Next pole position and podium for ROWE RACING – then bad luck (hopefully the last of it) in the second race

Very good Saturday followed by double DNF on Sunday at the 24h Qualifiers / Performance on track for the highlight of the season – the ADAC 24h Nürburgring

St. Ingbert, 8th May 2022 – First an impressive Saturday with pole position in a record time, and second and fourth place in the race – then a Sunday ruined by a couple of gremlins. ROWE RACING went through the full range of emotions during the dress rehearsal for the 50th staging of the ADAC 24h Nürburgring on 28th/29th May. The 24h Qualifiers featured a new format with two separate three hour races. The St. Ingbert team again demonstrated the strong performance of the new BMW M4 GT3, but then suffered a disappointing Sunday. Hopefully, the double retirement will be the last misfortune for the team before they cross the finish line at the end of the season highlight.

The weekend began perfectly on Friday evening for ROWE RACING. As he did before the victory in round three of the Nürburgring Endurance Series, Brazilian Augusto Farfus again secured pole position for the first race of the 24h Qualifiers in the #99 BMW M4 GT3. His time of 8:08.421 minutes was the fastest qualifying lap ever on the 25.378 kilometre 24 hour variant of the Nürburgring. South African Sheldon van der Linde put the #98 BMW M4 GT3 fifth on the grid.

In Saturday’s race, Austrian Philipp Eng defended first place, before Britain’s Nick Yelloly was passed on the Döttinger Höhe straight by his compatriot Dan Harper from the BMW Juniors, who also races for ROWE RACING in the GT World Challenge Europe.

As he did in the NLS race, Augusto Farfus closed in on German BMW Junior Max Hesse on his final stint, but the Brazilian then lost a valuable 15 seconds when a lapped car ahead of him failed to recognise the end of a Code 60 zone and only accelerated much further round the track. As yellow flags were still being waved, ‘Gustl’ was not permitted to overtake.

In the end, he missed out on victory by just 10.490 seconds. In the #98 car, Germany’s two time DTM champion Marco Wittmann, Dutchman Nick Catsburg and Sheldon van der Linde finished fourth. The South African came up just 0.794 seconds short of third place after an impressive final spurt.

On Sunday, Sheldon van der Linde and Augusto Farfus were fifth and sixth fastest in Top Qualifying. Marco Wittmann was able to pass one rival and Philipp Eng in the second ROWE RACING car to climb into fourth place at the start. His manoeuvre on Döttinger Höhe on lap three was even more spectacular; Marco Wittmann was first hit from behind at 270 km/h, then passed the two cars in front of him at the same time.

The bad luck for both cars began with the first pit stops. After Nick Yelloly had taken over at the wheel of the #99 BMW M4 GT3, an ABS sensor went on the blink and the Brit was forced back into the pits and out of the race just one lap later. Shortly after that, the #98 returned to the garage after a short loop of the Grand Prix Circuit. There had previously been an ‘unsafe release’ during the driver changeover to Nick Catsburg, which resulted in the #98 BMW M4 GT3 being rammed by another car, after which the driver’s door would not close. After a break for repairs, the car did return to the race. However, the team in the #98 fell back through the field after a time penalty for the ‘unsafe release’ and another for driving too fast in a Code 60 zone.

Hans-Peter Naundorf, Team Principal ROWE RACING: “The 24h Qualifiers weekend taught us a lot ahead of the ADAC 24h Nürburgring. On the one hand, our performance is really good. That was shown emphatically in the two qualifying sessions and race one. However, we still have some homework to do before the big race in three weeks’ time. On the other hand, Sunday again reminded us that, as a team, you cannot afford to make mistakes in such a high standard of motorsport as here on the Nordschleife. I would like to apologise to our drivers for the fact that the technology played up in the #99, and that we allowed the unsafe release with the #98. The apology also extends to the 9und11 Racing team, whose race was also affected. Generally speaking, however, I would rather this happen to us at the dress rehearsal, then hopefully we can make it through the 24 hours without any mistakes at the highlight of the season.”

Augusto Farfus (#99 ROWE RACING BMW M4 GT3): “Saturday’s race was great but a bit difficult at the end due to the rain. I am proud that we stepped onto the podium again, and I am also delighted for the juniors that they won. BMW did an incredible job in supporting them. Maybe we even haven taught them a bit too much. They are called ‘juniors’ but in regards of the past two years they belong to the most experienced drivers here on the Nordschleife. They have speed and talent and there is nothing left you need to teach them in this respect. It is a pity that we had a technical issue in Sunday’s race but I think that overall, we as BMW are very well prepared. The base is very good, but to win the big race you not only need performance but also a lot of luck.”

Marco Wittmann (#98 ROWE RACING BMW M4 GT3): “The weekend was a bit difficult for us in the #98 car. Sheldon van der Linde took strong P5s in both top qualifyings but in the end we lacked a bit of pace in both races, and on Sunday, the collision in the pit lane set us back. Nevertheless we still claimed a strong fourth place in Saturday’s race. My start stint in Sunday’s race was pretty eventful with battles of two, battles of three and high-speed duels. I think we lack a bit of top speed compared to the other manufacturers and this makes life particularly difficult on Döttinger Höhe, but overall it has been a great learning curve for us, we gelled even more as a team and I hope that we can take our conclusions and come back stronger at the 24 hour race. I also hope that we can leave bad luck behind us now and accordingly will have luck in the ADAC 24h Nürburgring. I am looking forward to it, to seeing many, many fans and hope for a good weekend.”



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



Follow us at the track, in the pit and in the break room.