BMW Sports Trophy Team Schubert denied podium finish in closing stages
There was to be no happy ending to the Nürburgring 24 Hours (DE) for BMW Sports Trophy Team Schubert. Although the team from Oschersleben (DE) led with both cars at various times in the race, it ultimately had to settle for the same result as last year – sixth place for the number 20 BMW Z4 GT3. Dominik Baumann (AT), Claudia Hürtgen (DE), Jens Klingmann (DE) and Martin Tomczyk (DE) had recovered from an early spin to lead the field during the night, and were then involved in a fascinating three-way battle for the win with an Audi and a Mercedes. However, all hopes of victory were dashed just two hours from the end when they had to replace a bent steering link.
A damaged suspension resulted in the number 19 car retiring after an outstanding start, during which it actually led the race. Lucas Luhr (DE), Dirk Müller (DE), Alexander Sims (GB) and Dirk Werner (DE) were forced to call it a day after about four hours.
Stefan Wendl (Team Manager Schubert Motorsport): “The result is a huge disappointment for us. Dropping back so close to the end of the race is bitter. We all made a joint decision early in the morning to go for it, take a few risks and aim for the win. I am proud that we managed to play such a key role in the high-class battle at the head of the field for so long. That shows how superbly we were prepared and what an outstanding job we did as a team. Unfortunately, however, you also need a bit of luck to win a 24-hour race, and we didn’t have that.”
Claudia Hürtgen (BMW Z4 GT3, #20): “You are obviously very disappointed after a race like that. We wanted to win – and we really gave it our all. However, it just wasn’t meant to be. I feel incredibly sorry for the entire team, which once again did a sensational job. The cars were superbly prepared, but you also need that little bit of luck in the race – and we just didn’t have that.”
Dominik Baumann (BMW Z4 GT3, #20): “The closing phase was exciting. I tried to get everything out of the car. Our car was good to drive, although we had just replaced the tie rod. It was also getting quite warm for the tyres. However, I discussed it with the team and we decided I should go on the attack again and try to gain the odd position. It was a nice stint, but I am glad to be at the finish and that it is over. It was a tough race and, unfortunately, there were a few incidents that cost us a top result. As far as speed and durability are concerned, we could have won the race.”
Jens Klingmann (BMW Z4 GT3, #20): “I think we deserved to be on the podium. We were able to put the winning Audi under pressure for a long time. On the one hand I am satisfied, as our package was definitely right here and could have produced a top result. On the other hand, you are naturally disappointed. Once you have led the race, you want to go on and win it. It was a 24-hour sprint with plenty of action – and the BMW laser light technology definitely proved advantageous in the night.”
Martin Tomczyk (BMW Z4 GT3, #20): “This Nürburgring 24 Hours once again showed just what can happen. Unfortunately misfortune struck for the last of the four BMW Z4 GT3s towards the end of the race. That was a huge shame, as we were actually well placed to challenge for first or second place. In the end we had to settle for sixth. We came here to win. That was the goal. Anything else is a disappointment.”