Team BMW Motorsport back on the road
The Team BMW Motorsport BMW M3 GTRs entered in the 24h-Race Nürburgring have a tough task ahead of them after losing 29 minutes (number 42) and 22 minutes (number 43) in the pits changing their gearboxes that broke on the first lap of the race. However, after the first six hours car no 42 is in 39th position having completed 31 laps and car no 43 is in 161st position having completed 25 laps.
All the drivers, with the exception of reserve driver Marc Duez, have had at least one stint in their cars. However, even though Jörg Müller started the race in car 43, on his first stint he only managed half a lap before stopping on the track. Because he was in one of the most inaccessible parts of the 25 kilometre track he was not able to return to the pits until an hour and a half into the race. The car was taken back onto the track by Dirk, but Jörg is currently driving.
The team was delighted to welcome BMW Motorsport Director, Mario Theissen, to the Nürburgring. Directly after Ralf Schumacher won pole position in Monaco for the BMW WilliamsF1 Team Mario flew directly to the Nürburgring. "I am still on a high after the Monaco pole. What happened here was not a tragedy, it was just bad luck. Our Team Manager, Charly Lamm, is the best in his field. Nobody can do it better. Here the motorsport is more important than winning the race," said Mario.
Hans-Joachim Stuck was still optimistic while he was taking an enforced break for his car to be prepared: "In some ways this is a good thing as now we can drive flat out and make this a very hard test of the car's reliability." With a smile on his face he added: "We can then solve any problems and keep going to make sure we have the perfect car for next year!"
Despite Hans-Joachim's enthusiasm, Team BMW Motorsport has made no future plans for the cars, as Mario confirmed when he said: "We have not even thought about participating in the 24 hour race next year. We are currently concentrating on the next 18 hours."
Car No 42 - BMW M3 GTR
Hans-Joachim Stuck (GER)/Boris Said (USA)/John Nielsen (DNK)/Marc Duez (BEL)
Car No 43 - BMW M3 GTR
Jörg Müller (GER)/Dirk Müller (GER)/Claudia Hürtgen (GER)/Marc Duez (BEL)
Positions after 6 hours: 1. Reuter/Scheider/Tiemann/Strycek (Opel Astra V8 Coupe) 5h 52m 58.682s 36 laps, 2. Wendlinger/Abt/Nissen/Werner (Audi Abt TT-R) 5h 53m 00.637s 36 laps, 3. Zakowski/Lamy/Lechner (Dodge Viper) 5h 50m 22.905s 35 laps, 4. Price/Grossmann/Vosse/Bennett (Porsche 996) 5h 55m 02.973s 35 laps, 5. Asch/Schoysman/Kinoshita/Tanaka (Nissan Skyline GT-R) 5h 59m 48.237s 35 laps, 6. Grohs/Scharmach/Fischer/Reisert (Porsche 996) 5h 55m 03.130s 34 laps.