ROWE Racing was left disappointed after being hit with as much misfortune as “would have sufficed for three 24-hour races”.
The team suffered its first double DNF in a 24 hour race at the Nurburgring, leaving the German circuit without points after a promising start to the weekend.
The #99 BMW was knocked out of the race early when a minor collision caused significant damage, while the #98 battled on at the front of the field for a while longer before an electric throttle problem ended its race.
“We are obviously all very disappointed,” said team principal Hans-Peter Naundorf.
“We have ever had a result like that before at a 24h race. Up to now, we have always finished with at least one car.
“We lost the first car early on due to a crash and the resulting damage, although we tried everything to keep the #99 car in the race.
“After that, we concentrated on the second car. However, what happened to that car over the course of two hours would have sufficed for three 24-hour races. Our team repeatedly found solutions and, despite everything, was still hoping for a top-10 result until the gremlin struck decisively.”
The #98 car showed good pace throughout the early stages of the race. The car, piloted by Tom Blomqvist, John Edwards, Nick Catsburg, and Richard Westbrook, ran at the front of the order on a number of occasions, before a 3m32s penalty dropped the team out of the top 10.
They managed a strong recovery drive to break back into the top 10 before the throttle damage forced the squad to retire.
“A retirement at a 24-hour race is always disappoint, but it is particularly painful when you would have been in with a chance of winning – and we were in with a chance,” said Edwards.
“The BMW MG GT3 was very fast in the first few hours in which we led the race at times. I was very confident ahead of the rest of the race. Unfortunately, we then had issues.”
“It was sat to see our race come to an end because of a technical fault,” added Blomqvist. “We had driven a smart race up until that point and were fighting for a podium position.
“Operationally it was going well, everyone in the team and my team-mates were doing a great job. Unfortunately, luck just wasn’t on our side.”