Fifth place for ROWE RACING at season opener at Nürburgring under very special conditions

Unfortunate race situations set back BMW works drivers Philipp Eng and Nick Catsburg / New procedures well mastered by VLN hygiene concept

St. Ingbert, June 27, 2020 – ROWE RACING looks back on the delayed start to the Nürburgring Endurance Series (NLS) season with one laughing and one crying eye. In the general joy of the entire racing family about the successful restart after the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a clear trace of disillusionment for the team from St. Ingbert about the performance – of the BMW M6 GT3 with Michelin tires compared to the competition. In the end, BMW factory drivers Philipp Eng from Austria and Nick Catsburg from the Netherlands finished fifth despite faultless performances at the wheel of the BMW M6 GT3 with the #99 and were just under two minutes behind the winner of the 51st Adenauer ADAC Rundstrecken-Trophy at the finish.

After sixth place in qualifying, BMW DTM driver Philipp Eng initially got off to a good start and even fought for fourth place, but then had to avoid a spinning car in front of him through the gravel before the first turn onto the Nordschleife to avoid an accident. In the immediate aftermath, he lost valuable ground and dropped back to ninth place in the course of the first lap. As the race progressed, both drivers were unfortunate enough to get caught in Code 60 phases, which cost them further time. On the last lap, Nick Catsburg benefited from a technical problem of a competitor and thus “inherited” fifth place.

The first race of the Nordschleife season was completely new territory for all participants, not only because of the new name of the former VLN. Because of the hygiene concept that the organizers had drawn up as a basis for approving the race, the usual procedures had to be changed. The paddock became an outdoor pit lane, reduced personnel and a far-reaching mask requirement created completely new conditions. These will also apply at the next two races of the season in two weeks’ time. Races two and three will be an unusual double-header for the teams on July 11 and 12.

Hans-Peter Naundorf, Team Principal ROWE RACING: “For us, today was a day with mixed feelings. On the one hand, we are very happy that we were allowed to race again for the first time after the Corona break. The VLN hygiene concept worked very well, the people in charge did a great job and earned the grade 1. I hope that this was also perceived from the outside. All the teams came to terms with the requirements and were able to concentrate fully on the racing action. However, we’re obviously missing the fans, who would give us all an extra boost. And that’s exactly what we could use, because unfortunately not much has changed in terms of the performance and classification of our BMW-Michelin vehicle-tire combination. We had hoped that we would get better material from our tire manufacturer, but we don’t see this improvement compared to last year. So even the faultless performances of our drivers are not enough to finish further in front, which causes some disillusionment in the team. Philipp Eng and Nick Catsburg were top performers as usual in the first race after the long break and reacted perfectly in some situations to avoid accidents. Some other drivers were already driving very hard in qualifying and then also in the early stages of the race. You could almost get the impression that some were still in sim racing mode.”



ROWE RACING celebrates its second podium finish in eight days at the race start on the Nordschleife

Second and fourth places for the team from St. Ingbert at the second round of the ADAC 24h Nürburgring Qualifiers / Podium premiere for Raffaele Marciello in a BMW M4 GT3


First two competitive race appearances of 2024 for ROWE RACING on the Nürburgring Nordschleife

Competing at the ADAC 24h Nürburgring Qualifiers with two BMW M4 GT3s and six BMW M works drivers / Important preparation for the highlight of the season, the ADAC 24h Nürburgring



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