motorsports

BMW News

BMW Unveils Tribute Livery

Z4 GTLM CSL Homage Livery unveiled at 2015 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance

Woodcliff Lake, N.J. –  Embargo 9:00am EDT, March 14, 2015… Today, BMW of North America publicly unveiled a special livery, which pays homage to the IMSA 3.0 CSL, for the two BMW Team RLL Z4 GTLM cars that will race in the 2015 edition of the 12 Hours of Sebring on March 21st. The unveiling took place during “Cars & Coffee at the Concours” which is part of the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance weekend in Northern Florida. 1975 12 Hours of Sebring winning drivers Brian Redman, Sam Posey and Hans Stuck,  1972 -1980 BMW Motorsport Manager Jochen Neerpasch and current BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt were on-hand when BMW ace driver Bill Auberlen drove the car onto the show field to the applause of show goers and BMW Motorsport fans.

BMW AG began the decade of the 1970s in transition. While the company battled to establish its own distribution in North America, one of its directors pushed to formalize a racing program in Germany. In an inspired drive, then-BMW AG Sales and Marketing Director, Bob Lutz, successfully lured former race driver turned race team manager Jochen Neerpasch and race engineer Martin Braungart from Ford of Europe in May of 1972. With the help of Lutz's understanding ear on the Board, BMW Motorsport GmbH was formed. The newcomers had much work ahead of them, but not in all areas. Engines were always BMW's strong suit – in no small part due to the talents of BMW master engine designer Paul Rosche. And, strangely enough, it was the newness of the motorsports company and the absence of a layered infrastructure that allowed Neerpasch and Braungart to develop the racing CSL in a few short months. This lightweight special would become BMW's weapon of choice for nearly the next 10 years.

The '73 season ended with both the European Touring Car Driver's and Manufacturer's championships awarded to BMW. There was certainly light at the end of the tunnel - unfortunately it was an oncoming train in the form of the world's energy crisis. The energy crisis, in combination with the large expenditure for a new BMW 5 Series assembly plant, meant that factory racing took a back seat in 1974.

So then, how did BMW end up in victory lane Sebring, Florida, in March 1975? While Neerpasch and company fought on the race tracks of Europe, another battle was being waged over the distribution of BMW cars in North America. Ultimately, BMW of North America was formed and began distributing cars in March of 1975, and the new company looked for ways to establish its identity and grow the brand. A commonly-told story of the early days was that many Americans were mistakenly under the impression that BMW stood for British Motor Works.

While racing is not always treated affectionately in the boardrooms of auto companies, nothing proves and improves a brand like racing. The decision was made for BMW to contest the IMSA Camel GT Series in 1975 with two 3.0 CSLs and four world-class drivers: Brian Redman, Hans Stuck, Ronnie Peterson, and Sam Posey. To dispel any misconceptions as to exactly who had come to race, the cars featured BAVARIAN MOTOR WORKS printed across the windshield tops.

The BMW team arrived at Sebring after disappointment at Daytona 1975, one month earlier. After qualifying a strong second and third at the season opener, both cars retired with connecting rod failures. The 12 Hours of Sebring began with three major changes. Allan Moffat substituted for Ronnie Peterson, who could not compete in a non-FIA race. European-proven Dunlop tires replaced the Goodyears tried at Daytona. Finally, new connecting rods were designed, tested, and installed. As usual, Hans Stuck put his car on the pole - by some five seconds.

Confidently starting the race, the No. 24 car of Stuck and Posey pulled out an early lead over Corvettes and Porsches. The· No. 25 car of Redman and Moffat ran a bit farther back as Moffat got familiar with the car. Sebring is one of the world's most demanding races, and within a matter of hours began to wear down out the lead CSL and its competitors. As an oil leak promised the end for Stuck and Posey, the race lead fell to the No. 25 CSL, and increasingly onto the shoulders of veteran racer Redman, who stayed in the car stint-after-stint because Moffat could not match his speed. After retiring the No. 24 car, Stuck and Posey pitched in, but it was Redman's drive of more than seven hours of twelve that meant victory for BMW and the team.

