Dan Harper, Max Hesse and Neil Verhagen

THE BMW JUNIOR TEAM.

New benchmarks in the promotion of talented youngsters.

The BMW Junior Team.New benchmarks in the promotion of talented youngsters.

Dan Harper, Max Hesse and Neil Verhagen are the three promising young drivers with whom the BMW Junior Team made its comeback in 2020, over 40 years since it was launched in 1977. Then, as it is now, the holistic and intensive training programme set new benchmarks in the promotion of talented youngsters. As well as the racing at the Nürburgring-Nordschleife and other international racetracks at the wheel of the BMW M4 GT3, the mental and fitness training at Formula Medicine, and training content at BMW M GmbH, team spirit also forms an integral part of this unique concept. To strengthen this, the drivers live together in shared accommodation.

Read more

The BMW Junior Team at a glance.

BMW Motorsport Junior Dan Harper

Dan Harper.

Place of birth: Belfast, United Kingdom
Date of birth: 8th December 2000
BMW Motorsport Junior

1st place British Carrera Cup,
BRDC John Surtees Rising Stars Award 2019,
‘Rookie of the Year’ British Carrera Cup 2018,
victory in the SP8T class at the Nürburgring 24 Hours 2020.

BMW Motorsport Junior Max Heese

Max Hesse.

Place of birth: Wernau, Germany
Date of birth: 23rd July 2001
BMW Motorsport Junior

1st place TCR Germany 2019,
‘Rookie of the Year’ TCR Germany 2018,
victory in the SP8T class at the Nürburgring 24 Hours 2020.

BMW Motorsport Junior Neil Verhagen

Neil Verhagen.

Place of birth: Mt. Kisco, USA
Date of birth: 18th February 2001
BMW Motorsport Junior

6th place British Formula 3 Championship 2019,
1st place F1600 Championship Series 2016,
victory in the SP8T class at the Nürburgring 24 Hours 2020.

Mbedded – Episode 4 – The Ultimate Test

MBEDDED – EPISODE 4 – THE ULTIMATE TEST.

Manfred Winkelhock, Marc Surer and Eddie Cheever

Manfred Winkelhock, Marc Surer and Eddie Cheever formed the first BMW Junior Team in 1977.

PIONEERS IN YOUTH DEVELOPMENT.

In founding the first development programme for young drivers, BMW Motorsport GmbH was considered a pioneer. Jochen Neerpasch launched a youth programme known as ‘BMW Junior Team’ in 1977. In the years that followed, the BMW Junior Team became the embodiment of support for talented youngsters and laid the foundation for the intensive youth development at BMW. In the early 90s, BMW and ADAC entered into a joint programme in Formula racing, before Formula BMW established itself as the world’s leading entry-level class in Formula motor racing at the start of the new millennium. In 2014, the BMW Motorsport Junior programme was launched, allowing talented drivers a route into GT racing. The BMW Junior Team now sees BMW M Motorsport return to its roots with a unique and innovative concept.

Read more

THE BMW TALENT FACTORY.

The three current BMW Motorsport Juniors – Dan Harper, Max Hesse and Neil Verhagen – are following in big footsteps. Manfred Winkelhock, Marc Surer and Eddie Cheever formed the legendary first BMW Junior Team in 1977. In more than 40 years of promoting youth, BMW has discovered and produced more talented young drivers than almost any other manufacturer. Many of them have gone on to enjoy big careers, like current and former DTM stars Marco Wittmann, Philipp Eng and Martin Tomczyk. Numerous former Juniors have also made it into Formula 1 via the BMW talent factory. As well as Timo Glock, past Formula 1 world champions Sebastian Vettel and Nico Rosberg have also benefitted from BMW’s promotion of juniors.

Read more
BMW 320 Junior Team
"When I formed the first BMW Junior Team in 1977, we at BMW Motorsport were pioneers in the development of young drivers. I am delighted to be back supporting a BMW Junior Team again after more than 40 years."
Jochen Neerpasch, founder of the first BMW Junior Team and BMW Motorsport GmbH

THE CONCEPT OF THE BMW JUNIOR TEAM.

The goal of the training programme is to develop the Juniors together in many different areas, to support them individually and holistically, and in doing so to make them better and, above all, more mature racing drivers. On the way, BMW M Motorsport will turn to five different pillars, which come into effect within the framework of the training. At the heart of the programme are extensive race training at the Nürburgring-Nordschleife and other international racetracks, fitness and mental training camps with Formula Medicine over the course of several months, and team building through the Juniors living together in shared accommodation.

Read more

Dan Harper, Max Hesse and Neil Verhagen also receive media and social media coaching, as well as insights into the environment of a large organisation like BMW. One of these mentors is Jochen Neerpasch, for whom the story comes full circle after more than 40 years. Back in 1977, it was Neerpasch, Managing Director of BMW Motorsport GmbH at the time, who formed the first BMW Junior Team, paving the way for many talented youngsters to become racing drivers. He is joined in the role of mentor by Dirk Adorf, BMW M works driver Philipp Eng and Riccardo Ceccarelli, Head of Formula Medicine.

Read more

THE FIVE PILLARS FOR SUCCESS.

Step by step to the top.

At the heart of the Juniors’ training is the racing on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife, where the Juniors compete in the Nürburgring Endurance Series (NLS), as well as the legendary 24-hour race. Having enjoyed a successful 2020 in the BMW M240i Racing and the BMW BMW M4 GT4, the three Juniors stepped up to the GT3 class and contested the full season on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife, including the 24-hour race, in the BMW M6 GT3. To develop their skills at the wheel, the Juniors are given their own simulators for training purposes and regularly take part in sim racing events. However, the young drivers are not only supported at the wheel of a BMW car or a race simulator. They are prepared intensively for the physical and mental demands of motor racing at training camps which last several weeks and are run by Formula Medicine. The holistic approach to training also includes content outside motor racing, within the environment of BMW M Motorsport and BMW M GmbH. The Juniors also receive a lot of media and social media training. Last but not least, team building also forms an integral part of the training and development. To encourage team spirit, the Juniors share accommodation both at the Nürburgring and at the Formula Medicine training camp.  

Read more
BMW Junior Team in the simulator

      BMW Junior Team | BMW Motorsport

      BMW Junior Team at a sim racing event

          BMW Junior Team | BMW Motorsport

          BMW Junior Team in Daytona

              BMW Junior Team | BMW Motorsport

              BMW Junior Team in the simulator

                  BMW Junior Team | BMW Motorsport

                  BMW Junior team in the Formula Medicine training

                      BMW Junior Team | BMW Motorsport