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COMMITTED TO MOTORSPORT.COMMITTED TO MOTORSPORT.

COMMITTED TO MOTORSPORT.

19 min reading time

The greatest BMW M race victories.

A BMW M has often been the first to see the chequered flag on racetracks worldwide. We cover the biggest, most spectacular and unusual race victories and their dates and stats below.

17 April 2024

1965 24 HOURS OF SPA.

BMW 1800 TI/SA BMW 1800 TI/SA
BMW 1800 TI/SA 1965 in Spa-Francorchamps

Only half finished.

That was tough: not even half of the field saw the chequered flag at the 1965 edition of the 24-hour race at Spa-Francorchamps. Only 19 of the 46 touring cars that started crossed the finish line in Belgium. And the winners – after 3,813 kilometres at top racing speeds – were Pascal Ickx and Gérard Langlois van Ophem. They drove their BMW 1800 TI/SA around the 14.1-kilometre course at an average speed of 158.85 km/h – 271 times. In the end, they were two laps ahead of the second-placed Alfa Romeo. Hubert Hahne, who dominated the 1964 German Circuit Championship with 14 victories in 16 races, was disqualified with his second driver, Willy Mairesse, in the second BMW: After a pit stop, mechanics illegally gave his BMW 1800 TI/SA a push because the starter had broken.

1970 NÜRBURGRING 24 HOURS.

Spectator at the NürburgringSpectator at the Nürburgring

123 laps through the "Green Hell".

In 1970, the first 24-hour race at the Nürburgring replaced the previous 12-hour race. It served as a popular alternative to the more professional 1,000-km sports car race. With the BMW 2002 ti from tuner Hans-Peter Koepchen, BMW had the right sports car on hand, with Hans-Joachim Stuck (only 19 years old at the time) and Clemens Schickentanz taking over behind the wheel. The "Green Hell" of the Nürburgring-Nordschleife is still considered to be extremely challenging for both man and machine alike. After 123 laps and 2,808.71 kilometres driven, three BMWs crossed the finish line in first place: the winners being Hans-Joachim Stuck and Clemens Schickentanz. And that's not all: nine of the first ten race cars to cross the finish line came from BMW.

BMW 3.0 CSLBMW 3.0 CSL

1973 EUROPEAN TOURING CAR CHAMPIONSHIP (ETCC).

The BMW 3.0 CSL: Instant champion.

The legendary BMW 3.0 CSL from 1973 was the first in many respects: prototype for the Art Cars or lap-time champion on the Nürburgring. But above all, it was the car to beat on the track. The Coupé Sport Leichtbau, as the “CSL” stands for, was so successful on the racetrack that it won the European Touring Car Championship title on its very first attempt in 1973, with its drivers, Toine Hezemans and Dieter Quester, winning the drivers' championship. This car was also the first BMW Motorsport GmbH project; the company was founded in 1972. The BMW 3.0 CSL competed in a total of 17 races in 1972, winning nine times and finishing second and third twice. By 1979, the BMW 3.0 CSL had won six European championship titles.

1973 TO 1982 ENGINES FOR FORMULA 2.

Formula 2 engineFormula 2 engine

Engines for champions.

For many years, Formula 2 was the junior series for the higher-rated Formula 1, with a number of companies building chassis that they either used themselves or provided for their customers. The engines also came from various suppliers. In the early 70s, factories such as Brabham and Ferrari withdrew their teams. At this time, BMW took on a central role in Formula 2 as an engine supplier. The March racing team was initially the only team that could use the Bavarian engines; other manufacturers could use the engines from 1974 onwards. A great success story began: between 1973 and 1982 the engine manufacturer of each champion mostly was BMW Motorsport GmbH.

1975 12 HOURS OF SEBRING.

Pit stop in Sebring 1975Pit stop in Sebring 1975
Pit stop in Sebring/Florida.

Victorious tactics.

