Monza. More M Power than ever before: A record contingent of
eight BMW M4 GT3s will take to the grid for this weekend’s opening
round of the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS (GTWC)
at Monza (ITA). Never before have so many of BMW M Motorsport’s top
GT3 cars started a race together. In the battle for overall victory
in race one of the Endurance Cup, BMW M Team WRT and ROWE Racing
will each run two works-assisted BMW M4 GT3, driven by a total of
twelve BMW M works drivers. They include nine-time motorcycle world
champion Valentino Rossi (ITA), who will contest all of this
season’s GTWC races with his iconic number 46, beginning with a home
outing in Italy.
Rossi shares the cockpit of the #46 BMW M4 GT3 with Maxime Martin
(BEL) and Augusto Farfus (BRA) for the three-hour Monza race. The same
trio started for BMW M Team WRT at the Bathurst 12 Hour (AUS).
Alternating at the wheel of the #32 car will be the winners of the
Kyalami 9 Hour (RSA), Dries Vanthoor, Charles Weerts (both BEL) and
Sheldon van der Linde (RSA). Team WRT will also field a BMW M4 GT3 in
each of the Gold and Bronze classes. Calan Williams (AUS), Niklas
Krütten (GER) and Jean Baptiste Simmenauer (FRA) start in the #30 BMW
M4 GT3 in the Gold category. The Bronze trio in the #31 car consists
of Tim Whale, Adam Carroll and Lewis Proctor (all GBR).
ROWE Racing can call on the services of BMW M works drivers Philipp
Eng (AUT), Marco Wittmann (GER) and Nick Yelloly (GBR) in the #98 BMW
M4 GT3. The BMW Junior Team, with works drivers Dan Harper (GBR), Max
Hesse (GER) and Neil Verhagen (USA), start in the #998 BMW M4 GT3 in
the colours of BMW M Motorsport partner Multibank Group.
BMW Italia Ceccato Racing and Walkenhorst Motorsport will each run
one BMW M4 GT3. Team principal Roberto Ravaglia’s (ITA) outfit will
race with drivers Stefano Comandini, Marco Cassara and Francesco
Guerra (all ITA) in the Pro-Am class at its home event. Thomas
Neubauer (FRA), Anders Buchardt (NOR) and James Kell (GBR) start for
Walkenhorst Motorsport in the Bronze class.
The race in Monza begins at 15:00 CEST on Sunday.
Quotes ahead of the race.
Vincent Vosse (Team Principal BMW M Team WRT): “It is
fantastic to return to Europe for the start of the GTWC season – and
especially to Monza, the ‘Temple of Speed’. It is a long time since we
have been here, as the most recent Italian races took place at Imola.
We won them and are now excited to see how good the BMW M4 GT3 is at
Monza. We will definitely do everything in our power to score as many
points as possible at the season-opener. We line up with four cars –
not just here, but that is our contingent for the whole season. Our
goal for the two Pro cars is clear, we want to be up there at the
front and challenge for the title. Monza is the first step on that journey.”
Hans-Peter Naundorf (Team Principal ROWE Racing):
“The coming season in the GT World Challenge Europe is
perhaps the biggest motorsport challenge we have faced in the history
of our team. Achieving success is a real challenge in such a huge and
top-quality field as this – with 55 cars from eight manufacturers
already set to contest the opening round of the Endurance Cup at
Monza. We are well prepared with our BMW M4 GT3 and, with six BMW M
works drivers, also have a lot of quality in the cockpit. On the one
hand we have three very experienced and top drivers in the
#98 BMW M4 GT3, who have already enjoyed a lot of success. On the
other hand, in the #998 car, we have three young guns who did well as
juniors last year and have developed superbly. Monza is a unique
track, which really puts both man and machine to the test. The brakes
and engine power are very important. Monza also has a lot of Italian
flair and motorsport history, which makes it the perfect stage for the
opening round of this season’s GT World Challenge Europe.”