24 Hours of the Nurburgring Wrap-up

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With the race now behind us and BMW narrowly missing out on a podium, we ‘ve got the full and official recap from the teams and drivers themselves.

Official release:

Jens Marquardt (BMW Motorsport Director): “This year’s 24-hour race at the Nürburgring once again threw up everything the fans love about this endurance classic. It was unbelievably close over the entire distance – and we were in the thick of the action with our BMW Z4 GT3s. We would obviously have liked to have won here on the 40th anniversary of BMW M. Unfortunately the technical problems we had with the two BMW Team Schubert cars meant we were denied this victory. All the BMW teams still deserve a huge compliment. They never gave up and fought bravely. However, you can only win in the Green Hell if you get through the race without any major difficulties. With that in mind, congratulations to Audi. BMW Team Vita4One also did very well on the Nordschleife and made it into the top ten with one of its cars. Marc VDS Racing can be very proud of its fourth place. That was an impressive debut at the 24-hour race. All the other private BMW teams that were once again worthy representatives of our brand can also be proud of themselves.”

Stefan Wendl (Team Principal BMW Team Schubert): “We are proud of our performance and proud that we were able to put on a show like this. We worked perfectly together as a brand, as a team, and as drivers. Unfortunately we just didn’t have luck on our side. The race was phenomenally close – from free practice to the 20th lap of the race, when there were still four manufacturers within one lap of each other. The team that ultimately climbed onto the top step of the podium worked hard for this victory and fully deserved it. BMW Team Schubert would like to congratulate them. We will do everything in our power to take revenge next year.”

Michael Bartels (Team Principal BMW Team Vita4One): “Unfortunately we did not achieve what we had all hoped for: the 20th victory for BMW on the Nordschleife. I guess we’ll have to wait until next year for that. It was very clear, however, that the performance of the BMW Z4 GT3 was absolutely spot on. We also know what we have to improve for the challenges ahead, particularly the 24-hour race in Spa. I witnessed a strong team performance here, right from the first day. The teams really put themselves on the line and the guys from BMW Motorsport were there to support us whenever we needed them. That gives me confidence for the coming races.”

Bas Leinders (Team Principal and driver for Marc VDS Racing Team): “We took a very steady approach to this race and then put everything into it at the end. We only had a few minor problems, which the team dealt with brilliantly. We stayed calm for 24 hours and did a fantastic job. As a private team making its debut here, fourth place is just wonderful.”

Jörg Müller (BMW Team Schubert, car number 19): “We started the 24-hour race with a perfect package. The team, the car, the Dunlop tyres, the driver line-ups – we were perfectly prepared. It is no coincidence that BMW Team Schubert was seen as one of the favourites here, and the team showed just how strong it is. Despite this, I am a bit sad: under these circumstances we surely deserved to have a bit more luck. It was not to be this time, but we will be back.”

Uwe Alzen (BMW Team Schubert, car number 19): “With a little more luck I am certain we would have been in contention right up to the end. I would like to pay a huge compliment to the organisers. The ‘balance of performance’ worked perfectly. At times the race was closer than it has ever been. It should stay that way. It cannot be any better.”

Claudia Hürtgen (BMW Team Schubert, car number 20): “We were challenging for a podium until the 20th hour of the race. It was great fun driving and the team spirit was excellent – and yet it was still not to be our day. I am obviously disappointed. I am pleased for BMW Team Schubert, however. We were perfectly prepared, fast, and had a good set-up in the race.”

Nico Bastian (BMW Team Schubert, car number 20): “A great weekend, but without the happy ending. It was great because the team, all the mechanics and we drivers worked together perfectly. However, we were denied the perfect ending. We must just forget the bad luck we had during the race. For me personally, it was my first time in such a professional environment with works support and a highly motivated team – in at the deep end. The team deserved the win. I learned a lot this weekend.”

Ricardo van der Ende (BMW Team Vita4One, car number 17): “I am very annoyed with myself. We were going really well in 11th and were the fastest car in the field during the night. As I was overtaking a slower car it first moved left and then right. I ended up with two wheels on the grass, could not hold the car and crashed. I hope I get another chance next year, as the team, car and race are fantastic.”

Pedro Lamy (BMW Team Vita4One, car number 17/18): “I spent about the same amount of time in both BMW Z4 GT3s. The number 17 car’s crash was a real shame, as we had not had any problems up to that point and were very quick. We could have ended up on the podium here. Car number 18 had a few problems, but that happens. That is why this race is so difficult to win.”

Jens Klingmann (BMW Team Vita4One, car number 18): “It was the first big 24-hour race for our team. The speed was very good. Towards the end we had oil on the clutch and could only drive in third and fourth gears. We can be happy that we still managed to put the car in the top ten, despite this. I think the BMW Z4 GT3, the team and BMW deserved the victory. That has to be our goal for next year, and is what we will now be working towards.”

Richard Göransson (BMW Team Vita4One, car number 18): “When you see the times and intervals in qualifying and the race, you have to say that this race was of the very highest standard – and we were always in the thick of it with our BMW Z4 GT3. Unfortunately we were unlucky this time, but that is how it goes here at the Nürburgring: it is and will always be a very special challenge.”

Markus Palttala (Marc VDS Racing Team, car number 29): “We came here to gain experience at this magnificent race. We have been together as a team for one year and have competed at a lot of endurance races, but the Nürburgring is special. When it comes down to it, however, we are still racing drivers and are a bit disappointed that we just missed out on a podium. Obviously fourth place as a newcomer is a fantastic result. I would like to thank my team, which worked extremely hard.”

Maxime Martin (Marc VDS Racing Team, car number 29): “It is a fantastic feeling to cross the finish line here in fourth place. You cannot compare this race to anything else, and to finish in the top five at the first attempt is a magnificent effort from our team. We actually came here to learn – and now we leave having achieved a great result.”

