Disappointing Nürburgring 24 Hours for BMW in the SP9 class

Nürburgring (GER) 12th May 2018. BMW M Motorsport, 24h Nürburgring, #102 BMW Team Shell Helix, BMW M6 GT3: Augusto Farfus (BRA), Christian Krognes (NOR), Markus Palttala (FIN), Fabian Schiller (GER)

Nürburgring 24 Official Release: Augusto Farfus (BRA), Markus Palttala (FIN), Christian Krognes (NOR) and Fabian Schiller (GER) in the #102 Shell Helix BMW M6 GT3 finished 13th overall at the Nürburgring 24 Hours (GER), making them the best-placed BMW representative. The quartet lost time in the opening stages, following a minor collision, but then progressed without any major issues for the rest of the race. In unsettled weather conditions and after many incidents, only two of the four BMW M6 GT3s that started in the SP9 class actually finished the race. The race was suspended with 3:30 hours remaining and was eventually restarted after a break of about two hours. Victory went to the #912 Porsche. Private BMW teams claimed three victories in the remaining classes.

Having finished runner-up last year, luck once again deserted ROWE Racing. The #99 BMW M6 GT3 – with drivers Connor De Phillippi (USA), Alexander Sims (GBR), Jesse Krohn (FIN) and Martin Tomczyk (GER) – was forced to retire on Saturday evening, following a chain of unfortunate circumstances: As a consequence of a damaged radiator following a minor collision, the engine was damaged to such a degree that the car could not continue. The #98 car, with Nick Catsburg (NED), John Edwards (USA), Richard Westbrook (GBR) and Tom Blomqvist (GBR) at the wheel, led the race several times early on, but was then handed a time penalty that saw them drop back through the field. They then encountered issues with the electric drive by wire system in the night, which cost them any chances of a good position and led them to retire.

The #33 Falken Motorsports BMW M6 GT3 also lost time during repairs in the first third of the race, but did come home 15th at the end of the 24 hours. Jens Klingmann (GER), Alexandre Imperatori (SUI), Stef Dusseldorp (NED) and Peter Dumbreck (GBR) shared the driving duties.

Victory in the fiercely-competitive BMW M235i Racing Cup class, in which 15 cars were involved, went to Heiko Eichenberg, Yannick Mettler (both GER), Torsten Kratz (AUT) and Tristan Viidas (EST) of the Securtal Sorg Rennsport team. They finished ahead of the Hofor Racing powered by Bonk Motorsport and Pixum Team Adrenalin Motorsport cars in second and third place. BMW customer teams celebrated a further two victories in the V4 and SP4 classes.

After technical issues with the #60 BMW M4 GT4, which they shared with Dirk Adorf (GER) and Tom Coronel (NED), BMW Motorsport Juniors Beitske Visser (NED) and Nico Menzel (GER) came home sixth in the SP 8T class and gained valuable experience during the marathon in the “Green Hell”.

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