1975, the BMW CSL, and the 12 Hours of Sebring all symbolize the simultaneous startups of a BMW national sales company and BMW Motorsport in North America. The significance and achievements are not underestimated by today’s BMW, whose brand turns 100 years old in 2016. Only four men stood on the roof of the winning BMW in Sebring’s victory lane, but many others deserved to. After that stunning first win, BMW Motorsport and BMW of North America have charged ahead, consistently winning races, championships, and the hears of fans, employees, and loyal customers for the ensuing four decades.

Videos

Sam Smith drives a 2002ti at the RMM Reunion

Road & Track Executive Editor Sam Smith drives a 1970 BMW Alpina 2002ti at the 2014 Rolex Monterey Motorsport Reunion. The car, currently owned by BMW of North America, was a factory Alpina team car and later campaigned by Vasek Polak in the SCCA's 2.5-liter Trans-Am. This was its first outing following restoration. It weighs around 2000 pounds and makes roughly 200 hp.

Events

Bimmerfest East 2014

Photography by Ryan Lee

This year was the 4th installment of Bimmerfest East and I am comfortable with calling it the best one yet. BMW NA had a large presence this year and that gave enthusiasts reassurance that they haven’t forgotten about us.

Everybody can have a different experience at such a large show so I find it best to quickly describe mine rather than try to sum up an event so large into a few short sentences. The first year I came was the 2nd year of Bimmerfest East and I met a group of people who I knew after that weekend, would be life long friends. This year a good size of group of met up again to spend the weekend together in Aberdeen, Maryland. We convene here from Massachusetts, New Jersey, Florida, Virginia, and plenty of places in between.

There were beautifully represented examples of a wide range of classic BMW’s this year. BMW brought the m3 race cars of each chassis, Vendors brought their products, and enthusiasts from all over the country strolled the lot taking time to talk to owners about their projects or rare finds. Bimmerfest is more than a car show in a parking lot, it’s where friends are made through the blue and white roundel.

BMW News

BMW claims top four positions

Spielberg (AT), 3rd August 2014. After last year’s one-two-three, the BMW DTM teams moved up another gear at the sixth round of the season at the Red Bull Ring (AT) to claim the top four positions for the first time since the manufacturer returned to the DTM in 2012. Marco Wittmann (DE), at the wheel of the Ice-Watch BMW M4 DTM, clinched his third win of the season at the 4.326-kilometre circuit in Spielberg (AT). In doing so, he also extended his lead in the Drivers’ Championship.

Now with 95 points to his name, Wittmann has pulled 39 points clear of Mattias Ekström (SE, Audi) in second place. Augusto Farfus (BR, Castrol EDGE BMW M4 DTM) and Timo Glock (DE, DEUTSCHE POST BMW M4 DTM) came home second and third after 47 laps of racing to join Wittmann on the podium. Martin Tomczyk (DE) finished fourth in the BMW M Performance Parts M4 DTM to complete the quadruple success for BMW. This was Tomczyk’s best result since the race at the Nürburgring (DE) in 2012.

The last time BMW occupied all four top positions at the end of a DTM race was at the finale of the 1992 season at the Hockenheimring (DE). Back then BMW actually had drivers in the top places, in the form of Roberto Ravaglia (IT), Johnny Cecotto (VE), Joachim Winkelhock (DE), Franz Engstler (DE) and Emanuele Pirro (IT). BMW scored a total 71 points in Spielberg – more than at any other race since making its comeback in the touring car series in 2012.

Bruno Spengler (CA) started tenth on the slower standard tyres in the BMW Bank M4 DTM, and crossed the line in exactly the same position. Joey Hand (US, Crowne Plaza Hotels BMW M4 DTM) and Maxime Martin (BE, SAMSUNG BMW M4 DTM) were both given a drive-through penalty and went on to finish 12th and 14th. António Félix da Costa (PT) had to retire 11 laps into the race due to a technical problem on the Red Bull BMW M4 DTM. In total, 47,500 spectators followed the action at the iconic racetrack in the Styria region of Austria.

