The ROWE Racing team secured a podium finish at the Nürburgring 24 Hours. Dries Vanthoor drove the number 98 BMW M4 GT3 to second place, 26.911 seconds behind the winning Ferrari. Vanthoor shared driving duties with Maxime Martin, Sheldon van der Linde, and Marco Wittmann, completing 162 laps. This marked BMW M Motorsport’s first podium with the BMW M4 GT3 at the prestigious endurance race in the Eifel Mountains.
First Podium at Nurburgring for M4 GT3
Starting from 31st on the grid, the quartet of drivers steadily climbed up the field in the race’s early hours, reaching the top ten after the second round of pit stops. They engaged in an intense battle with the eventual winners, exchanging the lead multiple times. With a shorter final pit stop, the ROWE Racing crew closed the gap on the victorious Ferrari, but fell short of overtaking them.
The number 100 BMW M4 GT3 also completed the Nürburgring marathon. The Walkenhorst Motorsport Pro-Am car, driven by Christian Bollrath, Jörg Breuer, Sami-Matti Trogen, and Henry Walkenhorst, finished 16th overall and secured fifth place in the Pro-Am class.
Several BMW M4 GT3s seemed poised for a strong challenge in the battle for overall victory. However, the situation quickly changed with a flurry of incidents in the early morning hours on the 25-kilometer Nordschleife. After 13 hours of racing, Connor De Phillippi, Philipp Eng, Augusto Farfus, and Nick Yelloly of the second ROWE Racing BMW M4 GT3 were forced to retire following a collision with a slower car. Shortly after, the BMW Junior Team encountered difficulties as the number 72 BMW M4 GT3 sustained significant damage due to a puncture. BMW M Team RMG made extensive repair efforts but eventually Dan Harper, Max Hesse, and Neil Verhagen had no choice but to retire, despite their strong performance earlier in the race.
Walkenhorst Motorsport also faced misfortune with their remaining SP9 cars. The #101 BMW M4 GT3, on track for a top-ten finish in the seventh hour, was forced out after two successive crashes. The number 102 car’s race also ended prematurely due to an accident in the early hours of Sunday morning, while running in seventh place.
As a result, BMW maintains its record of 20 overall victories in the “Green Hell,” solidifying its position as the most successful manufacturer in the history of the 24-hour race. The most recent BMW win on the Nordschleife was achieved by ROWE Racing with the BMW M6 GT3 in 2020.