BMW is once again represented with a strong contingent at this year’s Nürburgring 24 Hours (GER). The majority of those alternating at the wheel of the two BMW M6 GT3s fielded by ROWE Racing, with works support from BMW Motorsport, will be drivers from the GT works programmes in the FIA World Endurance Championship and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. A total of five BMW M6 GT3s will line up in the “Green Hell”. As well as ROWE Racing, FALKEN Motorsports will also run one car, while Walkenhorst Motorsport fields two BMW M6 GT3s. Among those in action at the wheel of the car in the livery of Premium Technology Partner Shell will be Augusto Farfus (BRA).
“This year, we will have many of our best GT drivers in the BMW M6 GT3 on the Nordschleife again,” said BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt. “They include almost all the regular drivers from our programmes in the WEC and IMSA Series – Augusto Farfus, Alex Sims, Martin Tomczyk and Nick Catsburg are four of them – as well as experienced Nordschleife experts like Richard Westbrook, Jens Klingmann and Markus Palttala. We are confident that they can play an important role in the very tight battle for victory and podium positions. Four of our drivers were on the podium in 2017, and all the others have a huge amount of talent and a wealth of experience on the most demanding racetrack in the world: those are the ideal prerequisites for a strong BMW result.”
Seven of the BMW drivers who will be in action are plying their trade as regular drivers in the new BMW M8 GTE in the 2018 season. Connor de Phillippi (USA), John Edwards (USA), Jesse Krohn (FIN) and Alexander Sims (GBR) drive for BMW Team RLL in the IMSA series, while Nick Catsburg (NED), Augusto Farfus (BRA) and Martin Tomczyk (GER) are at the wheel of the BMW M8 GTE for BMW’s return to the WEC.
ROWE Racing lines up with one winner and three runners-up from last year, as it looks to claim the 20th overall victory for BMW at the Nürburgring 24 Hours in 2018. De Phillippi won in the Eifel in 2017 and joined the BMW family at the start of the current season. When he makes his first appearance in a 24-hour race in the BMW M6 GT3, he will be joined by three drivers who finished second with ROWE Racing in 2017: Catsburg, Sims and Richard Westbrook (GBR). The remaining three BMW works drivers who will contest the 24h Nürburgring for ROWE Racing also boast plenty of GT power: Edwards, Krohn and Tomczyk complete the seven-man driver line-up.
The cockpit of the FALKEN Motorsports BMW M6 GT3 will be shared by long-term BMW GT driver Jens Klingmann (GER), Stef Dusseldorp (NED), Alexandre Imperatori (SUI) and Peter Dumbreck (GBR). In the Shell BMW M6 GT3, Farfus will share driving duties with Markus Palttala (FIN), Christian Krognes (NOR) and Fabian Schiller (GER). Walkenhorst Motorsport will also run a second car with Henry Walkenhorst (GER), Jordan Tresson (FRA), Ralf Oeverhaus (GER) and Andreas Ziegler (GER) at the wheel, bringing the total number of BMW M6 GT3s at this year’s 24-hour classic to five.
The final warm-up race for the highlight of the season takes place this coming weekend. Among other things, the coveted places in the Top 30 Qualifying are up for grabs in the six-hour 24h qualifying race.