two different brake pedals are connected. So when Zanardi pushes his pedal, the other one also goes down and activates the brake. Both brake pedals are moving simultaneously. Zanardi’s pedal is kept in position by a spring mechanism when he is not in the car.

As Zanardi can apply less power onto the brake than normal drivers, the engineers increased the brake ratio for him step by step. Now his brake ratio is approximately 30 % higher compared to other BMW Z4 GT3 drivers like Glock or Spengler. This allows him to brake with a pressure of around 105bar.


Clutch:

The BMW Motorsport engineers completely removed the clutch pedal from the pedal box and replaced it with a clutch-by-wire-sytem. The system is controlled with two clutch flippers, similar to the gearshift pedals, mounted to the steering wheel and to the dashboard. This also works perfectly for Glock and Spengler.


Steering wheel Glock/Spengler:

The steering wheel for Glock and Spengler is the standard BMW Z4 GT3 steering wheel, with the following modifications: the steering wheel is now connected by an external cable and the manual clutch has been mounted on one side of the rear of the steering wheel. They can activate it with their hand and start moving again. The paddle shift is standard. Thanks to a black light, the markings are also visible in the dark without the driver being distracted. BMW Motorsport also uses this at other 24h-races.


Steering wheel Zanardi:

Zanardi’s steering wheel is completely new, but it is based on the one he used last year. At the back it still has the throttle ring he uses to accelerate. However, the BMW Motorsport engineers did some fine-tuning in order to optimise this system.

Instead of shifting paddles on both sides he now just has a shifting system on the right side. While he is accelerating with the ring he can upshift with the rear paddle, and he downshifts with his thumb.

The buttons and switches on the steering wheel are standard, but some special features were added. Among these features is an LED stripe in the middle. The most important functions are not only shown on the dashboard, but also directly on the steering wheel, for example the shift lights. The positions of the buttons have been adjusted and optimised.

The complete steering wheel is lit from inside, so no black light is needed.

The shape of the steering wheel is similar to last year, but the BMW Motorsport engineers have cut away even more at the bottom. This gives Zanardi even more space for his knees.


Seat / belt:

Last year ROAL and Zanardi invested a lot of time working on the seat and found a solution which works perfectly for Zanardi. This was used as a base for this year. For Zanardi a carbon insert was built, which is firmly connected so it cannot move. The insert is lined and features a lumbar support, which he can pump up on the right side. The actual seat is the combination of the base and Alex’ insert. Based on that, the engineers built the seat insert for Timo and Bruno, so at the driver change they just need to put their insert onto the seat.

The BMW Motorsport engineers also optimised the seat’s position. Compared to last year, it is completely straight now and the seat has been moved back. A positive side effect is that this gives as much space as possible for the driver change.

Last year Zanardi used a belt that was not a quick-change belt. As this year he needs to do driver changes, the standard GT3-Endurance belt is used.


Engine software:

BMW Motorsport also revised the engine software, as now two accelerator pedal characteristic curves are needed - one from the pedal in the pedal box and one from the steering wheel. The car needs to switch between both of them when the driver changes. The software was revised in a way that it is notified by the change of the steering wheel who is actually sitting in the car. When Zanardi’s steering wheel is connected the software automatically switches to his curve.


Air conditioning:

Due to the fact that Zanardi has no legs, his body temperature cannot be regulated normally. So his body needs to be cooled in the cockpit. Last year, he used a cooling system with dry ice, which is not the perfect solution for the requirements of a 24-hour race. So the engineers installed air conditioning as it is used in the BMW Z4 GTE.

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BMW Power
25-06-15, 09:18
24h Spa test day: BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS sets fastest lap time.
The next highlight of the 2015 endurance season is just around the corner for BMW Motorsport: the iconic 24-hour race at Spa-Francorchamps gets underway in just 30 days from now.

