Jens Klingmann, Peter Dumbreck, Alexandre Imperatori, and Stef Dusseldorp in the Falken Motorports M6 GT3 finished sixth overall and sixth in class in the 24 Hours of the Nürburgring run on June 22-23. The Falken car was the lone M6 GT3 remaining at the end of a race won by Fred Vervisch, Dries Vanthoor, Pierre Kaffer, and Frank Stippler in the #4 Phoenix Racing Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo. The Audi had taken the lead about two hours before the end of the race, when the leading Manthey Porsche had to serve a 5 ½-minute stop-and-hold penalty for speeding under yellow. The Porsche went on to finish second.
Four other M6 GT3s running in the SP9 pro class, including the Walkenhorst Racing and Rowe Racing cars that had won the six-hour qualifying race for the N24 and the Schnitzer Motorsport M6 GT3, exited the race before the 4 ½-hour mark as a result of crashes. A second Walkenhorst M6 GT3 running in the SP9 pro-am class crashed out in the overnight hours.
BMW racers fared better in other classes, finishing second in SP10 in an M4 GT4 and winning in SP4, SP5, and V4. The win in the all M240iR Cup5 class went to the #240 Pixum Team Adrenalin car.
BMW motorsport director Jens Marquardt said, “Our teams had been looking forward to the Nürburgring 24 Hours for months. With 230,000 spectators, it provided a unique stage for the highlight of the GT season. We came to the Eifel track very well prepared—which makes this overall result in the SP9 class all the harder to take. I am pleased for Falken Motorsports, who managed to finish sixth overall with their BMW M6 GT3. However, the race came to a premature end for the other five BMW M6 GT3s. The fact is that you only have a chance here in the Green Hell if you get through the race without making any mistakes. We did not manage that. We have shown more than once recently that we are capable of winning a 24hour race—whether at Spa-Francorchamps or Daytona. We lost this time in the top category on the Nordschleife. Despite this, we are still 100 percent behind this event. We had well over 40 cars in action. For us, it was once again a fantastic festival of customer racing. The competitiveness of our customer teams in classes like SP10 with the BMW M4 GT4, in which we finished second, was confirmation of our commitment to customer racing. I would like to congratulate all the teams for that. As far as the battle for overall victory is concerned, I have just one thing to say: We will come back stronger. Congratulations to Audi on their overall victory.”—Brian Morgan
[Photo courtesy BMW AG.]