The ‘Green hell’ was the venue for this weekends 24 hour endurance race, a grueling 168 corners adds an extra level of difficulty to the already challenging task of endurance racing.
Seen by many as the benchmark for car performance measurement it is especially important to the german manufacturers to gain good results. BMW Motorsport team fielded and supported a number of cars in different classes. The M6 GT3’s being the front end of the attack, although BMW M4 GT4’s, M235’s and even a privateer E36 took part in the race.
BMW endured a wretched race, with both ROWE Racing M6 GT3s retiring before sunrise – one with a cooling problem and the other with a drive-by-wire issue – while one of the Walkenhorst cars failed to start after a heavy crash for Jordan Tresson in qualifying.
The best position was secured by Augusto Farfus (BRA), Markus Palttala (FIN), Christian Krognes (NOR) and Fabian Schiller (GER) in the #102 Shell Helix BMW M6 GT3 finished 13th overall at the Nürburgring 24 Hours (GER), making them the best-placed BMW representative. The quartet lost time in the opening stages, following a minor collision, but then progressed without any major issues for the rest of the race. In unsettled weather conditions and after many incidents, only two of the four BMW M6 GT3s that started in the SP9 class actually finished the race. The race was suspended with 3:30 hours remaining and was eventually restarted after a break of about two hours. Victory went to the #912 Porsche. Private BMW teams claimed three victories in the remaining classes.
Victory in the fiercely-competitive BMW M235i Racing Cup class, in which 15 cars were involved, went to Heiko Eichenberg, Yannick Mettler (both GER), Torsten Kratz (AUT) and Tristan Viidas (EST) of the Securtal Sorg Rennsport team. They finished ahead of the Hofor Racing powered by Bonk Motorsport and Pixum Team Adrenalin Motorsport cars in second and third place. BMW customer teams celebrated a further two victories in the V4 and SP4 classes.
After technical issues with the #60 BMW M4 GT4, which they shared with Dirk Adorf (GER) and Tom Coronel (NED), BMW Motorsport Juniors Beitske Visser (NED) and Nico Menzel (GER) came home sixth in the SP 8T class and gained valuable experience during the marathon in the “Green Hell”.
Well done to everyone who finished which is an achievement in itself in any endurance race.