6th/7th finish at Circuit of the Americas

Munich (DE), 21st September 2014. BMW Team RLL finished sixth and seventh in the Lone Star Le Mans race at Circuit of the Americas, in Austin, Texas (US), the penultimate round of the 2014 United SportsCar Championship. 

Bill Auberlen (US) and Andy Priaulx (GB) finished sixth in the black number 55 BMW Z4 GTLM, completing 75 laps of the 5.513 kilometre, 20-turn circuit at the chequered flag after the 2 hour 45 minutes race. John Edwards (US) and Dirk Müller (DE) finished seventh in the white number 56 BMW Z4 GTLM. 

The cars qualified sixth and seventh, but Edwards started the race from fifth and Priaulx from sixth after the GTLM class polesitter was disqualified following technical inspection. There was just one yellow flag in the race on lap 21 after Edwards ran wide in turn 19 and the Astroturf ripped off his car’s rear bumper. For the majority of the race the number 56 car led the number 55, but with two laps to go Priaulx overtook Müller for sixth position. 

In the GTD class, the Turner Motorsport BMW Z4 GTD of Dane Cameron (US) and Markus Palttala (FI), racing in the team’s 300th professional race with BMW, finished third. 

Bobby Rahal (Team Principal, BMW Team RLL):

“This was the race we expected and I was afraid might happen. The Porsches were almost two seconds a lap faster on the fastest laps, the Vipers not much worse. We just cannot maintain the pace with the way the rules are. I hope things are better at Petit Le Mans, as they are very unfair right now. There is no balance of performance.” 

Bill Auberlen (Number 55 BMW Z4 GTLM):

“I had just a tough little run there in the middle. That is why you have a second guy you can rely on. When it was a struggle for me they put Andy in, they put him on a different tyre than I had run and he did a fantastic job, exactly what you would expect from a world champion. You lean back and you just let him do it. The crew got us out of the pits over and over in front of other cars all day long. The two BMWs raced to the end and we finished pretty much nose to tail. We need a little bit of help to get to the front. The series has let it get out of hand with the Balance of Performance, as we are nowhere and they need to fix this before the last race.”  

Andy Priaulx (Number 55 BMW Z4 GTLM):

“It has been a tough weekend, but we knew it was going to be really hard. Bill and I had two really tough first stints. The tyre we chose clearly wasn’t right for the conditions. Bill was up to speed nicely and brought the car back in a really good position. He helped the team with feedback to give me the right tyre for the last run, and that’s what made the difference.” 

John Edwards (Number 56 BMW Z4 GTLM):
“We expected a hard day at the office, and it really was. It is really tough to keep pushing in such hot conditions when you are sweating like crazy and you don’t have the pace, but that is what we have to do. By the time Dirk got in there was very little rear downforce and that made it pretty tough to drive on cold tyres.”

Dirk Müller (Number 56 BMW Z4 GTLM):

“That was an exciting drive doing a double stint with no rear bumper. I had lost all the downforce at the rear of the car and had to drive like a rally driver. I was fighting like crazy. I knew Andy’s car he was coming hard at the end. It reminded me of the good old touring car times. We raced clean and I think that is how you should make it between team mates.”

Michał Adamiszyn's Alpina B3 E36

Photography by JLZ1.com

Many people will look at this car and probably react in one of two ways. They'll either be impressed by its stance and wheel setup, or they'll find the car "ruined" wondering why anyone would ever take the modifying that far. Though, whichever side of the fence you fall on, owner Michał Adamiszyn is unphased. The wildness of this build is not exactly my cup of tea, but I can respect it for Michał built it for none other than himself.

Sitting motionless the car bears a very aggressive attitude. The black grills and smoked lights help give the sinister appearance from the front, I can only imagine what it must look like approaching in the rearview. Red tails and a GT-Class spoiler with LTW risers were added to ensure the rear grabbed an equal amount of attention.

Before the E36, Michał had a "stanced" Mk1 VW Caddy and an Audi S4 B5 2.7 BiTurbo. The Audi kept breaking down so it was set back to stock and sold. During that time he said he always wanted to try something else and the E36 chassis really caught his eye. Michał was especially fond of Shaun Quill's red E36 which was an inspiration for his own build.