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The official test day at the “Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps” on Wednesday heralded the final phase of preparations for the BMW teams. Eight BMW teams sent a total of nine BMW Z4 GT3s onto the legendary circuit.
Six BMW works drivers were also in action at the 7.004-kilometre track in the Ardennes, including BMW DTM drivers Augusto Farfus, Maxime Martin, Timo Glock and Bruno Spengler, who now head to the Norisring for the third race weekend of the 2015 DTM season, which begins on Friday. Farfus and Martin will strengthen the driver line-up at BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS for the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps. Glock and Spengler join forces with double amputee and fellow BMW works driver Alessandro Zanardi at the wheel of a modified BMW Z4 GT3 run by ROAL Motorsport.
The Triple Eight Racing team also received welcome support during the test day at Spa-Francorchamps: BMW works driver Dirk Müller added his wealth of experience to the team. He will share the cockpit with Joe Osborne, Lee Mowle and Ryan Ratcliff at the 24-hour race on 25th and 26th July. The test was repeatedly interrupted by numerous red flags, particularly in the morning. For this reason, the teams used the afternoon session to complete their long runs. In dry conditions, the pairing of Martin/Farfus clocked the fastest time of the day (2:19.034 minutes) in the number 45 BMW Z4 GT3. Their team-mates at BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS, Markus Palttala and Nick Catsburg, were just 0.324 seconds off the fastest time in third place. BMW Sports Trophy Team Brazil, Team Russia by Barwell, Ecurie Ecosse and the TDS Racing and Boutsen Ginion teams also completed their test laps successfully at “Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps”.
Quotes from the BMW works drivers:
Augusto Farfus (#45 BMW Z4 GT3, BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS):
“There were a lot of red flags being waved this morning, which was obviously not ideal. Despite this, we still managed to gather valuable data and improve the car. As far as our expectations ahead of the 24-hour race are concerned, I cannot really say for definite right now. Although we do not necessarily compete with the fastest overall package, we do have the necessary consistency and a very strong driver line-up, which should enable us to be successful. However, it goes without saying that we must first finish, then we’ll see how we have got on. At the moment I seem to be alternating between two extremes: I must now travel from one of the longest circuits in Europe to the DTM at the Norisring – probably the shortest circuit in the world. These are exciting weeks for me.”
Maxime Martin (#45 BMW Z4 GT3, BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS):
“The test went very well. The car worked flawlessly, which allowed us to complete an extensive programme of testing. We tried out a lot of things and consistently made alterations to find the perfect set-up and balance for the 24-hour race. Our lap times are very good, and we set the fastest time today. A test day is obviously of no major significance yet, and it is important for the car to be fast for the entire 24 hours. However, it is always better to be up near the front than not. We are quite happy with the situation.”
Alessandro Zanardi (#9 BMW Z4 GT3, ROAL Motorsport):
“I am quite satisfied with the job we have done so far. I can drive the car better than last year, and this is fantastic as at first we were trying to develop something that allows Timo and Bruno to jump into the car and drive to the best of their abilities, in spite of the aids we have installed for me. We not only achieved that, but what we developed helps me to get a better feel for the brake pedal and to attack with the car even more. The ergonomics in the car definitely suit me better than what we had before. So we now could turn our focus to the set-up of the car. Over the single lap it seems like other people are slightly faster than us, but we were focusing on doing kilometres and completing long-runs, and the car is performing well especially over the distance. For sure we have more work to do, but we know what direction we have to take.”
Timo Glock (#9 BMW Z4 GT3, ROAL Motorsport):
“As before today I only knew the circuit from my time in Formula One, it was important for me to get behind the wheel of the BMW Z4 GT3 and complete a few test laps here in Spa. It is astonishing how quickly the car corners, despite its weight. I am glad we were able to take another step forward with regard to the 24 Hours of Spa – both in terms of the development of the car and as a team. I believe we are well prepared. I am looking forward to returning in July for the actual race itself.”
Bruno Spengler (#9 BMW Z4 GT3, ROAL Motorsport):
“It is ten years since I last drove here in Spa. Back then it was in a DTM car. Therefore, I first had to re-learn the circuit and then take my time getting used to it again. The test laps really helped me with this. The BMW Z4 GT3 is great fun to drive on this track, especially going flat-out through Eau Rouge and Blanchimont. There is huge anticipation ahead of the 24-hour race. I have great respect for this iconic event and, in particular, for all the drivers taking part. Sixty six cars will be on the track at the same time. A lot can happen. However, like me, my team-mates Alex Zanardi and Timo Glock have already experienced a lot in racing. We are well equipped to deal with this.”
Dirk Müller (#888 BMW Z4 GT3, Triple Eight Racing):
“I am already looking forward to supporting Triple Eight Racing at the 24 Hours of Spa. It is a fantastic race and a great team. Unfortunately I was unable to take part last year as it clashed with a race in the USA. That makes me all the happier to be here this year. We used the test to try out one or two things with the set-up of the BMW Z4 GT3. The test went well and I am sure that we will be well prepared to push hard with the number 888 BMW Z4 GT3 in the Pro-Am class.”

zaharias
11-07-15, 14:20
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
39962

BMW Power
22-07-15, 14:03
Two special car designs for the BMW teams in Spa.
Two of the BMW Z4 GT3s that will compete at the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps on 25th and 26th July will stand out from the crowd as a result of their extraordinary liveries.

