MTEK To Run BMW WEC Program; Schnitzer Returns to GT Racing

Photo: BMW

Photo: BMW

DTM squad MTEK is set to run BMW’s new FIA World Endurance Championship GTE-Pro program, with longtime partner Schnitzer returning to GT racing next year, as part of a reorganization in BMW’s motorsports operations.

The German manufacturer confirmed Tuesday that both MTEK and Schnitzer will not field DTM entries next year, and instead focused on new fronts.

Schnitzer will undertake a yet-to-be-detailed GT3 program with the BMW M6 GT3 around the Nürburgring 24, with the Ernest Knoors-led MTEK squad set to begin testing and development of BMW’s new GTE-Pro entry for the WEC, which will debut in 2018.

“I am convinced that this is the best team structure to help us prepare for our new tasks,” said BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt.

“We have always been sure that we wanted to continue the successful cooperation with all our teams. We had to adjust our structures due to the changes in the DTM, and new possibilities and areas of operation opened up for us in our newly-reorganized motorsport program.

“[Schnitzer] has always enjoyed close links to GT racing throughout its history, and has had some great results there. The GT fans can look forward to some excitement when we inject new life into this combination at the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring in 2017.

“BMW Team MTEK proved to be an excellent BMW representative in the DTM in recent years. It’s planned that it will now devote itself completely to preparations for our entry into the FIA WEC.

“I would like to thank Charly Lamm, Ernest Knoors and their crews for their dedication throughout the past DTM seasons – and we can now look forward to competing together in many more races in the future.”

It will mark Schnitzer’s return to GT racing since 2011, when it fielded BMW M3 GT entries in the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup.

The Charly Lamm-led operation is a five-time winner of the Nürburgring 24 and has achieved worldwide success in the GT ranks with the manufacturer.

“Everyone knows that BMW Team Schnitzer has a very close association with GT racing, and a great passion for endurance races,” Lamm said. “At the same time, there is obviously a degree of melancholy at having to bid farewell to the DTM.

“However, we now embark on a new chapter in our long history with BMW.

“Accordingly, we will go about our work for the coming year in determined mood. We are very much looking forward to the races with the BMW M6 GT3.”

Despite Schnitzer’s arrival on to the GT3 scene, customer support of the ROWE Racing and Team Schubert teams will continue.

MTEK’s Knoors added: “We are really looking forward to the new challenge that awaits us in the FIA WEC. The standard is extremely high there as well.

“2017 will be a year of intensive preparation and then we will be able to compete with the other teams in the following year.”

BMW has yet to announce the car model that will be developed for the WEC and IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, although it’s widely believed to be based on the new M8.

12 Comments

  1. 7D3

    December 6, 2016 at 11:09 am

    I hope BMW chooses the BMW M6.

    • P

      December 6, 2016 at 11:36 am

      Perhaps, if BMW decides to keep on developing the GTLM car and get it FIA homologated.

      • gtgianlu

        December 6, 2016 at 4:47 pm

        They can’t because the M6 doesn’t meet the Gte regs,in lenght,4,89m instead of 4,80m and engine capacity,4,4L turbo,instead of 4.0.Nonetheless it stands out as Gte regs template next to the new RSR….

    • You

      December 6, 2016 at 4:45 pm

      The article says the M8

      • NaBUru38

        December 10, 2016 at 7:47 am

        It’s the clone of the Toyota Supra.

  2. kw

    December 6, 2016 at 1:04 pm

    I expected it the other way round – the MTEK team is quite new and is now already given the big task of running the FIA WEC cars for BMW, whereas Schnitzer is connected to BMW for a very long time. But obviously, BMW was not content how ROWE continued the GT engagement after the retirement of Marc VDS, and wants to put a strong force into GT racing again.

    • CJ

      December 6, 2016 at 3:47 pm

      Not sure why BMW would be content with ROWE after they win Spa 24 and were in contention for the Nurbergring 24 until a crash.

      I could see them wanting to expand with Schnitzer just to have some diversity.

      • CJ

        December 6, 2016 at 3:48 pm

        Meant to say “would not be content with ROWE”

  3. Rennsport4.4tV8

    December 6, 2016 at 4:32 pm

    I hope they use a heavily upgraded M6 F13 or whatever the next generation 6 is. I don’t really know what mess BMW is working with now, so we’ll see what happens.

  4. John

    December 6, 2016 at 5:50 pm

    Not sure why they keep pushing the large, if not heavy (in race trim) Grand Tourers like the M6 in series outside DTM.

    It’s a long way from the svelte E9 and E23/24. The spy pix of an upcoming large coupe suggests it’s even more boat like.

    Even the M3/M4 have grown somewhat, but would at least hew closer to a sports car.

    • Rennsport4.4tV8

      December 7, 2016 at 2:19 pm

      The M6 in race trim is not that much heavier if heavier than any other car in the GTE/GTLM fields. The car sits at or near the minimum weight for GTE and GTLM.

  5. Algifary

    December 7, 2016 at 8:33 pm

    Am I the only one who hoping both MTEK and Schnitzer in WEC?
    One team in GTE Pro and the other in GTE Am

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