BMW has decided to officially compete for the inaugural Intercontinental Le Mans Cup with the M3 GT2. This year's initial iteration will include three races at England's Silverstone, the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta, and Zuhai in China. Peugeot has already committed to run the LMP1 class 908 and Audi is considering running the R15+ TDI.
The M3 GT2 debuted in the American Le Mans Series in 2009 with Rahal Letterman Racing and BMW added Team Schnitzer in Europe for 2010. Schnitzer will campaign the cars in the cup runs at Silverstone and Zuhai, while Rahal will be responsible for the American race. In 2011, the Intercontinental cup will expand to six races, including Sebring and Le Mans.
* Press Release
Munich, 31st July 2010. BMW will contest all three legs of the 2010 Intercontinental Le Mans Cup 2010 with the BMW M3 GT2. This Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO)-sanctioned championship consists of Silverstone's 1000-kilometre race in Great Britain, the classic "Petit Le Mans" round in Road Atlanta (US), and the 1000-kilometre season finale in Zhuhai (CN).
In Silverstone and Zhuhai management of the BMW M3 GT2, to be driven by BMW works drivers Jörg Müller (DE) and Dirk Werner (DE), will be in the hands of Schnitzer Motorsport, led by team manager, Charly Lamm (DE). With the 10-hour "Petit Le Mans" counting towards the American Le Mans Series, BMW Rahal Letterman Racing Team, together with drivers Dirk Müller (DE)/Joey Hand (US) and Tommy Milner (US)/Bill Auberlen (US), will represent BMW in the event. The ALMS drivers will be supported by Andy Priaulx (GB) and Dirk Werner.
"The Intercontinental Le Mans Cup is offering a new approach to set up a worldwide GT category," says BMW Motorsport Director Mario Theissen. "I am convinced the concept will find favour among spectators in 2010 and beyond. In Silverstone and Zhuhai our flag will be flown by BMW Team Schnitzer, while BMW Rahal Letterman Racing Team will represent us in Road Atlanta as part of the ALMS campaign. I am looking forward to three exciting races."
BMW currently is second in the GT category of the American Le Mans Series, while drivers Auberlen/Milner and Dirk Müller/Hand occupy second and third respectively in the drivers' classification. In the European Le Mans Series, BMW Team Schnitzer has to date contested races in Le Castellet (FR) and Spa-Francorchamps (BE), with the best result being fourth in Belgium thanks to the no. 79 BMW M3 GT2. This year's Le Mans 24 Hour race in France saw Jörg Müller, Augusto Farfus (BR) and Uwe Alzen (DE) placed sixth in the LM GT2 category.
For BMW the highlight of the season to date was the Nürburgring 24-hour race: Jörg Müller, Augusto Farfus, Uwe Alzen and Pedro Lamy (PT) celebrated victory, scoring BMW's 19th overall win in the 38th running of this endurance classic.
The 2010 Intercontinental Le Mans Cup.
10th to 12th September 2010, 1000-kilometre race, Silverstone (GB)
29th September to 2nd October 2010, Petit Le Mans, Road Atlanta (US)
5th to 7th November 2010, 1000-kilometre race, Zhuhai (CN)