(PRESS RELEASE) MUNICH, 12-Jun-2020 — /EuropaWire/ — BMW’s motorsport division BMW Motorsport has announced that Bruno Spengler (CAN) has become the first champion of the IMSA iRacing Pro Series. An earlier accident saw the BMW driver record a zero-point result at the season finale in Watkins Glen (USA), but Bruno was able to stay ahead of fellow BMW driver Nick Catsburg (NED). Nick finished fourth to end the season second in the overall standings. John Edwards (USA) claimed third place in the BMW M8 GTE to reach the podium at Watkins Glen. The virtual BMW M4 GT4 celebrated a successful debut in an official sim racing event at the IMSA iRacing Challenge Series race in the same location.
Spengler endured a tumultuous start to the season finale in the IMSA iRacing Pro Series. Starting from eighth place, he was hit by another car at the start of lap one. This serious accident caused severe damage to his virtual BMW M8 GTE and he was forced to make an extended repair stop. It was then clear that he had no chance of making his way back to the front and would post his non-scoring result for the season in Watkins Glen. After a strong chasing performance, he crossed the line in 14th position. Catsburg would have had to win the race to come out on top in the battle for the title within BMW. He displayed plenty of fighting spirit but could not improve on fourth place. This result confirmed his second place in the overall standings. Victory went to Rodrigo Pflucker (PER, Ford), while John Edwards (USA) finished third to reach the podium for BMW. A total of five BMW M8 GTEs made it into in the top 10. Turner Motorsport driver Robby Foley (USA) and the two BMW Team RLL drivers Connor De Phillippi (USA) and Jesse Krohn (FIN) claimed fifth, sixth and eighth positions.
Bruno Spengler (#7 BMW M8 GTE, BMW IMSA Team Red, Champion): “I am delighted to have won this title. The unbelievably hard work involved in preparing for the races over the past months really paid off. Many thanks to everyone who supported me, and thanks to IMSA management for organising this virtual race series for us, the drivers, and the fans in these testing times. It was fantastic and so much fun. Today’s race was full of emotion. After the accident on the first lap, I was unbelievably disappointed and could only think ‘That’s blown my title chances.’ But slowly, it became clear that I would still do it, as Nicky was unable to win the race. I was able to relax a bit and enjoy the final laps.”
IMSA iRacing Challenge Series.
Ahead of the season finale in the IMSA iRacing Pro Series, the IMSA iRacing Challenge Series hosted its race at the same location. Only recently made available as a car in iRacing, the BMW M4 GT4 celebrated its debut in an official event. The start grid featured a total of 13 virtual versions of the BMW M customer racing car, six of which recorded top ten results. Nils Koch (GER) from the BS+COMPETITION team and Robby Foley (USA), sporting the colours of Turner Motorsport, finished second and third respectively to reach the podium. Also in the top ten were BMW works driver Beitske Visser (NED) in sixth place, BMW Sports Trophy ‘Rookie of the Year’ Marius Zug (GER) in eighth and YouTube influencer Jimmy Broadbent (GBR) in ninth.
The next major debut awaits for the BMW M4 GT4 on Saturday. That is when it will be competing in the SP10 class at the H&R 3-hour race, in the Digital Nürburgring Endurance Series powered by VCO. Marius Zug will once again be behind the wheel when he will be supported by the familiar face of BMW DTM driver Timo Glock (GER) who will celebrate his race debut on the Nordschleife (GER) in the virtual BMW M4 GT4.
Livestream of the H&R 3-hour race in the DNLS powered by VCO (Sat., 12:30 CET):
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SOURCE: BMW Group