He found an original Alpina B3 E36 that had an accident with a tree by ways of the previous owner. He then swapped its engine and complete interior to a standard E36 with M body kit. Michał later decided that he no longer needed the beige leather interior because he found it pointless to keep it legit when the VIN code wasn't able to be moved with the rest of the original Alpina parts. So the interior received a pair of bucket seats with Schroth seat belts and a Nardi steering wheel.

Michał decided to keep most of the remaining interior parts though to show the roots of the car. The passenger side of the dashboard holds the Alpina plate that says "0186", the door threshold with Alpina badge and a couple other things were kept in the move. 

The engine is the Alpina B3 3.0 good for 247hp and 240 ft. lb. torque, Michał also added a K&N air filter and custom exhaust system. A manual gearbox from a 328i was chosen for the job instead of the Alpina switch-tronic transmission from the donor car.

A set of AP Fahrwerke coilovers with custom stiffer springs, camber plates and camber arms allowed Michał to achieve this radical wheel fitment. The camber up front is set to -8 degrees while the rear runs -9 degrees. The OZ Breyton wheel specs are 17x11"(F) and 17x11.25"(R) with 4 inch lips. That was unheard of years ago for the E36 chassis with stock fenders, even widebody fenders that's a whole lot of wheel to stuff in there.

After I briefly let go of my "purist" beliefs I was able to enjoy this absurd looking ride for what it was. I'm glad to see Michał pushing the limits and doing what most would say is impossible.

M4 CSL Render

Designer rc82 workchop has released their rendering of what they envisioned the F82 M4 CSL would look like. Although BMW's Matt Collins had confirmed earlier this year that there are no plans for a CSL version in the future, it's nice to dream. There is however a prototype of a possible M4 GTS that was recently spied testing.

Wittmann wins the 2014 Drivers’ Championship

Lausitzring (DE), 14th September 2014. The DTM has a new champion: Marco Wittmann (DE) of BMW Team RMG wrapped up the title in the Drivers’ Championship in the eighth round of the ten-race season at the Lausitzring (DE). Sixth place on Sunday was sufficient for the 24-year-old, at the wheel of the Ice-Watch BMW M4 DTM, to ensure he can no longer be caught by his rivals. Wittmann started from seventh place, and once again produced a flawless race in difficult conditions to pick up eight points at the end of the 52-lap race and take the final step towards the title.

Wittmann follows in the footsteps of Volker Strycek (DE, 1984), Eric van de Poele (BE, 1987), Roberto Ravaglia (IT, 1989) and Bruno Spengler (CA, 2012), who have all triumphed in this series for BMW. Taking all manufacturers into consideration, he is the third-youngest DTM champion of all time. Wittmann’s success also marks the first time in the history of the “new” DTM – since 2000 – that a driver has been crowned champion in only his second year. Only Bernd Schneider (DE) had previously managed to secure the title three races before the end of the season back in 2001.

In winning the title, Wittmann continued a special tradition: whenever BMW has appeared in the DTM with a new model, the title in the Drivers’ Championship has ultimately gone to Munich (DE) at the end of the season. After Strycek’s success with the BMW 635 CSi in 1984, van de Poele repeated the feat with the BMW M3 in 1987, and Spengler continued the tradition with the BMW M3 DTM in 2012. Wittmann has now ensured that the first year of the new BMW M4 DTM will also go down as a golden debut season.

He now has 128 points to his name, and a 69-point lead over second-placed Christian Vietoris (DE, Mercedes). BMW Team RMG also tops the Team standings with 167 points, giving it a 75-point cushion ahead of its closest rivals. And BMW also leads the Manufacturers’ Championship with 320 points.

Behind the new champion, Augusto Farfus (BR, Castrol EDGE BMW M4 DTM) and Martin Tomczyk (DE, BMW M Performance Parts M4 DTM) also finished in the points in seventh and eighth at the Lausitzring. Both drivers were rewarded for fighting back strongly from 20th and 23rd on the grid respectively. Joey Hand (US, Crowne Plaza Hotels BMW M4 DTM), Maxime Martin (BE, SAMSUNG BMW M4 DTM) and Bruno Spengler (CA, BMW Bank M4 DTM) came home 11th, 14th and 15th. The two BMW Team MTEK drivers, Timo Glock (DE, DEUTSCHE POST BMW M4 DTM) and António Félix da Costa (PT, Red Bull BMW M4 DTM), failed to finish. Victory at the 3.478-kilometre circuit went to Mercedes driver Pascal Wehrlein (DE).

