Motorsport is going through hard times at the moment. On the one hand, we have permanent threats from green activists and lobbies while on the other, the current health crisis is constantly forcing organisers to reschedule events. Which means one’s got to be highly motivated to keep the fire burning… and launch a new race series. Yet, this is what BMW Belux just did. Let’s find out more.
Over the years, BMW Group Belux backed many racing events and series in our small country. Just think of the motorcycle BMW Boxer Cup from the late 90s or the MINI Cooper Challenge back in 2003. These were local initiatives backed by Eddy Haesendonck… who is the current BMW Group Belux CEO.
“Racing is our DNA”, says Eddy. “To prove it, just look at our trackdays : they’re always successful events! Starting from there, we decided to launch a new BMW racing series. It will be based around the BMW M2 CS Racing cars. This car is financially affordable as well as being easy to master on a track. Even if its sharpest version has 450 HP, they are always under ESP control while an ABS backs up the brakes. Rookies will feel safe with these devices while more experienced pilots can of course easily disable them”.
The BMW Group Belux backed racing series will be set up under the helm of Hans Van de Ven who is already organising the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge. This new Benelux championship will be held for at least 3 years, 2021, 2022 and 2023. Three tracks were selected for the first season five events: Zolder, Spa- Francorchamps and Zandvoort. Two race meetings will take place both in Spa Francorchamps and Zandvoort. The aim is to allow drivers to enjoy a maximum track time: two 20- 25 minutes’ sprints as well as one hour endurance meeting will be organised each time. Obviously, the Cup is open to beginners and would-be racing drivers as well as gentlemen drivers. All the cars will be identical and have the same performance level. At the moment, 18 out of 34 cars sold are already registered for the Cup. The M2 CS Racing Cup is available in two power guises : either 365 or 450 HP, the most powerful one retailing for € 113,900 excl. taxes. The races will take place along the Porsche Sprint Belux Trophy.
Each weekend, a barbecue will take place on Saturday evenings and a lottery will make sure that no less than €70,000 of prizes will be awarded to the luckiest and not the fastest drivers. Michelin, Snap On and, of course BMW, will make sure all gifts will be worth taking part. Just one month before the first meeting, we were invited on the Zolder track to discover a new «Art Car». Backed by BMW Group Belux, it was designed by Flemish artist Jeroom. The project was named “Dafalgan” ! It should be enough to give other competitors the headache of their life when this M2 CS appears in their rear view mirror. Indeed, it will initially first driven by Sam Dejonghe (29 years old), a 2020 Belcar competitor and should be entrusted to other BVs (Famous Flemish) like Tom Boonen or Koen Wauters later in the year.
BMW M2 CS Racing Cup Benelux calendar: 8-9 May 2021 Zolder (BEL) 22-23 May 2021 Zandvoort (NL) 9-10 July 2021 Spa-Francorchamps (BEL) 25-26 September 2021 Spa-Francorchamps (BEL) 16-17 October 2021 Zandvoort (NL)