Jens Marquardt (BMW Motorsport Director):
“This is a historic success for us today – the first time we have occupied all of the top four positions since Hockenheim in 1992, and the best result since our return to the series. It was a sensational race from Marco Wittmann, Augusto Farfus, Timo Glock and Martin Tomczyk – one driver from each of the four teams in the BMW M4 DTM. Today we can quite literally talk about ‘Four in a Row’. A huge compliment goes to the entire team, who produced an absolutely top-class performance. The race was very intense and close at the front, particularly just after the start. After Marco fell back through the field a bit at the start, he did a great job of working his way back into the race. It then all calmed down at the front of the field towards the end of the race. Today is a fantastic day for us – and we are particularly delighted to have achieved this result against such a great backdrop and in front of so many spectators. We will celebrate today, and tomorrow we will start to focus on the next race at the Nürburgring, where the situation with the performance weight means we are bound to face a real challenge.” 

Stefan Reinhold (Team Principal, BMW Team RMG):
“We knew that it would not be easy this weekend. Together with the drivers, the whole team and engineers did a superb job to put both cars near the front in qualifying. We did not necessarily take this for granted at the start of the weekend. Marco Wittmann got off to a difficult start today, but he held his nerve and drove a very good race after that. He gradually developed his pace and maintained it right through to the finish. I feel sorry for Maxime Martin. He received a drive-through penalty and we had a bit of a problem during his pit stop. Despite this, on the whole, we are obviously very happy. I would also like to say a big thank you to BMW Motorsport, as we successfully came through a tough weekend.” 

Bart Mampaey (Team Principal, BMW Team RBM):
“It was important for us to get back on the podium with Augusto Farfus, and to get a good result. We saw an upwards trend in Moscow, which we were able to continue here. Augusto did a fantastic job. We were very competitive all weekend and scored 18 points. If Joey Hand had not, unfortunately, received a drive-through penalty, it could have been even better for us. It is obviously great for BMW to occupy all of the top four positions.” 

Ernest Knoors (Team Principal, BMW Team MTEK):
“That was a successful weekend for us. We have shown earlier in the season we have the necessary pace, but we have sometimes lacked the little bit of luck that you also require. Everything finally ran smoothly for Timo Glock. Unfortunately we were not able to make any progress with António Félix da Costa. We will have to work on that. It is very nice for BMW to have all four teams represented in the top four positions. That shows we are all as strong as each other.” 

Charly Lamm (Team Principal, BMW Team Schnitzer):
“Firstly, congratulations to Marco Wittmann on his win – and to BMW Motorsport on this fantastic result. We are obviously also delighted that Martin Tomczyk, after some difficult races, was able to challenge at the front of the field again and to finish fourth. That gives me a lot of confidence ahead of the rest of the season. Unfortunately we had to settle for one point for tenth place with Bruno Spengler. He made a good start to the race, but was then stopped in his tracks by traffic after his pit stop. This prevented him from putting in the kind of performance he would have been capable of. These things happen sometimes in motor racing. All in all, however, it is definitely a great day for BMW.” 

Marco Wittmann (car number 23, BMW Team RMG, 1st):
Tyres: Option-Prime
 
“To be honest, I made a pretty poor start. I lost a few positions and dropped back down the field. However, it was important to keep calm, hold my nerve and avoid contact. I tried to move back up through the field, but the leading group was very evenly matched up until the pit stop. It was a good race, and I knew that everything was still possible. For this reason, I tried to look after my tyres and not push too hard, while the others were battling against each other quite a lot. The car had a very good balance after the pit stop and I was able to work my way forward again. To have four BMWs in the first four places is a great result for us all.” 

Augusto Farfus (car number 3, BMW Team RBM, 2nd):
Tyres: Option-Prime
 
“This second place feels like a win to me. It is good to be back on the podium and to see that our car is back among the front-runners. I was one of the quickest all weekend. I was just a little bit slow in Q3 in qualifying yesterday, otherwise I would have been on pole. But I proved today that we are quick enough. Thank you to BMW Team RBM – we never give up. Congratulations to Marco Wittmann and BMW on this top result.” 

