Our BMW M Motorsport News allows us to give you a regular overview of the race action in various championships around the world and any success enjoyed by the BMW M Motorsport teams.
Last weekend, Imola (ITA) was the venue for the third event of this season’s Italian GT Championship Sprint Cup. Among those in action were the two BMW M works drivers Timo Glock and Jens Klingmann (both GER), who started both races in a BMW M4 GT3 for the Ceccato Racing team. The duo dominated the qualifying sessions on Saturday, securing pole position for both races. However, converting pole into top results proved to be a big challenge from the outset due to the regulations in the Italian GT Championship. Rather than using performance weight as a handicap for previous podium finishes, the drivers must instead complete far longer pit stops. That cost Glock and Klingmann in both the Saturday and the Sunday race. They were able to open a lead in the first few laps, but the field bunched back together following safety car periods in both races. Consequently the Ceccato Racing BMW M4 GT3 had to launch a fightback in the second half of each race. They ended with third place and a spot on the podium on Saturday, and seventh place on Sunday. In the overall Sprint Cup standings, Glock and Klingmann are currently third, six points behind the leaders. The season finale takes place on 22nd/23rd October with two races at Mugello (ITA).
BMW M2 CS Racing Cup Italy: Luigi Ferrara dominates at Imola.
Luigi Ferrara (ITA) dominated the third from last race weekend of the season in the BMW M2 CS Racing Cup Italy and won both races. In doing so, he extended his lead in the Drivers’ Championship. Ferrara started from pole position on Saturday, and completed a lights-to-flag victory. After 17 laps of racing, he came home roughly two seconds clear of Jody Vullo (ITA). Third place went to defending champion Gustavo Sandrucci (ITA). On Sunday, Ferrara started the race from third on the grid. However, he came through to take a comfortable victory with a lead of more than seven seconds over Sandrucci. The third spot on the podium went to Manuel Lasagni (ITA).
BMW M2 Cup: Win number three of the season for Maxime Oosten.
The BMW M2 Cup held its third event of the season as part of the DTM weekend at the Nürburgring (GER) at the end of August. The drivers had to be patient before they could go in pursuit of victory and podiums in their BMW M2 CS Racing cars. This was because thick fog made it impossible to start the opening race on Saturday. Sunday’s race, however, was held as planned in excellent weather conditions.
Maxime Oosten (NED / #54) produced a strong performance to claim his third win of the season. He was passed by Marc David Müller (GER / #22) at the start, but Oosten remained in striking distance and regained the lead on lap three. Müller was penalised for a false start and consequently dropped back through the field. In contrast, Oosten was flawless and took a comfortable victory. In doing so, the 18-year-old cut the gap to championship leader Fabian Kreim (GER / #43) to just four points. “It is obviously excellent to win,” said Oosten. “I initially saw a blue car fly past me at the start, but was then able to pass him very quickly and went on to win the race. The title race is very close now, with just a few points separating me and Fabian. I am looking forward to the remaining races and the battle.”
Kreim was embroiled in a battle for second place with rookie Bart Horsten (AUS / #50), with the German just getting his nose in front in the end. Horsten finished third to claim his first podium of the season and victory in the Rookie competition. TV presenter Matthias Killing, making his debut as a guest starter, produced an impressive display, but unfortunately had to retire from the race. Former MotoGP rider Alex Hofmann (GER) also made a guest appearance and finished 14th. Next up for the BMW M2 Cup is its first outing in Belgium. Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps hosts the one-make cup for the first time from 9th to 11th September.
DTM Trophy: Round four at the Nürburgring.
The fourth event of this season’s DTM Trophy took place at the Nürburgring (GER) at the end of August. The BMW drivers narrowly missed out on the podium in both races, with two fourth places the best results for the BMW M4 GT4. Colin Caresani (NED) finished fourth for Project 1 in the #47 BMW M4 GT4 in race one on Saturday. His team-mate Louis Henkefend (GER / #13) came home sixth. Moritz Löhner (GER / #11) and Marc De Fulgencio (ESP / #12) from the FK Performance Motorsport team also finished in the top ten, in eighth and tenth place respectively. In race two on Sunday, it was Löhner who crossed the finish line as the best-placed BMW driver in fourth. Team-mate De Fulgencio was eighth, Caresani tenth.
GT4 European Series: Podium for Piana/Schrey at Hockenheim.
Gabriele Piana (ITA) and Michael Schrey (GER) finished on the podium at the GT4 European Series weekend at Hockenheim (GER). The duo finished third in a BMW M4 GT4 run by Hofor Racing by Bonk Motorsport on Saturday. On Sunday, the best-placed BMW M4 GT4 crossed the finish line in seventh place. Alternating at the wheel were Berkay Besler (TUR) and Will Burns (GBR) for the Borusan Otomotiv Motorsport team. Piana and Schrey failed to finish race two.
Super GT Championship: Round five of the season at Suzuka.
The Japanese Super GT Championship was at Suzuka (JPN) at the end of August for the fifth round of the season. BMW M works driver Augusto Farfus (BRA) again competed for BMW M Team Studie. He shared the cockpit of the #7 BMW M4 GT3 with Seiji Ara and Tsubasa Kondo (both JPN). The trio fought back strongly in the two-hour race. From 22nd on the grid, BMW M Team Studie battled its way back to finish 12th.
IMPC: Three BMW M4 GT4s in the top eight.
The race in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge at VIRginia International Raceway (USA) at the end of August once again produced some stunning racing. After two eventful hours, all three BMW M4 GT4s finished in the top eight. The best-placed BMW pairing was that of Robby Foley and Vincent Barletta (both USA), who came home fourth in the #96 BMW M4 GT4 of Turner Motorsport.
Their Turner Motorsport team-mates Bill Auberlen and Dillon Machavern (both USA) led the race for a long time in the #95 BMW M4 GT4, and record IMSA winner Auberlen looked set to claim his 20th victory in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge. However, the strategy did not quite work out as Auberlen and Machavern were among the first to come in for the driver changeover, and had to complete another brief fuel stop with just 13 minutes remaining. In the end, the duo came home fifth. Sean Quinlan and Greg Liefooghe (both USA) were eighth for Stephen Cameron Racing in the #43 BMW M4 GT4.
BTCC: Two podiums at Thruxton.
BMW drivers claimed another two podiums at round eight of the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) at Thruxton (GBR). Championship leader Colin Turkington (GBR) finished second in the third and final race at the wheel of the #50 BMW 330e M Sport of Team BMW. His team-mate Stephen Jelley (GBR) followed him home in third place. Turkington had previously finished tenth in races one and two, with Jelley eleventh on both occasions. Jake Hill (GBR) from the ROKiT MB Motorsport team twice finished fourth and ended the final race in twelfth place.
After eight of the season’s ten events, Turkington tops the Drivers’ Championship with 311 points and a lead of six points. BMW leads the Manufacturer standings with 654 points, 78 points clear of its closest rivals. Team BMW also leads the Team competition with 457 points. The penultimate round of the season will take place at Silverstone (GBR) at the end of September.