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Nürburgring Endurance

BMW Junior Team, Octane126 Hit Trouble in Early Stages

Dan Harper’s BMW M4 GT3 suffers left front damage after contact with backmarker…

Image: N24

The BMW Junior Team and Octane126 have both encountered issues in the second hour of the Nürburgring 24, while defending winner Manthey Racing captured the race lead.

The No. 72 BMW M4 GT3, driven by Dan Harper, suffered left front damage when the driver hit a BMW from a lower category at Tiergarten.

Harper was able to bring the car back to the nearby pits but the car was rolled into the garage for extensive repairs.

Harper was running in 15th position overall, having battled with Audi Sport Team Phoenix driver Kelvin van der Linde in the stages leading up to the incident.

The incident is a significant blow for the RMG-run Junior Team, which has been one of the top entries at the Nordschleife this year as an NLS podium-finisher and N24 Qualifier race winner.

At the same time, the pole-sitting No. 26 Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020 suffered a left-rear puncture while out at the Nordschleife with Simon Trummer at the wheel.

Trummer reported that he slowed for a yellow flag at Bergwerk, but was then hit from behind with the bodywork damage then causing the tire to fail.

The Swiss driver limped the car back to the pits, with Bjoern Grossmnn taking over while the team cut off pieces of damaged bodywork.

Out front, Kevin Estre took the lead of the race after starting 35th overall.

The No. 1 Manthey Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R had jumped into third after a short five-lap opening stint.

Estre then passed the No. 98 ROWE Racing BMW of Sheldon van der Linde into turn one.

When race leader Nicki Thiim spun the No. 90 TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage GT3 at Schwalbenschwanz, Estre was able to assume the lead.

Estre held a five-second edge over van der Linde approaching the end of hour two, with Thiim third ahead of the No. 5 Scherer Sport Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II of Ricardo Feller.

Davey Euwema is Sportscar365's European Editor. Based in The Netherlands, Euwema covers the FIA World Endurance Championship, European Le Mans Series and Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS, among other series.

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