Jörg Müller (BMW Team Schubert, Startnummer 19): „Wir sind mit einem perfekten Paket beim 24-Stunden-Rennen gestartet. Das Team, das Auto, die Dunlop-Reifen, die Fahrerpaarungen – wir waren ideal aufgestellt. Das BMW Team Schubert wurde nicht umsonst als Favorit gehandelt und hat gezeigt, wie stark es ist. Dennoch bin ich ein bisschen traurig, denn unter diesen Voraussetzungen hätten wir mehr Glück verdient gehabt. Das hatten wir diesmal nicht. Aber wir kommen wieder.“

Uwe Alzen (BMW Team Schubert, Startnummer 19): „Mit etwas mehr Glück hätten wir ganz sicher bis zum Schluss ein Wörtchen um den Sieg mitreden können. Ich möchte dem Veranstalter ein Riesenkompliment aussprechen. Die ‚Balance of Performance‘ hat perfekt gepasst, das Rennen war zwischenzeitlich so eng wie nie. So sollte man es lassen. Besser geht es nicht.“

Claudia Hürtgen (BMW Team Schubert, Startnummer 20): „Bis zur 20. Rennstunde haben wir mit um das Podium gekämpft. Das Fahren hat wahnsinnig viel Spaß gemacht, der Teamgeist hat gestimmt – und doch hat es nicht sollen sein. Deshalb bin ich natürlich enttäuscht.Ich freue mich aber für das BMW Team Schubert. Wir waren perfekt aufgestellt, waren schnell und hatten im Rennen ein gutes Set-up.“

Nico Bastian (BMW Team Schubert, Startnummer 20): „Ein tolles Wochenende ohne Happy End. Toll, weil das Team, jeder Mechaniker und wir Fahrer perfekt zusammen funktioniert haben. Doch uns blieb das perfekte Ende verwehrt. Das Pech, das wir während des Rennens hatten, müssen wir abhaken. Für mich persönlich war es das erste Mal in einem derart professionellen Umfeld, mit einem Werk im Hintergrund und einem hoch motivierten Team – von Null auf Hundert. Das Team hätte den Sieg verdient gehabt. Und ich habe an diesem Wochenende viel entdeckt und viel mitgenommen.“

Ricardo van der Ende (BMW Team Vita4One, Startnummer 17): „Ich ärgere mich sehr über mich selber. Wir waren auf Rang elf gut unterwegs und nachts das schnellste Auto im Feld. Beim Überholen eines langsameren Autos zog dieses erst nach links und dann nach rechts. Ich bin mit zwei Rädern ins Gras gekommen, konnte das Auto nicht mehr halten und bin eingeschlagen. Ich hoffe, ich bekomme im kommenden Jahr eine neue Chance, denn das Team, das Auto und das Rennen sind fantastisch.“

Pedro Lamy (BMW Team Vita4One, Startnummer 17/18): „Ich bin relativ gleich verteilt auf unseren beiden BMW Z4 GT3 gefahren. Der Rennunfall der Startnummer 17 war sehr schade, denn es gab bis dahin kein einziges Problem, und wir waren sehr schnell. Hier wäre eine Podiumsplatzierung drin gewesen. Die Nummer 18 hatte ein paar Probleme, aber das kommt vor. Dieses Rennen ist eben nicht umsonst so schwierig zu gewinnen.“

Jens Klingmann (BMW Team Vita4One, Startnummer 18): „Es war das erste große 24-Stunden-Rennen für unser Team. Der Speed war sehr gut. Zum Schluss war Öl auf der Kupplung, und wir konnten nur noch im dritten und vierten Gang fahren. Wir können zufrieden sein, dass wir das Auto noch in die Top-10 gebracht haben. Ich denke, der BMW Z4 GT3, das Team und BMW hätten den Sieg verdient gehabt. Das muss unser Ziel für das kommende Jahr sein, und darauf werden wir hinarbeiten.“

Richard Göransson (BMW Team Vita4One, Startnummer 18): „Wenn man sich die Zeiten und Zeitabstände im Qualifying und im Rennen ansieht muss man sagen: Dieses Rennen war vom Niveau das stärkste überhaupt. Und wir waren mit unseren BMW Z4 GT3 immer mit dabei. Leider hatten wir diesmal Pech. Aber so ist das eben hier am Nürburgring: Es ist und bleibt eine ganz besondere Herausforderung.“

Markus Palttala (Marc VDS Racing Team, Startnummer 29): „Wir sind hier angereist, um Erfahrungen bei diesem großartigen Rennen zu sammeln. Wir sind als Team seit einem Jahr zusammen und haben viele Langstreckenrennen absolviert, aber der Nürburgring ist speziell. Wir sind aber immer noch Rennfahrer und ein wenig enttäuscht, dass wir knapp am Podium vorbeigeschrammt sind. Natürlich ist Rang vier als Neuling ein großartiges Ergebnis, für das ich mich beim Team, das extrem hart gearbeitet hat, ganz herzlich bedanken möchte.“

Maxime Martin (Marc VDS Racing Team, Startnummer 29): „Es ist ein fantastisches Gefühl, bei diesem Rennen als Vierter über die Ziellinie zu fahren. Diese Rennen ist mit nichts vergleichbar, und gleich beim ersten Auftritt unter die Top-5 zu kommen, ist eine großartige Leistung unseres Teams. Wir sind eigentlich angetreten, um zu lernen – und jetzt haben wir ein absolutes Topergebnis.“ Back to news overview

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  • JonPD

    Still a great race, would have loved to see the Z4’s make the top spots but loved watching them burn up the circuit.