BMW teams and management were left disappointed with the outcome of the Nürburgring 24, with the marque’s CEO saying its cars had the speed to reach the podium, but were not able to convert that speed into “fitting results.”
The Munich manufacturer endured a challenging event debut for the M4 GT3, which looked fast throughout qualifying and displayed convincing speed during various stages of the race.
However, various incidents and issues took out all of BMW’s top contenders, ultimately leaving it without a single car in the top 10 at the end of the race.
“Unfortunately, the 24-hour race didn’t go as we had hoped,” said BMW M CEO Franciscus van Meel.
“The car, the teams and the drivers all had the speed to reach the podium.
“It is disappointing that we were unable to convert this speed into fitting results. Congratulations to Audi on the overall win.”
The front-running ROWE Racing and BMW Junior Team squads notably had all of their cars eliminated from contention in the first half of the race.
Nick Yelloly’s No. 99 BMW was involved in a clash with the Toksport WRT Porsche, while the sister car driven by Sheldon van der Linde was eliminated when a high-speed suspension failure saw the South African crash out.
“Of course, it’s disappointing to retire so early – for me, for the team and for BMW M Motorsport,” Yelloly said of the clash with Julien Andlauer.
“We entered the turn three abreast and once I noticed that the Porsche was moving over from the far right, it was too late to brake.
“Ultimately, it was my mistake. I am very sorry that the team lost both cars.”
BMW’s Head of Motorsport Andreas Roos also expressed his frustration at the race outcome, saying that it allowed itself to be “influenced” by the chaotic action in the opening hours of the race.
“Sadly, that was a very disappointing race for us and we could have done significantly better,” said Roos.
“Our expectations were high after the good, intensive preparations saw us show good pace and record some top results.
“It is particularly galling that we lost two cars early on due to our own errors.
“We allowed ourselves to be influenced by the hectic events on the track.
“There was nothing Sheldon van der Linde could do about his accident. He had a problem with the front-right suspension.
“Schubert Motorsport was in fourth place until just before the end, but then struggled with overheating in the engine compartment.
“The very positive aspect is that our new BMW M4 GT3 has shown that it has the potential to win this race, being right up there in qualifying and in the race.”
Porsche “Plagued” By Misfortune
Similarly to BMW, Porsche was also left disillusioned at the outcome of the event after also having some of its top cars eliminated in the early exchanges.
While the clash with ROWE’s Yelloly eliminated Toksport’s No. 27 car from contention, its most notable early retirement was the Manthey Racing entry – eliminated after a heavy crash for Laurens Vanthoor.
With a crash for KCMG’s Dennis Olsen in the final hour, the No. 33 Falken Motorsports car was Porsche’s only representation in the top ten by the time the checkered flag dropped on Sunday afternoon.
“We were plagued by bad luck on Saturday and Sunday,” spoke Porsche’s 911 GT3 R project manager Sebastian Golz.
“We lost six cars in accidents, most of which were involved in collisions through no fault of their own.
“We very clearly witnessed just how strong our GT3 customer teams and our cars were in the race from the top positions of Manthey und Toksport WRT, which makes it all the more disappointing that we weren’t able to turn our competitiveness into a decent result.”