BMW Team Teo Martín, the stalwart Madrid-based squad who won the GT Open overall title in 2015 and the Teams’ one last year, has waited long to communicate its 2017 driver line-ups, but certainly made a big splash today, as it announced a trio of stellar Portuguese drivers for one of its BMWs M6: António Félix da Costa and Tiago Monteiro will alternate as team-mates of Lourenço Beirão da Veiga.
Touring car and GT expert Beirão (27, from Lisbon), who won the 2009 Iber GT Championship, will drive the car the entire season, paired with da Costa or Monteiro, according to the racing commitments of the two well-known stars. In Estoril, for the season-opener, it will be da Costa forming the all-Lusitanian pair. The 25-year-old, also from Lisbon, is currently one of the Formula E top drivers, after having reached F.1 tester status in his successful formulae career and raced also in the DTM and with GTs.
Monteiro, Portugal’s most successful single-seater driver in history, thanks to his CART and F.1 career, today is one of the top figures in the WTCC, where he is a Honda official driver, but the 40-year-old from Oporto has also experience with GTs and sportscars, including five participations to the Le Mans 24 Hours.
A few days ago, BMW Team Teo Martín confirmed Sweden’s young gun Victor Bouveng (20) as one of the drivers of its other car. His team mate should be announced shortly, along possible other news.
Lourenço Beirão: "It will be one of the most difficult challenges in my career. Obviously is a big responsibility for me as the only full-time driver but is a privilege to have António and Tiago by my side in this new adventure. I think with the BMW M6 GT3 we have all the necessary to fight on top from the first race in Estoril".
António Félix da Costa: "I hope that my BMW M6 GT3 knowledge can help the team and Lourenço to fight for the win in all rounds I will race alongside him when there won’t be dates clashes with my Formula E calendar and other BMW commitments. Estoril will be a special kick-off as we will be in front of our crowd".
Tiago Monteiro: "It's a very interesting project. The mentality and the way the team is getting involved in motorsport is very serious and this was a key factor to accept the invitation immediately. I would also like to thank Honda for allowing me to participate in this project. I think I can be useful in bringing experience to the team and helping Lourenço to fight for the championship".
Teo Martín, Team Owner: "We want to get back to the top in 2017 International GT Open season in both the Drivers and Teams standings, so we put all our effort to bring together a great team that take our BMW M6 GT3 to fight for victory in every race. In this case we have gathered the talent and experience of three Portuguese drivers such as Lourenço, António and Tiago who know very well the taste of winning. I’m sure they will work very well together from the very first day and the successes will arrive very soon".