BMW M Team WRT took Dubai by storm winning the 24 hour race. The BMW M4 GT3 claimed the victory after a thrilling finish. This was the first win for the BMW M4 GT3 in a 24-hour race and BMW’s first triumph at the 24H Dubai since Schubert Motorsport’s success in 2011. Third place for the #46 BMW M4 GT3 rounded off a successful weekend for BMW M Team WRT. The outing in Dubai was organized privately by BMW M Team WRT, in order to prepare for the first official appearance with BMW M Motorsport, the “Bathurst 12 Hours” (AUS) in three weeks.

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Behind the wheel of the winning M4 GT3 were BMW M works drivers Jens Klingmann and Dries Vanthoor, alongside Mohammed Saud Fahad Al Saud, Diego Menchaca and Jean-Baptiste Simmenauer. The #46 car was driven by BMW M works drivers Valentino Rossi, Maxime Martin and Max Hesse, together with Timothy Whale and Sean Gelael. For nine-time motorcycle world champion Rossi, it was the first podium with WRT.

Valentino Rossi’s First Race

The winning #7 M4 GT3 started sixth on the grid but a perfectly executed racing strategy had them move up back to the first spot in the last half an hour of the race. The crew of the #46 car, which started from eighth place, also established itself in the top three early in the race, however it dropped back down the field after two and a half hours, when the car spun into the crash barriers on a circuit that had become slippery due to liquid on the track. After a short check-up in the garage, car #46 was able to rejoin the race and set about working its way back through the field and onto the podium. The #14 BMW M4 GT3 run by Danish team Poulsen Motorsport was also running well, but was then forced to retire in the closing stages.

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In the GT4 class, the new BMW M4 GT4 also enjoyed a successful start to its debut season. Both cars in the starting field made it onto the podium in their class. The #438 BMW M4 GT4 of Simpson Motorsport crossed the finish line in second place, ahead of Century Motorsport in third place with its new #429 BMW M4 GT4. The RHC-Jorgensen-Strom by Century team, which competed with the previous model of the BMW M4 GT4, failed to finish.