Philipp Eng and Dries Vanthoor are set to lead BMW’s bid for a second drivers’ title in the Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by AWS as the racing series wraps up with the Gulf 12 Hours on December 8-10.
BMW enters the final event with a nine-point lead over Mercedes-AMG in the manufacturers’ standings but finds itself behind Jules Gounon, the leading driver in the championship.
Eng, only eight points behind Gounon, will share one of Team WRT’s two M4 GT3s with Sheldon van der Linde and Charles Weerts, both acclaimed BMW factory drivers. Vanthoor, who is six points further back, teams up with Nick Yelloly and Valentino Rossi.
Rossi is set for his third IGTC event this season, having previously joined WRT at Bathurst and Spa, where he and Eng celebrated victory.
Following a win at Indianapolis, Eng has stepped up as BMW’s top driver to possibly match the only other BMW champions in the IGTC, Augusto Farfus and Nicky Catsburg, who claimed the title in 2020.
“I’m very excited to enter the title fight in Abu Dhabi,” Eng stated. “The circuit is a lot of fun. It has changed a bit since I was last there in 2013, but I believe it should play to the strengths of our BMW M4 GT3. I have great teammates and a fantastic team. Of course, the competition is strong, but our chances are good.”
However, this combination means Van der Linde is no longer in the running for the championship. Despite being tied for third place with Vanthoor and having shared wins at Kyalami and Indy, he can’t reach Eng’s point total now that they are teammates.
Andreas Roos, the director of BMW M Motorsport, shared his excitement: “It’s fantastic to be able to compete for titles at the end of such a long and eventful season. The Intercontinental GT Challenge has taken us across five continents, with remarkable victories at Kyalami, Indianapolis, and the season highlight at Spa-Francorchamps. We’ve already reaped substantial rewards from this series.
Kudos to our teams WRT and ROWE Racing for their dedication, our drivers for their outstanding performances, and all our colleagues at BMW M Motorsport. Now, we set our sights on clinching the manufacturer and driver standings in Abu Dhabi!”