BMW Sports Trophy Team Schubert put in a strong performance with its two BMW Z4 GT3s at the 24-hour race on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife (DE) – but was denied any rewards. The endurance classic saw an early end for both cars during the night.
Martin Tomczyk (DE), who shared the cockpit of the HUAWEI sponsored number 20 BMW Z4 GT3 with Jens Klingmann (DE), Dominik Baumann (AT) and Claudia Hürtgen (DE), took the lead right at the start and was in front during the opening laps. After one and a half hours, BMW Sports Trophy Team Schubert had its first setback. With the onset of rain, the track became more and more slippery, and in these difficult conditions Hürtgen had a crash which resulted in heavy damage to the BMW Z4 GT3. The number 20 returned to the track after a long stop for repairs, but during the night the team decided to finally withdraw the car from the race.
The number 19 sister car, sponsored by KÄRCHER, suffered a similar fate after seven hours of racing. The quartet of Dirk Werner (DE), Dirk Müller (DE), Alexander Sims (GB) and Marco Wittmann (DE) had climbed up to second position in the early part of the night. But they also experienced some bad luck: Shortly after 11 pm it again started to rain heavily. Werner, who was running on slicks, spun on the slippery track and hit the barrier. He was able to drive the BMW Z4 GT3 back to the garage, but the car was too badly damaged and could not re-join the race.
Torsten Schubert (Team Principal): “Unfortunately this time our hopes have been thwarted by two accidents. This can happen in these tricky conditions, as we have seen over the course of the race that also several other cars from the leading group have crashed out. This track is extremely difficult, and if you have the wrong tyres at the wrong point in time you always have the risk of an accident. It is really difficult to judge the conditions. It was a pity that we were no longer able to demonstrate the potential of our BMW Z4 GT3s.”
Dirk Werner (BMW Z4 GT3, car number 19, retired): “It was raining heavily on my lap, with it starting from the Bergwerk section. There had already been a lot of accidents out on track. I was running on slicks and when I entered the Döttinger Höhe I suddenly lost the rear. As a result I spun and slid into the barrier. I still managed to bring the car back to the garage, and the team put all its efforts into repairing the BMW Z4 GT3. However, this was not possible. It is a real shame and I am obviously very disappointed.”
Dirk Müller (BMW Z4 GT3, car number 19, retired): “What can you say? For sure, it is really a pity that we had to retire, but everyone could see how difficult the conditions were out there. I had just changed and was on my way to the garage to take over the driving duties when Dirk had the accident. It was just a lot of bad luck. We win together and we lose together. Now we keep our fingers crossed for our colleagues in the other BMW Z4 GT3s.”
Claudia Hürtgen (BMW Z4 GT3, car number 20, retired): “I jumped over a crest in Pflanzgarten. The spot I landed in was every wet and I lost the rear. I didn’t have a chance. I tried to slam on the brakes, but the car spun 360 degrees and I hit the crash barrier with the front right of the car. There was no warning that it would be so wet at this point on the circuit.”
Martin Tomczyk (BMW Z4 GT3, car number 20, retired): “It was great to have the lead right from the first corner, and to keep all the others behind me for the entire first stint. That was a new experience for me, but a lot of fun! Unfortunately the end of our race soon followed. Having to give up such a race that early is a real shame for everybody in the team.“
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