The 2015 M Festival started at Nürburgring on May 15th ....
.... the hospitality at T14 opened right on time at midday ....
... and the first guests began to arrive.
The M Night. Some impressions.
Jens Marquardt (left) and Franciscus van Meel.
BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt and BMW M Director Franciscus van Meel presented the BMW M3 GT3 live: it will replace the BMW Z4 GT3 as of 2016.
BMW M6 GT3.
Racing driver Jörg Müller is closely involved in the development of the BMW M3 GT3 and gave a first-hand account of his impressions.
BMW M6 GT3.
BMW M6 GT3.
Jörg Müller (at center).
Excellent driver line-up for the 24-hour race.
There was news of the BMW M6 for public roads, too: from July, fitted with the Competition Package, it will have an output of 600 hp.
BMW M6 Coupé.
Workshop at the BMW M Test Centre at Nürburgring.
Dirk Häcker, Head of Development BMW M Automobiles and BMW Individual..
Engine compartment of the BMW X6 M without cover.
Brake pads of the BMW X6 M and BMW X5 M: 40% more surface than the predecessor.
Cross-bench exhaust manifold in the BMW X5 M and BMW X6 M: significantly lighter than in the predecessor.
Discussion of the new water injection system in the BMW M4 MotoGP Safety Cars.
Injection of water into the intake duct.
Exhibit of the S55 engine with water injection.
40 M automobiles took part in the M Convoy on Saturday afternoon.
Waiting for the start.
Briefing by Claudia Hürtgen.
On the track.
Speed Limit: 250 km/h!
The BMW Z4 GT3 start number 26, BMW Sports Trophy Team VDS (Farfus, Müller, Catsburg, Adorf) started from pole position.
Driver Jörg Müller giving an interview.
Visit to the BMW Sports Trophy Teams Marc VDS and Schubert, and to Walkenhorst Motorsport.
Waiting for the next pit stop.
Parts of the track are wets, but the decision initially seems to be made in favour of slicks, which are quickly taken out of the heat blankets.
But during the stop they opt for more tread after all.
Otherwise everything is going to plan.
But a look at the Schubert pits suggests there may be problems afoot.
Which is confirmed by a glance at the front of the car.
Claudia Hürtgen, not exactly having a lucky day.
Meanwhile Team Walkenhorst is just taking a routine stop at this point.
And on we go ...
If you have the courage to sit here...
... you can quench your thirst with an excellent view.
Before the nightl.
When interviewed at the hospitality in the TÜV Tower, BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt and BMW M Director Franciscus van Meel said they were hoping for a quiet night. But that's not quite the way things turned out. Frequent and consistently unexpected changes between dry and wet sections led to numerous accidents.
In the morning
The sun has now come out again and the two BMW Z4 GT3 of the BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS have got through the night well. They are currently in first and fourth place. Meanwhile Walkenhorst Motorsport's BMW Z4 GT3 in seventh place rounds off the overall picture very nicely.
Podium for BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS at the Nürburgring Martin, Luhr, Palttala and Westbrook finish runners-up.
BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS finished second at the Nürburgring 24 Hours (DE). After 156 laps, the number 25 BMW Z4 GT3 crossed the line at the 43rd running of the endurance classic just 40.729 seconds behind the winning car. It was the closest finish in the history of the event since 1970. Maxime Martin (BE), Lucas Luhr (DE), Markus Palttala (FI) and Richard Westbrook (GB) shared the driving duties over the course of the 24 hours and, like the team, produced impressive performances. In the end, however, they just came up short of what would have been a 20th overall victory for BMW.
The number 17 BMW Z4 GT3 of the Walkenhorst Motorsport team, driven by Felipe Laser (DE), Michela Cerruti (IT), BMW USCC driver John Edwards (US) and Daniel Keilwitz (DE), came home sixth to complete a strong BMW showing. The sister car, the number 18, crossed the finish line in 15th place. In contrast, BMW Sports Trophy Team Schubert endured a luckless race: both the number 19 and the number 20 BMW Z4 GT3s were forced to retire following crashes.