BMW Motorsport Juniors Nico Menzel (GER) and Mikkel Jensen (DEN) completed their first competitive appearance together at the weekend. They drove the Walkenhorst Motorsport BMW M6 GT3 at the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup race in Monza (ITA).
The team was supported by third driver, Jaap van Lagen from the Netherlands. However, they suffered some bad luck during the 3-hour race on Sunday afternoon. They were involved in a mass pile-up through no fault of their own, immediately after the start, an event that affected almost the entire field. The radiator of the BMW M6 GT3 was so badly damaged that starting driver van Lagen had to park the car at the edge of the track. The BMW M6 GT3 was one of numerous cars that was unable to continue once the interrupted race was restarted about half an hour later. “Of course, it is really frustrating when a race finishes after just a few hundred metres like this,” said Menzel. “But that is racing. Overall, it was good to get to know the series and see everything. We did learn a bit as well. Now we are hoping for a bit more luck on our next appearance.” Menzel and Jensen will be competing together throughout the whole season in the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup.
Three questions for … Mikkel Jensen.
Mikkel, what is your reaction to your first competitive race as a BMW Motorsport Junior?
Mikkel Jensen: “Unfortunately, our race finished early but apart from that, I am quite happy. Quite a few things were new to me. This was my first time driving in a GT3 car, I have just joined BMW and the team was new. It was a great experience. You can really feel the team spirit when you work with everyone else. It is something new for me to be sharing the cockpit with other drivers. You’re a lone wolf in Formula 3 but here the drivers work together as a team. We help one another and try to achieve something together. I like that.”
What were the most important aspects of the BMW M6 GT3 that you had to get used to?
Jensen: “The most difficult thing was getting used to the ABS. You have to develop a feeling for how to use it and how it helps you. I had no problems with the handling of the car. As a racing driver, you have a natural instinct for that but the brakes really were different to any others I was used to.”
How well do you get on with Nico?
Jensen: “Very well. We already know each other from Formula racing, as we competed against one another in 2014. He is a cool, calm guy and a really good team-mate. And that is important. I feel right at home in the BMW Motorsport family.”