Heidelberg, Germany -- August 25, 2009 -- Andreas Wirth helps put the ALPINA brand back on the top step in motorsport after twenty years. Paired once again with rookie Jens Klingmann, Andreas Wirth and the BMW ALPINA B6 GT3 tackled their second...
Heidelberg, Germany -- August 25, 2009 -- Andreas Wirth helps put the ALPINA brand back on the top step in motorsport after twenty years.
Paired once again with rookie Jens Klingmann, Andreas Wirth and the BMW ALPINA B6 GT3 tackled their second event in the ADAC GT Masters Series this past weekend in the 1000km race on the Nurburgring GP track. Having only briefly tasted the excitement in the GT Masters Series back in June at Hockenheim, the pair of former Formula BMW champions were eager to strap into the #33 once again and prove what they could do.
The stage was set for a spectacular weekend when Wirth's co-driver, Klingmann, drove a dream qualifying lap of 1:58:48 and took pole position for Saturday's race. Using the BMW ALPINA B6 GT3's massive torque to his advantage, Klingmann lead into turn one, pulled away and quickly opened a substantial gap between himself and the highly-favoured Audi R8's. With a fantastic 20-second lead Wirth took over after a perfectly-executed pit stop. Keeping up the blistering pace, Wirth gave his pursuers no opportunity to close in. The duo in their poison green BMW ALPINA B6 GT3 dominated the race and crossed the finish line the clear victors by over 14 seconds.
In discussion with Wirth after the race he explained; "This is really quite an achievement for us -- first of all to get pole ... and then to take the win! This was only the fifth race event for the new car. When you see what we've been able to achieve in ALPINA's first year back in racing, running just one car -- it's awesome when you compare it to the competition that has way more cars and experience. I'm so happy for the team and the whole ALPINA organization because they've worked very very hard to make the car better, and everyone has been working so hard to make it happen -- it was just great for the whole team! For Jens and me, it's a real honour to get ALPINA's first win after their 20 year hiatus -- and it's also great to get my first sports car win in my first season."
With high hopes for Sunday's race, Wirth managed to qualify less than of a second off pole amid a highly competitive field. Unfortunately, despite the strong start to their weekend, the ALPINA team experienced a loss of power after just three laps and were forced to retire. Despite the setback, Andreas seemed unphased; "Sure it's disappointing to have had a mechanical failure after such a great run yesterday, but ALPINA has accomplished so much in the development of this car since the beginning of the year -- we're just thinking about the win. There are still some development plans for improvement, and I'm really looking forward to the rest of the season and for even better things so we can fight hard for a championship next year. For now, I'm just really proud to be a part of ALPINA's comeback."
The ALPINA team prepares now for the next round of ADAC GT Masters Series competition at the Motorsport Arena Oschersleben on October 16-18, 2009
TV Highlights from the ADAC GT Masters Weekend at the Nurburgring can be
viewed on DSF:
Saturday, 29th August 2009 13:15-14:15
Saturday, 5th September 2009 10:15-11:15 (repeat)
all times are Central European Summer Time (UTC+2)