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HISTORY & SUCCESS
ROWE RACING is regarded as one of the best teams in Europe when it comes to endurance racing.
ROWE RACING is regarded as one of the best teams in Europe when it comes to endurance racing. 2020 was the most successful season since the team was founded in 2011: within the space of just four weeks, team principal Hans-Peter Naundorf’s outfit won the two 24-hour classics at the Nürburgring and in Spa – with two different manufacturers. This was the first time this feat had been achieved by a racing team in the modern GT3 era. No other team is able to match the record of ROWE RACING at these two races: three overall victories and four runner-up finishes since 2016.
The ROWE RACING success story began in 2011, when Hans-Peter Naundorf and Michael Zehe launched the team. Zehe, founder of ROWE MINERALÖLWERK GMBH and a big motorsport enthusiast, was looking for a team to run a new GT3 race car, the Mercedes-AMG SLS. In the process, he met Naundorf, who was looking for a new challenge after ten years with the Persson team in the DTM. They founded the Motorsport Competence Group in St. Ingbert. Within the ROWE RACING project, they ran the Mercedes-AMG SLS in the VLN at the Nürburgring-Nordschleife. The team claimed its maiden VLN victory in its very first year. This was followed in 2013 and 2014 by the first appearances on the podium at the 24h race at the Nürburgring, courtesy of two third-place finishes.
One big step forward was the switch to the BMW M6 GT3 at the start of the 2016 season. The first year with the new car produced the first triumph at the 24 Hours of Spa, which the team followed in 2017 with second place in the Nürburgring 24h race the and a runner-up finish in Spa in 2018. From 2019, ROWE RACING has taken a two-pronged approach: as well as the BMW at the Nürburgring, the team also fields the Porsche 911 GT3 R in the Blancpain GT Series, which includes the endurance classic in Spa. And it has done so with great success: in 2019, the team finished second, fifth and seventh. The first season with Porsche drew to a close with second and third place at the FIA GT World Cup in Macau. 2020 yielded the second Spa victory with Porsche, while the BMW M6 GT3 claimed the first overall victory at the Nürburgring – a result it backed up impressively with second place in 2021.
In 2021, the team once again reverted to racing exclusively with BMW, also therefore in the DTM, after the series switched to GT3 vehicles. In this sector, Sheldon van der Linde gained the first pole position for a BMW M6 GT3 in the traditional series at the Lausitzring, before the vehicle had to be retired at the end of the season after six years and numerous successes.
Throughout its history, ROWE RACING has worked with a host of well-known drivers. Alongside former Formula 1 driver, Timo Glock, in the DTM, 24-hour winners Philipp Eng, Maxime Martin, Alexander Sims, Nick Catsburg and Nick Yelloly (BMW), and Earl Bamber, Nick Tandy and Laurens Vanthoor (Porsche), big-name drivers like Thomas Jäger, Jaime Algersuari, Maro Engel and Dani Juncadella (Mercedes-AMG), DTM champions Bruno Spengler, Martin Tomczyk and Marco Wittmann (BMW), and WEC champion Timo Bernhard, Fred Makowiecki and Patrick Pilet (Porsche) have also driven for the team from St. Ingbert.
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