Priaulx parts company with BMW after 13 years

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Three-time FIA World Touring Car Champion Andy Priaulx has parted company with German manufacturer BMW, ending their 13-year association.

Priaulx established himself as one of the leading touring car drivers in the world with BMW, claiming the WTCC title in 2005, 2006 and 2007.

The Briton also raced for BMW in the European Touring Car Championship, DTM and at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2010 and 2011, finishing on the GTE Pro class podium once.

On Friday at BMW’s end of year Motorsport Awards event in Munich, Priaulx confirmed that he would be leaving the brand after 13 years.

“I am saying goodbye not just to a company, but to a family,” Priaulx said. “Over the years I have been lucky to have driven some of the best racing cars there are and have stood on podiums in all parts of the world thanks to BMW.

“However, sometimes it is time to move on and for me that time has come. I cannot thank all the teams I have been involved with enough. They have all been not only highly professional, but also a lot of fun to be with.

“While we will all go our separate ways for 2016, nothing can ever break the bonds of friendship we have. I wish them all a very successful future.”

BMW motorsport director, Jens Marquardt thanked Priaulx for his time with BMW and wished him the best for his future endeavors, tipped to be a role with Ford’s GT programme in the FIA World Endurance Championship next year.

“Thanks to Andy Priaulx for all he has done for the BMW brand,” said Marquardt. “His name and his fantastic successes will always remain a part of BMW’s motorsport history.

“We at BMW support his decision to leave us after so many successful years. We do not want to stand in the way of our drivers should they wish to pursue new challenges. We wish him all the best, and will remain in contact as friends.”

IndyCar disappointed by delay of video game but aiming to launch at start of 2024

IndyCar video game 2024

An IndyCar executive said there is “absolutely” disappointment that its long-awaited video game recently was delayed beyond its target date, but the series remains optimistic about the new title.

“Well, I don’t know how quick it will be, but the whole situation is important to us,” Penske Entertainment president and CEO Mark Miles said during a news conference Monday morning to announce IndyCar’s NTT title sponsorship. “Motorsport Games has spent a lot of money, a lot of effort to create an IndyCar title. What we’ve seen of that effort, which is not completely obvious, is very reassuring.

“I think it’s going to be outstanding. That’s our shared objective, that when it is released, it’s just widely accepted. A great credit both to IndyCar racing, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, something that our fans love.”

In June 2021, IndyCar announced a new partnership with Motorsport Games to create and distribute an IndyCar video game for the PC and Xbox and PlayStation consoles in 2023.

But during an earnings call last week, Motorsport Games said the IndyCar game had been delayed to 2024 to ensure high quality.

Somewhat compounding the delay is that IndyCar’s license for iRacing expired after the end of the 2022 season because of its exclusive agreement with Motorsport Games.

That’s resulted in significant changes for IndyCar on iRacing, which had provided a high-profile way for the series to stay visible during its 2020 shutdown from the pandemic. (Players still can race an unbranded car but don’t race on current IndyCar tracks, nor can they stream).

That’s helped ratchet up the attention on having a video game outlet for IndyCar.

“I wish we had an IndyCar title 10 years ago,” said Miles, who has been working with the organization since 2013. “We’ve been close, but we’ve had these I think speed bumps.”

IndyCar is hopeful the Motorsports Game edition will be ready at the start of 2024. Miles hinted that beta versions could be unveiled to reporters ahead of the time “to begin to show the progress in a narrow way to make sure we’ve got it right, to test the progress so that we’re ready when they’re ready.”

It’s been nearly 18 years since the release of the most recent IndyCar video game for console or PC.

“(We) better get it right,” Miles said. “It’s something we’re very close to and continue to think about what it is to make sure we get it over the line in due course.”