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Intercontinental GT Challenge

BMW Set to Return for Second IGTC Season

Sophomore campaign looking likely for BMW in Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli…

Photo: BMW

BMW appears likely to return to the Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli for a second full season with the manufacturer’s motorsport boss Jens Marquardt strongly hinting at a continued involvement.

The German marque contested the global GT3 series in full for the first time this year and finished fourth in the manufacturers’ championship which featured eight brands.

Its best result came in the season-ending Kyalami 9 Hour where Walkenhorst Motorsport finished second with a BMW M6 GT3 driven by Mikkel Jensen, Nicky Catsburg and Christian Krognes.

When asked about the prospects of BMW returning for 2020, Marquardt gave a clear indication of its objectives.

“For sure, this year, in our first season we have seen that this is a very good platform,” he told Sportscar365.

“We definitely have the target to do this again next year. We haven’t fixed it, but we are working on it and for sure the experience from this year is, in our view, something that we would really like to have continued.”

Marquardt wouldn’t rule out the possibility of BMW running more than the two required full-season cars in IGTC next year.

Walkenhorst and Schnitzer Motorsport were the two designated points-scoring teams for 2019 while Walkenhorst and Boutsen Ginion also nominated one-off Am-class entries.

“[Two cars] is what you have to have in place to be eligible for manufacturer’s championship points,” he said.

“That is definitely the target that we definitely have to get set up. It is not fixed, but the target is definitely to repeat this.”

Marquardt agreed that BMW’s step into the IGTC this year had been a worthwhile endeavor.

“I would think so, that it has,” he suggested.

“I was at Bathurst: unfortunately, it was more to support the team after Charly [Lamm, Schnitzer Motorsport team principal] passed away, but it is a great event with a lot of spectators and gave a lot of international attention.

“We were close in Suzuka to having our first win. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen that way. But I think the [M6 GT3] car is still competitive in this series.

“We are working on [2020] right now. We have been fully involved in our first year as a manufacturer. From what we have seen, it is a good series.”

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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