Wittmann can now enjoy the remaining races in Zandvoort (NL) and Hockenheim (DE) as the DTM champion. The young German caught the eye in the very first race of the year, winning the season-opener at the Hockenheimring – and he went on to add a further three victories over the course of the season. At just 24 years and 294 days, Wittmann is the youngest DTM champion in BMW colours, and the youngest ever champion from Germany.

Marco Wittmann (BMW Team RMG, 2014 DTM Champion):

“Unbelievable. This is an absolutely awesome feeling. The constantly changing conditions made it a really difficult race today. There were a lot of battles, and I just tried to stay out of bother. A few drivers skidded off the track and it was topsy-turvy at times. After yesterday I did not really believe that it would work out today. On the whole, however, we were able to drive a clean race. I am so emotional now, it is crazy. The season has been incredible so far. I am so proud of BMW Team RMG and BMW Motorsport. Everyone has done a sensational job. The pit stop was superb again today. To already know that I am the champion is amazing. I think we will have a fantastic party today.”

Jens Marquardt (BMW Motorsport Director):

“It is difficult to find words today to describe Marco Wittmann’s performance. That goes not only for today’s race, but also the entire season. In a race that was heated at times, he always kept a cool head and showed the perfect combination of aggression and control. Marco fully deserves to be crowned champion so early in the season. The BMW M4 DTM, BMW Team RMG and he have formed the perfect unit right from the start of the season. We have continued the tradition of winning the title in the first season with every new car we have fielded in the DTM. This is something we are very proud of. Marco is the youngest German champion of all time, and hardly anyone has ever wrapped up the title so early in a season – and all in just his second year in the DTM. An absolutely mega achievement. Congratulations to Marco, but also to Stefan Reinhold’s BMW Team RMG, who have worked hard for this success. Today we will celebrate our success here at the Lausitzring. This is a good venue for us. After claiming our first win since returning to the series and the 50th ever for BMW here in 2012, we can now celebrate the first title for the BMW M4 DTM.”

Facts and figures from the Lausitzring:

Circuit / Date 
Lausitzring / 14th September 2014

Laps / Distance 
52 laps / 3.478km

2014 Pole Time 
Pascal Wehrlein (DE), 1:17.547 minutes

2014 Winner 
Pascal Wehrlein (GB), Mercedes

2014 Fastest Lap 
Timo Scheider (DE), 1:19.782 minutes 

DTM standings after 8 of 10 races.

Drivers’ Championship.

1. Marco Wittmann (128 points), 2. Christian Vietoris (59), 3. Mattias Ekström (56), 4. Edoardo Mortara (56), 5. Mike Rockenfeller (54), 6. Bruno Spengler (42), 7. Pascal Wehrlein (40), 8. Maxime Martin (39), 9. Augusto Farfus (39), 10. Robert Wickens (35), 11. Adrien Tambay (36), 12. Timo Scheider (34), 13. Timo Glock (33), 14. Miguel Molina (28), 15. Jamie Green (28), 16. Martin Tomczyk (28), 17. Paul di Resta (17), 18. Daniel Juncadella (22), 19. Nico Müller (10), 20. Joey Hand (7), 21. António Félix da Costa (4), 22. Gary Paffett (4).

Team Championship.

1. BMW Team RMG (167 points), 2. Audi Sport Team Abt (92), 3. Audi Sport Team Phoenix (88), 4. Audi Sport Team Abt Sportline (84), 5. Original-Teile Mercedes AMG (83), 6. BMW Team Schnitzer (70), 7. BMW Team RBM (46), 8. EURONICS / FREE MAN'S WORLD Mercedes AMG (41), 9. gooix Mercedes AMG (40), 10. Audi Sport Team Rosberg (38), 11. BMW Team MTEK (37), 12. Petronas Mercedes AMG (22).

Manufacturers’ Championship.

1. BMW (320 points), 2. Audi (302), 3. Mercedes-Benz (186).

2014 calendar.

4th May – Hockenheim (DE), 18th May – Oschersleben (DE), 1st June – Budapest (HU), 29th June – Norisring (DE), 13th July – Moscow (RU), 3rd August – Spielberg (AT), 17th August – Nürburgring (DE), 14th September – Lausitzring (DE), 28th September – Zandvoort (NL), 19th October – Hockenheim (DE).