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Daniel Harper and the BMW Junior Team narrowly missed out on a great race victory as they secured their first podium finish of 2022 in the Nürburgring Endurance Series on Saturday (23rd April).

Harper and his team-mates Max Hesse and Neil Verhagen showed promising pace in their new BMW M4 GT3 during the Nordschleife season opener back in March, before the second round was unfortunately postponed last month due to extreme weather conditions in Nürburg.

It was in qualifying that Harper particularly excelled in the first event of the season, with a stunning late lap securing a front row start. After some good running in pre-event testing this time around, the Northern Irishman pulled off similar qualifying heroics on Saturday morning.

Feeling right at home in their Shell Helix Ultra backed BMW, the 21 year old rising star put in a rapid effort of 7m 58.374s around the 15 mile Nordschleife circuit to finish second fastest overall. It was a standout session for BMW, with four M4 GT3’s in the top five.

Verhagen was behind the wheel for the start of the four hour race, with a strong performance seeing him remain in the top two heading into the opening pitstops. Harper took over, being entrusted with an important double stint through the middle of the race.

Emerging in the race lead, he negotiated an unfortunate drive through penalty for a short pitstop and pieced together a run of impressive, consistent laps to keep them firmly in contention for the race win before handing over the car to Hesse for the final hour.

A thrilling final few laps saw Hesse going head-to-head with Augusto Farfus in the ROWE Racing BMW M4 GT3 for the victory. Some high-speed, side-by-side action on the last lap saw Hesse come incredibly close to winning, though he eventually took the chequered flag in second place as part of a BMW one-two-three.

Daniel Harper: “That was an enjoyable race, we had great fun out there and we really couldn’t have come much closer to taking the race win. That final run down the back straight, with Max and Augusto going side-by-side at top speed, was an epic moment for the team and the fans.

“We needed to find some pace after NLS 1 and Team RMG made some good improvements with the car. We’re happy with our progress so far with the BMW M4 GT3, but there’s still some things to find as we head towards the 24 hour race.”

The BMW Junior Team’s Nürburgring season continues with the qualifying race for the ADAC TOTAL 24 Hours of Nürburgring in two weeks’ time (06-08 May), before the main event later in the month (25-29 May).

Source. Simon Paice Media/Photo. BMW


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