- The third season of the BMW Motorsport Junior programme, which was realigned in 2014, officially got underway on Monday and Tuesday with the Welcome Event in Munich (DE). BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt (DE) welcomed the two top Juniors from the previous two seasons, Jesse Krohn (FI) and Louis Delétraz (CH), as well as this year’s newcomers, Ricky Collard (GB) and Nico Menzel (DE).
- BMW Group
Munich (DE) The third season of the BMW Motorsport Junior programme, which was realigned in 2014, officially got underway on Monday and Tuesday with the Welcome Event in Munich (DE). BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt (DE) welcomed the two top Juniors from the previous two seasons, Jesse Krohn (FI) and Louis Delétraz (CH), as well as this year’s newcomers, Ricky Collard (GB) and Nico Menzel (DE).
“I would like to welcome the new Juniors, Ricky Collard and Nico Menzel, to the BMW family. Both are very talented and have been selected ahead of a lot of other candidates. We now hope they will follow the excellent example set by their predecessors Jesse Krohn and Louis Delétraz,” said Marquardt. “The pair’s joint appearances at the wheel of the BMW M6 GT3 in the ADAC GT Masters is proof that the realignment of our Junior programme has been a complete success. So far, we have managed to find and support outstanding, talented drivers every year, and to give them the tools they need for a career in the top GT racing categories. Jesse and Louis are emphatic evidence of this.”
Krohn and Delétraz travel to the Sachsenring (DE) this weekend, where they will contest their first race together in the BMW M6 GT3. They compete in the Schubert Motorsport car in the ADAC GT Masters, one of the strongest GT racing series in the world. “Every year I look forward to working with the powers that be on the Junior programme,” said Krohn. “I am now in the third year of my training, and have a fantastic race schedule with the BMW M6 GT3. Hopefully I can now use my experience to pass on a tip or two to my new colleagues.” Delétraz said: “The Welcome Event is a great opportunity to get to know the new Juniors and to meet up with old acquaintances. We had a good time together. I am now really looking forward to the trip to the Sachsenring. I am about to drive in my first ever GT race, and am sure I will learn a lot from what will surely be a magnificent experience. I can hardly wait to get going.”
Collard and Menzel impressed a jury of BMW Motorsport experts at a shootout in the BMW M235i Racing in March. They have been rewarded with the opportunity to receive a comprehensive training within the BMW Motorsport Junior programme. This began at Monday’s Welcome Event with an official welcome from BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt, a guided tour through the BMW Motorsport workshop and a media training exercise. A group walk in the Bavarian Alps was scheduled for Tuesday. Over the course of the year, the 2016 BMW Motorsport Juniors will contest a number of races in the BMW M235i Racing. They will also complete numerous fitness, mental and simulator training modules.
“I am very proud to be part of this programme,” said Collard. “For me, this is a fantastic chance to develop further as a racing driver. So far, I only have experience of single-seater cars. I will now contest my first touring car races in the BMW M235i Racing. I am sure I will receive a lot of valuable tips from our head instructor Dirk Adorf. And perhaps my dad can give me the odd piece of advice.” Ricky’s father Rob Collard (GB) has been driving BMWs in the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) since 2008. He is at the wheel of a BMW 125i M Sport in 2016. Ricky Collard joined the Formula Ford series in 2014. He finished runner-up in 2015 and was among the finalists in the vote for the “BRDC Young Driver of the Year” at the renowned Autosport Awards. In 2016, he will start in Formula 3 alongside his outings in the BMW M235i Racing.
Nico Menzel has motorsport in his genes. On the one hand, he has picked these up from his birthplace of Adenau (DE), which is located on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife (DE). On the other hand, he has inherited these genes from his father Christian Menzel (DE), one of the best German sports car drivers of the last few decades, who won the Nürburgring 24 Hours in a BMW 320d in 1998. Nico Menzel took part in the Formula BMW Talent Cup in 2013, when he finished runner-up in the overall standings. In recent years, Menzel has been gaining valuable race experience in the ADAC Formula Masters and then in the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia. “It is fantastic to be back in the BMW family after 2013,” said Menzel. “I still know a few people from back then and am looking forward to an exciting and varied programme over the coming months. The prospect of racing on the Nordschleife is obviously particularly appealing to me, as I only live ten minutes from the circuit. I think it is going to be a great year.”
Dirk Adorf (DE) has been the head instructor for the young drivers ever since the BMW Motorsport Junior programme was realigned. Looking ahead to the third season, he said: “I am happy that the shootout produced two drivers who are as promising and talented as Ricky and Nico, who we can train over the coming months. I particularly enjoyed seeing all three year groups together at the Welcome Event. I think the paths being forged by Jesse and Louis at BMW Motorsport are very good examples and a great incentive for the next generation. Ricky and Nico can see at first hand what they can achieve on the BMW Motorsport Junior programme.”
You can find information on the BMW Motorsport Junior programme, the BMW M6 GT3 Junior car and details of all the drivers in the Media Guide attached.