Timo Glock (car number 17, BMW Team MTEK, 3rd):
Tyres: Option-Prime 

“It is obviously nice to be stood on the podium. Having been on course for a podium in Moscow, but unfortunately dropped back due to a problem, we were able to show our pace here. Maybe we lost a bit of ground on the leaders at the start, because we were slightly out with our tyre pressure strategy. However, I was then able to set my sights on the cars ahead of me. I am obviously pleased for the guys at BMW Team MTEK, who did a very good job. I feel sorry for my team-mate António Félix da Costa. He failed to finish, but under normal circumstances he would also have been up there at the front of the field.” 

Martin Tomczyk (car number 10, BMW Team Schnitzer, 4th):
Tyres: Option-Prime
 
“BMW’s pace was definitely there today, and we showed that on the track. We can be extremely happy with today. I always knew we were never lacking speed in the race, but I never started from a good enough position. It was a different story this time – and look what the result was. I still have problems in qualifying, and we must continue to work on this. Today I came through from 11th to fourth. If I can start from even further up the grid, then I can also look to finish even higher. Because of this, I am now looking forward to the next race.” 

Bruno Spengler (car number 9, BMW Team Schnitzer, 10th):
Tyres: Option-Prime

“My start was very good. I climbed two places, but was blocked towards the end of the first stint – sometimes quite strongly. This caused me to lose a lot of time and one position. I was outbraked and overtaken, although I was actually quicker. I don’t want to criticise, as it was clever tactically. But it is also down to us. We simply were not good enough in yesterday’s qualifying. If we start from higher up the field, we should have a good chance in the race.” 

Joey Hand (car number 4, BMW Team RBM, 12th):
Tyres: Prime-Option

“We definitely had good speed today, but were unlucky with the drive-through penalty I received as a result of the yellow flags. It did not affect just me, but some of the other drivers too. It is a real shame, as we were quick today and had a good car. That was bad timing, but these things happen.” 

Maxime Martin (car number 24, BMW Team RMG, 14th):
Tyres: Prime-Option

“Congratulations to Marco Wittmann, he did a great job. The team also produced another fantastic performance, claiming its fourth win in six races this season. And the fact that BMW occupied the top four positions is awesome. As far as I am concerned, I got off to a poor start. And when that happens, it makes it a difficult race. I was delayed by traffic. But we have to take the positives away with us, and that is that I completed the race and gained more experience. We will now focus on the next race.” 

António Félix da Costa (car number 18, BMW Team MTEK, DNF):
Tyres: Prime
 
“I was forced onto the grass on lap two, after which the air inlets for the engine and brakes were full of grass. Things went downhill from there. I started to lose power and the brakes were gradually giving up. When the engine overheated, my race was run.” 

 

Facts and figures from Spielberg:  

Circuit / Date 
Red Bull Ring, 3rd August 2014

Laps / Distance 
47 laps, 4.326km

2014 Pole Position 
Robert Wickens (CA), 1:25.175 minutes

2014 Winner 
Marco Wittmann (DE), BMW

2014 Fastest Lap 
Mike Rockenfeller (DE), 1:25.266 minutes 

 

DTM standings after 6 of 10 races.  

Drivers’ Championship. 
1. Marco Wittmann (95 points), 2. Mattias Ekström (56), 3. Bruno Spengler (42), 4. Edoardo Mortara (41), 5. Adrien Tambay (36), 6. Mike Rockenfeller (35), 7. Maxime Martin (33), 8. Christian Vietoris (33), 9. Augusto Farfus (33), 10. Timo Glock (33), 11. Jamie Green (28), 12. Miguel Molina (26), 13. Robert Wickens (25), 14. Martin Tomczyk (20), 15. Timo Scheider (19), 16. Pascal Wehrlein (14), 17. Paul di Resta (12), 18. Nico Müller (10), 19. Joey Hand (7), 20. António Félix da Costa (4), 21. Gary Paffett (4). 