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This is particularly true of the BMW “Dream Team” car, with Alessandro Zanardi, Timo Glock and Bruno Spengler. It will feature a cartoon-style design, as an homage to the iconic Belgian comic series about racing driver “Michel Vaillant”. Furthermore, the design of one of the three BMW Z4 GT3s fielded by BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS at its home race will raise awareness of the “Belgian Foundation against Cancer”, a charity organisation for whom the Belgian team is racing.
“Our priority for any race is to catch the eye through our sporting success – and we are confident we are well positioned to do precisely that at the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps,” said BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt. “However, if we also have the opportunity to please the fans with a special car design, we are only too happy to take it. The stories of comic hero ‘Michel Vaillant’ are known well beyond the Belgian border. I think this design is excellently suited to our extraordinary project with Alex Zanardi, Timo Glock and Bruno Spengler. I am also delighted that BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS is also doing its bit for a good cause with its special design.”
The bonnet of the BMW Z4 GT3 will be adorned with portraits of the three BMW drivers Zanardi, Glock and Spengler, while the caption “Vrooaaw” is written on the side of the car. Therefore, the car is reminiscent of “Michel Vaillant”, whose fictitious racing-driver adventures have enjoyed a large fan base around the world since 1957. The strip appeared in the “Tintin” comic and is in the tradition of the famous “Tim & Struppi” stories. Even today, new “Michel Vaillant” adventures are being published.
“I think there are very few racing drivers who did not read the ‘Michel Vaillant’ stories when they were young and then dream of their own great career as a racing driver,” said Glock. “You need heroes when you are young, and ‘Michel Vaillant’ was one such hero,” added Spengler. “I’m really proud of this livery.”
The special BMW Z4 GT3 belonging to BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS will race with boxing gloves on the chassis. Under the slogan “Marc VDS & Friends Racing Against Cancer”, a number of Belgian motor racing legends will take their turn at the wheel of the car. In action will be Eric van de Poele, who won the DTM title in a BMW M3 in 1987, Jean-Michel Martin, multiple winner of the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps and father of BMW DTM driver Maxime Martin, Marc Duez, another BMW winner at the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, and Pascal Witmeur, a long-term friend of the Marc VDS Racing team. The quartet will not contest the entire race, but will each drive for 24 minutes, in order to raise awareness of the fight against cancer, while at the same time generating as much money from donations as possible.
“We are not driving the entire race, as we want to keep the running costs of the car as low as possible,” said team principal Bas Leinders. “That allows us to raise more money for the Belgian Foundation against Cancer. After all, that is what this project is all about.”
As well as the two striking design cars, BMW Motorsport also competes with a large contingent of a further nine BMW Z4 GT3s.

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BMW Power
22-07-15, 14:04
Strong BMW contingent for the Spa 24 Hours.
The countdown is on to the next highlight of the 2015 endurance racing season.

