BMW poised to break its jinx
BMW enters this weekend’s Nurburgring 24 Hours intent upon ending a barren run dating back to its last victory in 2010. Its M6 is a proven winner in 24-hour races just across the border at Spa, where it prevailed in 2016 and 2018, but it hasn’t even carried anyone to the podium at the Nurburgring 24 since it took second position amid the chaotic wet finish of 2017.
The M6 may be one of the oldest workssupported GT3 cars around – it has been in service since 2016 – but in this year’s NLS practice races on the Nordschleife it has won two of the four, with Mercedes taking the other two, while Audi took a 1-2 in the six-hour warm-up race.
Briton David Pittard and Dane Mikkel Jensen claimed the first race of the year for Walkenhorst Motorsport’s M6 after the Mercedes of Maro Engel and Patrick Assenheimer was pinged for a final stop that was too short. After the new Haupt Racing Team (essentially the key staff of Black Falcon under a different name) won both races of NLS’S double-header, the Rowe Racing BMW of Nicky Catsburg and Stef Dusseldorp triumphed in race four. So is this the weekend when BMW’S hoodoo in the 24 Hours comes to an end?
Against the raft of Mercedes and Audi entries in the top SP9 class (Porsche has withdrawn its Manthey car and will not send several of its factory drivers involved at Le Mans over COVID concerns), BMW has four potential race-winning M6 GT3 line-ups. There are two Rowe entries (one driven by Brits Alexander Sims and Nick Yelloly), there’s the Walkenhorst machine featuring Pittard, while Schnitzer has entered a car for Augusto Farfus, Martin Tomczyk, Jens Klingmann and Sheldon van der Linde.
Farfus concedes that the “our old lady M6 is not the newest car of the field”, but is confident that “this year is definitely the year we are best-prepared ever”.
“I really think we can fight for the victory,” he said. “The level is getting higher and higher. I assume we will have at least 20 clear line-ups capable of winning the race and it is extremely difficult right now to point out who is the real favourite.
“For BMW it’s a very special and very important race, and we have put in a lot of effort. So far we’ve been competitive but Nurburgring is always a surprise box – everything can change in one lap.”