The “Green Hell” is calling: The highlight of the endurance season for the BMW teams is scheduled for this weekend. The BMW Sports Trophy teams will be represented by strong drivers at the 24-hour race on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife (DE), which will be run for the 43rd time this year. Six BMW Z4 GT3s will compete in the SP9 class and want to be fighting for the top places in the overall standings. Then there are the starters in the BMW M235i Racing Cup class, a BMW M235i Racing entered by BMW Motorsport as a media car and naturally a large number of privateers in their BMW cars.
“We are all really looking forward to the highlight of the endurance season and are convinced that we are in an excellent position with our two teams and our outstanding driver line-up,” said BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt. “Two further privateer BMW Z4 GT3 complete our squad in the SP9 class. On top of this, in collaboration with Walkenhorst Motorsport, we will once again field a BMW M235i Racing media car. Two renowned motorsport journalists will be given the opportunity to contest the endurance classic alongside Harald Grohs and BMW Motorsport Junior Victor Bouveng. I look forward to wishing our GT cars the best in the battle for the top places, following the gripping duels in the BMW M235i Racing, as well as watching the many BMW privateers go on their hunt through the ‘Green Hell.'”
As a result of the tragic accident at the first VLN race for safety reasons there will be speed limits on some of the dangerous sections of track at this year’s 24-hour race. Teams and drivers were given enough time to get used to these new conditions during the preparation race.
BMW Sports Trophy Team Schubert will compete on the Nordschleife for the fourth time with works support from BMW Motorsport, and will field two BMW Z4 GT3s. Car number 19 will be driven by Dirk Werner (DE), Dirk Müller (DE), Alexander Sims (GB) and DTM Champion Marco Wittmann (DE). The cockpit of car number 20 will once again be shared by Dominik Baumann (AT), Claudia Hürtgen (DE), Jens Klingmann (DE) and BMW DTM driver Martin Tomczyk (DE). The quartet celebrated victory at the six-hour qualifying race in mid April.
BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS will also contest the race with works support and a top-class driver line-up. Lucas Luhr (DE), Markus Palttala (FI), BMW DTM driver Maxime Martin (BE) and Richard Westbrook (GB) will take it in turns at the wheel of the number 25 BMW Z4 GT3. Car number 26 will be driven by Jörg Müller (DE), Nick Catsburg (NL), Dirk Adorf (DE) and BMW DTM driver Augusto Farfus (BR). In addition to these four cars, the Walkenhorst Motorsport team will field two BMW Z4 GT3s in the SP9 class.
A total of 15 teams have registered for the BMW M235i Racing Cup. A 16th BMW M235i Racing will be fielded by BMW Motorsport in collaboration with Walkenhorst Motorsport. The two motorsport journalists Bernd Ostmann (DE) and Christian Gebhardt (DE) will share the car with Harald Grohs (DE) and BMW Motorsport Junior Victor Bouveng (SE).
Dirk Müller (BMW Sports Trophy Team Schubert, car number 19):
“I can hardly wait to get started. As in previous years, there will be a large number of cars driving for the win. But the past has repeatedly shown that you need to get through the race without making any mistakes or getting even so much as a scratch on the car. Then you are in with a chance of being at the front at the end of the race. This is the target we have set ourselves. We are extremely well prepared, have four outstanding cars with fantastic drivers, two good teams and also two very good cars from Walkenhorst Motorsport. So we are in a great position – and the many BMW fans supporting us at the track give us that extra momentum.”
Marco Wittmann (BMW Sports Trophy Team Schubert, car number 19):
“I’m looking forward to racing in the BMW Z4 GT3. The 24-hour race is the highlight of the year in endurance racing. The proximity to fans, countless spectators and the unique Nordschleife make this event really special. That’s what makes it so appealing to drive there. Our aim is to win the 24-hour race. I hope that, together with my team-mates, I will be able to deliver a good performance and that we will be able to fight for the win.”
Jens Klingmann (BMW Sports Trophy Team Schubert, car number 20):
“The 24-hour race on the Nürburgring is one of my personal highlights every year. The four of us know each other very well. We drove together last year and are an established team. It’s the final year that we will compete in the BMW Z4 GT3. Which is why all of us are even more motivated, and the objective is clear; to see BMW get the overall win again at this endurance classic. We are well prepared and will give it our all to achieve this goal.”
Martin Tomczyk (BMW Sports Trophy Team Schubert, car number 20):
“As a DTM driver, the race is special to me in many ways. It is a nice change to race in the fantastic BMW Z4 GT3. And the approach is different; we aren’t in a sprint race, rather a 24-hour race, and I’m sharing the cockpit with three very strong team-mates. Our task is to get through the race without incident, while driving at the necessary speed. But you can never lose sight of the pitfalls of the Nordschleife. My aim is definitely to win the race. It’s the third time that I will compete for BMW there. It was very close last year, but you always need that little bit of luck at the Nürburgring. I hope that there won’t be any freak weather conditions.”
Lucas Luhr (BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS, car number 25):
“The 24-hour race at the Nürburgring is the absolute highlight of the season, and it has always been my personal highlight of the year. The Nordschleife is still the best racetrack in the world. I grew up just around the corner, so it is like a home race for me, which I am incredibly excited about. It will be a challenge, but one that we all enjoy taking on.”
Maxime Martin (BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS, car number 25):
“The Nürburgring 24 Hours is a very special event. We are well equipped and will try to get the overall win. We have a strong driver line-up and an outstanding car, and the team is extremely well prepared. I’m looking forward to contesting the race and trying to attack at the front.”
Dirk Adorf (BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS, car number 26):
“Just like every year, the anticipation is immense. The 24-hour race is a real highlight for BMW Motorsport – and for me too, because I get to drive in my “back garden”. The competition is extremely strong, but we have the advantage of an extremely powerful driver line-up and a very well organised car. If we also have that little bit of luck, we should be able to be up there at the top. The first one and a half hours really count. There is so much chaos and it is important to get through it well, not get confused and to find a good race rhythm quickly. The field has sorted itself out after 12 hours, and if you are still doing well after 18 hours then you are up there at the front at the end.”
Augusto Farfus (BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS, car number 26):
“I’m already looking forward to the weekend. I just love this track and this event. Everything about the Nürburgring 24 Hours is special – the track, the fans, the whole setting. It is one of the best races in the world, and it is great fun contesting this race every time. We will try to get the win. We have a very strong overall package with an outstanding car – and I can’t wait to get started.”