There isn’t any longer any such factor as a winter break in fashionable motor racing – not in case you have such an thrilling portfolio of exercise as BMW Motorsport. Within the ABB FIA Components E Championship, BMW i Andretti Motorsport celebrated an exciting debut with victory in Advert Diriyah (KSA) in mid-December, whereas the primary highlights of the BMW M Motorsport programme are already scheduled for the brand new 12 months. On this interview, BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt opinions 2018 and appears ahead to the brand new season to elucidate why BMW i Motorsport and BMW M Motorsport are an ideal match.
Mr. Marquardt, an eventful 12 months of motorsport with many highlights for BMW is coming to an finish. Which had been probably the most memorable moments for you?
Jens Marquardt: “There are loads to select from, because it was an intensive 2018 season for BMW Motorsport, with a complete programme from the very first race. In fact, I significantly prefer to look again on the massive wins – such because the one-two consequence for the BMW M6 GT3 on the Spa-Francorchamps 24-hour race, the primary triumph for the BMW M8 GTE within the US, profitable the FIA GT World Cup in Macau or Timo Glock’s DTM victory at Hockenheim after his epic duel with Gary Paffett. António Félix da Costa’s win in our very first Components E race stands out particularly. BMW is simply beginning to race with fully-electric automobiles, and we gained on the first try. Thus, we made BMW Motorsport historical past this 12 months. In fact, the DTM visitor look by Alex Zanardi and our return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans had been very particular too. In brief, we skilled a number of nice moments in 2018, for BMW i Motorsport and likewise for BMW M Motorsport.”
Your recollections of the Components E season-opener might be particularly vivid. What was your expertise of this weekend?
Marquardt: “The primary aggressive look with a brand new race automobile just like the BMW iFE.18 is all the time significantly thrilling, much more so when you think about that our Components E debut was a historic occasion. That is our first season in electrical motor racing. It additionally marks our return to single-seater racing after an absence of practically ten years. We already had a superb feeling after the checks. We hoped that our BMW i drivetrain could be aggressive proper from the beginning and the season-opener in Advert Diriyah confirmed simply that. António Félix da Costa clinched pole place after which victory within the very first Components E race for BMW i Andretti Motorsport. That was the right approach to spherical off our 2018 season and the right begin to our Components E mission.”
What does this success imply to you?
Marquardt: “I’m significantly pleased with this – and of the entire staff behind it. I do know simply how a lot ardour and dedication everybody concerned has put into this mission. In comparison with different producers, the Components E involvement is organised in a different way at BMW. The Components E mission noticed the closest collaboration ever between BMW builders from motor racing and from manufacturing. The concepts simply maintain flowing in our ‘TechLab’. What makes it much more particular is that the identical individuals who developed the e-components for the Racing eDrive01 drivetrain are additionally engaged on the electrical drives of the longer term for the BMW Group. The result’s an especially environment friendly, high-performance BMW i drivetrain, which – as we noticed within the first race – is nice sufficient to win from the phrase go. On the observe, now we have additionally proven that BMW is without doubt one of the world’s main producers when it comes to electromobility. This success offers an ideal increase to our sequence and motor racing builders. Now we wish to proceed on this vein.”
And that was not the one premiere this 12 months for BMW Motorsport…
Marquardt: “Right. The BMW M8 GTE additionally accomplished its first race in 2018. The looks on the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the place we had been actually aggressive when it comes to pace till across the midway level, was absolutely the spotlight. That was additionally the placement for the official presentation of the brand new BMW eight Collection Coupe. That mannequin and the BMW M8 profit from the on-track expertise collected throughout improvement of the BMW M8 GTE, and through aggressive racing. Because the 12 months progressed, we additionally recorded the primary wins for our high mannequin in GT racing, within the IMSA sequence. In buyer racing, the BMW M4 GT4 additionally celebrated its debut with our buyer groups and drivers. Its observe report within the first 12 months was merely sensational. The brand new automobile celebrated wins and titles everywhere in the world. It actually hit the mark.”
And within the DTM?
Marquardt: “There was a complete lot happening, each on and off the observe. The result’s what issues: the way forward for the DTM is safe. In 2019, our new two-litre turbo engine will assist us to battle it out with rivals outdated and new and report outcomes that had been lacking this 12 months and meant that we weren’t in a position to actually get entangled within the battle for the title. Now that we are able to focus totally on the sporting aspect of issues, the sequence can solely get even stronger. Now it’s simply concerning the racing.”
In your opinion, how do BMW i Motorsport and BMW M Motorsport match collectively?
Marquardt: “It’s of basic significance that the 2 motorsport areas don’t function solely for their very own profit. The main focus have to be on the worth for the corporate as a complete. Know-how is the decisive driver in each areas. The BMW M8 GTE is the pioneer for its manufacturing counterpart, Components E is our ‘TechLab’ for iNEXT and future generations of automobiles from BMW i. Our focus is all the time on the shut alliance between manufacturing and motor racing, so that each race kilometre and all of the expertise we achieve additionally profit BMW clients. In strategic phrases, we’re very properly arrange total. BMW i Motorsport and BMW M Motorsport are additionally an ideal visible match. The shared design options for all our automobiles be sure that this may stay so, no matter whether or not they use combustion or electrical engines. These embrace the matt black cockpit components that may be discovered on the BMW iFE.18 and on our BMW M race automobiles from the BMW M4 DTM to the BMW M4 GT4. I feel that these visible design components are unbelievable. They’re symbolic of how the parts of the 2 worlds match collectively.”
What is going to the brand new 12 months usher in motorsport phrases?
Marquardt: “I hope that the brand new season will present BMW Motorsport followers with thrilling races, wins and perhaps even titles as soon as once more. There will definitely be no time for a break in 2019: there are two Components E races and the 24-hour race in Daytona with Alex Zanardi in January, then our debut within the Intercontinental GT Problem at Bathurst at first of February, with Walkenhorst Motorsport and BMW Staff Schnitzer. This quick tempo will proceed all through the entire 12 months. We’re actually trying ahead to the brand new DTM with BMW Turbo Energy, the grand finale of the ‘WEC Tremendous Season’ with the BMW M8 GTE at Le Mans and far, way more. BMW Motorsport has by no means been so multifaceted or had so many factors of contact to sequence improvement. No matter occurs, it’s going to be an eventful 12 months.”
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