When competition is tough, you have to be creative. After the oil crisis in 1973 and the cancellation of the race in 1974, it was unclear whether the race in Sebring could even take place in 1975. The track, grandstands, fences, simply everything was in disrepair after two years without maintenance. But this did not discourage the BMW team with their two 3.0 CSLs. The tough competition of local hero Luigi Chinetti's North American Racing Team was more of a problem. So, a promising tactic had to be found: pole-sitter Hans-Joachim Stuck and second driver Sam Posey were instructed by BMW team boss Jochen Neerpasch to go at full speed right from the start, while the second BMW 3.0 CSL with Brian Redman and Allan Moffat at the wheel would be easier on the car and go more slowly. The competition took the bait, resulting in the fiercest rivals dropping out halfway through the almost 2,000-kilometre race. The BMW with Stuck/Posey also had to drop out because of a defective oil pump. The second BMW 3.0 CSL thereby drove, as planned, to its first endurance triumph at Sebring. Fun fact: because Stuck and Posey also drove the second car, there were four winning drivers instead of two.

BMW 3.0 CSL in Daytona.BMW 3.0 CSL in Daytona.
BMW 3.0 CSL in Daytona 1976.

1976 24 HOURS OF DAYTONA.

Water damage for the winner.

It's part of every race, and spectators love it: drama. And yet the 1976 edition of the 24 Hours of Daytona clearly had too much of it. A record field of 72 teams started in the USA, and everything ran normally for the first 15 hours or so. The BMW 3.0 CSL made life easy for its drivers Peter Gregg, Brian Redman and John Fitzpatrick, and the team had built up an incredible 17-lap lead over its nearest rival at this point. Then Redman came into the pits: fuel, fresh tyres, and off they went. Just back on the track, the drama unfolded: after severe misfiring, the engine stopped. Redmann had a hard time restarting the BMW 3.0 CSL and driving it back to the pits. News of what at first seemed like a normal race failure reached the race organisers shortly afterwards. Nine of the top ten cars had the same problem after refuelling. The race organisers decided to red flag the race. The culprit was quickly found: Water got mixed in with the petrol in the tanker. Fresh petrol was obtained and the race was restarted, nearly three hours later, in the exact order that had existed before the first report—the clock was simply turned back. In the end, team BMW of North America won the 24 Hours of Daytona with a comfortable 14-lap lead.

1979 BMW M1 PROCAR CHAMPIONSHIP (PROCAR)

The run-up to Formula 1.

In 1979 and 1980, there was a special treat for Formula 1 spectators: the rounds of the BMW M1 Procar Championship, also known as the Procar Series, which usually started in the run-up to the actual race on Saturday. The five fastest Formula 1 drivers from the practice runs competed against a maximum of 19 private drivers. The cars were technically identical BMW M1s in the Procar version, which, unlike the standard M1, had 470 hp. This meant that the racing cars reached 100 km/h in 4.5 seconds and could reach a good 300 km/h. You had to pay DM 150,000 for a race-ready vehicle. Jochen Neerpasch, managing director of BMW Motorsport GmbH at the time, wanted the standardised cars to really have to fight for the best positions—which is exactly what he got. The series gave the captivated audience an insight into the driving abilities of the drivers on the track. The 1979 season started on the 12th of May in Zolder, Belgium, and comprised eight rated races, all of which took place in Europe. In the end, Niki Lauda and Hans-Joachim Stuck fought a tough battle for first place, for which a production BMW M1 was awarded. As Lauda was only barely ahead at the finish line, they both received a private M1 as first prize. In the second and final season in 1980, the future Formula 1 world champion, Nelson Piquet, secured the championship.

1982 BMW ENGINES FOR FORMULA 1, 1983 BMW F1-WORLD CHAMPION.

First turbo-powered world championship.