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the iconic 24-hour race at Spa-Francorchamps will be held for the 67th time this weekend (25th/26th July). This year’s marathon in the Ardennes marks a special anniversary for BMW: it is exactly 50 years since the manufacturer claimed the first of its 21 victories at this classic in 1965. Pascal Ickx and Gérard Langlois van Ophem triumphed with the BMW 1800 TI/SA.
In 2015, a strong contingent of eight BMW teams will compete in Belgium. In total, they will send 11 BMW Z4 GT3s into action at the “Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps”. A host of BMW works drivers will take on the challenge presented by this unique endurance race and will bolster the BMW privateer teams.
“This year’s 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps is very special for BMW Motorsport in many regards,” said BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt. “It is exactly 50 years since BMW celebrated its first victory in the Ardennes. A further 20 triumphs have followed to date. On this anniversary, we compete with many BMW Z4 GT3s in Belgium in 2015. This is the last major appearance by this car, and the goal is to continue our success story in Spa – preferably with another victory, of course. There have been many races, in which the BMW Z4 GT3 has missed out on victory at a 24-hour classic by little more than a hair’s breadth. Therefore, we will be doing everything in our power to ensure this magnificent car is given a worthy send-off on the 24-hour stage. At the same time, the race is the highlight of a unique project: Alex Zanardi is joining forces with Timo Glock and Bruno Spengler. To ensure that Alex can alternate with Timo and Bruno at the wheel of the BMW Z4 GT3, despite his physical restrictions, our engineers have invested a lot of time and developed innovative solutions over the past few months. I am certain that this extraordinary combination of drivers will thrill the fans.”
BMW DTM drivers Augusto Farfus and Maxime Martin will share the cockpit of the number 45 BMW Z4 GT3, run by BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS, with Dirk Werner, himself a BMW works driver in the United SportsCar Championship (USCC). Werner’s fellow USCC driver Lucas Luhr will be in action in the number 46 car, alongside Markus Palttala and Nick Catsburg. After second place last year and having set the fastest time at the official 24h test day, BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS is one of the favourites for overall victory.
Team Principal Bas Leinders’ outfit will field a third BMW Z4 GT3 at its home race: the “Marc VDS & Friends Racing Against Cancer” car competes with a prominent squad of drivers in aid of the Belgian cancer foundation. In Pascal Witmeur, Jean-Michel Martin, Marc Duez and Eric van de Poele, this car features a quartet of Belgian drivers who have enjoyed major success with BMW in the past.
Three current BMW works drivers – Alessandro Zanardi, Timo Glock and Bruno Spengler – are at the heart of a very special project in Spa-Francorchamps: amputee Zanardi will share the cockpit with able-bodied drivers for the first time. The BMW Motorsport engineers have modified the BMW Z4 GT3 with innovative technical solutions for this extraordinary first. The number nine car will be run by ROAL Motorsport.
The Triple Eight Racing team will also receive prominent support in the Pro-Am class: Dirk Müller will support Joe Osborne, Ryan Ratcliffe and Lee Mowle at the wheel of the BMW Z4 GT3. BMW Sports Trophy Team Brazil, Team Russia by Barwell, Classic & Modern Racing, Ecurie Ecosse, TDS Racing and Boutsen Ginion will also take on the challenging “Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps”.
This year, the 24 Hours of Spa again forms the highlight of the season in the Blancpain Endurance Series. The top 20 positions on the grid will be determined during the 15-minute Superpole from 15:30 on Friday 24th July. The race gets underway at 16:30 on Saturday 25th July and finishes exactly 24 hours later at 16:30 on Sunday 26th July.
Quotes from the BMW works drivers:
Alessandro Zanardi (Number 9 BMW Z4 GT3, ROAL Motorsport):
“I cannot wait for the race and am very grateful to BMW for giving me the opportunity to race at Spa-Francorchamps. We are well prepared for the weekend. The BMW Z4 GT3 is an outstanding car, which will show its strengths in Spa. My team-mates are fantastic drivers and great guys. And BMW Motorsport and ROAL Motorsport are supporting us perfectly. The overall package of car, drivers, team and engineers is excellent. We obviously know that racing is unpredictable – particularly 24-hour races. However, we can set our goals high. I would be happy if we finished in the top five – but not surprised. Every one of us has shown he has the performance to achieve this. All we have to do now is put this together as a team and get a result to make BMW proud.”
