The heart of international GT racing was beating at Sebring (USA) last weekend. The FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship paid a visit to the historic circuit in Florida.
In action were four BMW M8 GTEs and cars from the BMW Motorsport customer racing product range. The highlight was second place for BMW Team MTEK on Friday. In this interview, BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt talks about the ‘BMW M Motorsport Super Weekend’.
Mr. Marquardt, what conclusions did you draw from the full race schedule at Sebring?
Jens Marquardt: “We experienced a real ‘BMW M Motorsport Super Weekend’ at Sebring. The atmosphere throughout the entire weekend was excellent – and we were able to record some good results to thank the many BMW fans at the circuit for their great support. Second place in the WEC and only just missing out on the podium in the IMSA Series show that we are very competitive with the BMW M8 GTE, as did our triumph at Daytona. We also secured a podium finish for the BMW M4 GT4 in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge. In sporting terms, I am more than happy with this weekend.”
What made this race weekend so special?
Marquardt: “It was clear to see the significance that motorsport has for BMW in North America. The brand put on a great performance at Sebring – with full event activation from BMW North America and extensive support from Munich. Thanks to the ‘BMW Owners’ Lounge’, we had an even more noticeable presence in the paddock this year and we had ‘full house’ over the whole weekend in our hospitality area. The level of interest in this double-header was enormous. It was fantastic to be able to present the two GT racing programmes side-by-side, in such a compact format. It was definitely a successful premiere for the ‘Super Sebring’ weekend.”
Are you pleased with the start to the 2019 season?
Marquardt: “Definitely. Recording wins at the FIA GT World Cup in Macau and at our very first Formula E race in Ad Diriyah at the end of 2018 had already given us extra motivation. We were able to carry this momentum into the new year and celebrate an emotional IMSA victory at Daytona. The podium finish in the WEC race shows that we can compete for wins in both series with the BMW M8 GTE.
The same is true for Formula E and we will be competing in the Sanya E-Prix this coming weekend. The DTM season and the endurance highlights at Le Mans and on the Nordschleife are also drawing closer. We are certainly well-positioned to face the tasks ahead.”