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Gulf 12 Hours: IGTC title decider for BMW and three works drivers – Valentino Rossi to start in Abu Dhabi

Munich – WEBWIRE

At the season finale of the Intercontinental GT Challenge (IGTC), the Gulf 12 Hours on 10th December 2023, in Abu Dhabi (UAE), BMW and the three BMW M works drivers, Philipp Eng (AUT), Sheldon van der Linde (RSA), and Dries Vanthoor (BEL), are vying for titles in the manufacturer and driver standings. Valentino Rossi (ITA) will compete at the Yas Marina Circuit in the [b]#46 BMW M4 GT3 of BMW M Team WRT for the first time.[/b]

In total, BMW M Team WRT is fielding two cars and six BMW M works drivers. Eng and van der Linde are supported in their title pursuit by Charles Weerts (BEL) in the #32 BMW M4 GT3. In the #46 BMW M4 GT3, alongside Rossi and title contender Vanthoor, Nick Yelloly (GBR) will compete.

BMW is leading the manufacturer standings in the IGTC with 133 points ahead of the final season race, but only holds a nine-point lead over Mercedes. With victories at the Kyalami 9 Hour (RSA), the 24h Spa-Francorchamps (BEL), and the Indianapolis 8 Hour (USA), BMW M Motorsport teams have won three out of four IGTC season races. Only at Bathurst (AUS) at the season opener did they miss the podium. In the driver standings, Eng is currently in second place, trailing the leader Jules Gounon (FRA, Mercedes) by eight points, following his wins at Spa-Francorchamps and Indianapolis, as well as a second-place finish at Kyalami. Van der Linde and Vanthoor, who won together with Eng at Indianapolis a few weeks ago, are six points behind in third place.

Quotes ahead of the Gulf 12 Hours.

Andreas Roos (Head of BMW M Motorsport): “It’s fantastic to be able to compete for titles at the end of such a long and eventful season. The Intercontinental GT Challenge 2023 has been an incredible journey across five continents, delivering significant victories at Kyalami, Indianapolis, and especially the season highlight at Spa-Francorchamps. We can already say that our commitment to this race series has been more than worthwhile. Thanks to our winning teams WRT and ROWE Racing for their efforts, to our drivers for their top performances, and to all our colleagues at BMW M Motorsport. Now we want to crown the year in Abu Dhabi with titles in the manufacturer and driver standings!”

Philipp Eng (#32 BMW M4 GT3): “I’m very excited to enter the title fight in Abu Dhabi. The circuit is a lot of fun. It has changed a bit since I was last there in 2013, but I believe it should play to the strengths of our BMW M4 GT3. I have great teammates and a fantastic team. Of course, the competition is strong, but our chances are good.”

Valentino Rossi (#46 BMW M4 GT3): “Im a very happy to return to the Yas Marina Circuit. I did this race once in the past with a Ferrari and it was a great race, we finished third overall. I enjoyed it a lot, the track is fantastic. This year, the level of the race will be a lot higher with many fast cars and works drivers on the grid. We will see how we will perform and I can’t wait to race the BMW M4 GT3 at the Yas Marina Circuit. That will be a lot of fun.”

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