Team Championship. 
1. BMW Team RMG (128 points), 2. Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline (82), 3. Audi Sport Team Abt (77), 4. BMW Team Schnitzer (62), 5. Audi Sport Team Phoenix (54), 6. Original-Teile Mercedes AMG (45), 7. BMW Team RBM (40), 8. Audi Sport Team Rosberg (38), 9. BMW Team MTEK (37), 10. EURONICS / FREE MAN'S WORLD Mercedes AMG (29) , 11. gooix Mercedes AMG (14). 

Manufacturers’ Championship. 
1. BMW (267 points), 2. Audi (251), Mercedes-Benz (88). 

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).

BMW News

Martin claims his maiden DTM win

Moscow (RU), 13th July 2014. Maxime Martin (BE) crowned a perfect weekend at the Moscow Raceway (RU) with the first win of his fledgling DTM career. After 46 laps of the 3.931-kilometre circuit on the outskirts of the Russian capital, the BMW Team RMG diver crossed the line as the comfortable winner in the SAMSUNG BMW M4 DTM. Bruno Spengler (CA) followed 4.259 seconds behind in the BMW Bank M4 DTM to finish runner-up and make his second appearance of the year on the podium. The one-two marks the 16th time in the history of the DTM that two BMW drivers have occupied the top two steps of the podium.

Saturday’s qualifying had seen Martin secure his first pole position at only his fifth DTM race weekend. Martin’s victory also presented BMW Team RMG with its third win in five races this season. The previous two victories came courtesy of Marco Wittmann (DE), who this time came home fourth in the Ice-Watch BMW M4 DTM to extend his lead at the top of the Drivers’ Championship. Team Principal Stefan Reinhold’s (DE) outfit also regained the lead in the Team competition.

Timo Glock (DE, DEUTSCHE POST BMW M4 DTM) in sixth place and Augusto Farfus (BR, Castrol EDGE BMW M4 DTM) in tenth also finished in the points at the end of an eventful race, which included two safety car phases. BMW added a further 64 points to its tally in the Manufacturers’ Championship.

António Félix da Costa (PT, Red Bull BMW M4 DTM) and Martin Tomczyk (DE, BMW M Performance Parts M4 DTM) narrowly missed out on the points, coming home eleventh and 13th respectively. Joey Hand (US, Crowne Plaza Hotels BMW M4 DTM) finished 17th.

Jens Marquardt (BMW Motorsport Director):
“That was a fantastic race for us – the most successful of the season so far. Maxime Martin produced a dominant display and a magnificent race against a great backdrop and in only his fifth race in the DTM. He was simply unbeatable this weekend. Bruno Spengler also put in a very strong performance to finish just behind him. Despite the fact that it was, at times, hard to keep track of what was going on, this one-two was never in doubt. I feel sorry for Timo Glock: a problem with the fuel pressure meant he dropped back to sixth place shortly before the end of what had been a great race for him. Marco Wittmann also scored a lot of points and extended his lead in the Drivers’ Championship. Augusto Farfus rounded off a good result for us in tenth place. We once again leave Moscow very happy and are now looking forward to Spielberg – and we obviously have our fingers crossed for the German national team tonight.” 

Maxime Martin (car number 24, BMW Team RMG, 1st):

“I can’t quite believe it yet. It is simply incredible. To drive in the DTM was always a dream of mine. As I have never driven single-seater cars, I never paid much attention to Formula One. Instead, I always wanted to race in this series. And now here I am after five races, with a first pole position and maiden win to my name. Incredible! I would like to thank everyone at BMW Team RMG. The pit stop was awesome and the strategy was spot on. The team and, of course, everyone at BMW Motorsport really did a fantastic job.” 

Bruno Spengler (car number 9, BMW Team Schnitzer, 2nd):

“That was a good day for us. First of all, I would like to congratulate Maxime Martin on his maiden win. He did not make any mistakes and was very quick. It is a dream result for BMW. I struggled a little on the option tyres in the first stint, and lost a bit of time. However, things were much better on the primes. We scored some valuable points towards the championship. That gives me a lot of confidence ahead of the next races. BMW Team Schnitzer deserved a result like this.” 