Timo Glock (Number 9 BMW Z4 GT3, ROAL Motorsport):
“I am really looking forward to my first 24-hour race. It is a great honour for me to be part of this extraordinary project with Alex Zanardi and Bruno Spengler. The circuit in Spa is absolutely fantastic. I know it very well from my time in Formula One. I drove Eau Rouge in the BMW Z4 GT3 on the test day ahead of the 24 Hours of Spa. It was fantastic fun. I am looking forward to seeing how the race pans out for us.”
Bruno Spengler (Number 9 BMW Z4 GT3, ROAL Motorsport):
“Spa is one of the most important 24-hour races in the world – and I am pleased to be racing there alongside Alex and Timo. We get on very well and, together with BMW Motorsport and ROAL Motorsport, are a great team. We face a big challenge, but I am really looking forward to it and am very motivated. As a racing driver, you obviously think about performance and want to drive as well and quickly as possible. However, we keep experiencing moments, in which we are made aware that this is a unique team. I am incredibly proud to be driving with Alex. That makes this venture even more fun and gives me even more motivation.”
Augusto Farfus (Number 45 BMW Z4 GT3, BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS):
“Spa is one of the best, if not the best, GT endurance race in the world. The driver line-up is obviously very strong. We showed at the official test day that our pace is very competitive and the car is outstanding. It is obviously a long race, but we have a strong overall package. I am very proud to share the cockpit with Maxime and Dirk. It is going to be fantastic and very intense.”
Maxime Martin (Number 45 BMW Z4 GT3, BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS):
“This race is very special for me every year. It is basically my home race, as this is the only race I drive in Belgium. My father won here on four occasions, so it is almost like a family event. I really want to win here. There will be a lot of spectators, which I will enjoy. The tests went well, but it goes without saying that these times are not really that significant. However, our overall package is good. Furthermore, we have an outstanding driver line-up, so we could have a really good chance.”
Dirk Werner (Number 45 BMW Z4 GT3, BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS):
“I am really looking forward to the race. On the one hand, I just love this circuit. On the other hand, I know that the team works very passionately at its home race. Last year we were very close to overall victory. Everyone in the team will do everything in their power to win this race. That is my goal, as I have already made three appearances on the podium in the past. This is also the final 24-hour race for the BMW Z4 GT3, and I think that everyone is determined to give this car a worthy send-off with a victory.”
Lucas Luhr (Number 46 BMW Z4 GT3, BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS):
“Last year we finished runners-up, just seven seconds behind the winners. This year, my clear goal is to win by seven seconds. It is a fantastic race. There are an awful lot of cars on the track. Because of this, it is vital to stay out of all the aggro, progress well through traffic, and make the right strategic decisions. I love this circuit. It is one of the old, iconic circuits, on which you have to show a good amount of courage. We are well prepared. Hopefully we will manage to bid farewell to the BMW Z4 GT3 with an overall victory.”
Overview of the BMW teams and cars at the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps 2015:
PRO-CUP:
Number 9 BMW Z4 GT3, ROAL Motorsport
Alessandro Zanardi (IT), Timo Glock (DE), Bruno Spengler (CA)
Number 45 BMW Z4 GT3, BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS
Augusto Farfus (BR), Maxime Martin (BE), Dirk Werner (DE)
Number 46 BMW Z4 GT3, BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS
Lucas Luhr (DE), Markus Palttala (FI), Nick Catsburg (NL)
Number 77 BMW Z4 GT3, BMW Sports Trophy Team Brazil
Sergio Jimenez (BR), Felipe Fraga (BR), Caca Bueno (BR)
PRO-AM-CUP:
Number 12 BMW Z4 GT3, TDS Racing
Eric Dermont (FR), Henry Hassid (FR), Franck Perera (FR), Mathias Beche (FR)
Number 78 BMW Z4 GT3, Team Russia by Barwell
Leonid Machitski (RU), Jon Minshaw (GB), Jonathan Cocker (GB), Phil Keen (GB)
Number 79 BMW Z4 GT3, Ecurie Ecosse
Alasdair McCaig (GB), Devon Modell (GB), Oliver Bryant (GB), Alexander Sims (GB)
Number 888 BMW Z4 GT3, Triple Eight Racing
Joe Osborne (GB), Ryan Ratcliffe (GB), Lee Mowle (GB), Dirk Müller (DE)
BMW Z4 GT3 „Marc VDS & Friends Racing Against Cancer“
Pascal Witmeur (BE), Jean-Michel Martin (BE), Eric van de Poele (BE), Marc Duez (BE)
AM-CUP:
Number 15 BMW Z4 GT3, Boutsen Ginion
Karim Ojjeh (SA), Olivier Grotz (LU), Jordan Grogor (AE), Ralf Oeverhaus (DE)
Number 30 BMW Z4 GT3, Classic & Modern Racing
Jean-Luc Blanchemain (FR), Pierre Hirschi (CH), Christian Kelders (BE), Frederic Bouvy (BE)

