Privateer BMW Racing at NJ Motorsports Park

While we have not covered the Koni Challenge Series/SCCA SPEED World Challenge Series here at BimmerFile in great depth we thought it was worth the mention for this weekends race in NJ because 17 BMWs will be racing. The BMW models competing will include a Z4, 328i, E46 ///M3 and current generation ///M3s from race teams such as Turner Motorsports and Kinetic Motorsports. With a wide range of models and teams of BMWs composing nearly a third of the field there should be some interesting racing! The Grand-Am KONI Sports Car Challenge and the SCCA SPEED World Challenge GT races will be held at NJ Motorsports Park in Millville.

The KONI Challenge race is scheduled to start at 3:10 p.m. ET Saturday, May 1 and will broadcast on SPEED television at 12:00 p.m. ET on May 9. The SPEED World Challenge Touring race is scheduled to start at 10:30 a.m. Saturday and will be televised on SPEED on May 22 at 2:00 p.m. ET. The broadcast of the Sebring SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge races has been delayed, and will now air on SPEED Monday, May 11.

Read on for the full release:

Official Release: PRIVATEER BMW TEAMS BRING BMW POWER TO NEW JERSEY MOTORSPORTS PARK

The first weekend in May will see New Jersey Motorsports Park (NJMP), in Millville, N.J., host 17 BMWs from seven privateer teams racing in two different series on the undercard of the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series event. BMW M3 and BMW 3 Series race cars will make up more than 30 percent of the KONI Challenge Grand Sport (GS) and Street Tuner (ST) fields for Saturday’s two-and-one-half-hour endurance race. A win at Daytona and a fifth place finish at Miami-Homestead Speedway has raced BMW to second in GS class Manufacturer points, only one point from first.

Ten GS class BMW M3s are entered in the NJMP KONI Challenge race including the No. 96 and No. 97 Turner Motorsport entries driven by BMW of North America drivers Bill Auberlen and Joey Hand. Auberlen and co-driver Matt Bell won the season-opening contest at Daytona. Despite problems at Homestead-Miami that also struck Hand and co-driver Chris Gleason, Auberlen and Bell stand ninth in Driver points. Hand and Gleason are fifth.

Turner Motorsport continues to race the tried and true third-generation BMW M3 (E46) that Auberlen and co-driver Matt Alhadeff raced to a third place finish in last year’s race at NJMP. Kinetic Motorsports and Fall-Line Motorsports have added the V8-powered, fourth-generation BMW M3 to their lineups this season.

In the ST class BMW is represented by one Z4 and six 3 Series, including two current generation 328i Coupes. BMW drivers have scored two top-10 finishes in the first two races of the season.

As recently as 2007 BMW teams won five of six KONI Challenge titles with a sweep of the GS Manufacturer, Drivers and Team Championships, as well as the ST Drivers and Team Championships.

Making its debut at NJMP the SPEED World Challenge Touring Car (TC) class features three BimmerWorld BMWs in World Challenge’s sprint racing format. The team had an outstanding season-opening race at Sebring in March with Seth Thomas winning his first career Touring Car race in his 328i. Teammate Nick Esayian finished fifth while team owner/driver James Clay secured sixth place. BMW leads all SPEED Touring Car point standings.

“BMW drivers have certainly started the season off properly,” said Martin Birkmann, BMW of North America Motorsports Manager. “BMW of North America congratulates Bill and Matt, as well as Seth in winning their respective season-opening races. Privateer teams are an important part of BMW’s racing heritage in the United States and around the world, and their commitment and diligence demonstrate that the soul of BMW is more vibrant than ever.”

The KONI Challenge race is scheduled to start at 3:10 p.m. ET Saturday, May 1 and will broadcast on SPEED television at 12:00 p.m. ET on May 9. The SPEED World Challenge Touring race is scheduled to start at 10:30 a.m. Saturday and will be televised on SPEED on May 22 at 2:00 p.m. ET. The broadcast of the Sebring SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge races has been delayed, and will now air on SPEED Monday, May 11.

Photo: Grand-am.com

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  • lava

    looks like they may have gotten the one day without rain for the race.