In 1982, BMW took the big step and entered Formula 1 as an engine supplier. The chassis of the Formula 1 car was supplied by Brabham, and the car was called the Brabham BMW Turbo BT52. At the time, there was a debate in Formula 1 about the right power unit for Formula 1 racing cars: should it be the traditional eight-cylinder engines or the new turbo engines, which initially were very unreliable? BMW decided in favour of the more promising route and developed the M12 turbo engine. This was a four-cylinder engine measuring just 1,499 cubic centimetres, based on a production engine and distantly related to the successful Formula 2 engine. At the end of this season, Keke Rosberg won the world championship on a Williams chassis, which also marked the last title for one of the traditional Ford-Cosworth V8 engines. BMW began the 1983 season with a bang: with the M12 engine behind him, the Brazilian Nelson Piquet secured both the fastest race lap and victory in the opening race. The engine, which produced around 300 hp in the Formula 2 version, must have been around 1,400 hp at qualification, according to calculations made in later expansion stages. Nobody knows the exact horse powers for sure, as the test benches at the time were unable to measure such high output. The season ended with the world championship title for Piquet, Brabham and BMW Motorsport, who had thus won the first world championship with a turbo engine in Formula 1.

1984 TO 1992 GERMAN TOURING CAR CHAMPIONSHIP (DTM), THREE CHAMPIONSHIP TITLES.

Champions in 1984, 1987 and 1989.

The German Touring Car Championship (DTM) is a success story: it increased the number of spectators for German motorsport as a whole and promised exciting races. In the first two years, it was still called the German Production Car Championship (DPM). In contrast to other racing series, racing cars were not divided into classes. Equal power ratios were achieved by slowing down cars that were too fast or too strong with additional weights or different tyre sizes. Depending on the engine capacity, a racing car with 2,000 cubic centimetres had to weigh at least 880 kilos and was allowed to run tyres no wider than 25 centimetres. In comparison, a car with more than 4,000 cubic centimetres: 1,425 kilos minimum, tyre width 28 centimetres. The reason for the founding of the DTM was that the Group C races, taking place at the same time, were prohibitively expensive for many participants and was why mainly only car manufacturers competed there. In the DTM, on the other hand, customer teams or private drivers could also participate. A BMW 635 CSi with Harald Grohs at the wheel won the very first race of the season. Volker Strycek also secured the championship in a BMW 635 CSi. These victories were not alone: BMW also won the titles in 1987 and 1989 with the BMW M3.

The DTM is not the World Touring Car Championship, which was held in 1987. The first race started on the 22nd of March and the championship ended on the 15th of November after eleven races were held around the world. The champion was the Italian BMW M3 driver Roberto Ravaglia, one point ahead of his Ford rivals.

1995 24 HOURS OF LE MANS.

McLaren F1 GTRMcLaren F1 GTR
McLaren F1 GTR mit BMW M V12

Favourites’ demise in heavy rain.

When a highly experienced racing driver like Mario Andretti talks about the worst race of his life, it carries weight. In fact, the 1995 24 Hours of Le Mans was unusual in many respects. Firstly, there were only a few works cars, which increased the chances for the private teams. Secondly, nobody knew exactly where to place themselves in terms of performance. The previous year's winner from Porsche was not allowed to take part due to a rule change, and with many of the otherwise fast but newly constructed prototypes it was not known whether they would last 24 hours at race pace—which many ultimately did not. But Mario Andretti was talking about something entirely different: The weather from the 17th to the 18th of June was catastrophic. As night fell, it rained, which later turned into heavy rain. Aquaplaning was a constant problem, and later that night fog set in. One of the numerous accidents was that of Mario Andretti in the Courage C34, who would otherwise have won the race. However, the McLaren F1 GTR with its BMW V12 engine was able to turn up the heat. These performance-enhanced twelve-cylinder engines came from BMW Motorsport GmbH. The man in charge of engine development was Paul Rosche, who was also responsible for the winning Formula 1 turbo engines. The version of the twelve-cylinder engine known as the S70/2 had a displacement of 6,064 cubic centimetres and produced 627 hp at 7,500 rpm. The GT1 cars, which also included the BMW-powered McLaren, coped better with aquaplaning than the prototypes due to their higher ground clearance. After 24 hours, not only did the McLaren with drivers Yannick Dalmas, Masanori Sekiya and JJ Lehto cross the finish line in first place, there were also three other McLaren F1 GTRs in the top five.

