Sheldon van der Linde, Martin Tomczyk, Marco Wittmann, and Connor De Phillippi in the #98 ROWE Racing M6 GT3 finished second in the 49th running of the Nürburgring 24 Hour race, held on June 5 and 6. The race was red flagged for over fourteen hours due to fog. As such, it was the shortest-ever N24, with just 59 laps run by the leaders.
The overall win went to Kevin Estre, Michael Christensen, and Matteo Cairoli in the #911 Porsche 911 GT3 R.
One more M6 GT3 finished in the top ten; the #20 Schubert Motorsport car driven by Jens Klingmann, Jesse Krohn, Alexander Sims, and Stef Dusseldorp finished sixth overall after contending for a podium spot before it was slowed late in the race by Code 60 local caution periods.
The #77 M6 GT3 driven by BMW Juniors Dan Harper, Max Hesse, and Neil Verhagen, joined by Augusto Farfus, ran in the back early in the race after making the wrong tire choice, but then had a strong run and moved into the top ten. But with just 30 minutes remaining, Farfus was hit as he slowed because of a technical issue. The car was retired because of the contact.
The pole-sitting #1 ROWE M6 GT3 driven by Nick Yelloly, Nick Catsburg, and John Edwards led after the long red flag period, but regulations required it to serve a long pit stop after competition resumed. After the stop a technical issue took it out of the race.
BMW M CEO Markus Flasch finished fourth in the all M2 CS Racing Cup5 class in the #241 Adrenalin Motorsport car that he shared with Jörg Weidinger, Matthias Malmedie, and Niki Schelle. The class win went to the #242 Adrenalin M2 CS driven by Einar Thorsen, Charles Oakes, Rudi Speich, and Roland Waschkau.
Flasch said, “What a race for the BMW M Motorsport family! We are delighted with this second place for the BMW M6 GT3 and the ROWE Racing team. Congratulations to the team and the drivers of the #98 car. They showed how strong the BMW M6 GT3 remains, even at this age, and that it can still battle for victory. Unfortunately, their teammates endured some bad luck with the #1 car and had been among the favorites to win the race. The Schubert Motorsport car was also involved in the battle for a podium result for a long period. We had a very good set-up at the top. BMW Junior Team also gave a strong performance until being forced to retire just before the end of the race. Congratulations to the lads and Augusto Farfus for a strong performance. It was definitely a fine way for the BMW M6 GT3 to mark its farewell at this classic event. At the same time, we are also really looking forward to the BMW M4 GT3, which we presented here at the Nürburgring this weekend. We will be competing with the new car at this race in the future. This will put us back on the attack. Personally, I had a lot of fun getting out on the track in this race with the BMW M2 CS Racing. That was a unique experience. I would certainly not rule out competing again in 2022. I would also like to thank the many other BMW M Motorsport teams who celebrated class wins and gave a great battling performance. We are very proud of the BMW M Motorsport family at the Nürburgring. And of course, the same also applies to the huge BMW M fan community for their superb support. Congratulations to Porsche and the Manthey team on their overall win.”
The M4 GT3, shown at the track before the race, will make its competition debut in a four-hour race at the Nürburgring on June 26.—Brian Morgan
[Photos courtesy BMW Motorsport.]