Challenges at Hockenheim for BMW ALPINA in the GT Masters Series. Paired with 18 year old rookie Jens Klingmann, 24 year old Andreas Wirth and the new BMW ALPINA B6 GT3 tackled their first running of two 60minute races in the GT Masters...
Challenges at Hockenheim for BMW ALPINA in the GT Masters Series.
Paired with 18 year old rookie Jens Klingmann, 24 year old Andreas Wirth and the new BMW ALPINA B6 GT3 tackled their first running of two 60minute races in the GT Masters Series this past weekend on the 4.5km long road course at Hockenheim. This pair of former Formula BMW champions took to the track with optimism, eager to get up to speed with the competition that has been running in the series since April.
The weekend provided its challenges for this young team as they saw their share of firsts; rookie Klingmann with his first taste of "tin tops" and driver changes, Wirth with his first "short race" in the ALPINA, their race car with tires of a stiffer compound than the team have run before, and the team's first run in this competitive series. Despite the trials they faced and the spirit-dampening rain, the team set out to earn itself some points.
Round one on Saturday began from 9th on the grid with the duo of champions crossing the finish line in a disappointing 16th place after some problems during their pit stop. Wirth qualified for Sunday's race with a strong 7th place during a rain soaked session, and the team brought the car home in 6th after some frustration.
Commenting on the weekend Wirth had this to say; "The first race was certainly not as we hoped it would turn out. But overall, considering all of the new stuff we had to work through and the little issues we faced this weekend with different tire compounds and stuff - we're really happy to finish with some points. The team did a great job with the car and dealing with strategy as things changed over the weekend -- all of their hard work is really appreciated and we're only getting stronger every weekend that we hit the track."
Team boss Andreas Bovensiepen also looks forward to the next racing events and is confident that the team's results will improve. While disappointed by the problems the team experienced on Saturday, Bovensiepen reminds us "this is our first season after 20 years, but we're making progress."
Looking to hone his skills and learn more about his new race car, Wirth looks forward to his next race weekend in the FIA GT3 European Championship at Oschersleben on June 19 - 21, 2009.