BMW Power
27-07-15, 09:07
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F2bgM2eUB4Y

BMW Power
27-07-15, 09:18
Overall victory at the 24 Hours of Spa.
BMW has added another chapter to its success story at Spa-Francorchamps: 50 years after its first win at the 24-hour classic, Nick Catsburg, Lucas Luhr and Markus Palttala of BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS claimed the manufacturer’s 22nd overall victory at this race.

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After 536 laps of the “Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps”, the number 46 BMW Z4 GT3 recovered from a drive-through penalty to cross the finish line first at the end of the 67th running of the Ardennes marathon. Victory was a fitting farewell for the BMW Z4 GT3, which was making its final appearance at one of the most important endurance races in the world.
BMW’s maiden success at Spa-Francorchamps came exactly 50 years ago in 1965, when local heroes Pascal Ickx and Gérard Langlois won with a BMW 1800 TI/SA. The most recent win came courtesy of Alain Cudini, Marc Duez and Eric van de Poele in a BMW 320i in 1998. In recent years, BMW drivers have landed on the podium with the BMW Z4 GT3 on several occasions: in 2011, Claudia Hürtgen, Edward Sandström and BMW works driver Dirk Werner were runners-up for Schubert Motorsport. This was followed in 2012 by third place for Frank Kechele, Greg Franchi and Mathias Lauda of the Vita4One Racing team. Last year, BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS missed out on victory by just 7.077 seconds in one of the closest finishes in the history of this classic race. After 527 laps of racing, Luhr, Palttala and Dirk Werner came home second in the number 77 BMW Z4 GT3 to claim the first podium for BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS at its home race in the Ardennes. The circuit is just 140 kilometres from the team headquarters in Gosselies.
The second BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS car was very unlucky. The number 45 BMW Z4 GT3 held a comfortable lead for long stretches of the race. It looked destined for overall victory until a technical problem resulted in engine damage on lap 399, dashing any hopes of success at its home event. Right from the word go, Dirk Werner, Maxime Martin and Augusto Farfus had produced a dazzling display of driving. The many heavy showers that descended upon Spa-Francorchamps on Saturday made for extremely difficult conditions at the 7.004-kilometre circuit. Despite this, start driver Martin wasted little time in making up ground from his start position of tenth and was soon in touch with the leaders. He was then unable to avoid losing valuable time as the result of Safety Car periods. On lap 37, BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS was actually running first and second, until both cars came into the pits at the same time. The race calmed down a bit in the night. By dawn, Martin, Farfus and Werner held a lead of over 50 seconds over the rest of the field, until they were struck by the technical fault.
The remaining BMW teams also impressed with strong performances at the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps. Three BMW Z4 GT3s ended the race in the top ten. Ecurie Ecosse, with drivers Alexander Sims, Alasdair McCaig, Devon Modell and Oliver Bryant produced a remarkable fightback. Sims started the race from 20th place in the number 79 car. By ten minutes into the race he had climbed to 12th. The team made it through the night unscathed, worked its way into the top ten, and was able to defend its position in the final third of the race. Ecurie Ecosse eventually finished seventh overall, which meant third place in the fiercely-competitive Pro-Am class. They were followed home one place back by Team Russia by Barwell, who also fought back brilliantly. Leonid Machitski, Jon Minshaw, Jonathan Cocker and Phil Keen started the Ardennes marathon from 30th place. A flawless race saw them climb 22 places to cross the finish line in eighth place.
Alessandro Zanardi, Timo Glock and Bruno Spengler also produced an impressive display on their first outing together at a 24-hour race. Despite heavy rain, Spengler clocked the fastest time of the pre-race warm-up in the number 9 BMW Z4 GT3, which was fielded by ROAL Motorsport. During the night, the car was placed as high as fifth at times. Zanardi, Glock and Spengler were the focal point of a very special motorsport project at Spa-Francorchamps: this was the first time double amputee Zanardi had shared the cockpit with other drivers. The BMW Motorsport engineers had come up with innovative technical solutions to modify the BMW Z4 GT3 for this extraordinary first. With one hour of the race remaining, the trio was running in the top ten until Glock was forced to retire with a technical fault on lap 500.
BMW Sports Trophy Team Brazil completed the outstanding overall result for BMW at Spa-Francorchamps. The number 77 car, with Sergio Jimenez, Felipe Fraga and Cacá Bueno sharing the driving duties, finished 13th. The 24-hour marathon came to a premature end for six BMW teams in total, including the number 45 BMW Z4 GT3 of BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS and the ROAL Motorsport car. The Boutsen/Ginion BMW Z4 GT3 retired during an eventful start phase. Late in the evening, Triple Eight Racing driver Ryan Ratcliffe was involved in a crash, in which his car was so severely damaged that he and team-mates Joe Osborne, Lee Mowle and Dirk Müller were unable to continue. Müller had added his considerable wealth of experience to the Triple Eight Racing team at this endurance classic. Early in the morning, the BMW Z4 GT3 run by Classic & Modern Racing also crashed out. The TDS Racing team, which was in touch with the top ten for many hours, also retired before the end of the race.
Another BMW Z4 GT3 was in action at the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps. The “Marc VDS & Friends Racing Against Cancer” car was raising money for the “Belgian Foundation Against Cancer”. However, Jean-Michel Martin, Pascal Witmeur, Eric van de Poele and Marc Duez held their very own version of the 24-hour race – with four 24-minute stints. In total, the number 240 BMW Z4 GT3 completed 42 laps for the good cause.
Reactions after the 24 Hours of Spa.
Jens Marquardt (BMW Motorsport Director):
“This is a fantastic result for Marc VDS Racing, the BMW Z4 GT3 and BMW Motorsport. Congratulations to the team of Marc van der Straten and Bas Leinders on this long-awaited, richly-deserved victory. To win the home race at Spa-Francorchamps has been the main goal of the entire team for several years. Marc VDS has performed brilliantly for years and has always been capable of competing for top results. The only thing they had missed out on – sometimes by a whisker – was victory. I am extraordinarily pleased that we have now achieved this goal together – and on the BMW Z4 GT3’s last big endurance race.