BMW V12 LMRBMW V12 LMR
The BMW V12 LMR on a demonstration drive

1999 24 HOURS OF LE MANS.

Fuelling for success.

Long before the start of the Le Mans race in 1999, there was a decisive change: the LMGTP class replaced the GT1 class. This meant that no road cars had to be built for homologation, which gave the racing car much greater freedom. BMW took advantange of this freedom and decided to enter an open-top car in accordance with the LMP class regulations. This had one significant advantage: the fuel tank was slightly larger than that of closed GT-LMP class cars and, as a result, the BMWs were able to stay in the field two laps longer. Although not the fastest, the BMW V12 LMRs of the Schnitzer team briefly took the lead after the first pit stops. Several spectacular accidents involving Mercedes ultimately ensured that the last remaining racing car of the Swabian rivals was taken out of the race. According to several experts, the cars lifted off and flipped over due to aerodynamic lift. This happened three times in practice and in the race. A duel then took shape between the fast Toyota and the BMW. Ultimately, it was not only the high reliability of the BMW V12 LMR but also the time savings that enabled BMW to claim victory: While the second-placed Toyota spent 47 minutes in the pits during the 24 Hours of Le Mans, 33 minutes were all that were needed for the BMW.

2000 BMW ENGINES FOR FORMULA 1.

Debut success.

Although BMW withdrew from Formula 1 in 1987, they never stopped developing. Various V12 engines with a displacement of 3.5 litres were shaped on the drawing board. This enabled BMW to act quickly. As the know-how was not lost, a necessary new development—a V10 with a 3-litre capacity was now required—could be implemented quickly. This time, Williams was chosen as the exclusive partner. In its debut year 2000, BMW placed third in the constructors' championship with Williams. The BMW E41/4 engine made its debut on the 12th of March in 2000 at the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne. Ralf Schumacher placed third with the Williams FW22, something no engine manufacturer had managed in its debut year in the previous 30 years. The engine reached around 810 hp at 17,500 revolutions per minute. The engine was retired after one season and the new development was given the code P82.

2001 AMERICAN LE MANS SERIES (ALMS).

BMW M3 GTRBMW M3 GTR
BMW M3 GTR on the Nürburgring.

The 2001 season of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) turned out to be a triumph for a BMW that didn't even exist. At least not at first. After BMW enjoyed success in America with the open-top V12 LMR and won Le Mans, the company decided to switch to the GT class for the 2001 season. The problem: The BMW M3 GTR required for this was not ready. So, the start of the season had to be contested with the previous year's M3. Third place in the first race was still a respectable result for drivers Hans-Joachim Stuck and Boris Said. The M GmbH crew had been working on the BMW M3 GTR since September of the previous year. It made its debut at the 12-hour race in Sebring on the 17th of March. The car had not even completed a single race lap or undergone a full test; it had only undergone a functional test beforehand. Nevertheless, the car performed around the clock and finished in a respectable third place. The GTR improved over the next few races, and by the end of the season it had won four double-victories in a row. The result was clear: in its debut season, the team won the drivers'- (Jörg Müller), team- and manufacturers' championships with the BMW M3 GTR, thus winning every category.

BMW 320i from Dirk MüllerBMW 320i from Dirk Müller
FIA European Touring Car Championship: the BMW 320i from Dirk Müller.

2004 EUROPEAN TOURING CAR CHAMPIONSHIP (ETCC).

Decision in the last race.

