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BMW M Team WRT Sweeps GT World Challenge Europe Sprint Races

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BMW won so many races over the weekend of May 18-19, 2024, that we didn’t have enough room to report on all of them. In addition to sweeping every class in the SRO GT4 America races at Circuit of the Americas, as well as winning both Pro-Am class races in GT World Challenge America at that same venue, BMW M Team WRT won both GT World Challenge Europe (GTWCE) sprint races at the Misano circuit in Italy.

The Misano races were rounds three and four of the GTWCE sprint race schedule, following rounds one and two at Brands Hatch in England. BMW M Team WRT was successful in England as well, with Dries Vanthoor and Charles Weerts winning overall and in the Pro Cup class in race one in their #32 M4 GT3 and the #30 M4 GT3 of Calan Williams and Sam De Haan finishing second in the Silver Cup class. Race two at Brands Hatch didn’t work out as well, with the #32 finishing seventh and the #30 finishing third in their respective classes. Neither race was good for the duo of Valentino Rossi and Maxime Martin, as they finished 15th in race one and last in race two in their #46 M4 GT3.

At Misano, the BMWs proved to be the fastest cars on the track from the get-go. Maxime Martin qualified the #46 on the pole for race one and Charles Weerts qualified on pole in the #32 car for race two. Martin and Rossi bounced back in a big way from the two disappointing races in England, taking the win. Rossi, who grew up down the road, put in a great drive to hold off significant pressure from Weerts in the closing stages to make it a BMW one-two overall and in the Pro Cup class. To top it off, Williams and De Haan won the Silver Cup class in their #30 M4 GT3 and Darren Leung and Dan Harper finished a strong fourth in the Bronze Cup class in their #991 Century Motorsport M4 GT3.

Valentino Rossi (left) and Maxime Martin celebrate their race one win.

In race two, Weerts and Vanthoor won from pole, with Rossi and Martin having another podium finish in third, while Williams and De Haan won the Silver Cup class for the second consecutive race and making it to the podium in four straight races. “Very strong weekend!” said WRT Team Principal Vincent Vosse. “The mechanics helped us again with great pitstops. Fiftieth win, two wins overall, two wins in Silver, one pitstop challenge victory, overall and silver cup championship lead, we could not ask for more! It feels very good, even more so after the weekend we had in Spa. It is a nice way to recover and to prepare for Le Mans!” Leung and Harper also had a great race, finishing second in the Bronze Cup class.

Dries Vanthoor (left) and Charles Weerts celebrate their race two win.

Weerts and Vanthoor now lead the points in the drivers’ championship in the Pro Cup class, while Calan Williams and Sam De Haan lead the points in the Silver Cup class. BMW M Team WRT also leads the team championship. Rounds five and six of the GTWCE Sprint Cup season will be held at the Hockenheim circuit in Germany on July 19th-21st.

Calan Willams and Sam De Haan won the Silver Cup class in both races at Misano.

—David Haueter

[Photos courtesy SRO]

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