FACTORY BMW drivers Marco Wittmann and Timo Glock have never been to Bathurst before – but their respective driving careers indicate getting up to speed on the Mountain won’t be an issue when they tackle next year’s Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour.
Current DTM champion Wittmann will drive with 2015 Supercars champion Mark Winterbottom and four-time Bathurst champ Steve Richards, while Glock will add some factory BMW experience to the all-star ‘Bathurst legends’ M6 GT3 entry to be driven by Mark Skaife, Russell Ingall and Tony Longhurst.
Wittmann cut his teeth in Formula BMW in Europe before a three-year stint in European Formula 3 – twice finishing second in the F3 EuroSeries.
He returned to the brand as a GT driver and DTM test driver in 2012, before being promoted to a DTM race seat in 2013. Wittman went on to win his first DTM title in 2014, backing this up with a second championship in 2016 driving a BMW M4.
Perhaps most importantly for the Bathurst campaign, the 26-year-old has ample experience in the BMW M6 GT3 in which he will make his Bathurst debut next February.
“It is very exciting for me to be making my first start at the Bathurst 12 Hour. I have never been to Australia before, so there are a lot of new things awaiting me. And I am really looking forward to them,” he said.
“At the moment, I only know the circuit from computer games. It is iconic, and it’s sure to be a lot of fun to drive. I can hardly wait to do my first laps there in the BMW M6 GT3.
“I already know the car very well from my GT outings at the Nürburgring and in Daytona, and hope that I can use my experience to help the team.”
Also a graduate of Formula BMW, 34-year-old Glock’s career includes more than 90 Formula 1 stars racing for Jordan, Toyota and Virgin / Marussia. He won the 2007 GP2 Championship, a title victory that followed a brief stint in the US-based Champ Car World Series.
After retiring from Formula 1 at the end of the 2012 season he was immediately snapped up by BMW to contest the DTM Championship, where he is a three-time race winner across four seasons.
“It is fantastic to be back racing in Australia after a few years away. I love the country and the people. I always travelled to Formula 1 races a week early, in order to do a bit of sightseeing. The Australian GP in Melbourne was my favourite race,” Glock said.
“I have not driven at Bathurst before, but the circuit is legendary. I am really looking forward to the challenge and my first race in the BMW M6 GT3. Hopefully we can get a good result for BMW and the team.”
The well-balanced two-car BMW team now now adds Formula 1 World Championship experience, a GP2 title and two DTM championships to a squad that already includes 15 Bathurst 1000 victories and six Australian Touring Car / Supercars Championships.