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BMW Motorsport News - Issue 40/2019

An interview with Formula E winner Alexander Sims – Virtual and actual podiums for Philipp Eng and the BMW M6 GT3.


Whether in the DTM, the FIA World Endurance Championship, the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, the ABB FIA Formula E Championship, or countless other championships: Week after week  BMW  teams and drivers around the world do battle for points, victories and titles. Away from the track too, members of the large  BMW   Motorsport  family around the world are also creating headlines. The “ BMW   Motorsport  News” allows us to regularly summarise all the action for you in a compact and informative manner. This way, you are always up to speed. 

Formula E: Alexander Sims claims his maiden victory.

Alexander Sims (GBR) was on top form at the opening round of this season’s ABB FIA Formula E Championship in Diriyah (KSA). The BMW i Andretti Motorsport driver twice secured pole position and claimed his first victory in Formula E on Sunday, amassing a total of 35 points over the course of the Diriyah E-Prix weekend. This puts him top of the Drivers’ Championship. Including last season, he has now taken the last three pole positions in a row. Sims is the only driver to have achieved this feat in Formula E. His team-mate Maximilian Günther (GER) also showed impressive pace at the wheel of the BMW iFE.20, despite which he finished outside the points in both races. 

Speaking in an interview, Sims discussed the importance of his win and the emotional rollercoaster in Diriyah.

Three questions for ... Alexander Sims.

Alexander, how much does this first win in Formula E mean to you?

Alexander Sims: “Two pole positions and a win on one weekend – it doesn’t get much better than that. It is a fantastic feeling. But I’m not only pleased for myself, but also for the whole team. The entire crew at BMW i Andretti Motorsport is made up of great people. I can’t describe how hard everyone has worked to achieve this success, and how everyone stood by me through the tough times in Season 5. It is simply fantastic when that work is rewarded with a race weekend like this.”

What kind of emotional rollercoaster did you go through this weekend?

Sims: “It was definitely a weekend of emotional highs and lows. It started well with pole position on Friday, but the final stage of the race was then pretty poor, to be honest. As a driver, I made mistakes that dropped me a long way back down the field. After the pole on Saturday, I did better. I really wanted to turn the pole position into a good result. We analysed the first race and worked together on basic things. The fact that we ended up victorious was a great reward.”

What was ultimately the key to your win on Saturday?

Sims: “First and foremost, the enormous speed the BMW iFE.20 has thanks to the team’s tuning work from Friday to Saturday. The car was fantastic, particularly in the corners. That kind of basic speed obviously made my life a lot easier from the start of the race compared to Friday when the speed was not quite as good, which was certainly due to the sand making the track slipperier. On Saturday, even at the re-starts after the safety cars it was clear to me that I could make up enough ground in the corners to defend my lead on the straights without – as on Friday – having to use too much energy. Knowing that is incredibly reassuring for a driver in a race series where energy management has become even more important.”


Sim racing: Philipp Eng is second in the Pro-Am race at the FIA GTC World Finals in Monaco.

This weekend, the 2019 FIA GTC World Finals were held in Monte Carlo (MON). BMW DTM driver Philipp Eng (AUT) was a guest starter in Saturday’s Pro-Am race, in which he went up against the world’s top Gran Turismo drivers. Together with team-mate Giorgio Mangano (ITA), winner of the 2018 Nations Cup, he produced a thrilling comeback to finish runner-up. In the Manufacturer Series, sim racers Coque López (ESP), Nicólas Rubila (CHI) and Randall Haywood (USA) were challenging for the title in the BMW M6 GT3. Eng was on hand to support the trio and pass on his knowledge as a professional racing driver. “Sim racing is part of my everyday life – and it makes me a better racing driver,” said Eng. “As such, it was fantastic to be here at the FIA GTC World Finals and to support the three guys.” In the end, after three races, the team finished eighth overall in the Manufacturer Series.

Asian Le Mans Series: Podium for the BMW M6 GT3 in Shanghai.

The Asian Le Mans Series (ALMS) kicked off its new season this weekend at “Shanghai International Circuit“ (CHN). Among those in action were two BMW M6 GT3s run by Astro Veloce Motorsports and FIST – Team AAI. While the #90 AAI car, with BMW DTM driver Joel Eriksson (SWE) among those at the wheel, failed to finish the race, the Astro Veloce team claimed a spot on the podium. After 104 laps, the #17 BMW M6 GT3 – driven by BMW works driver Jens Klingmann (GER), Max Wieser (ITA) and Peiwen Qi (CHN) – came home third in the GT class. The next ALMS race is scheduled for 12thJanuary 2020 at Tailem Bend (AUS).

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