BMW Junior Team ace Daniel Harper endured a frustrating day of action in the third event of the 2021 Nürburgring Endurance Series on Saturday (1st May), with an early incident derailing his challenge in the race.
Following an impressive GT3 racing debut last month, in which Harper and his team-mates Max Hesse and Neil Verhagen scored a top ten finish in their BMW M6 GT3, the trio were hoping to earn another strong result in the latest four-hour race.
A productive day of running during open practice on Friday gave Harper more crucial track time in the car, and some promising lap times filled him with confidence as he looked ahead to qualifying the following morning.
Unfortunately the Northern Irishman wouldn’t get the chance to drive the car in that session though, as two lengthy red flag stoppages meant the team only ended up recording two flying laps. The best of those put them P19 on the grid, with Harper starting the race behind the wheel.
The BRDC SuperStar was in the thick of the action in the opening laps of the world-famous 15 mile circuit, however a mistake whilst in the slipstream of another car through the high-speed Schwedenkreuz section on lap four led to an immediate retirement for the #44 BMW.
Harper has no time to dwell on the incident though as he looks ahead to the next race event later this week (07/08 May); the traditional six hour qualifying race in preparation for the ADAC TOTAL 24 Hours of Nürburgring next month (03-06 June).
Daniel Harper: “I’m absolutely gutted with how it’s gone. I was right in the pack during the first few laps and was determined to try and make some progress. Unfortunately I made a mistake though which ultimately cost us the race.
“I’m very disappointed in myself and sorry for Max and Neil that they didn’t get some more race time in the car, and to the team for the extra work they’ve got now to get the car fixed in the next few days.
“We’ve analysed the incident and I have learnt a lot from it, both why it happened and how to try and prevent it in the future. It’s time to put it behind me though and work with everyone to put in a strong performance in the qualifying race this week.”
Source. Simon Paice Media/Photo. BMW