Z4 GT3 racers Maxime Martin, Marco Wittmann, and Uwe Alzen—all driving for BMW Team Marc VDS—led a four-car BMW sweep in the six-hour qualifying race for the Nürburgring 24 Hours. The four Z4s from Marc VDS and Team Schubert were not the fastest cars on the grid; they qualified tenth through thirteenth. But they all ran steady races, and after battling with Mercedes and Audi in the first half of the race, the Z4s moved up to dominate the second half as their competitors fell by the wayside.
The win for the Marc VDS Z4 came after a battle with second place finishers Claudia Hürtgen, Jens Klingmann, and Dominik Baumann in a Team Schubert Z4. The only other cars finishing on the lead lap were Z4s: Dirk Müller, Lucas Luhr, Alexander Sims, and Dirk Werner were third in the second Schubert car, while Marc VDS’ second Z4, driven by Markus Palttala, Nick Catsburg, Dirk Adorf, and Bas Leinders finished fourth.
Team Schubert’s Jens Klingmann said, “We concentrated on a set-up that worked better in the race than in qualifying. In qualifying we saw we had a lot of work to do. But we were consistent and reliable, and that's what counts on the Nordschleife. We were also lucky, of course, that our rivals had to contend with problems.”
This was the first year for the qualifying race. The Nürburgring 24 will be run on June 21 and 22.—Brian S. Morgan