Official Release: The BMW M3 GT2 Art Car was one of the main attractions at this year ‘s Le Mans 24 Hours (FR). Images of the work of art, designed by American artist Jeff Koons, were seen around the world. BMW announced a photo contest for all accredited photographers who captured pictures of the car at the “Circuit de la Sarthe”. Six weeks later the winner has been chosen: Rick Dole from St. Augustine, Florida (US), made the biggest impression on the jury, which included BMW Motorsport Director Mario Theissen and the three drivers of the BMW Art Car, Dirk Werner (DE), Dirk Müller (DE) and Andy Priaulx (GB). As a reward for his photo of the no. 79 BMW M3 GT2, the winner receives a cheque for 1,000 Euros.

From last Wednesday, visitors to the BMW and BMW Motorsport Facebook profiles have been able to view some of the jury ‘s favourite shots. So far, the gallery has been viewed by 1.8 million fans, and more than 8,000 users have shown their appreciation of the work of the motorsport photographers who took part by clicking on the “Like” button. (photo after the break)

“The BMW Art Car Photo Contest was very well received among photographers in Le Mans,” says Mario Theissen. “They too are artists, who understand how to capture the special atmosphere at a 24-hour race and the character of the racing car in pictures. Congratulations to Rick Dole, who achieved this feat in style with our 17th BMW Art Car. His photo perfectly captures the unique dynamic of Jeff Koons’ design. However, it was not easy for the jury to decide on a winner. I want to say thank you to all of those who took part for submitting a large number of impressive photographs.”

Rick Dole has been working as a professional photographer for 24 years. 2010 was his 14th visit to the endurance classic at Le Mans. The winning photo was taken in the second chicane on the Mulsanne straight. “Le Mans is my favourite circuit in the world to shoot,” says Dole. “Each year I search for new and unique locations to photograph the event. This year, for the first time, I leased and photographed from a helicopter and was able to capture this wonderful image of the BMW Art Car. It is a spectacular car to photograph from any angle. I am honoured and humbled to be recognised by BMW.”

Dole developed a passion for motorsport in his teens. His heroes were Niki Lauda (AT) and Ronnie Peterson (SE). The first race he watched live was the 12 Hours of Sebring in 1984. From that moment on he has been hooked on motorsport.

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