The ADAC sanctions much of the sportscar racing within Germany, including the Nürburgring 24 Hour race, the DTM series and the GT4 Germany championship, which is a support series for DTM. BMW teams had some success in GT4 Germany, though they never won a race.
The 2023 ADAC GT4 Germany championship consisted of twelve races at five different tracks in Germany and one in Holland. There were seven M4 GT4s competing in the series, including two from longtime BMW team Walkenhorst Motorsport and two from Hofor Racing by Bonk Motorsport, which won the GT4 European championship. The BMWs were competing against five Aston Martins, six Mercedes, eight Porsches and one Toyota.
The BMW teams started off the year strong, finishing second and third in each of the first two races at Oschersleben as Mercedes teams won both. The only pole of the year for a BMW team also took place in race two there, from the #2 Hofor Racing by Bonk Motorsport entry of Marat Khayrov and Gabriele Piana (who was one of the championship winning drivers in the teams GT4 European entry). Despite the strong start, there was only one M4 GT4 on the podium in the next four races at Zandvoort and the Nürburgring, with the #34 Walkenhorst entry of Nico Hantke and Mex Jensen finishing second in race two at Zandvoort. Porsche, Mercedes and Aston Martin entries won those four rounds.
BMW teams bounced back for the rounds at the Lausitzring and Sachsenring, finishing second and third in race one at the Lausitzring, third in race one at the Sachsenring and second and third in race two there. In the final two races at Hockenheim, there were no BMWs on the podium in race one, but the #2 M4 GT4 of Kahyrov and Piana finished second in the final race. Overall, BMW teams finished on the podium eleven times in twelve races but had no wins. Mercedes teams had five wins, Porsche teams had four wins, and Aston Martin teams had three wins. This is quite a contrast to the success the BMW teams experienced with the M4 GT4 in the GT4 European series as well as GT4 America.
In the overall championship, the #34 entry of Walkenhorst Motorsport was the best-placed BMW in fifth, as Aston Martin drivers Hugo Sasse and Mike David Ortman won the championship. The Trophy Class championship was won by BMW driver Marat Khayrov, who drove the #2 car for Hofor Racing by Bonk Motorsport with Gabriele Piana. “The Trophy Championship was the big goal before the season,” said Khayrov. “We achieved that. I really like the level in the ADAC GT4 Germany and also the way everything is organized. I would be happy to be there again next year.” Walkenhorst Motorsport drivers Mex Jansen and Nico Hantke also finished second in the Junior class championship. —David Haueter
[Photos courtesy ADAC/Gruppe C Photography]