MEDIA RELEASE/Formula 4 South East Asia Championship Certified by FIA - Photos: supplied Intriguing entry…
MEDIA RELEASE/Bart Horsten – Photo: supplied (BMW M2 Cup Press)
Australian former single-seater race winner Bart Horsten returned to the spotlight with an impressive second season in Germany’s DTM-supporting BMW M2 Cup in 2023, grabbing a pair of wins in the one-make series.
The 21-year-old Australian racer from Perth embarked on his second full season in the new single-make BMW M2 Cup series, and made his experience count on his way to a top-three finish in the final Drivers’ Championship standings.
Silverstone-based Bart had made his switch from racing competitively in the UK to fighting at the front in Germany, following several exciting seasons in both British Formula 4 and the GB3 Championship – winning races in the former and grabbing consistent podiums in the latter with frontrunning single-seater squad, Hitech GP.
After growing in confidence during his first year in GT cars in which he finished a strong fourth overall, Bart set his sights on more frequent visits to the podium with the Project 1 squad and focused on hunting for his first race wins in front of the DTM crowds in the six-event, 12-race season.
The first two rounds would take place at the tight and technical Oschersleben circuit, where the young Aussie showed his mettle with a fighting display across both Sprint races, grabbing third and fourth place finishes after a spectacular cutback move on his season-long title rival, Leyton Fourie, was a highlight of the second contest.
It would be at the infamous Norisring street circuit that Bart would really begin to show his true speed with a sensational weekend. He stuck his BMW M2 on the second row but took advantage by cleverly dodging a three-car incident at the first hairpin on lap two to grab a lead he looked certain to hold. Sadly, a mechanical issue following a safety car restart ended his chances of a maiden victory, but he swiftly made up for it a day later.
A lights-to-flag success from pole position was just what Bart ordered, and his first BMW M2 Cup success came in Round Four after keeping Fourie at bay for the whole race to grab the championship lead.
He doubled his win tally at the following meeting at the Nurburging short circuit after chasing the leaders to the flag in a hectic first race in greasy conditions, backing up third place with race two victory as he made decisive passes on two cars on lap one and subsequently braved a late downpour to extend his points lead.
Although he would later find himself chasing Fourie in the points battle, fighting displays at the Lausitzring and Sachsenring were also highlights of Bart’s season as he charged to another podium in the former after a stunning pass around the outside of Max Rosam, and came up trumps with a dramatic surge to the runner-up spot in a five-car fight in race two at the Sachsenring with some exhilarating overtaking under braking.
A double podium finish at that penultimate event set Bart up for a chance to challenge for the title, sitting second in the points going to the Red Bull Ring – current home of the Austrian Grand Prix. Two equally wild races followed in Spielberg, Bart narrowly missing out on second in the championship by 1.5 points after being spun out of a strong position in race one and being penalised in the final race – in which he was 0.9s from victory.
In a stellar season, Bart collected two wins, seven podiums and a total of 10 top-five finishes from the 12 races contested, with eyes set on his next challenge in 2024. If you would like to be a part of that journey also, do get in touch to discuss sponsorship and VIP opportunities to get closer to motorsport and share your story with us.
Bart Horsten: “I’m super proud of myself this season – I feel we put in a pretty consistent year. A worst result of fourth on track in theory this season, we were always fighting at the front at every track we went to and I gave it everything I had to win which was positive for us.
“It’s been a great learning year as well getting used to not just a whole host of new tracks in Europe, but also getting more used to the car. It ended with two great wins and we could have had even more without one or two little glitches, so it’s been a great experience and nice to get my first wins in GT cars after several years spent in single-seaters.
“The final weekend was a complicated one where it didn’t quite go my way for a number of reasons. That’s how it goes sometimes! I’m very proud of myself, and grateful to everybody supporting me all year as we battled for the title.”
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