Both Rowe Racing M6 GT3s dropped out of the opening round of the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup at Monza on April 22.
The Monza circuit with its long straights and chicanes did not favor the M6s; #98 driven by Ricky Collard, Jens Klingmann, and Jesse Krohn qualified 30th even though it was just .8 seconds off the pace of the pole-winning Ferrari 488 GT3, and the #99 car, driven by Marco Wittmann, Nicky Catsburg, and Alexander Sims, qualified 32nd.
Only Catsburg and Krohn got into the cars during the race. Catsburg in car #99 was caught in a collision after two cars spun in front of him; he had to drop out with rear suspension damage at the end of lap four. Krohn moved up to 21st on the first lap and climbed to seventeenth by lap 26. But then the engine died, taking the car out of the race. The win at Monza went to Dries Vanthoor, Christopher Mies, and Alex Riberas in a Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi R8 LMS.
Rowe team principal Hans-Peter Naundorf said, “It is a shame that the trip to Monza did not pay dividends for us. It was the fifth tough week in a row for the team, but everyone still did an excellent job. Our drivers were flawless and we got everything we could out of our package. However, there is nothing you can do about a collision like that suffered by the #99 car. The #98 could possibly even have been looking at a top-ten finish were it not for the engine problem, which occurred without warning. We must all catch our breath now, then prepare well for the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring.” The Nürburgring 24 on May 12-13 is the next race for the team.