BMW Motorsport heads into the coming ADAC GT Masters season with a strong mixture of experience and talented youngsters. BMW Motorsport Juniors Mikkel Jensen (DEN) and Dennis Marschall (GER) are given the opportunity to prove themselves at the wheel of the BMW M6 GT3 in which they will race alongside and learn from a two-time DTM champion. BMW works driver Timo Scheider (GER) is set for his debut in the ADAC GT Masters, where he and the two Juniors will drive for BMW Team Schnitzer. Team principal Charly Lamm’s (GER) experienced crew will field two BMW M6 GT3 in the top-class GT series.
BMW Motorsport’s motto for the coming ADAC GT Masters season is “Tradition, Present and Future.” The squad charged with attaining success with the BMW M6 GT3 in the strongest GT race series in the world features an attractive mix of success, tradition, experience and promising young drivers. Scheider, who has been a BMW works driver since 2017, was crowned DTM champion in 2008 and 2009 and is one of the biggest names in the ADAC GT Masters field. BMW Team Schnitzer can look back on a success story with BMW Motorsport that spans several decades. Among the chapters of this remarkable story are victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans (FRA) in 1999, the DTM title wins in 1989 and 2012, and five overall victories in the 24-hour classics at the Nürburgring (GER) and Spa-Francorchamps (BEL).
The talented young drivers are two current BMW Motorsport Juniors and one graduate of the youth development programme. Mikkel Jensen will share the cockpit with Scheider on the seven race weekends that make up the ADAC GT Masters. Dennis Marschall and Victor Bouveng (SWE), who was part of the BMW Motorsport Junior programme in 2015, will be in action in the second BMW M6 GT3.
“Timo Scheider, the BMW Motorsport Juniors and BMW Team Schnitzer: this combination is ingenious,” said BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt. “It combines success, tradition, experience and promising youngsters – everything that makes BMW Motorsport so special. BMW Team Schnitzer is an institution in international GT racing, and can look back on a long success story. The team showed last year that it can challenge for the title in the top-class ADAC GT Masters. Timo Scheider’s ability and personality make him a big plus for the series and a great example for our young drivers. Finally, Scheider has been a part of the BMW talent promotion himself in the past. Our current Juniors, who have already demonstrated their talent, will now be given the opportunity to test themselves against the best, and to learn from them. Helping young drivers find their way to the top classes of motorsport is a tradition spanning several decades at BMW Motorsport, and is one of the central pillars of our programme. The outings in the ADAC GT Masters is a big step on their way to the top. I am really looking forward to following what is sure to be a very exciting season.”
“We are really looking forward to competing in the ADAC GT Masters with the BMW M6 GT3 again in 2018,” said Lamm. “BMW Motorsport has modified the car and we hope that the Evo package will make it at least as competitive as last season, when we were still fighting for the title right down to the season finale at Hockenheim. Our squad of drivers is a mixture of experience and talented youngsters. Having Timo Scheider in the team again is great for us and the entire series. Then we have our young drivers, who will bring a breath of fresh air and are determined to do well in their new roles. We will do our best to give them as much support as possible and cannot wait for the season to get underway.”
Scheider, who drove for BMW Team Schneider at the Nürburgring 24 Hours in 2017, is set to make his ADAC GT Masters debut in 2018. “Now in my second year at BMW, I am really looking forward to working with such a fantastic team as Schnitzer for a full season,” said Scheider. “In BMW Motorsport Junior Mikkel Jensen, I have a young and motivated team-mate at my side. I am sure we will benefit from each other and can be successful. As a former BMW Junior, the promotion of talented youngsters is very close to my heart. After all, that is why I also had my own junior karting and Formula 4 team in the past. I am happy to use my experience to help Mikkel and the others.”
Last season – his first on the BMW Motorsport Junior Programme – Jensen gained valuable experience with the BMW M6 GT3 in the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup, where he raced alongside Nico Menzel (GER). He is now ready to take the next step with the aid of Scheider and BMW Team Schnitzer. “It is an honour for me to drive alongside Timo Scheider at BMW Team Schnitzer,” said Jensen. “I am really looking forward to learning from Timo and the team. I have already met everyone involved and am impressed by the level of professionalism and experience. I am very much looking forward to returning to the ADAC GT Masters environment. The last time I was involved was 2014, when I won the title in the ADAC Formula Masters.”
For Marschall, the first outing for BMW Team Schnitzer means a return to the ADAC GT Masters, in which he also raced in 2017. He will make his race debut in the BMW M6 GT3 at the season-opener in Oschersleben (GER). “Although I have not yet driven the BMW M6 GT3, I do already have some experience of GT3 cars. I think that will help me, as will the fact that I already know almost all the circuits and the series as a whole,” said Marschall. “I am incredibly grateful to BMW Motorsport for the fantastic programme I am on this season. To learn from Schnitzer and Timo Scheider is a fantastic opportunity for me.”
Bouveng already has plenty of experience of driving the BMW M6 GT3. The 2015 BMW Motorsport Junior competed successfully in the 2016 VLN Endurance Championship, in which he won the GT3 class for Walkenhorst Motorsport. Last season he finished runner-up in the International GT Open with BMW Team Teo Martín. “When I was part of the BMW Motorsport Junior programme in 2015, my goal was to establish myself in the GT3 class. I have achieved that goal, thanks to BMW Motorsport,” said Bouveng. “I have now come full circle and am meeting people I know from my time as a BMW Motorsport Junior. I am really looking forward to the challenge in the ADAC GT Masters.”
The promotion of talented young drivers enjoys a tradition dating back more than 40 years at BMW Motorsport. A multi-level junior concept was launched in 2014, since when it has been expanded continuously. The focus of the BMW Motorsport youth development programme is on drivers in GT and touring car racing who already have motor racing experience. Outings in BMW racing cars, such as the BMW M4 GT4 and BMW M6 GT3, are a feature of the comprehensive programme.
As well as BMW Team Schnitzer, the MRS Racing team will also field one BMW M6 GT3 in the 2018 ADAC GT Masters. The season begins on 14th/15th April with two races at Oschersleben (GER). The schedule consists of 14 races in total. The season finale will take place at Hockenheim (GER) on 22nd/23rd September.