Gosselies, Belgium - 14 May 2013: BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS will arrive at the Nordschleife in competitive shape for the world famous 24 Hours of Nürburgring event. Two BMW Z4 GT3 machines are entered, #25 for Yelmer Buurman, Richard Göransson, Maxime Martin and Andrea Piccini and #26 also with Göransson, joined by Bas Leinders, Henri Moser and Markus Palttala.
The team completed a 24 hour simulation test at Magny Cours in France and find themselves in better shape than ever going into the German enduro. They also completed a significant number of laps at the VLN3 event prior to the 24 Hours, the traditional warm up for those entering the big race. The team also has significant support from BMW Motorsport for their Nordschleife racing in 2013, a hard won honour earned in part by a top four finish on their 24 Hours of Nürburgring debut in 2012.
Buurman, Martin, Leinders, Moser and Palttala are all regular Marc VDS drivers and know each other very well. Piccini and Göransson, like Martin and Buurman, are works supported BMW drivers, and their presence lends experience and pace to the team. They have had plenty of time to acclimatise with their new team and should be comfortable right from the word 'go'.
The race begins on Sunday at 5pm local time and continues until 5pm Monday. The first track action is on Friday. The race is live on the race's official website ww.24h-rennen.de, with English language commentary available on radiolemans.com.
Markus Palttala, #26 BMW Z4 GT3 "We finished 4th on our first attempt last year, so it goes without saying that we want to get on the podium this time around. Having said that, the competition is tougher than ever and we need to get everything right to get there. Despite having done just one round of VLN as preparation at the Nordschleife, we are ready to go. Everyone in the team has been working hard to prepare for what I think is our main event this season and everyone at Marc VDS and BMW Motorsport want to win this race. Last year we were able to match the pace of the leaders on clear ground but lost a bit through traffic as we were playing it safe. Managing traffic and the changing conditions will again be the key this weekend - finding the balance between pushing hard and avoiding trouble. I can't wait for it to start!"
Richard Göransson, #25 and #26 BMW Z4 GT3 "I'm a bit excited. It's always a big challenge, the Nürburgring 24 Hours, and I'd say it's one of the most challenging 24 hour races you can do with all the different speeds of car and levels driver on the entry. It's a big challenge simply to stay out of trouble on the track. The track is so challenging to drive compared to other tracks, and the speed difference of the cars means you have to really be switched on. Add in the Eiffel Mountains, which bring their fast changing weather to the equation, and it's a difficult combination. There's no rest at all on the circuit."
Bas Leinders, Team Principal "You can never be prepared enough for this race! We are well prepared after the VLN race and the 24 hour simulation in Magny Cours, and we have the experience from 2012 so we're in good shape. We also have the extra support from BMW Motorsport. Even all of this combined doesn't guarantee a good result - you never know what will happen. The main difference, to start with, is the track. As a driver, you cannot make any mistakes. On a 'normal' circuit, a more modern track, you always have some margin for error but here the track is fast and there's no run off area, no margin for error, on most of the circuit. Mechanically, if you have a problem, there's probably going to be a huge distance for you to return. That would be a huge delay, and it might even be impossible to return. The objective is to ensure a BMW wins the 24 Hours of Nürburgring."