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Five-hour report: BMW teams facing difficult conditions on the Nordschleife.

The first five hours of racing have given a taste of the extremely difficult weather conditions that, according to forecasts, the teams can expect during the night at the Nürburgring 24 Hours (GER).

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Nürburg. The first five hours of racing have given a taste of the extremely difficult weather conditions that, according to forecasts, the teams can expect during the night at the Nürburgring 24 Hours (GER). After rain in the opening stage of the race, the track started to dry out. However, shortly before the five-hour mark, rain started to fall again. At that point, the #99 ROWE Racing BMW M6 GT3 and the #42 BMW M6 GT3 of BMW Team Schnitzer were running in the top ten, in sixth and tenth places respectively. BMW Junior Team leads the SP8T class with the #73 BMW M4 GT4, which is the fastest non-GT3 car in the entire field.

 

While the #98 BMW M6 GT3 and the #101 BMW M6 GT3 are within striking distance of the top ten, the race was basically over after just two hours for the #100 Walkenhorst Motorsport BMW M6 GT3, following a crash in the Brünnchen section of the circuit. The BMW M2 CS Racing media car is 74th after five hours of racing.

 

Martin Tomczyk (#42 BMW M6 GT3, BMW Team Schnitzer): “My start went very well. I was able to get the tyres up to the right temperature and push from the word go on the Grand Prix Circuit. That allowed me to climb from sixth place into third. Our pace was okay after that, but I could not quite match the two Mercedes in front of me, and then later the Lamborghini. Despite that, I am happy. The priority for everyone in these conditions is to make it through the night.”

 

Marco Wittmann (#98 BMW M6 GT3, ROWE Racing): “I was able to make up a few positions at the start, but after that we simply did not have enough pace and I unfortunately lost quite a lot of time. We must now make it through the night without any crashes and then attack tomorrow.”

 

Alexander Sims (#99 BMW M6 GT3, ROWE Racing): “As the second driver, I was in the car when the track started to dry out. My stint was actually pretty good. I felt good in the car and didn’t have any problems. However, it is obviously still very early in the race.”

 

David Pittard (#101 BMW M6 GT3, Walkenhorst Motorsport): “I took over from Mikkel Jensen at the wheel when the track had already dried out quite a lot so I had to look after my rear tyres in particular very early in my stint. I had a good battle with the Falken Porsche, which is what I was fully focussed on.”

 

Dan Harper (#73 BMW M4 GT4, BMW Junior Team): “I think those were the toughest conditions I have ever driven a race car in – and on the most difficult racetrack in the world. It was really crazy out there – absolutely unbelievable. Prior to that, my experience of the Nordschleife in the rain amounted to just two laps. At the start of the race, I struggled to get the tyres working but when I managed that the pace was really good. On the whole, I am happy to have brought the car back to the pits in one piece. Our goal for the rest of the race remains to get through it safely and without crashing. That has worked superbly so far.”

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