Four BMW factory drivers have tested positive for coronavirus after last weekend’s Total 24 Hours of Spa, leading to driver lineup adjustments for upcoming race events.
Following individual announcements from the drivers on social media, A BMW spokesperson confirmed to Sportscar365 that Nick Yelloly, Jens Klingmann, Martin Tomczyk and Nicky Catsburg all returned positive COVID-19 tests after the Spa enduro.
The spokesperson added that there were no further positive tests within the BMW Motorsport squad.
Yelloly, Tomczyk and Catsburg were all driving for the Walkenhorst Motorsport Pro-class team, while Klingmann was representing Pro-Am outfit Boutsen Ginion Racing.
Porsche factory driver Sven Mueller has also tested positive and will miss this weekend’s ADAC GT Masters round at the Lausitzring along with Yelloly and Klingmann.
Klingmann’s positive COVID-19 test result was confirmed by his GT Masters team MRS GT-Racing on Friday morning.
The German driver was due to share a BMW M6 GT3 with Erik Johansson but will instead be replaced by Augusto Farfus who was also a part of Walkenhorst’s 24H Spa crew.
Yelloly’s seat in the Schubert Motorsport BMW alongside Henric Skoog has been taken up by DTM driver Sheldon van der Linde.
Additionally, Herberth Motorsport has confirmed that Mueller, who is a GT Masters title contender, will be replaced in the No. 99 Porsche 911 GT3 by Klaus Bachler.
Mueller finished third at Spa for Italian Porsche customer squad Dinamic Motorsport.
Yelloly wrote in a Twitter post on Wednesday: “Unfortunately after the 24 Spa race on returning back, I have tested positive for COVID.
“We took all necessary protocols in testing both before and after the event. This naturally means I am in quarantine and will not be making it to the last races of GT Masters this year.
“My symptoms are pretty mild so I hope to be able to have a speedy recovery and get back to normal over the coming weeks.”
Catsburg was due to race in FIA WTCR at Motorland Aragon this weekend but the Dutchman has been ruled out and replaced in Engstler Motorsport’s Hyundai lineup by Josh Files.
“I had tested negative before the weekend but unfortunately I have since contracted the virus,” Catsburg is quoted as saying in a report by Touring Car Times.
“I have been quarantining at home from the moment I learned of my diagnosis, and thankfully have only been experiencing mild symptoms.”
Tomczyk posted a video on his Instagram page this week confirming that he too had tested positive.
Two Audi drivers – Mirko Bortolotti and Carrie Schreiner – are also missing this weekend’s GT Masters fixture due to illness.
A statement from Team WRT which runs Bortolotti said the Italian is still recovering from the flu that ruled him out of his ride with the Belgian squad in the 24 Hours of Spa.
Spa runner-up Frederic Vervisch and Benjamin Goethe have been brought in to sub for Bortolotti and his co-driver Rolf Ineichen who is absent for business reasons.
Schreiner said in a social media post that she is suffering from a cold, leading to her seat at Rutronik Racing being taken up by Hamza Owega, who drove for WRT in GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Sprint Cup this year.