Briton Andy Priaulx knew that the 2004 European Touring Car Championship would be a close one. The BMW 320i driver had the championship in his sights the previous year, but ultimately only managed to get third place. Strong competition and unpredicatable placements, retirements, and accidents characterise the 2004 season. But ultimately, BMW proved to be strong and consistent. Before the last race in Dubai, Priaulx was twelve points behind his BMW teammate Dirk Müller. He had won at Magny-Cours, Hockenheim, Brno, Donington and Oschersleben and scored three points in almost all but one of the other races. The title would not be easy for him, although BMW claimed the constructors' title three races before the end of the season. In the end, Piraulx tied on points with Dirk Müller, who retired once and finished fifth once, thanks to two second places. Andy Priaulx became champion because he—with five victories—had more victories to his name than Müller, who crossed the finish line in first place three times. It doesn't get any tighter than that.

2005 TO 2007 FIA WORLD TOURING CAR CHAMPIONSHIP (WTCC).

The BMW 320siThe BMW 320si
The BMW 320si in the WTCC

Hat trick for BMW.

Having won the European Touring Car Championship in 2004, the brand then competed in the international successor series, the World Touring Car Championship. The previous year's record was flawless: BMW won the drivers' and manufacturers' titles. In 2005, BMW wanted to repeat its success with the 320i. BMW Motorsport Director Mario Theissen in 2005: "Touring car racing is inconceivable without BMW—and BMW is inconceivable without touring car racing. This is in the brand’s DNA, and we want to continue this tradition." The 275 hp racing car was developed by BMW M, derived from the four-cylinder BMW 320si special model. The combination of car and driver Andy Priaulx was a winning one: 2005 to 2007 were a flawless hat trick, as BMW always won the manufacturers' championship and Priaulx always won the drivers' championship. In no other discipline has BMW been so succcessful as in touring car racing. BMW has won a total of 20 European championship titles with the FIA title.

2009: AMERICAN LE MANS SERIES (ALMS).

Test in SebringTest in Sebring
Team BMW Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing: testing in Sebring.

A prestigious victory at Sebring.

In 2009, BMW decided to re-enter the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) with the M3. BMW enjoyed success and titles here through 2001, but withdrew in the same year to focus on Europe. The BMW M3 GTR achieved triple success in the ALMS: Jörg Müller won the drivers' championship, BMW Motorsport won the team classification, and BMW became brand champion in the important foreign market of the USA. In 2009, the BMW works team opted for the BMW M3 GT2, which was powered by a powerful V8 engine. In the GT2 class, BMW battled against strong competition, including Porsche and Ferrari. Nevertheless, the BMW team managed to perform well that season. The highlight was the victory in the 12 Hours of Sebring, one of the most prestigious endurance races in the USA. Over the entire season, BMW finished third out of nine in the manufacturers' standings, which is considered a success for a debut season.

2010 AND 2011: AMERICAN LE MANS SERIES (ALMS).

Team BMW Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Team BMW Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Winner: Team BMW Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

Strong in America.

In the 2010 season, BMW of North America celebrated the 35th anniversary of its founding in March of 1975 and its first major sports car race victory, the 12 Hours of Sebring, also in March of 1975. But they didn’t get stuck in the past: "Although we certainly had a successful inaugural season in 2009, everyone involved with the programme continued to work over the winter months to make the BMW M3 the best car possible, striving to meet the standards of excellence associated with BMW," says Bobby Rahal of the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing team. So, the goals were set: BMW had big plans. And they delivered. Although they narrowly missed out on first place in the drivers' championship, winning the GT2 manufacturers' championship in 2010 was a great achievement. The BMW Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing team, led by Bobby Rahal and David Letterman, drove the BMW M3 GT2 to victory and secured the championship title. One year later, in 2011, the time had come: drivers Dirk Müller and Joey Hand won the drivers' and team titles with BMW Team RLL.

BMW returns to the DTMBMW returns to the DTM
BMW returns to the DTM

2012 TO 2020 GERMAN TOURING CAR CHAMPIONSHIP (DTM).

Success after a 20-year break.

