The long night of the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring (DE) has begun. After nine hours of racing, three BMW Z4 GT3 cars are running within the top-ten. Maxime Martin (BE), Lucas Luhr (DE), Richard Westbrook (GB) and Markus Palttala (FI) from BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS are heading the BMW line-up on the Nordschleife. They are currently fifth in the number 25 BMW Z4 GT3. Their team-mates Dirk Adorf (DE), Augusto Farfus (BR), Nick Catsburg (NL) and Jörg Müller (DE) are in seventh with the number 26 car.
The BMW trio within the top-ten is completed by Walkenhorst Motorsport. Felipe Laser (DE), Michela Cerruti (IT), John Edwards (US) and Daniel Keilwitz (DE) are placed in eighth in the number 17 BMW Z4 GT3.
BMW Sports Trophy Team Schubert, however, experienced some bad luck. As happened to the number 20 BMW Z4 GT3 in the beginning of the race, the number 19 sister car was involved in an accident shortly after 23:00hrs. Dirk Werner (DE) was running on slicks, when heavy rain started. He spun and hit the barrier. Werner was able to drive the heavily damaged car back to the garage but it was not possible to repair all the damage. As a result, the BMW works driver and his team-mates, DTM champion Marco Wittmann (DE), Dirk Müller (DE) and Alexander Sims (GB) had to retire.
Also the number 20 BMW Z4 GT3 of Claudia Hürtgen (DE), Dominik Baumann (AT), Jens Klingmann (DE) and Martin Tomczyk (DE) cannot take part any longer in the endurance classic after an early accident in the wet.
In the BMW M235i Racing Cup class, Team Scheid-Honert Motorsport with Uwe Ebertz (DE), Michael Schrey (DE), Jörg Weidinger (DE) and Max Partl (DE) is in the lead. The media car with Bernd Ostmann (DE), Christian Gebhardt (DE), BMW Motorsport junior Victor Bouveng (SE) and Harald Grohs (DE) continues to lead in the SP 8T class.
Reactions and positions – after nine hours.
Maxime Martin (BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS, car number 25, fifth):
“In the early stages, the race was pretty difficult for us. We lost some time as we did not make the best tyre choice during the first shower of rain. But now we are fighting our way back towards the front. Conditions are pretty tricky in the dark, especially when it is raining in places while it is dry in others. We just need to be careful and should not risk too much.”
Nick Catsburg (BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS, car number 26, seventh):
“It’s a difficult race. The traffic is, as it usually is here, pretty crazy. I feel like we have good pace in the car, but we are slightly hampered because we can’t go quite as long on fuel as some of our competitors.”
Dirk Werner (BMW Sports Trophy Team Schubert, car number 19, retired):
“It was raining heavily on my lap, basically starting from the Bergwerk section. There had been already many accidents out on track. I was running on slicks and when I entered the Döttinger Höhe I suddenly lost the rear. As a result I spun and slid into the barrier. I still managed to bring the car back to the garage. The team tried all its efforts to repair the BMW Z4 GT3. However, this was not possible. It is a real shame and I am obviously very disappointed.”
BMW Sports Trophy Team Schubert
No 19 BMW Z4 GT3, Dirk Werner (DE), Marco Wittmann (DE), Dirk Müller (DE), Alexander Sims (GB) – retired
No 20 BMW Z4 GT3, Claudia Hürtgen (DE), Dominik Baumann (AT), Jens Klingmann (DE), Martin Tomczyk (DE) – retired
BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS
No 25 BMW Z4 GT3, Maxime Martin (BE), Lucas Luhr (DE), Richard Westbrook (GB), Markus Palttala (FI) – 5th
No 26 BMW Z4 GT3, Dirk Adorf (DE), Augusto Farfus (BR), Nick Catsburg (NL), Jörg Müller (DE) – 7th
Walkenhorst Motorsport powered by Dunlop
No 17 BMW Z4 GT3, Felipe Laser (DE), Michela Cerruti (IT), John Edwards (US), Daniel Keilwitz (DE) – 8th
No 18 BMW Z4 GT3, Henry Walkenhorst (DE), Ralf Oeverhaus (DE), Christian Bollrath (DE), Stefan Aust (DE) – 25th
BMW M235i Racing media car
No 235 BMW M235i Racing, Bernd Ostmann (DE), Christian Gebhardt (DE), Victor Bouveng (SE), Harald Grohs (DE) – 1st (SP 8T)