BMW's strong showing at the ADAC 24h Nürburgring Qualifiers continues. In the first of the weekend's two 3h races, Dan Harper, Max Hesse and Neil Verhagen in the BMW Junior Team's BMW M4 GT3 (#72) were able to prevail over their brand colleagues Connor de Phillippi, Phillip Eng, Augusto Farfus and Nick Yeloly (#99). The second-placed pole setters from Rowe Racing were just 7.333 seconds behind at the finish. Third went to Maro Engel, Jules Gounon and Daniel Juncadella (Mercdes-AMG GT3 #4) ahead of the second Rowe Racing BMW #98. The action continues as early as Sunday, when a top qualifying session for all teams as well as the second 3h race of the weekend are on the agenda (start 2:00 p.m.).
Shortly before the end of the race, things got exciting once again: After only a few meters of the Nordschleife were damp at the beginning of the three-hour distance, the predicted showers failed to materialize afterwards. Then, just 20 minutes before the chequered flag, a rain shower caused some of the competitors to slide off the track - without any serious incidents. It also got damp for the BMW juniors, who were able to spill plenty of winner's champagne. "We are super satisfied. Now one place better than at the last race. The BMW works great and we are already looking forward to tomorrow." said Max Hesse. For the runners-up, Philipp Eng summed up, "The whole race was very close, especially at the start with Neil. But it worked perfectly. The car was tip top and we feel well prepared. The race was a lot of fun. Of course, there's always room for improvement. The new format with two races is really cool, especially since we had the opportunity to drive in the dark today."
In the first half of the race, the teams at the front thrilled the spectators with exciting action and hard-fought battles. On the track, which was still wet in places at the start, the leaders were close together. The main protagonists were the pole-sitters in the #99 BMW M4 GT3 from Rowe Racing and their brand colleagues in the BMW Junior Team with the #72. The two cars were often only meters apart in the first and second stint, and the juniors put the leaders under increasingly intense pressure. The decisive scene came on lap nine when Dan Harper was finally able to overtake. But it wasn't just the two BMWs that were fighting hard, as the KCMG Porsche 911 GT3 R #18 and the Mercedes-AMG Team GetSpeed #3 with the Mercedes-AMG GT3 were also battling for the lead. The #26 Ferrari 488 GT3 of the Swiss team octane 126 was also busy collecting lead kilometers.
Full program on Sunday
An exceptional program awaits the teams and fans on the final third day of the ADAC 24h Qualifiers. After the 45-minute warm-up on Sunday morning (from 8:15 a.m.), there will be an extensive top qualifying session (from 9:15 a.m.) in which all cars in the field are eligible to start. The participants will then have two laps each on the Nordschleife to show what their cars and drivers are capable of. At noon, the grid will be set for the three-hour second race of the weekend, which will be released at 14:00. So there's plenty of top motorsport entertainment for visitors, who can look forward to free admission to the spectator areas around the Nordschleife (there are only charges for the use of the parking spaces). Those who want to follow the action at the Ring from home can enjoy the livestream on the Nürburgring's YouTube channel.