After an almost 20-year break from the German Touring Car Championship (DTM), it was announced in 2012: BMW was coming back. Together with rivals Audi and Mercedes, BMW revised the DTM regulations. What initially looked like a slow start for the BMW team, the Bavarians slowly made up for after four races. And things got even better, as working with Canadian Bruno Spengler, who had come over from Mercedes, continued to pay off over the course of the season. Spengler: "It was very exciting to sit in a BMW DTM car for the first time. The entire development phase was a great time, in which we all worked together as a team to develop a winning car." Pairing Spengler with BMW M3 DTM was the sensation of the first year: Spengler became drivers’ champion, his BMW Team Schnitzer won the team title, and BMW secured the manufacturers' championship. The trio was complete. In the 2014 season, the BMW M4 DTM replaced the BMW M3 DTM and dominated again. BMW retired from the DTM in 2020 after nine years, and could do so with satisfaction: 140 races, 40 victories, 124 podium finishes, three drivers' titles and three more manufacturers' titles.

2018 SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS AND MACAU, FORMULA E

BMW M8 GTE Debut.

2018 was a special year for BMW, with difficulties shadowing successes. The BMW M6 achieved a one-two victory at the 24 Hours of Spa. The BMW M6 GT3 also took victory in the FIA GT World Cup Macau, driven by Augusto Farfus from BMW Team Schnitzer. Schnitzer team boss Charly Lamm handed over the management of the team to Herbert Schnitzer Junior. A few weeks later, Lamm died unexpectedly. Lamm’s passing was felt sorely at BMW as they had worked together for more than 20 years. The BMW M8 GTE—which was intended for works use—made its debut at Le Mans. BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt commented on the twelfth place in the GTE Pro class: "Even if our result unfortunately does not reflect this: The overall result of the BMW M8 GTE debut at Le Mans is positive. We wanted to prove the incredible potential of our car. And we did just that. The fact that technical problems and an accident prevented a better placement is obviously disappointing for the team and the drivers." However, there were other opportunities in 2018 like when BMW entered the world of electric motorsport with a victory in the opening race with António Félix da Costa driving for BMW i Andretti Motorsport in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship. In 2019, the BMW M8 GTE came out on top and won the GTLM class at the 24 Hours of Daytona with drivers Augusto Farfus, Connor De Phillippi, Philipp Eng and Colton Herta. BMW M claimed that title again in 2020 with drivers John Edwards, Jesse Krohn, Augusto Farfus as well as Chaz Mostert.

2020 NÜRBURGRING 24 HOURS.

Holding out in heavy rain.

The fact that it rains often in the Eifel is nothing new. But nobody expected what came in 2020. In the 50-year history of the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring there had only been seven total weather-related interruptions. For BMW, the bad weather was compounded by pressure: if BMW won this race, a BMW would once again—in the 50th anniversary year—be at the front of the field. And it would be the 20th victory ever for the brand in the "Green Hell". However, things started rather badly for the three drivers Nick Catsburg, Alexander Sims and Nick Yelloly. In its farewell year, the Rowe BMW M6 GT3 was unable to maintain the pace after the start. Yelloly: "When it was really wet, our opponents had a clear advantage. But when it got drier, the advantage was ours, especially with the drying-wet tyres." But first it got worse. It got so bad that the race had to be stopped from 10:32 Saturday evening until 8:00 Sunday morning. Then came the restart. It dried up and the BMW M6 GT3 pulled away. Sims was able to make up position after position. Sims: "The tyres worked and suddenly we were the fastest in the field. I overtook one car after another and felt good again." Then the leading Audi came into view and later it started to rain again. The BMW Rowe Racing team reacted faster than the Audi team and immediately switched to rain tyres, with the leading Audi only coming into the pits one lap later. This gave them a lead of 18 seconds, which Catsburg could use: “Stress naturally increases when you keep being told over the radio that the competition is catching up and you have to push harder. You're already giving all you’ve got." But the last 15 laps went better than the start and BMW was able to win this memorable race.

