The global pandemic of coronavirus impacted every possible sphere of human occupation. Unfortunately, the 2020 Nürburgring Endurance Series, better known as NLS, was no exception. However, the introduction of BMW M2 CS Racing and its one-make cup has given everyone something to look forward to for 2021.
COVID-19 has drastically changed the present world as we know it. Spanning for almost a year now, this contagion did not only affect human health, it has shaken economies and transformed lifestyles down to their most basic aspects. Recently, it claimed yet another victim as the highly coveted NLS of 2020 underwent a hasty end, disappointing automobile and racing enthusiasts.
As the world recuperates, 2021 season of this race is a definite ray of hope for those anticipating the arrival of a BMW M Racing car to the scene. The new car is set to compete on the Nordschleife and will have NLS fans scrutinizing it from every angle. The M2 CS Racing Cup announcement is a bold move, but a move expected to amass great response if all cards are played right.
“I am delighted that we are now able to continue the tradition of an own BMW Cup class in 2021 with the BMW M2 CS Racing as the successor of the BMW M240i Racing. From the ground up, our new entry-level car, which BMW M and BMW Motorsport developed together, is far more of a thoroughbred race car than its predecessor. That is because BMW M GmbH provided a perfect basis with the BMW M2 CS,” said Markus Flasch, CEO of BMW M GmbH during the important announcement.
Its predecessor, the BMW M240i Racing Cup had been a huge success over the term of its operation, which is exactly why people all around the world have high hopes for this new venture. For the new 2021 Cup, BMW and VLN have also come together to sign a contract of three years, ensuring that it gets at least three seasons from 2021 to 2023 and that it becomes the focus of each season. Having multiple racing seasons also improves its odds of following the successful footsteps of its preceding counterpart. Another major partnership is BMW and Michelin’s agreement for Michelin to be its tyre partner exclusively for the event. Two major companies joining hands in a project like this is an important benchmark in itself.
“To take full advantage of the opportunities provided by the racing version of the BMW M2 CS, we will have cars with two different performance levels for the first time in the history of the cup. This will allow Nordschleife rookies and experienced drivers to showcase their ability at the wheel. I am particularly pleased that, by concluding the contract with those responsible for the VLN, we are able to offer our customers planning security for three years. With Michelin, we have also found a strong and very familiar tyre partner for the same period. That is more important than ever in what is currently a difficult time for motorsport.”
Offering equal opportunity to newbies and highly experienced professional drivers, Nordschleife will have two different performance levels of the car. This is a first of its kind feat and undoubtedly one of the things that will make this 2021 Nürburgring Endurance Series Cup special. The Cup also has a special financial appeal to the participants with its lucrative prizes, by the race partners – Michelin and BMW. As if global fame that comes with it wasn’t enough, the two partnering companies come bearing awards that make every driver give it their best to grab the slightest possibility of winning the Cup. BMW M Customer Racing offers total prize of 100,000 Euros (INR 8,724,000) to the five highest scoring teams; and Michelin has offered a tyre bonus worth 28,000 Euros (INR 2,460,220).
The featured car has two performance levels with a ‘Permit B’ version of 365 hp to help beginners gain some experience and give them the confidence to advance to ‘Permit A’ at 450 hp. On the other hand, drivers with ample experience under their belt can compete in ‘A’ or the Green Hell. If someone wants to take it up a notch, they can shift to the BMW M4 GT4 from 450 hp.
Martin Maffert, Michelin Motorsport Manager for the DACH region (Germany, Austria, Switzerland), on behalf of Michelin said, “We are delighted to supply the new BMW M2 CS Racing Cup as exclusive tyre partner from the 2021 season. Michelin enjoys a long and successful partnership with BMW Motorsport. With the high-performance tyres on the new BMW M2 CS Racing, we will be doing our bit to ensure that we see exciting motorsport on the most demanding racetrack in the world.”
As usual, the NLS Cup is set to attract audience and participants from every corner of the world; especially, taking into account the fact that the Nürburgring Endurance Series of 2020 had to be cut short due to the unforeseen circumstance of this pandemic.
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