PressClub Global · Article.
GT World Challenge Europe: ROWE Racing concludes an impressive Endurance Cup season.
01.10.2023 Press Release
The Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS Endurance Cup season concluded with the 3-hour race at Barcelona (ESP). While the BMW M Motorsport teams didn't achieve strong results in the season finale, the ROWE Racing team looks back on an impressive season.
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Barcelona. The Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS Endurance Cup season concluded with the 3-hour race at Barcelona (ESP). While the BMW M Motorsport teams didn't achieve strong results in the season finale, the ROWE Racing team looks back on an impressive season. Philipp Eng (AUT), Marco Wittmann (GER) and Nick Yelloly (GBR) celebrated fantastic victories at the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps (BEL) and the Monza (ITA) season opener. The driver trio and the team both finish the season second in the overall standings of the Endurance Cup for drivers and teams.
Although there was still a mathematical chance of the title before the race, the pace of the #98 BMW M4 GT3 was not sufficient to attack the top spot, as had been the case at the Nürburgring (GER) recently. Eng, Wittmann and Yelloly finished in tenth place in the season finale. The BMW Junior Team with BMW M works drivers Dan Harper (GBR), Max Hesse (GER) and Neil Verhagen (USA) secured twelfth place. At Monza, the trio celebrated their first podium finish in the series, coming in second. Overall, ROWE Racing achieved two victories (Monza, Spa-Francorchamps), one second place (Monza) and one third place (Le Castellet) in the Endurance Cup in 2023.
The BMW M Team WRT couldn't replicate the strong results they regularly achieve in the Sprint Cup during their first year with the BMW M4 GT3 in the endurance races. At Barcelona, Dries Vanthoor, Charles Weerts (both BEL) and Sheldon van der Linde (RSA) managed to secure eleventh place despite a damaged rear on their #32 BMW M4 GT3. Valentino Rossi (ITA), Maxime Martin (BEL) and Augusto Farfus (BRA) retired early in the #46 BMW M4 GT3. The #30 BMW M4 GT3 from the WRT team finished fourth in the Gold Cup. In the Bronze Cup, the WRT team #31 BMW M4 GT3 with BMW M works driver Jesse Krohn (FIN) and the #35 BMW M4 GT3 from Walkenhorst Motorsport finished in seventh and eighth positions.
The Sprint Cup season of the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS with the BMW M Team WRT will conclude on 14th/15th October at Zandvoort (NED).
Reactions after the Endurance Cup season finale:
Hans-Peter Naundorf (Team Principal ROWE Racing): "ROWE Racing looks back on a fantastic season – not only in the GT World Challenge but also on the Nürburgring Nordschleife! We started with an incredible streak of podium finishes, including a 1-2 finish at the opening race of the GT World Challenge at Monza. The absolute highlight, of course, was our third overall victory at the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps. Many thanks to my entire team for the great job and the tremendous effort, to BMW M Motorsport for providing strong and reliable cars, and to all our drivers who, even in the final races where we hoped for more performance for our cars in the title fight, were always highly motivated and did a flawless job!"
Philipp Eng (#98 BMW M4 GT3, ROWE Racing, 10th place): "Even though the ending didn't go as planned, it was an overall great season. We became vice-champions and won the most important race of the year at Spa-Francorchamps. Thanks to the team and BMW M Motorsport! We had an incredibly reliable car with no technical issues throughout the season. Plus, I had great teammates, both in the #98 and the sister car. Ultimately, our disappointing weekend at the Nürburgring set us back significantly in the title race, and we couldn't recover it here at Barcelona. Congratulations to the Mercedes crew!"
Max Hesse (#998 BMW M4 GT3, ROWE Racing, 12th place): "The overall assessment of our second season in the GT World Challenge is positive. We made significant progress compared to the first year and maintained a consistently good pace. The podium at Monza was the highlight, while our retirement at Spa-Francorchamps was, of course, a disappointment. That caused us to lose touch with the top spots in the overall standings."
Sheldon van der Linde (#32 BMW M4 GT3, BMW M Team WRT, 11th place): "This is the end of a challenging Endurance Cup season for us. We always had the pace in the races, but we faced problems in qualifying. We must improve that because when you often have to start from so far back, it's tough to make your way to the front in the races."
Valentino Rossi (#46 BMW M4 GT3, BMW M Team WRT, DNF): “I made a small mistake at the exit of Turn 7 unfortunately. I went too far onto the kerb and was a bit too aggressive. As a result, I lost control of the car. That's a shame. The first stint was overall quite eventful, but my pace was good, and I was closely following the other BMWs. We could have achieved a good result.”