GT4 CLASS-READY: It will cost roughly R130 000 to race this BMW 335s in Spain in September . Image: Adrian Burford
JOHANNESBURG, Gauteng - ADF Motorsport’s championship-winning BMW 335s will be back on track in the first weekend of September - taking on some of Europe’s fastest production sedans and sports coupes at the Circuit de Catalunya, Spain, in Round 5 of the International Endurance Series.
Team principal Donovan van Heerden confirmed that the outfit, which has tasted success locally – most recently in lifting the 2014 Production Car crown – will contest the penultimate round of the series and is keen to sign up a squad of suitably qualified drivers.
The race at the F1-standard circuit just outside Barcelona is expected to attract close to 100 cars, from hot hatches to pukka GT racers, for the 24-hour duel.
Van Heerden explained: “This series is becoming increasingly competitive while still retaining the unique flavour and atmosphere of endurance racing in which the emphasis is really on teamwork.
“Up to five drivers are allowed per car and we will be making two race-proven cars available to local and international motorsport enthusiasts.
“We will supply a complete logistics, race-prep and management package and all the driver has to do is make sure he gets to the venue! Racing internationally, in a car which has got a winning chance, just became a whole lot easier.”
The pay-to-drive package costs approximately R130 000 and includes everything except the racer’s air fares, and an internationally recognised competition licence.
The two F30 sedans, campaigned with distinction in 2014 by Johan Fourie and Gavin Cronje, will be modified to suit the endurance format, including fitting them with long-range fuel tanks. The turbocharged six-cylinder engine will be optimised for the GT4 class in which the 3-Series will run.
Control tyres from the series sponsor and a fuel control will level the field and help to keep costs and development in check.
A squad of experienced South African technicians, headed up by talented race engineer Freddie Pretorius, will travel to Spain to take care of the minute-to-minute running of the cars.
Van Heerden said: “Our vision is to give our customers an exceptional overall experience and allow them to focus entirely on the racing, without having to worry about preparation and all the other challenges that come with just getting to the starting line.
“It is designed to appeal to experienced and affluent ‘gentlemen’ racers who still have plenty of petrol in their veins but don’t want their recreation to add stress to their personal or business life.”
FULL PRE-RACE TEST
All in all, 10 seats are available for the Spanish round, with a similar package on offer for the Dubai 24-Hour in mid-January 2016 in which the opening salvos of that year's series will be fired.
Zwartkops (Gauteng) based ADF expects to test a 335i in full endurance specification before the end of May with a knowledgeable driver to be used to set up the car for running with a maximum fuel load and on Hankook slicks.
Entries for the Barcelona race are still open and interested drivers can contact Donovan van Heerden of ADF Motorsport on email@example.com or 079 492 6421.