BMW Junior Team drivers Dan Harper, Neil Verhagen, and Max Hesse have a full racing agenda for the 2022 season. With the program now in its third year, the trio will contest the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring as well as the five endurance races in the GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup, all behind the wheel of the new M4 GT3.
The trio will contest the GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup championship with BMW team Rowe Racing, with the highlight being the 24 Hours of Spa-Franchorchamps race in Belgium. Rowe will run a second car in that series for works drivers Nick Catsburg, Augusto Farfus, and Nick Yelloly. At the Nürburgring 24 Hour, the drivers will compete for Team RMG. The trio already has a lot of seat time in the M4 GT3, including participating in the 24H series race here in the U.S. at Sebring last fall.
Program director and mentor Jochen Neerpasch feels the trio are ready for the big time. “The BMW Junior Team has successfully completed its apprenticeship on the Nordschleife for the past two years,” he said. “The three lads are now preparing intensively for their biggest test at the Nürburgring 24 Hours. We have high expectations of them. As far as the drivers themselves are concerned, I see the BMW Junior Team on the podium. They will also be put to the test in the GT World Challenge Europe. They will be driving at racetracks that are new to them and will be up against the best GT drivers in the world – at ROWE Racing, they will be in direct comparison with established BMW M works drivers. It is going to be an eventful season, but I am sure that they will succeed again in the new environment.”
The three drivers will open their 2022 season in the opening round of the Nürburgring Endurance Series (which is required to compete in the 24-hour race) at the end of March, and will contest the first race of the GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup at Imola in Italy in early April. After that, they’ll focus on getting prepared for the Nurburgring 24 Hour in late May before resuming the GT World Challenge season at the beginning of June.
American driver Neil Verhagen is looking forward to the challenges ahead. “We have been preparing intensively, both physically and mentally, for weeks now, in order to be fit come the start of the season. We can now hardly wait to get back out on track for the first tests. Our big goal for the Nordschleife is to challenge for overall victory in the 24-hour race. The GT World Challenge Europe with ROWE Racing is going to be a fantastic new experience for us. We are learning new racetracks and will go wheel to wheel with the best GT drivers in the world. I am sure we will learn an awful lot there.”
For more information on the GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup, visit the series website.—David Haueter
[Photo courtesy BMW AG.]