The 2015 BMW FIBT Bob & Skeleton World Championships drew to a close in Winterberg on Sunday with Maximilian Arndt successfully defending his title in the four-man bob and a German one-two – World Championship debutant Nico Walther sensationally finished runner-up.
BMW has been “Official Main Sponsor of the Viessmann FIBT World Cup” and title partner of the World Championships since the start of this season. The strongest country in the showdown in the Sauerland region of Germany was the home team, which won three gold, five silver and one bronze medal in front of 20,000 thrilled winter sport fans. More than ten million viewers followed the World Championship action on television.
“Our premiere as title partner of the BMW FIBT Bob & Skeleton World Championship was a complete success. We saw fantastic conditions and facilities, enthusiastic crowds and exciting competitions with great successes in Winterberg. It was a successful end to the season for the partnership between BMW and the FIBT,” said Friedrich Edel, Head of Sports Marketing BMW Deutschland. “As a long-term technology partner of the BSD, BMW would like to congratulate the German athletes on the excellent results at their home World Championships.”
Ivo Ferriani, President of the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (FIBT), was full of praise for the highlight of the season in Winterberg. “That is the best venue for this kind of event,” said the Italian. “Everyone is happy, everything is perfect. The athletes enjoyed it. The organising committee did a great job.”
The World Championships kicked off with the BMW Kart Challenge. The title partner invited Olympic bobsleigh champions, world champions and World Cup winners to a friendly competition on four wheels. The winter sports stars were under the watchful eye of BMW DTM driver Timo Glock. Victory went to American Brian Shimer. The 2002 Olympic bronze medallist and current coach of the US team said: “That was a dream today. I love it! That kind of friendly race against other athletes and trainers is excellent. It is something a bit different, great fun, and you get to know your colleagues better. A great start to the World Championships!”
Francesco Friedrich was also delighted by the BMW Kart Challenge, despite missing out on the podium. However, Friedrich then proceeded to turn on the style when it really mattered – on the ice: the 24-year-old performed brilliantly to win two golds. Together with brakeman Thorsten Margis, Friedrich first defended his title in the two-man bob and triumphed in the team competition with Germany I. He then narrowly missed out on a third medal, finishing fourth in the four-man bob. Despite this, double world champion Friedrich was the outstanding athlete in an impressive team effort from the BSD.
BMW has been supporting the BSD as technology partner since 2010, particularly in the fields of aerodynamics and computer simulations, where it is able to add its considerable expertise gained designing cars. It is essential to have as little drag as possible in the ice channel, when every hundredth of a second counts, and this same quality also reduces energy consumption on the road. This is demonstrated emphatically by the revolutionary BMW i8, a plug-in hybrid sports car, which uses intelligent lightweight carbon design and optimal aerodynamics to achieve extremely low consumption and emission figures. No wonder that Friedrich, who tested the BMW i8 in advance of the World Championships in Winterberg, felt so at home in the sports car of the future.