BMW at Spa
This weekend is the running of the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps. For BMW the race will mark the 50th anniversary of the first time the German automaker took home a victory in the legendary endurance race.
Back in 1965 Pascal Ickx and Gérard Langlois van Ophem managed a win driving a BMW 1800 TI/SA. Since then they have managed to repeat the accomplishment 21 times and are looking to make it 22 on the 25th-26th of July.
“This year’s 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps is very special for BMW Motorsport in many regards,” said BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt. “It is exactly 50 years since BMW celebrated its first victory in the Ardennes. A further 20 triumphs have followed to date. On this anniversary, we compete with many BMW Z4 GT3s in Belgium in 2015. This is the last major appearance by this car, and the goal is to continue our success story in Spa – preferably with another victory, of course. There have been many races, in which the BMW Z4 GT3 has missed out on victory at a 24- hour classic by little more than a hair’s breadth. Therefore, we will be doing everything in our power to ensure this magnificent car is given a worthy send-off on the 24-hour stage. At the same time, the race is the highlight of a unique project: Alex Zanardi is joining forces with Timo Glock and Bruno Spengler. To ensure that Alex can alternate with Timo and Bruno at the wheel of the BMW Z4 GT3, despite his physical restrictions, our engineers have invested a lot of time and developed innovative solutions over the past few months. I am certain that this extraordinary combination of drivers will thrill the fans.”
Lucas Luhr (Number 46 BMW Z4 GT3, BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS):
“Last year we finished runners-up, just seven seconds behind the winners. This year, my clear goal is to win by seven seconds. It is a fantastic race. There are an awful lot of cars on the track. Because of this, it is vital to stay out of all the aggro, progress well through traffic, and make the right strategic decisions. I love this circuit. It is one of the old, iconic circuits, on which you have to show a good amount of courage. We are well prepared. Hopefully we will manage to bid farewell to the BMW Z4 GT3 with an overall victory.”
Augusto Farfus (Number 45 BMW Z4 GT3, BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS):
“Spa is one of the best, if not the best, GT endurance race in the world. The driver line-up is obviously very strong. We showed at the official test day that our pace is very competitive and the car is outstanding. It is obviously a long race, but we have a strong overall package. I am very proud to share the cockpit with Maxime and Dirk. It is going to be fantastic and very intense.”
The 24 Hours of Spa will once again be the highlight of the Blancpain Endurance Series season. The 24 hour endurance race all begins on Saturday at 4:30 pm local time and wraps up 24 hours later.