BMW Motorsport’s end of season affair also gave an opportunity to honour the season’s most successful privateer BMW drivers and teams, the 53rd time that the BMW Sports Trophy winners have been recognised.
The winners were presented with their trophies by BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt.
“To a certain degree, the BMW Sports Trophy epitomises the DNA of BMW in motorsport,” said Marquardt. “For over 50 years these competitions have allowed us to acknowledge the most successful privateer teams and drivers, who enjoy success around the world with BMW racing cars, thus making them excellent ambassadors for our brand. In 2014, our team monitored and recorded the results of the BMW drivers and teams in a total of 60 racing series and events. This amounted to an incredible 6,000 individual results from 1,400 drivers. It is impressive how many drivers and teams around the world put their faith in BMW cars.”
First place in the 2014 Drivers’ Competition went to Markus Palttala (FI). He enjoyed many successful outings in the BMW Z4 GTD and BMW Z4 GT3 over the course of the season, including in the United SportsCar Championship (USCC).
Palttala also finished runner-up with BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS at the 24-hour race at Spa-Francorchamps (BE) and won the GTC class at the final round of the European Le Mans Series (ELMS) in Estoril (PT). As a reward for his success, the Finn received a cheque for 30,000 Euros – and a drive in a BMW M4 DTM, which he completed last week in Jerez (ES).
“I would like to congratulate Markus Palttala on winning the 2014 BMW Sports Trophy,” said Marquardt. “Markus has been hugely successful this season, both in America and in Europe. He is a genuine all-rounder, who feels just at home in the USCC as he does at the endurance classic. He more than deserves the winner’s trophy, prize money and his laps in the BMW M4 DTM.”
Palttala said: “It has been a fantastic season, both here in Europe and in the USA. And it could not end in a better way than with first place in the BMW Sports Trophy Drivers’ Competition and the opportunity to take to the track in a BMW DTM car. I expected quite a lot from this car, and have to say that it lived up to all my expectations. I had never driven a single-seater racing car or a Le Mans prototype before, so this was the first time I had been out in a car with that much downforce. That is an experience I will remember for a long time. I enjoyed every single lap.”
Second and third places in the competition for privateer drivers went to Palttala’s team-mate at Turner Motorsport, Dane Cameron (US), and Tom Capizzi (US). The two drivers received 25,000 and 21,000 Euros respectively for their efforts. Cameron was crowned GTD champion in the USCC in a BMW Z4 GTD. Capizzi celebrated numerous triumphs in the American Pro-IT Series and the North Atlantic Road Racing Championship. In total, 283 privateer BMW drivers from 26 countries had registered for the BMW Sports Trophy, with the top 25 at the end of the season winning a share of the 250,000 Euros prize money.
The BMW Sports Trophy also featured a Team Competition for the second time in 2014. The prize purse in this category amounts to 100,000 Euro. First place went to the Adrenalin Motorsport team, who were in action at the Nürburgring-Nordschleife (DE) this year, including outings with the new BMW M235i Racing, with which they won the Team competition in the BMW M235i Racing Cup class. Team Principal Matthias Unger (DE) received the trophy from Jens Marquardt. Second and third places also went to teams, for whom the “Green Hell” is their sporting home: Walkenhorst Motorsport and the Sorg Rennsport team.
“We introduced the Team Competition in 2013, and are delighted that it has been so well received,” said Marquardt. “Fifty eight teams registered for this competition in its second year – that is an increase of over 70 per cent on last year. The top ten alone features teams from Germany, the USA, the Netherlands, Great Britain and Switzerland. That just goes to show how international the BMW Sports Trophy is. Congratulations to Matthias Unger and his Adrenalin Motorsport team on their success and on winning the BMW Sports Trophy.”
Adrenalin Motorsport’s Team Principal Matthias Unger said: “Our complete team has worked very hard towards this goal. It’s a dream to walk away with the trophy for first place in the Team Competition this year. We were up against so many strong BMW teams from around the globe. That’s why this success is simply amazing. Every year it’s our goal to make it to the BMW Motorsport Season Review event. If you then receive such an award, this is just a fantastic feeling.”
Final standings in the 2014 Drivers’ Competition.
1. Markus Palttala FI BMW Z4 GT3 / GTD 587.61
2. Dane Cameron US BMW Z4 GTD 515.00
3. Tom Capizzi US BMW 325i / BMW 323i 496.43
4. Colin Turkington GB BMW 125i M Sport 486.67
5. Jörg Weidinger DE BMW M235i Racing / BMW 318i 468.52
6. Mikhail Grachev RU BMW 320si / BMW 320 TC 444.74
7. Dominik Baumann AT BMW Z4 GT3 425.13
8. Nobuteru Taniguchi JP BMW Z4 GT3 420.00
8. Tatsuya Kataoka JP BMW Z4 GT3 420.00
10. Michael Schrey DE BMW M235i Racing 404.30
11. Trent Hindman US BMW M3 399.00
12. Robert Nimkoff US BMW 325i 392.86
13. Rolf Derscheid DE BMW 325i 391.67
13. Michael Flehmer DE BMW 325i 391.67
15. Daniel Zils DE BMW M235i Racing / BMW Z4 373.74
16. Norbert Fischer DE BMW M235i Racing / BMW Z4 372.74
17. Nick Catsburg NL BMW Z4 GT3 372.65
18. Eric van den Munckhof NL BMW Z4 356.24
19. Claudia Hürtgen DE BMW Z4 GT3 354.00
20. Liesette Braams NL BMW M3 GT4 / BMW 123d 353.32
21. Max Partl DE BMW M235i Racing 353.07
22. Uwe Ebertz DE BMW M235i Racing 352.74
23. Emin Akata DE BMW M235i Racing 349.30
24. John Edwards US BMW M3 347.21
25. Marco Attard GB BMW Z4 GT3 340.00
Final standings in the 2014 Team Competition.
1. Adrenalin Motorsport DE 940.49
2. Walkenhorst Motorsport DE 826.49
3. Sorg Rennsport DE 754.11
4. Schubert Motorsport DE 696.11
5. JR Motorsport NL 679.89
6. Fall-Line Motorsport US 654.69
7. Turner Motorsport US 593.51
8. Hofor Racing CH 580.53
9. West Surrey Racing GB 573.10
10. Auto Technic Racing US 537.66