For a few more weeks up to 24 Hours Nurburgring, The ADAC 24h Nürburgring Qualifying Competition took place in Nordschleife last weekend. Although the BMW Youth Team dominated all 3-hour races, after a temporary penalty in the second race, it finally had to share the victory with the Mercedes-AMG GetSpeed Team.
Saturday evening’s race started with Philipp Eng in a pole position on the Rowe Racing BMW M4 GT3. The Austrian held the lead in the first hour, but a different strategy from Octane126 gave the Swiss Ferrari team the lead. However, Jontahan Hirschi could not prevent teammates Eng Nick Yelloly and BMW Junior Dan Harper from slipping on a Ferrari at long distances to Aremberg. Half the circle later, at Döttinger Höhe, Harper repeated this trick by passing Yelloly. BMW Juniors Harper, Max Hesse and Neil Verhagen did not relinquish leadership after that and rode without threat to their first 2022 victory.
Eng, Yelloly and Augusto Farfus finished second in the right distance. The position was long anticipated for the # 3 Mercedes-AMG GetSpeed Team – starting from 15th place – but a temporary penalty for a short hole stand pushed the team back to eighth place. As a result, the sister car # 4 of Jules Gounon, Maro Engel and Daniel Juncadella climbed to third place on the platform.
Nick Catsburg he just finished off the podium. In the # 98 Rowe Racing BMW M4 GT3, the Dutchman finished just fourth out of ten GetSpeed Mercedes. Carlo van Dam won a small SP3T class with the Subaru WRX STI team.
A day later it seemed to be another victory for BMW. Christian Krognes had started off the pole after a tough qualifying round and held the lead for the first hour on the # 101 Walkenhorst Motorsport BMW M4 GT3. However, his colleague Sami-Matti Trogen was hit early in his career by a shot that threw the BMW out of the winning battle.
After the two GetSpeed Mercedes-AMG GT3 teams took the lead in the second hour because of a different pit stop strategy, Max Hesse led the BMW Junior Team car after the last hole stopped. Nothing seemed to stop BMW from securing a second victory, with nine minutes left before the youngsters were awarded a 40-second penalty for speeding in Code 60.
With Maximilian Götz 15 seconds behind Hesse on the finish line, the victory was counted for the benefit of the # 3 team Mercedes and Götz, Adam Christodoulou and Fabian Schiller were able to celebrate after a disappointing day.
The two-way victory was out of the question then. Jules Gounon, looking for his colleague Götz, ran out of the way as he was leaving Breidscheid, damaged his car, and had to retire with only a few rounds to go. This gave the BMW Youth Team enough time to beat Christopher Mies in the # 24 Lionspeed by Car Collection Motorport Audi R8 LMS GT3, though it was only one and a half seconds.
In 14th place, Milan Dontje, who competed on Sunday alone, in the # 23 Lionspeed by Car Collection Motorport Audi R8 LMS GT3 was the Dutchman in the best position, with Catsburg retiring at the moment. Van Dam ended his weekend with a second victory in SP3T. Maxime Oosten, one of the young stars in the BMW M2 CS Racing Cup Benelux, won the AT class in the Four Motors Porsche Cayman GT4 CS.
The 24-hour Nürburgring begins on Saturday 28 May.