The two BMW Z4 GT3s of BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS finished the final race before the Nürburgring 24 Hours, the 2015 VLN Endurance Championship‘s DMV 4-Hour Race, in 5th and 6th.
The , a 4 hour challenge at the infamous Nürburgring Nordschleife, was dominated by unpredictable weather, and rain started to fall in the qualifying session. Due to this, the team timed their qualifying runs incorrectly, and so the #26 BMW Z4 GT3 started the four hour race from 26th. Due to a puncture, the #25 Z4 had to start at the back of the 63 car field.
In the #25 car were Lucas Luhr, Maxime Martin, Markus Paltalla and Richard Westbrook. Meanwhile, the #26 was driven by Dirk Adorf, Augusto Farfus and Jörg Müller. Both cars moved up the field at the start of the race, and despite the heavy shower halfway through the race, which mixed the field up again, both cars were able to come home with very strong results.
From 63rd position, the #25 car finished 5th, and the #26 came from 26th to 6th. The two were also the highest BMWs in the field.
“I was really unlucky in qualifying,” said Lucas Luhr, of the #25 Z4 GT3. “Shortly after the entrance to the Nordschleife I suffered a puncture, and then had to haul the car the full 20 kilometres back to the pit lane. However, the fightback in the race was great fun. The result wasn’t too important today. With one eye on the 24-hour race, we wanted to test some strategic options. The most important thing today was to gain experience for what is one of the highlights of the endurance season. I think we have a strong package.”
“The BMW Z4 GT3 felt good today,” said Augusto Farfus, in the #26 BMW. “The main thing was that we finished the race without any problems and gained valuable experience in the rain. I am optimistic about the 24-hour race. Before then, however, I am looking forward to the opening round of the DTM season in Hockenheim next weekend.”
Two more Z4 GT3s were entered by Walkenhorst Motorsport. Their #36 of John Edwards, Michela Cerruti and Felipe Fernándes Laser ran in sixth place until a few laps before the end, when they had to retire with a technical problem. The #35 of Christian Bollrath, Henry Walkenhorst and Matias Henkola also retired due to a crash.
Of the many other classes racing, one was the BMW M235i Racing Cup, and victory in this went to Scheid Motorsport, with drivers Uwe Ebertz, Michael Schrey and Jörg Weidinger, who finished ahead of 20 other M235i Racings. In total, BMW won 6 different classes at the Nordschleife.
“That was an ideal first race for us,” commented Johannes Scheid, Team Principal of BMW M235i Racing Cup winners, Scheid Motorsport. “We are up against some very strong opposition in the BMW M235i Racing Cup class this year. I think there are at least five teams capable of winning races this season. As such, you cannot expect to just turn up and win. That makes this opening win all the more important. We did a flawless job as a team – and had that little bit of luck you need in this typical Eifel weather.”
The ADAC Zurich 24 Hour Race at the Nürburgring will take place on May 14-17.