The BMW Team Schnitzer M3 of Augusto Farfus, Jörg Müller, Uwe Alzen, and Pedro Lamy finished second in the 24-hour race on the Nürburgring -Nordschleife. The overall win went to the Manthey Racing Porsche of Marc Lieb, Lucas Luhr, Timo Bernhard, and Romain Dumas.
Team Schnitzer’s second M3, driven by Dirk Müller, Dirk Werner, and Dirk Adorf exited the race in the final hour with a mechanical problem; BMW says that it “lost all traction.” The car had a difficult race; it spent about an hour in the pits in the early going because of a brake problem and returned far behind the race leaders.
The Ring race was the last for BMW Motorsport Director Dr. Mario Theissen, whose successor Jens Marquardt takes over on July 1. Theissen’s career began in 1999; the first race on his watch was the BMW V12 LMR’s win at Le Mans. Three of BMW’s nineteen wins in the Nürburgring 24 came in the Theissen years, including the victories in 2004, 2005, and 2010.
Theissen said, “This was once again a dramatic 24-hour race here at the Nürburgring-Nordschleife. Congratulations to the squad of Olaf Manthey. They once more put in a really strong performance this weekend. The course of the race was in many ways reminiscent of last year when we celebrated victory. The big difference, however, was the fact we were able to meet our competition on the same level the entire distance this time – thanks to the meticulous continued development of the BMW M3 GT. Despite some setbacks, we were able to work our way to the front and fight for the victory until the very end. Credit is also due to our second team of drivers who fought their way to 16th from the back of the field until they were forced to retire. For me personally, this was the last race as BMW Motorsport Director. I am happy to say goodbye with such a success for our team. It all started for me at BMW Motorsport with the victory in Le Mans in 1999 – now I can leave with another podium finish at the Nordschleife. Both events mean a lot to me, and, of course, we would have liked to rack up the 20th victory for BMW. But yesterday’s incident unfortunately tipped the scales.”
BMW Team Schnitzer returns to competition this weekend at the Intercontinental Le Mans Series race at the Imola Circuit in Italy, where its cars will be driven by Augusto Farfus/Jörg Müller and Dirk Werner/Pedro Lamy. Werner is substituting for Andy Priaulx, who also sat out the Ring 24. He is recovering from surgery to remove what has turned out to be a benign growth on his thyroid gland.—Brian S. Morgan, motorsports editor, bmwcca.orgBack to News