2022 GERMAN TOURING CAR CHAMPIONSHIP (DTM).

 Sheldon van der Linde Sheldon van der Linde
Hockenheim, Team Schubert Motorsport, Sheldon van der Linde in his BMW M4 GT3.

Successful catch-up.

His closest rival, Lucas Auer in the Mercedes, was just two points behind him going into the final race of the season at the Hockenheimring. Will that be enough for the title? Sheldon van der Linde, Schubert Motorsport: "The pressure of going into this weekend as the leader was enormous." And it got even worse, as he was relegated to 16th on the grid after a penalty. During the race, he gave the crowd a show trying to regain his spot in his BMW M4 GT3. He finished Saturday's race in second place. This secured his Schubert Motorsport team the team title; the only thing missing was the drivers' title. On Sunday, van der Linde started in fifth place and finished third. This gave him enough points for the title. Andreas Roos, Head of BMW M Motorsport: "Incredible, unbelievable, brilliant! What Schubert Motorsport, our drivers, and the BMW M4 GT3 have achieved as an overall package this year is fantastic. The BMW M4 GT3 has shown what a strong car it is in its very first year."

2023 24 HOURS OF DAYTONA, 12 HOURS OF SEBRING AND 6 HOURS OF WATKINS GLEN.

Victory through disqualification.

The GTP era started in 2023 and with it the new top class of the US IMSA series. Launching there has been a BMW M tradition for decades. The BMW M Hybrid V8 entered in 2023 is a completely new car and only had its roll-out 188 days before the start of the 24-hour race in Daytona. This was the shortest development time of any competitor, and BMW M Motorsport with Team RLL regarded the race as a test. Which they passed successfully: The BMW M Hybrid V8 with starting number 24 finished sixth overall and in the GTP class. The sister car, number 25, finished ninth in the GTP category after a long repair break in the early stages of the race. And the next classic in US racing was already waiting: the 12 Hours of Sebring. From eighth on the grid, Nick Yelloly crossed the finish line in second place as the final driver for BMW M Team RLL. During the race, he took turns at the wheel of the new GTP prototype with Connor De Phillippi and Sheldon van der Linde. At first it looked like another second place in the 6-hour race at Watkins Glen: Connor De Phillippi and Nick Yelloly crossed the finish line in second place after a dramatic final phase, but a retrospective penalty imposed on the first-placed Porsche for a technical infringement after the race meant a historic first victory for the BMW M Hybrid V8. Andreas Roos, Head of BMW M Motorsport, had reason to celebrate: "Of course we would have preferred to win on the racetrack, but this success is the result of a lot of hard work and the well-deserved reward for the great achievements of everyone involved in this programme. I am most pleased that our pace was very strong throughout the weekend and that we set the top times."

2023 24 HOURS OF SPA.

Spa FrancorchampsSpa Francorchamps

Seconds ahead after 24 hours.

Not only is the track itself at Spa-Francorchamps an eternal up and down, the course of the 24-hour race was also up and down for BMW M Team Rowe Racing. In heavy rain, the BMW M4 GT3 teams missed out on pole in practice and had to work their way through the field after the start. While two M4s were involved in the battle for top positions, number 98 of Philipp Eng, Marco Wittmann and Nick Yelloly dropped back over a lap due to an unfortunately timed pit stop and a problem with the refuelling system. It was not until the evening that number 98 started to catch up, and took the lead of the field for the first time during the night. The lead was jeopardised once again by a 30-second time penalty for exceeding the track limits too often, but in the end Eng, Wittmann and Yelloly from BMW M Team Rowe Racing reclaimed first place. Their lead over the runner-up after 24 hours was just 11.12 seconds. Hans-Peter Naundorf, Team Principal Rowe Racing: "That was our toughest victory so far here at Spa. We know how challenging the road to victory is in this race, which makes it all the more special. Our competition was incredibly strong and the final result was damn close. I have never experienced a more intense GT race."

BMW M MOTORSPORT.BMW M MOTORSPORT.

BMW M MOTORSPORT.

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