Poster 8/10: record-breaker BMW the brand to beat at centenary CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa

Poster 8/10: record-breaker BMW the brand to beat at centenary CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa
  • Bavarian brand features on eighth of 10 collector’s edition posters
  • BMW’s record of 25 overall victories celebrated with past and present winners
  • Quartet of M4 GT3s among the candidates for victory on 29/30 June

With a one-in-three success rate, it’s fair to say that BMW has left a big impression on the first century of the CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa. The Bavarian brand has amassed a record 25 wins from 75 editions and will be among the leading candidates for victory at the centenary running (26–30 June).

Like every manufacturer competing in this year’s race, BMW is the subject of a unique collector's edition poster, designed by Guillaume Lopez, which combines past and present. To the left, we see the legendary BMW 3.0 CSL, a model that left its mark on the race during the seventies. This particular car won in 1973 with Dieter Quester and Toine Hezemans. Two days earlier, BMW Motorsport's sister entry, in the hands of Hans-Joachim Stuck, had set the fastest pole position time in the history of the 24 Hours. Completing the 14.1km circuit in 3m49.1s, the German had averaged a terrifying 221.9 km/h. Thankfully, the track has since been heavily revised in the interest of safety and now measures 7km.

To the right of the poster, you will no doubt recognise the ROWE Racing M4 GT3. This car gave BMW its 25th victory in 2023 and will return in 2024 with the same trio of drivers: Philipp Eng, Marco Wittmann and Nick Yelloly. They will have realistic expectations of winning the centenary edition, but their task will not be easy. In 100 years, only one crew has repeated its success from the previous year: in 1979/1980, brothers Jean-Michel and Philippe Martin won with their Ford Capri.

Returning to BMW, this poster highlights the German marque’s unprecedented record of success at Spa. After a podium finish in 1938, its first victory came in 1965 with the 1800 Ti/SA driven by Pascal Ickx and Gérard Langlois von Ophem. Between this maiden success and 1998, when the event was reserved for touring cars, BMW secured an astonishing 21 victories. Indeed, it had never gone more than five years without a win until the dawn of the GT era.

When the race changed in 2001, BMW was absent. Lacking a suitable model to call upon, it first took advantage of a loophole in the regulations (Group 2 was more accommodating) to enter the M3 GTR in 2004, when it was rewarded with a P6 finish. In 2010, after a six-year absence, it returned with an M3 that found a home in the GT National class. This very nearly proved to be a masterstroke: BMW was on its way back to the top when a suspension component failed just 30 minutes from the chequered flag. The resulting third step of the podium left a bitter taste… 

It would take the introduction of GT3 as the premier class, and the arrival of the Z4, for BMW to play a prominent role once again. Second in 2011 (Team Schubert) and third in 2012 (Vita4One Racing Team), BMW led the final hour in 2014 (Marc VDS Racing Team) only to lose a duel with the Team WRT Audi by seven seconds. At last, in 2015, some 17 years after its final success with a 320i Group N, the BMW name returned to the top step of the podium thanks to the Z4 GT3 run by Marc VDS.

Since then, BMW has resumed its habit of taking regular wins: two for the M6 ​​GT3 (2016 and 2018), and another for the M4 GT3 (2023). If we stick to the GT era, BMW is tied with Porsche and Audi as the brand with the most wins. Represented in the Pro class by reigning winner ROWE Racing and Team WRT, the Bavarian brand is without doubt a strong candidate to clinch yet another victory on the afternoon of 30 June. 

Did you know? 

BMW’s 25 wins have been achieved with 16 different models. In chronological order, they are the 1800 Ti/SA (1965), the 2000 Ti (1966), the 2800 CS Alpina (1970), the 3.0 CSL (1972 and 1976), the 3.0 CSi (1974 and 1975), the 530i (1977), the 528i (1982), the 635 CSi (1983, 1985 and 1986), the M3 E30 Gr.A (1987 and 1988), the M3 E30 Sport Evo Gr.A (1990 and 1992), the 318is Supertourisme (1994), the 320i Supertourisme (1995, 1996 and 1997), the 320i Gr.N/Super Production (1998), the Z4 GT3 (2015), the M6 ​​GT3 (20016 and 2018) and the M4 GT3 (2023). 

Note: Like all of the collector's edition posters, you can purchase this one on-site at an official store during race week, or from the merchandising section of the event’s official website.