MIL OSI Translation. Region: Germany / Deutschland –
Source: BMW Group Munich. The successful streak of the BMW M6 GT3 continues: just one week after its first triumph at the Nürburgring 24 Hours (GER), the BMW M Customer Racing vehicle also won the Indianapolis 8 Hours (USA). Walkenhorst Motorsport even celebrated a one-two victory in the second of four season races of the Intercontinental GT Challenge (IGTC). Nürburgring winner Nick Catsburg (NED) triumphed in the # 34 BMW M6 GT3 together with Connor De Phillippi (USA) and Augusto Farfus (BRA). David Pittard (GBR), Martin Tomczyk (GER) and Nick Yelloly (GBR) finished second in the sister car with starting number 35. In qualifying, the BMW M6 GT3s had already underscored their ambitions for victory with pole position for Catsburg, De Phillippi and Farfus and third place on the grid for their team-mates. In the race, despite the rain and sometimes difficult conditions, all drivers showed faultless performance in the first hours of the race and took the lead. The team, too, always made the right decisions when choosing tires in view of the changing track conditions. Since the competition also had to struggle with problems, the two BMW M6 GT3s were able to control the race in the final phase and bring the one-two victory to the finish.
Walkenhorst Motorsport celebrated its first victory in the IGTC in the second full year. For Catsburg it was the second triumph within just one week after his Nürburgring success with ROWE Racing. After a retirement at the season opener in Bathurst (AUS) in February, regular drivers Catsburg and Farfus are back in the title race, as are their teammates Pittard and Tomczyk, who did not start in Bathurst. In just a few weeks, the IGTC season highlight will take place with the 24 hours of Spa-Francorchamps (BEL). The title decision will be made at the season finale in Kyalami (RSA) in December.
The BMW M Customer Racing Teams also triumphed in the GT4 category. Bill Auberlen, James Clay and Chandler Hull (all USA) drove to victory in the # 82 BMW M4 GT4 from BimmerWorld Racing. This ended a perfect weekend for Clay, because on Saturday he had already secured the driver’s title in the TC America with the BMW M240i Racing. Second place in the GT4 class of the 8 Hours of Indianapolis went to the # 438 BMW M4 GT4 from ST Racing with drivers Jon Miller (USA), Samantha Tan and Nick Wittmer (both CAN). Quotes after the race: Jens Marquardt (BMW Group Motorsport Director): “It’s amazing that we have won an important endurance race with the BMW M6 GT3 for the second time within just one week. Congratulations to Walkenhorst Motorsport on an absolutely sovereign and faultless performance in Indianapolis. It was a pleasure to watch the team and the drivers doing their perfect work. With a view to the overall ranking in the Intercontinental GT Challenge, this success was extremely important. Now I can hardly wait to see the two BMW M6 GT3s from Walkenhorst Motorsport in action again in three weeks at the Spa-Francorchamps 24 Hours. The success in Indianapolis was rounded off perfectly by the two-way victory for the BMW M4 GT4 in the GT4 class. Congratulations also to BimmerWorld Racing and ST Racing. “Niclas Königbauer (Team Manager Walkenhorst Motorsport):” We are over the moon. It was a sensational team effort to clinch a one-two victory here in Indianapolis after the 24-hour race. Of course we always dreamed of it, but that we were able to implement it that way was really great. We didn’t make any mistakes, we prepared very well strategically, and the drivers and the entire team did a mega job. So I think we deservedly took first and second place. We are glad that BMW placed their trust in us and that we were able to repay it with this success. Now we’re all the more looking forward to the Spa-Francorchamps 24 Hours and many other challenges. ”Nick Catsburg (# 34 BMW M6 GT3, Walkenhorst Motorsport):“ That was a very special week for me. To celebrate the two victories in a row at the Nürburgring and in Indianapolis is simply fantastic. Many thanks to Walkenhorst Motorsport and my driver colleagues. You did a perfect job. Augusto Farfus was great in the rain at the beginning. He and Connor De Phillippi made my life relatively easy. I just had to drive home the victory. ”Connor De Phillippi (# 34 BMW M6 GT3, Walkenhorst Motorsport):“ The guys from Walkenhorst Motorsport are Nürburgring specialists, they impressively demonstrated that today. Because we also had Nürburgring conditions here in Indianapolis. Sometimes it was wet, then again dry. The choice of tires and tire strategy were decisive, and the team did an almost perfect job in the sometimes turbulent phases of the race. Unfortunately, the safety car phases didn’t always play our part in the cards and third-placed Acura was able to catch up with us again in the meantime. As the track dried out, the BMW M6 GT3 got faster and faster and after the problems our rivals got, we were able to control the race. “Augusto Farfus (# 34 BMW M6 GT3, Walkenhorst Motorsport):” That was a great day . To win at a legendary place like Indianapolis one week after the podium at the Nürburgring is unique. We didn’t make any mistakes today and thus laid the foundation for this victory. I can hardly wait to travel to Spa-Francorchamps for the big season highlight. “
David Pittard (# 35 BMW M6 GT3, Walkenhorst Motorsport): “I think our set-up gave us a slight advantage over our sister car on a wet track. You could see that especially at the beginning, when Martin Tomczyk did a fantastic job in difficult conditions and Nick Yelloly was then able to take the lead. The drier it got, the more the balance of power shifted towards the # 34 vehicle. It’s great for the team to be able to split the strategy in this way. In the end it worked out in favor of our team-mates, but overall this is a fantastic result for Walkenhorst Motorsport. “
Martin Tomczyk (# 35 BMW M6 GT3, Walkenhorst Motorsport): “That was an exciting weekend. Congratulations to Walkenhorst Motorsport and our sister car with Nick, Connor and Augusto on their victory. We were almost on par with both cars all weekend. In the race, however, the situation developed a little more in that direction. Which suited the set-up of our sister car. But so be it. The double victory is a fantastic result for Walkenhorst Motorsport and for BMW. We are a big team and we are all happy together. We did that a week ago at the Nürburgring – and of course we are doing that here too. ”Nick Yelloly (# 35 BMW M6 GT3, Walkenhorst Motorsport):“ It was another great race and a great event. It was great fun to drive in Indianapolis, I’ve always wanted to do that. And to get a one-two for BMW after Nick and I won on the Nordschleife last week – these are just dream weeks. In the end we couldn’t quite keep up with our sister car, we went two different ways in terms of set-up. At the beginning we were faster, but when the track got dry, they really turned up. I am very happy. It is the second podium that I have achieved with Walkenhorst Motorsport and it was simply a great performance by the entire team. “
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and / or sentence structure not be perfect.