Marc VDS head for all-new challenge at the Green Hell

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The new format race is a standalone event introduced to better preview the 24 Hours of Nürburgring in a couple of months time.

Gosselies, Belgium – BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS will take on the brand new ADAC Qualifying Race this weekend, as their preparation for the 24 Hours of Nürburgring continues apace. The team will run two BMW Z4 GT3s, with Uwe Alzen, Marco Wittmann and Maxime Martin in #25 and Nick Catsburg, Bas Leinders, Markus Palttala and Dirk Adorf in #26.

Marc VDS, BMW Z4 GT3
Marc VDS, BMW Z4 GT3

Photo by: XPB Images

The new format race is a standalone event introduced to better preview the 24 Hours of Nürburgring in a couple of months time. Teams will take on the Nordschleife for six hours, two longer than the Marc VDS team faced in VLN1, one week prior. The race has some added elements, including some night time driving and use of the 24 Hours’ version of the track layout, slightly different to the VLN version.

It’s a perfect opportunity for the driving teams to work together once more, as this is the first time they will have all driven together on a race weekend. It is the first time both Uwe Alzen and Dirk Adorf will race for Marc VDS.

There is no other challenge in motorsport like the Nordschleife – the track is long, fast, and dangerous, with little or no run off around most of the lap. The cars are even airborne at some parts of the track over small jumps, something seen at no other track Marc VDS race on. The lap is also 26km in length, with a lap time of more than eight minutes. Not for the faint of heart!

The race takes place on Sunday April 6, getting underway at midday.

Bas Leinders, Team Principal: “Every kilometre we can get here is crucial, so we’re raring to go. It’s a great initiative from the organisers of the 24 Hours to do this race, because it also means we can get used to the subtly different structure beforehand. The team gelled very well at the test day, and I’m sure this weekend will only improve those relations we already have. We’re on target with all our goals this season, and I have no reason to believe that will change here!”

Markus Palttala, BMW Z4 GT3 #26: “We already have a couple more VLN rounds than the last year prior to the 24 Hours, but this new race makes sense. We get to drive on the 24 Hours’ version of the circuit, and there's some track time in the dark, which is good for all of us. It’s especially good for Nicky, who hasn't seen it yet. With the six-hour race we also get all four #26 drivers together, while in VLN we rotate the duties. It's a very useful weekend for us and we'll collect all the info we can. Personally, I'm looking forward to having less cars on the track – it's less exciting, but gives a better chance to focus on the setup instead of trying to keep the car in one piece!”

Maxime Martin, BMW Z4 GT3 #25: “I love the Nordschleife, and I can’t wait to get back on track again this weekend. I feel like I know Marco really well now, as we work together both here and as DTM team mates - we have a good understanding. It’s also great to be with Uwe - everyone knows what he brings, and it’s great to share the car with him. This ADAC Qualifying Race seems a good idea to me, it’s a great opportunity to race the full 24 Hour circuit and also drive here in the dark, which is very useful.”

Marc VDS

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Series ENDURANCE
Article type Previews
Tags bmw, endurance, marc vds, markus palttala, maxime martin