It was once again an extremely exciting, extremely hard-fought race at this wonderful circuit – from the first lap to the last. Markus Palttala, Nick Catsburg and Lukas Luhr were flawless and made the most of the potential of the BMW Z4 GT3 in every phase of the race. If everything comes together, you have a chance of winning – even in such a tough race. The other BMW Sports Trophy teams also impressed in Spa. For a while we had five BMW Z4 GT3s in the top ten. That shows how competitive our car still is as it reaches the end of its life cycle.
It was a very special race for us, in many regards. Firstly, it is 50 years since a BMW 1800 claimed the first of what is now 22 overall victories for BMW here. Secondly, the appearance of Alex Zanardi, who shared a BMW Z4 GT3 with Bruno Spengler and Timo Glock, was an absolute highlight for us and many fans. It was a real crowd-puller. Unfortunately a technical problem in the final hour of the race meant the car was unable to finish. However, the trio had been very strong until then. Everyone involved did a fantastic job, with a lot of passion and commitment. Although the retirement is obviously a great shame, the project was still a great success. We have had a lot of very positive feedback. I am very proud of the entire team. The outing of the third Marc VDS car for charity was also very successful. The fans had to wait a while for a BMW win at this event. Now it is time to celebrate.”
Bas Leinders (Team Principal, BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS):
“I am extremely proud that we can finally celebrate this victory. We have competed at this race with BMW since 2011 and have so often come close. However, for various reasons we have never won until today. We are very happy. We have grown as a team over the years, and have always remained true to our values. Eighty per cent of those involved have been part of our team for five years. We all know each other very well and are like a family. That was one of the keys to this success. We also had an outstanding driver line-up – a strong mixture of BMW works drivers, together with Markus Palttala and Nick Catsburg. They all did an excellent job and we were a really good team. It is 50 years since BMW claimed its first victory at this race, and our triumph now brings us full circle. It has been a fantastic week, and I would like to thank every single person in the team. Everyone contributed to making this possible.”
Lucas Luhr (#46 BMW Z4 GT3, BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS):
“I am overjoyed. BMW has come very close to winning in so many races here. And we were just pipped at the Nürburgring this year. This time it was our turn, though. I am extremely proud of the entire team and BMW Motorsport. It is fantastic to drive the BMW Z4 GT3. A huge compliment goes to the entire team and, of course, to my fellow drivers Markus Palttala and Nicky Catsburg. Everyone did a fantastic job here.”
Markus Palttala (#46 BMW Z4 GT3, BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS):
“I am totally delighted although, being Finnish, I may not look it,. The entire team worked hard to finally win this race. This is my sixth time in Spa with Marc VDS. I have led the race three times, but never been able to finish the job. The 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps is something of a home race for me – I live just 20 minutes from here. Therefore, I am overjoyed to stand on the top step of the podium here. The race was far from a stroll in the park for us. We had a number of problems, but things ran more smoothly after dawn. We threw everything into the race, and came out on top. I think we more than deserve this success.”
Nick Catsburg (#46 BMW Z4 GT3, BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS):
“That was an emotional rollercoaster. During the night I was ready to throw in the towel, we were so far off the lead. But we pushed like crazy and suddenly found ourselves leading the race. I am totally happy. The team has been trying everything to win here for years. The fact that it achieved that goal on the last big outing for the BMW Z4 GT3 is just fantastic. Let the celebrating begin!”
Alessandro Zanardi (#9 BMW Z4 GT3, ROAL Motorsport):
“That was quite an exciting 24-hour race and a great experience for me. I tis a shame that we had to retire with one hour remaining, but that kind of thing can happen in such a long race. As far as the performance is concerned, we were the fastest car on the track at times. I would like to thank BMW Motorsport and the guys at ROAL. I have made two new friends in Timo Glock and Bruno Spengler, who are extraordinary racing drivers. The BMW Z4 GT3 is a fantastic car. We will miss it. Its successor, the BMW M6 GT3, will undoubtedly be even better, otherwise BMW would not send it into action.”
Timo Glock (#9 BMW Z4 GT3, ROAL Motorsport):
“It was tough. We just missed out by one hour. Everyone in the team did an awesome job. Everything was actually running smoothly – we just had one minor technical problem in the morning, which we were soon able to solve. The car sounded odd before the retirement – but I could do nothing about it. I feel particularly bad for Alex Zanardi. He deserved to finish the race. I think it has been a fantastic experience for us all. I can still remember how we all met for the first time at the roll-out. It feels as though we have been working together for ten years. Everything worked wonderfully.”
Bruno Spengler (#9 BMW Z4 GT3, ROAL Motorsport):
“It was great fun to share a car with Alex Zanardi and Timo Glock. I would like to thank BMW Motorsport for giving me that opportunity. The livery was also fantastic. I feel sorry for the mechanics, who worked day and night. They really deserved to see us finish the race. As racing drivers, we are obviously disappointed not to have finished. However, we still have the experience we have gained and the memories we all share.”
Augusto Farfus (#45 BMW Z4 GT3, BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS):
“I won the first 24-hour race with the BMW Z4 GT3 in Dubai in 2011, and would have liked to have ended as the winner on the car’s final outing. It looked good for us for long stretches. We had the pace. We then started to push at the crack of dawn, in order to open a lead over the second-placed car. Everything was going to plan. However, then came the shock retirement. After the victory for Lucas, Nick and Markus, everyone at Marc VDS has every reason to celebrate today. Congratulations guys, well done!”

