Munich. This Saturday was once again dominated by sim racing for several BMW works drivers. Bruno Spengler (CAN) and Philipp Eng (AUT) and their respective teams ensured that the BMW Z4 GT3 recorded a one-two result in the fourth race of the Digital Nürburgring Endurance Series powered by VCO. Shortly afterwards, both drivers switched to virtual formula race cars to make their appearance in the first round of ‘THE RACE All-Stars Series’ in which they are competing in the ProCup as the BMW Motorsport SIM Racing team.
Race 4 of the DNLS powered by VCO.
The fourth race of the DNLS powered by VCO, the Eibach 3-hour race on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife (GER), culminated in a dramatic finale. The main players were two BMW Z4 GT3s. After three turbulent hours of racing, packed with exciting action and an unpredictable series of events, the final kilometres proved to be spectacular. With the end of the race in sight, the field was headed by the #189 BMW Z4 GT3 from BS+COMPETITION, which had emerged victorious from the iRacing 24-hour race at the same location one week earlier. In that car, driving duties were shared by Eng and his team-mates Alexander Voß and Laurin Heinrich (both GER) however the #107 BMW Z4 GT3, driven for Team BMW Bank by their team-mates Spengler, Nils Koch and Kay Kaschube (both GER), popped up right at the death. The #107 car then took the lead.
The two BMW Z4 GT3s battled for the top spot in a thrilling wheel-to-wheel duel. Despite a contact including a spin of the #189 car, they were still far enough ahead of the nearest challenger to secure the one-two result for the BMW Z4 GT3. Victory went to Spengler and Team BMW Bank, with second place claimed by Eng and BS+COMPETITION. A total of eight BMW Z4 GT3s were competing in the fourth race of the DNLS powered by VCO. The other BMW works drivers in the race were Martin Tomczyk, Jens Klingmann (both GER) and Jesse Krohn (FIN), as well as the BMW Junior Team with Max Hesse (GER), Dan Harper (GBR) and Neil Verhagen (USA). Tomczyk and Klingmann shared driving duties in the car from the H&R BMW Team Green Hell with Robby Foley (USA) for the first time.
‘THE RACE All-Stars-Series’ season-opener.
Barely two hours after their success on the Nürburgring Nordschleife, Spengler and Eng were back in action at the digital version of the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia, the venue for the first round of ‘THE RACE All-Star-Series’ 2020, with a host of famous names from real motorsport and sim racing. BMW Motorsport SIM Racing is competing with its own team in the series’ ProCup, with Spengler and Eng as the driving duo for the season-opener in the competition featuring digital formula cars. Qualifying is followed by two 15-minute races, the second of which starts with the grid in reverse order.
The thousands of fans watching events around the world on the livestream were treated to some turbulent sprint races featuring a large ProCup starting field of 40 participants. In race one, Spengler crossed the line in 23rd place while Eng had to retire early. Starting 14th in the second race, Spengler put on a sensational chase to secure second place on the podium after seven laps. Eng also quickly reached the top ten after starting from 16th place. However, a collision then pushed him back by five positions. In the second half of the race, Eng gradually clawed back the positions lost and finished in tenth place.
Reactions to the long sim racing Saturday:
Bruno Spengler: “It was a crazy day. The race on the Nordschleife was really cool. I started from eighth place and managed to move up to fifth. My team-mates Nils and Kay then did a mega job and we were able to claim victory. We are delighted with our first win in the DNLS powered by VCO. Straight after that, it was time for THE RACE. The first race didn’t go so well, as I don’t have much experience there yet, but with the grid in reverse order, race two was super and second place was a great result.”
Philipp Eng: “The day started off really well with the afternoon on the Nordschleife. I put in a good performance in qualifying and I secured second place on the grid. The race was great and it was superb to claim a one-two result for the team, even though there was a bit of controversy through the final turns. That sort of thing can just happen when you are battling for the win. Unfortunately, there had already been some contact with a TCR car earlier in the race and that cost us about half a minute. Without that, it would probably have turned out as quite a relaxed win for us. There wasn’t much time to train for THE RACE afterwards so I’m pleased with the top ten result in the second race. It was certainly great fun.