MIL OSI Translation. Region: Germany / Deutschland –
Source: BMW Group Munich. Around four weeks after the acclaimed victory at the Nürburgring 24 Hours (GER), the second big endurance highlight of the season is on the program for the BMW M6 GT3 next weekend: the Spa-Francorchamps (BEL) 24 Hours. Walkenhorst Motorsport comes to Belgium with the tailwind of the double victory at the Indianapolis 8 Hours (USA) and is aiming for a podium again after his 2018 Spa triumph. Top-class GT drivers will be at the wheel of the two vehicles. In the Pro-Am category, the BMW M6 GT3 used by Boutsen Ginion and designed by the artist Peter Halley will be a real eye-catcher. In the # 34 BMW M6 GT3 from Walkenhorst Motorsport, the two regular drivers and Indianapolis winners Nick Catsburg (NED) and Augusto Farfus (BRA) are again at the start. BMW works driver Philipp Eng (AUT) is the third driver to return to Spa, where he has already won twice – in 2016 with ROWE Racing and in 2018 with Walkenhorst Motorsport. In the sister car with starting number 35, the regular drivers David Pittard (GBR) and Martin Tomczyk (GER) alternate with 24h Nürburgring winner Nick Yelloly (GBR).
“In these weeks one GT highlight follows the next, and it is great to see that with the BMW M6 GT3 we are fighting for podiums and victories wherever we are at the moment,” says BMW Group Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt , for which the 24 hours of Spa-Francorchamps will officially be the last major endurance race in its current function. “We recently celebrated the long-awaited victory at the Nürburgring 24 Hours, but we also showed in Indianapolis and in the GTD class of the IMSA series, in the ADAC GT Masters and in the Italian GT Championship that the BMW M6 GT3 is capable of winning in almost every race. We naturally want to take this momentum with us to Spa-Francorchamps, where we have been able to celebrate three overall victories since 2015. Personally, I would of course be delighted to be able to cheer once more with the team at my last big race as BMW Group Motorsport Director. “
For Walkenhorst Motorsport, the Spa-Francorchamps 24 Hours are not only important as a major individual event, but also as the third of four season races of the Intercontinental GT Challenge. There Catsburg and Farfus are only one point behind the top in second place in the drivers’ standings. Pittard, Tomczyk and Yelloly are third. BMW is in the lead in the GT3 manufacturers’ championship.
In the Pro-Am category, Boutsen Ginion is fielding a third BMW M6 GT3 – and a very special one. The colorful design of the vehicle was created by the American artist Peter Halley, who was inspired by the tradition of the famous BMW Art Cars. It makes the # 10 BMW M6 GT3 a real eye-catcher in the field. Karim Ojjeh (KSA), Gilles Vannelet (FRA), Benjamin Lessennes (BEL) and BMW works driver Jens Klingmann (GER) take turns at the wheel.
The race starts next Saturday at 3:30 p.m. and ends on Sunday after 24 hours at 2:30 p.m. due to the time change during the night.
Quotes before the Spa-Francorchamps 24 hours:
Nick Catsburg (# 34 BMW M6 GT3, Walkenhorst Motorsport): “Another big highlight of my season is just around the corner, and I can’t wait for it to finally start. I hope I can continue the run that I have after the victories at the Nürburgring and Indianapolis in Spa. The conditions are very good, I think. We have almost always looked strong at Spa in recent years, and Walkenhorst Motorsport has now often proven that the team is good for wins at the really big events. And with Augusto and Philipp I have two fantastic driver colleagues by my side. Both of them have achieved many great victories in GT racing, so it’s a privilege for me to be able to share a BMW M6 GT3 with them. “
Nick Yelloly (# 35 BMW M6 GT3, Walkenhorst Motorsport): “For me it will be my first start in the Spa-Francorchamps 24 Hours, and I’m really looking forward to working with Martin and David again. Our aim is to build on the second place that we achieved together with Walkenhorst Motorsport in Indianapolis. At the end of October in Spa, of course, the weather can play a major role. Similar to our victory at the Nürburgring, it will be crucial to minimize mistakes and get the most out of the BMW M6 GT3. “
Jens Klingmann (# 10 BMW M6 GT3, Boutsen Ginion): “The victory at the ADAC GT Masters last weekend was very good for me and motivates me even more, now a strong result in Spa-Francorchamps together with my team-mates at Boutsen Ginion retract. Personally, I have very good memories of this race after finishing second in 2018. For the team it is the absolute highlight of the season. In addition, we will compete with our very special livery and also set a color highlight with our racing overalls. I think I can reveal that much. Our sporting goal is to fight for the podium in the Pro-Am category. Hopefully I can help my fellow Am drivers with this. ”
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and / or sentence structure not be perfect.