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ROWE Preparing for Unchanged Program Next Year

BMW team expects to continue in GTWC Europe Endurance, Nürburgring 24 next year…

Photo: BMW M Motorsport

ROWE Racing is set for stability in its programs next year with entries in Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Endurance Cup and the Nürburgring 24 again on the agenda.

The BMW outfit’s team principal Hans-Peter Naundorf stated that there are no plans to deviate from the current commitment which is run by his Motorsport Competence Group organization and backed by motor oil and lubricants company ROWE.

It would mark the second year of ROWE Racing’s GTWC Europe and N24 arrangement with the BMW M4 GT3, which arose after it switched from the DTM back to the Endurance Cup last year as part of a focus on long-distance competition.

ROWE won the CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa last month as part of its ongoing GTWC Europe Endurance Cup campaign and finished second overall at the N24.

“We don’t plan to do anything else [from] what we did this year,” Naundorf told Sportscar365.

“We will continue with the same programs. We have multi-year contracts with everyone, and [GTWC Europe organizer] SRO knows about it.

“We don’t say that we have to do a big press release about it: we’re going to go on for this.

“We’ve been doing [GTWC Europe] since 2016 with a very short interruption, which we actually didn’t want, but it had to happen.

“You will see in a couple of weeks and months that there’s maybe more commitment from the ROWE side in this series.”

Naundorf downplayed the increased commitment meaning a growth in the number of BMW M4 GT3s that his team runs, instead referring it to ROWE’s sponsor activation.

He wouldn’t rule out additional outings in other major GT3 races, including this year, but indicated that anything extra would need to make financial sense for the team’s partners.

Next year’s N24 will form part of the SRO-run Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli, which also includes the Bathurst 12 Hour, Indianapolis 8 Hour and 24H Spa.

“It is not a teams’ championship, it’s a manufacturers’ championship,” Naundorf said regarding the IGTC. “So why should I put my money on races I don’t know?

“For sure, everybody would love to race Bathurst. But the amount of effort and money… you could lose your car and not have a chassis anymore.

“We, as a team, need to make suggestions to our partners. This is where the money comes from.

“I don’t want to push my partners and say, ‘come on, do Bathurst…’ and at the end, they don’t have any big partners come there or B-to-B or B-to-C business.”

Naundorf added that ROWE Racing, which has won the 24 Hours of Spa three times and the N24 once, is unlikely to expand into prototypes considering the high costs involved in scaling up from GT3.

BMW’s LMDh project currently only serves the GTP and Hypercar factory efforts run by RLL and Team WRT respectively.

“We always have our fixed meetings and then we talk about the situation in motorsport, and what’s coming up,” said Naundorf.

“But on the other hand, for LMDh you have to add more and more digits to the budget compared to GT3. I think this is completely out of the ballpark.”

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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