- Parent Category: BMW Racing News
- Category: 2017 DTM
- Published on Saturday, 10 December 2016 17:40
- Written by Jeff Seabrook
- Hits: 194
Munich. BMW Motorsport used the traditional Season Review event in Munich (DE) to announce significant information about the 2017 driver set-up and present details of the individual programmes for various racing disciplines.
DTM – consistency in the cockpit.
BMW Motorsport will be represented by two teams and six drivers in the 2017 DTM season. The race car will be the new BMW M4 DTM, which is currently completing a comprehensive test and development programme in preparation for the 18 races. Six BMW works drivers with plenty of DTM experience will be behind the wheel. Reigning DTM champion Marco Wittmann (DE) heads the selection. Tom Blomqvist (GB), Augusto Farfus (BR), Timo Glock (DE), Maxime Martin (BE) and Bruno Spengler (CA) will be battling for points and wins alongside him. The six BMW drivers have racked up a total of 399 DTM starts, recording 32 wins and 34 pole positions. BMW Motorsport can boast two DTM champions in its ranks: Spengler (2012) and Wittmann (2014 and 2016). The three BMW M4 DTMs of Wittmann, Glock and Farfus will be fielded by BMW Team RMG, headed by Stefan Reinhold (DE). Bart Mampaey (BE) and his BMW Team RBM will be responsible for the cars of Blomqvist, Martin and Spengler.
BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt: “Our driver selection for 2017 once again includes some of the best the DTM has to offer. Of course, everyone will be chasing champion Marco Wittmann. But our five other drivers have all claimed wins and proved their quality in the DTM. This consistency in the cockpit will do us good. Experience is extremely important in the DTM.”
IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship – new faces from Europe.
In 2017, BMW Team RLL will again be represented by two BMW M6 GTLMs in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship (IWSC). Bill Auberlen (US) and John Edwards (US) will be the regular drivers from the USA next season. They will be joined by two new team-mates from Europe: in 2017, Auberlen will start alongside Alexander Sims (GB), whose fine performances in this season included overall victory for the ROWE Racing team with the BMW M6 GT3 at the 24-hour race in Spa-Francorchamps (BE). At the wheel of the second BMW M6 GTLM, BMW works driver Martin Tomczyk (DE) will join Edwards for the GTLM class races. The quartet will be supported by DTM drivers Augusto Farfus and Bruno Spengler, as well as Kuno Wittmer (CA) and Nick Catsburg (NL) for the endurance races on the calendar. Auberlen, Sims, Farfus and Spengler will also share driving duties in the BMW M6 GTLM Art Car for the 24 Hours of Daytona (US) on 28th/29th January 2017, a car designed by US artist John Baldessari.
BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt: “We are looking forward to an exciting second season with the BMW M6 GTLM in North America. Of course, our goal is to record the first win with this car. Competing with the 19th BMW Art Car in Daytona will be a real highlight to start the year off. I’d like to thank Dirk Werner and Lucas Luhr for their hard work last season - and now it’s time to welcome Alexander Sims and Martin Tomczyk. I am convinced that they will both settle in very quickly at BMW Team RLL and will soon be successful. I wish Dirk all the best in his new sporting challenges. We have been delighted to have him on board since 2010. He impressed us with his speed, his professionalism and his down-to-earth nature.”
GT and endurance races – the next chapter in a success story.
In 2017, BMW Team Schnitzer will enhance an already strong BMW set-up in international GT and endurance racing. The team headed by Charly Lamm (DE) will compete in races alongside ROWE Racing, winners of the 24-hour race in Spa-Francorchamps, and Schubert Motorsport, and will be doing their best to record the 20th overall win for BMW in the classic 24-hour race at the Nürburgring (DE). BMW Team Schnitzer is also scheduled to compete with the BMW M6 GT3 at the ADAC GT Masters. The three teams will also represent BMW at many other GT events – such as the VLN Endurance Championship Nürburgring (VLN) or the Blancpain GT Series. Among others, former BMW Motorsport Junior Jesse Krohn (FI) will compete in a BMW M6 GT3 in the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring, alongside the works drivers active in the DTM.
BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt: “The BMW M6 GT3 made a successful all-round debut in 2016. We are aiming for more wins and titles next season with our top model in customer racing. The three teams, ROWE Racing, Schubert Motorsport and BMW Team Schnitzer all have a special role to play and will compete with this car in various series. After winning in Spa in 2016, we now want to continue our long-running success story on the Nordschleife. As far as teams and drivers are concerned, we are ideally equipped to do this.”
BMW customer racing – major tests for the BMW M4 GT4.
With the BMW M6 GT3 spearheading the product range for privateer teams and drivers, BMW Motorsport will be getting a new challenger ready over the course of the 2017 season: the BMW M4 GT4. With this car, customers will be able to race cost-effectively at the very highest level at events around the world from 2018. Numerous test events are scheduled throughout the 2017 season, including the 24-hour race in Dubai (UA) in January. Drivers and teams around the world will continue to compete with the current entry-level model, the BMW M235i Racing, in such competitions as the BMW M235i Racing Cup classes in Germany, Belgium and China. A total of 170 examples of the BMW M235i Racing have been built.
BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt: “Our international customers have celebrated many triumphs in the first year with the BMW M6 GT3. We hope this will continue in 2017. The comprehensive test programme with the BMW M4 GT4 will go on in parallel. We will also see the car in action in a couple of races. Our privateer teams will then compete with the newest model from our product range in 2018. I am particularly pleased that the BMW M235i Racing remains so popular. The widespread use of this race car and the positive feedback from our customers show that this model has been a hit since its introduction in 2014.”
FIA Formula E Championship – the way to Montréal.
The MS Amlin Andretti team supported by BMW has started the FIA Formula E Championship 2016/17 with two thrilling races in Hong Kong (CN) and Marrakesh (MA). On the way to the season finale in Montréal, BMW works driver António Félix da Costa (PT) and Robin Frijns (NL) will be competing in some of the most exciting cities in the world, including Buenos Aires (AR), Mexico City (MX), Paris (FR), Berlin (DE) and New York (US). The exchanges between the team and the BMW Motorsport engineers will gradually increase in intensity throughout the year. Works involvement is planned from season 5 (2018/19) onwards. BMW i also enjoys a prominent position as “Official Vehicle Partner” in Formula E, providing the Qualcomm Safety Car BMW i8.
BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt: “The first Formula E races since the announcement of our partnership with the MS Amlin Andretti team has made us hungry for more. We are really looking forward to the season taking off from February 2017. Our primary aim is to gather experience in the Formula E environment. Close cooperation with the Andretti Formula E team is extremely valuable.”
FIA World Endurance Championship – the countdown is on.
After the announcement at the end of September that BMW Motorsport will compete in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) from 2018, some more details have now been confirmed. BMW Team MTEK will spend the coming season on a comprehensive test and preparation programme for competition in the following year. The drivers in this phase will be Martin Tomczyk, Alexander Sims and António Félix da Costa.
BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt: “The countdown to 2018 has started. We will prepare meticulously for our entry into the FIA WEC throughout the coming season. BMW Team MTEK is ready to start and is extremely motivated.”