Marco Wittmann (car number 23, BMW Team RMG, 4th):

“I was really under fire in the start phase. As such, the key for me was to get through in one piece and without making any mistakes. I managed that. Fourth place is a super result. Our team did a great job and we can be very happy. Congratulations to Maxime Martin and BMW.” 

Timo Glock (car number 17, BMW Team MTEK, 6th):

“It is a real shame, as I could obviously have been on the podium today. However, I suffered a massive drop in fuel pressure in the final stages of the race. There were signs of this happening after the safety car phase and I noticed that the engine was no longer getting the fuel it needed. In the end I had no chance at all. It is painful, as we were within touching distance of a one-two-three for BMW. However, we showed today that we had good pace – particularly on the softer tyres. I hope we will have a bit more luck at the Red Bull Ring. Congratulations to Maxime, Stefan Reinhold and his entire crew. They did a superb job all weekend.” 

Augusto Farfus (car number 3, BMW Team RBM, 10th):

“All in all, the race was ok for us. However, the safety car phases didn’t exactly help us. They meant we were on the standard tyres for a lot longer than planned. That basically destroyed our race. It could definitely have gone a lot better, but we just didn’t have any luck on our side. Congratulations to Maxime Martin on his victory!” 

António Félix da Costa (car number 18, BMW Team MTEK, 11th):

“The safety car phases could have helped us, but unfortunately they lasted far too long. We lost too many laps behind the safety car, meaning our strategy no longer came into play. It was actually fun out there. However, we simply have to ensure that we qualify further up the field for the next races.” 

Martin Tomczyk (car number 10, BMW Team Schnitzer, 13th):

“I did my very best today, and was involved in hard-fought duels for the majority of the time. The safety car phases lasted a very long time, but I just drove my own race. There was certainly no lack of fighting spirit. Congratulations to my team-mate Bruno Spengler on second place – and to Maxime Martin on his maiden DTM win, of course.” 

Joey Hand (car number 4, BMW Team RBM, 17th):

“Starting from 16th on the grid meant that we were right in the middle of all the turmoil right from the word go. When we then missed the pit stop window due to the safety car phases, our race was basically over. After that it was just a case of putting on a good show for the fans. We just weren’t quick enough here.” 

 

Facts and figures from Moscow:  

Circuit / Date: Moscow Raceway, 13th July 2014 
Laps / Distance: 46 laps, 3.931 km 
2014 Pole Position: Maxime Martin (BE), 1:28.619 minutes 
2014 Winner: Maxime Martin (BE), BMW 
2014 Fastest Lap: Miguel Molina (ES), 1:28.305 minutes

 

Standings after 5 of 10 races.  

Drivers’ standings. 
1. Marco Wittmann (70 points), 2. Mattias Ekström (50), 3. Edoardo Mortara (41), 4. Bruno Spengler (41), 5. Mike Rockenfeller (35),  6. Maxime Martin (33), 7. Christian Vietoris (31), 8. Adrien Tambay (28), 9. Miguel Molina (26), 10. Robert Wickens (25), 11. Jamie Green (24), 12. Timo Glock (18), 13. Augusto Farfus (15), 14. Pascal Wehrlein (14), 15. Paul di Resta (12), 16. Nico Müller (10), 17. Timo Scheider (9), 18. Martin Tomczyk (8), 19. Joey Hand (7), 20. António Félix da Costa (4), 21. Gary Paffett (4). 

Team standings. 
1. BMW Team RMG (103 points), 2. Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline (76), 3. Audi Sport Team Abt (69) , 4. BMW Team Schnitzer (49), 5. Audi Sport Team Phoenix (44), 6. Original-Teile Mercedes AMG (43), 7. Audi Sport Team Rosberg (34), 8. EURONICS / FREE MAN'S WORLD Mercedes AMG (29), 9. BMW Team MTEK (22), 10. BMW Team RBM (22), 11. gooix Mercedes AMG (14).

Manufacturers’ standings. 
1. Audi (223 points), 2. BMW (196), Mercedes-Benz (86).