In Friday’s Top Qualifying for the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring (GER), Augusto Farfus (BRA) was the best-placed BMW M4 GT3 driver for ROWE Racing. The Brazilian set a personal best of 8:11.921 minutes in car #99 securing eleventh position on the grid. Pole position went to Mercedes driver Raffaele Marciello (ITA).
Two more BMW M Motorsport drivers were represented in the decisive second section of the individual time trial. Dan Harper (GBR) took 17th behind the wheel of car #72 for the BMW M Team RMG. Sami-Matti Trogen (FIN) driving for Walkenhorst Motorsport, secured 19th on the grid, equivalent to fifth place in the Pro-Am class.
Part one of the Top Qualifying was initially red-flagged due to an accident by Christian Krognes (NOR). At the Hatzenbach section of the track, the Walkenhorst Motorsport driver lost control of his BMW M4 GT3 on a dirty surface and hit the track barrier hard on the left side. Krognes remained unharmed. The individual time trial was restarted after the necessary clean up, however, no additional BMW drivers were able to secure a spot in the second part of Top Qualifying.
In the highly competitive SP10 class, FK Performance Motorsport will start from second position in car #86 The Giti Tire Motorsport by WS Racing team secured pole in the SP8T class with the #81 BMW M4 GT4. Due to a penalty, the BMW M4 GT4 media car will start from the pit lane in its group. A total of six new BMW M4 GT4 cars are participating in the race.
The 51st edition of the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring will go green on Saturday at 16:00hrs (CEST).
Augusto Farfus (#99 BMW M4 GT3, ROWE Racing, 11th place): “I think we did what we could. My car was good and felt extremely well-balanced. So, I’m quite happy I managed to put the lap together. It’s important to be in the mix at the front, P11 is not too bad. It’s a long race ahead.”
Dan Harper (#72 BMW M4 GT3, BMW M Team RMG, 17th place): “It wasn’t the best session for us, but it’s a long 24-hour race ahead. Of course, it is nice to be as high up on the grid as possible, but in the end the grid position doesn’t matter too much. We have a good race car that is handling very well, which is important in the race.”
Sami-Matti Trogen (#100 BMW M4 GT3, Walkenhorst Motorsport, 19th place): “It was quite tough. There was a lot of dirt on the track, but I managed to get through. It was a bit tricky to make the tyres work. They were overheating a bit, but the rest was okay. We are ready for the long race over the weekend. Our goal is to finish and be the best-placed Pro-Am car.”
Jesse Krohn (#101 BMW M4 GT3, Walkenhorst Motorsport): “I’m really disappointed for myself but also for the team. The guys worked extra hard yesterday to fix the issues that we had with the balance, and today the cars were flawless. My first run in Q1 felt mega good. No issues. But then the second one, after hearing my team-mate had crashed and that there was a lot of dirt on the track, I just needed to make sure that we didn’t have two cars in the same condition. I’m sure that our race car is going to be much better than our one-lap pace. Sunday is what matters. And I’m really sure that we can we can do well.”
Sheldon van der Linde (#98 BMW M4 GT3, ROWE Racing): “Obviously we’re all super on the limit for this one lap. We try and put everything into the lap to try and get into Q2, as was obviously my job today. We knew it was going to be tied with everyone, as the field is so close together. I gave it everything – maybe a bit too much. In Pflanzgarten I, I lost the rear and kissed the wall on the outside. Luckily the car is not damaged too much, just a mirror. Still, that’s not a great feeling to start from P33, but everything’s open, and we need to fight in the race.”
Christian Krognes (#102 BMW M4 GT3, Walkenhorst Motorsport): “I am okay. It was a sudden and rather surprising crash. I suddenly lost traction on the front axle, in a very unexpected moment. I just skidded off. It was a moment you wouldn’t want to experience during the top qualifying, but it happened. I am deeply sorry for the entire team, but I know that we have an amazing team of mechanics who will try to fix the car overnight. I hope it’s possible. If anyone can fix it, they are the ones to do it.”
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