BMW M Team WRT claimed win number two in its third race with the BMW M4 GT3. Sheldon van der Linde (RSA), Dries Vanthoor and Charles Weerts (both BEL) triumphed in the #32 BMW M4 GT3 at the Kyalami 9 Hour (RSA), the second race of this season’s Intercontinental GT Challenge (IGTC).
This was van der Linde’s second victory at his home race, having also achieved the feat in 2020. The number 33 car, with drivers Philipp Eng (AUT), Augusto Farfus (BRA) and Maxime Martin (BEL), came home second to make it a one-two for the team.
After finishing first and third at the 24 Hours of Dubai (UAE) and fourth and sixth at the Bathurst 12 Hour (AUS), BMW M Team WRT returned to the podium in Kyalami. Starting second and third on the grid, the two BMW M4 GT3s moved to the front of the field early on in the race and then controlled
proceedings throughout the entire race. Van der Linde crossed the finishing line 1.8 seconds ahead of Martin.
Thanks to the points they picked up for the victory in South Africa, van der Linde, Vanthoor and Weerts have moved to P2 of the IGTC standings after two of this season’s five races. The next races is the 24 Hours of Spa- Francorchamps (BEL), the home outing for BMW M Team WRT.
Strong technology partnerships.
BMW M Motorsport is supported in the Intercontinental GT Challenge by premium technology partner Shell, official partner Endless, and official supplier KW automotive. Shell has worked with BMW M Motorsport for years on the development of lubricants for motor racing and the road, Endless adds decades of expertise in brake technology to the mix, while KW automotive has
developed dampers for the BMW M4 GT3 since the start of the project. “We are pleased to be able to continue and expand our partnership with BMW M Motorsport, which has grown over the years,” said Jürgen Wohlfarth, CEO KW automotive GmbH. “As BMW M Motorsport Official Supplier BMW M4 GT3, we have been involved in the development of the chassis for the BMW M4 GT3 from the outset. As such, we are really proud that the hard work put in by the BMW race engineers and our development department is rewarded with victories and titles for the BMW M4 GT3.”
Quotes after the Kyalami 9 Hour.
Andreas Roos (Head of BMW M Motorsport): “Congratulations to BMW M Team WRT on a fantastic and absolutely flawless performance! It is impressive to see how quickly the new member of our BMW M Motorsport family has reached such a high level with the BMW M4 GT3 that it has been able to win two of the first three races. I hope this strong run with the BMW M4 GT3 at the start of this season will continue into the coming months and that we will have even more cause for celebration! I am particularly pleased for Sheldon van der Linde that he was able to win his home race in front of his own fans. That is a very special experience for him. All the drivers did a perfect job, as did all the members of BMW M Motorsport and BMW M Team WRT. Thank you very much
Vincent Vosse (team principal BMW M Team WRT): “The team and drivers produced a perfect race – just as they did in Dubai and also Bathurst, where we unfortunately did not have the pace to compete at the very front. Everything came together here. I could not have wished for more. The cooperation with BMW M Motorsport is fantastic. It feels as though we have known each other for a very long time. And yet it is just six weeks since our first race together. Thank you to all the BMW M Motorsport employees who support us so magnificently.”
Sheldon van der Linde (#32 BMW M4 GT3, 1st place): “Every time I race in my home country, it seems to go fantastically well. I have been here three times now and have finished on the podium each time – and won twice. The first victory was very special, but this was even more emotional, as I had a lot of friends and family at the track. I really had goosebumps on the podium. Thank you to BMW M Motorsport and compliments to WRT for that performance in only the third race with BMW.”
Dries Vanthoor (#32 BMW M4 GT3, 1st place): “A great weekend for us all. Right from day one, we improved the race pace and did a perfect job. The safety car made it a bit close again for the last 25 minutes, but Sheldon brought the win home perfectly. Personally, I took a big step forward here when it comes to understanding the BMW M4 GT3.”
Charles Weerts (#32 BMW M4 GT3, 1st place): “I am very pleased with my first victory in the BMW M4 GT3. I still remember 2020, when I narrowly lost out to Sheldon and BMW. To now stand alongside them on the top step of the podium is a cool story. I feel much more at home in the car after my second race. I am really very happy.”
Philipp Eng (#33 BMW M4 GT3, 2nd place): “That was my first race with WRT and I was very intrigued to see how the team goes about its work. I have to say, I am really impressed. A one-two is obviously a fantastic result, and it is looking very good for both cars in the championship. I had an awful lot of fun here in Kyalami.”
Augusto Farfus (#33 BMW M4 GT3, 2nd place): “From a team perspective, it does not get any better than that. We really did a perfect job. We knew from the start of the weekend that we had a strong package. However, we got the very best out of it. I cannot thank BMW M Motorsport and the team enough. We are now very well positioned in the championship. A great result so early in the
Maxime Martin (#33 BMW M4 GT3, 2nd place): “For the team, you cannot get a better result than a one-two. We had a clean race without any issues and finished runners-up. In the end we were on the same strategy as our sister car, which meant we had to settle for second.”