A dramatic and rain-soaked finale, soaring summer temperatures and 205,000 thrilled spectators: the 45th edition of the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring lived up to the event’s reputation as one of the toughest and most spectacular GT races in the world. Alexander Sims, Markus Palttala, Nick Catsburg, Richard Westbrook and BMW had every reason to celebrate. After completing 158 laps in the number 98 BMW M6 GT3 from ROWE Racing, the quartet finished in second place. The positions were only decided during a thrilling last lap.
A heavy downpour about half an hour before the end of the race led to chaotic scenes all around the Nordschleife. Catsburg kept a cool head as the final driver of the #98 car and improved by one place on wet-weather tyres before celebrating a second-place finish with his team-mates. Second place is the best result recorded yet by ROWE Racing at the 24-hour race in the Eifel region.
Five more BMW M6 GT3s made it to the top-15. The #42 BMW M6 GT3 just missed out on the podium, recording a fourth-place finish to mark the 24-hour comeback of the BMW Team Schnitzer. Marco Wittmann, Tom Blomqvist , Martin Tomczyk and Augusto Farfus put in a strong chasing performance after losing time due to technical problems during a fuel stop in the night. The second Schnitzer car, #43, had to retire from the race over five hours before the finish after an accident. Up to that point, António Félix da Costa, Alex Lynn, Timo Scheider and Farfus had also been battling for a podium position.
The two Schubert Motorsport team BMW M6 GT3s reached 11th (#20) and 12th (#19) places on the 25.378-kilometre circuit. Jesse Krohn, Bruno Spengler, Kuno Wittmer and Jörg Müller were at the wheel of the #20 car. Jens Klingmann, John Edwards, Tom Onslow-Cole and Müller shared driving duties in the #19 car. The second BMW M6 GT3 from ROWE Racing (#99) claimed tenth place with Philipp Eng, Alexander Sims, Maxime Martin and Marc Basseng.
The Falken Motorsports team also put on a strong performance. Peter Dumbreck, Alexandre Imperatori, Stef Dusseldorp and Marco Seefried took the #33 BMW M6 GT3 to eighth place overall and always kept pace with the leading group. The Walkenhorst Motorsport team had less luck, as their #101 BMW M6 GT3 retired early but the Walkenhorst BMW Z4 GT3 crossed the finishing line in a convincing 18th position.
The BMW M4 GT4 passed its 24-hour endurance test in the “Green Hell” with flying colours: Dirk Adorf, competing in the 24-hour race on the Nordschleife for the 25th time, BMW Motorsport Junior Ricky Collard, Jörg Weidinger and Jethro Bovingdon finished in 37th place overall.