After an outing at the Daytona 24 Hours, BMW Motorsport drivers headed for the Land Down Under to race in BMW M4 GT3 cars. Bathurst rookies Rossi, van der Linde and Weerts joined Farfus, Martin and Vanthoor for the annual Bathurst 12 Hour. The #46 BMW M4 GT3 with Valentino Rossi, Augusto Farfus and Maxime Martin started the race from sixth position. The #32 car with Sheldon van der Linde, Dries Vanthoor and Charles Weerts started further back on the grid in the ninth spot.
M4 GT3 – Still Trying To Find Its Pace
After eventful first hours of racing in which accidents caused several safety car periods, BMW M Team WRT was temporarily running within the top three but both cars lost positions again as the race went on. With two and a half hours to go, the #46 car needed to head to the garage for a quick repair due to a small issue with the brake light. After twelve hours of racing, held in sunny summer weather, the #32 Shell BMW M4 GT3 took the checkered flag in fourth position. The #46 M3 GT3 wasn’t as lucky coming in sixth. The winner was the #75 Sun Energy 1 Mercedes-AMG GT3 racing car Kenny Habul, Jules Gounon, Luca Stolz
Round two of the 2023 Intercontinental GT Challenge will be held in three weeks’ time, the Kyalami 9 Hour in South Africa from 23rd to 25th February. There, Valentino Rossi will be replaced by BMW M works driver Philipp Eng (AUT).
Andreas Roos, Head of BMW M Motorsport: “The Bathurst 12 Hour is always a fantastic event, and that was the case this year when we returned to Mount Panorama. A unique circuit and many passionate fans – that has been great. From a sporting point of view, the result has been disappointing in the end after all drivers and the entire team did a faultless job. Unfortunately we have not been competitive enough to fight for the podium and so the great effort has not been rewarded with the corresponding results.
We take the positives: we brought both cars to the finish and we gelled well with BMW M Team WRT in our first official race together. The BMW M4 GT3 once more proved to be very reliable; we just had one minor technical issue with the #46 car. A big thank you to the drivers, to BMW M Team WRT and everybody involved at BMW M Motorsport for the superb job. Now we continue to work and prepare for the next race at Kyalami.”
[Photos: Daniel Kalisz for BMW PressClub]