The FINANCIAL -- The 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps thrills both fans and drivers alike. The 67th running of the endurance classic from 25th to 26th July marks a very special anniversary for BMW. It is exactly 50 years since Pascal Ickx and Gérard Langlois van Ophem claimed the first victory for BMW at the iconic 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps at the wheel of a BMW 1800TI/SA.
This year’s marathon in the Ardennes marks a motorsport milestone. For the first time, double amputee Alessandro Zanardi will share the cockpit of a BMW Z4 GT3 with other drivers who are not physically disabled. Zanardi will join forces with BMW DTM drivers Timo Glock and Bruno Spengler. Over the past months, a team of up to nine engineers has developed many innovative technicalsolutions to allow all three drivers to complete a race distance of 24 hours without any problems, and to allow them to swap drivers as quickly as possible. The modified BMW Z4 GT3 will be run by ROAL Motorsport, according to BMW Group.
In total, 11 BMW Z4 GT3s, run by eight different teams, will compete at the 24-hour classic in 2015. The individual teams’ diver line-ups will be bolstered by many BMW works drivers. After BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS finished second last year to claim its first podium at the team’s home race in Belgium, Team Principal Bas Leinders and his outfit has its sights set firmly on overall victory this time around. They will be supported by the two BMW DTM drivers Augusto Farfus and Maxime Martin, as well as Lucas Luhr and Dirk Werner, who race for BMW in the United SportsCar Championship (USCC).
The Triple Eight Racing team will also receive prominent support during the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, courtesy of Dirk Müller. The other BMW teams taking on the challenge at the “Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps” are BMW Sports Trophy Team Brazil, Team Russia by Barwell, Classic & Modern Racing, Ecurie Ecosse, TDS Racing and Boutsen Ginion.