BMW Art Car #18, Cao Fei

18th BMW Art Car goes racing in Macau.

Eight years ago, Augusto Farfus and the BMW Team Schnitzer won at the iconic Guia Circuit. In 2017, the team and driver return together to the scene of their triumph. Travelling with them: the 18th BMW Art Car.

The street circuit in Macau is one of the most spectacular racetracks in the world of motorsport. Extremely long straights, little in the way of run-off zones, slow corners, and a very narrow track through the urban canyons make the Guia Circuit a motor racing legend. Anyone who wins here is assured of a place in the history books. BMW DTM driver Augusto Farfus knows how to win in Macau: he first achieved this feat back in 2004. In 2009, he added a second victory in the BMW 320si, and presented BMW Team Schnitzer with a historic 13th success at the iconic racetrack. No team has won more often in Macau.

Eight years after this triumph, both driver and team are making their comeback at the 6.2-kilometre racetrack with the BMW M6 GT3. “The return to Macau will be a very emotional one for our team,” says Charly Lamm, Team Principal at BMW Team Schnitzer. “This road race is unique in motorsport, and is unlike any other event. We have enjoyed many remarkable successes at the Guia Circuit. As such, we are really looking forward to being back in Macau.”

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To line up with the BMW Art Car is a great honour for us.
Charly Lamm, Teamchef BMM Team Schnitzer

Macau and Schnitzer – a successful combination dating back 37 years. In 1980, Hans-Joachim Stuck guided a BMW 320 Turbo to the team’s first win in the former Portuguese colony. This was the start of what proved to be a unique success story, particularly in the 80s and 90s: Manfred Winkelhock, Roberto Ravaglia, Altfrid Heger, Emanuele Pirro, Charles Kwan, Joachim Winkelhock and Jörg Müller added another eleven victories by 2004, before Farfus claimed win number 13 in 2009 to give Schnitzer a record number of triumphs.

The goal for this year is to add another chapter to this success story, with the BMW M6 GT3. Despite the glorious past, the team and driver are not the only things that will be resplendent on the starting grid in Macau – the car will also stand out from the crowd. The 18th BMW Art Car is set for its big outing on the racetrack in the heart of Macau.

“To line up with the BMW Art Car is a great honour for us. The BMW Art Cars are rolling works of art and have a great tradition, which we want to continue with a good result out on the track,” says Lamm, whose team will run the BMW M6 GT3 designed by Chinese artist Cao Fei.

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BMW Art Car #18, Cao Fei

The design has been three years in the making: Cao Fei follows in the footsteps of some big names with the 18th BMW Art Car. Andy Warhol, Jeff Koons, Jenny Holzer, John Baldessari and many other famous artists have expressed themselves using the racing cars as their canvas.

Cao Fei and BMW are literally setting out for a new dimension with the 18th Art Car. Only with the application of augmented reality does the work of art unfold.

At first glance, the design of the BMW M6 GT3 is easy to explain: Inspired by the carbon chassis, Cao Fei has opted for a non-reflective black paint. Using an app (available from the App Store under “BMW Art Car #18”), the observer approaches the art and sees not only the BMW M6 GT3 on their screen, but primarily light elements around the car. Multi-coloured light particles dance in virtual space, creating colourful streams around the car.

When the app is used in the immediate vicinity of the racing car, the light elements are transformed into an AR installation, which sweeps around the BMW M6 GT3. The observer becomes a participant. Cao Fei is making reference to a popular ritual in Asia, in which newly purchased objects – such as cars – are blessed, and both the car and driver are wished happiness and safety.

Should Farfus and BMW Team Schnitzer be blessed by happiness and safety at the demanding Guia Circuit, they have a good chance of building on past success in Macau with the Art Car of the future.

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