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BMW Power
27-07-15, 09:39
Luhr: "The feeling of joy is immense."
BMW has added another chapter to its success story at Spa-Francorchamps: 50 years after the first victory at the 24h race, Nick Catsburg, Markus Palttala and Lucas Luhr secured overall victory number 22 for the manufacturer at this endurance classic.

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Three questions for... Lucas Luhr.
Lucas, how would you sum up your emotions after this win?
Lucas Luhr: “I am obviously a bit more composed now, but, to be honest, I was fighting back the tears after the finish. Last year we came so close – and the disappointment was huge when we came up just short. However, this time we came out on top in my second attempt with BMW. The feeling of joy is immense. I obviously feel very bad for our second car. A one-two would have been the icing on the cake. It was obviously a great shame that the number 9 car was unable to finish – as was the retirement of Alex Zanardi and Co. Despite this, on the whole today has been a very good day for BMW.”
What was the key to this success?
Luhr: “The key was this morning, when the sun came out and the track temperature started to rise. Our car really came to life during this phase, and literally went like hell. We had had a few problems at the start, but it then got better from one stint to the next. We had to fight a bit again during the night, and the rollercoaster ride continued. It really was not easy for the engineers to get everything right all the time. However, we cracked it in the morning, and I noticed that we could achieve something special.”
In the end, a two-lap lead makes it look easier than it was …
Luhr: “Yes, but it certainly was not easy. With just half an hour remaining there were quite a few more retirements. When you see that your blood pressure rises again. From the outside, you really cannot imagine how much blood, sweat and tears go into a 24-hour race like this. When the weight finally falls off your shoulders, and you know that you have actually done it, you can let your emotions pour out. Today is a cool day.”