ROWE RACING celebrates a fantastic victory at the GT World Challenge Europe season opener

Augusto Farfus, Dan Harper and Max Hesse drive confidently to first place at Le Castellet / Problems with the refuelling system cost the team a potential 1 2 finish

St. Ingbert, 7th April 2024 – What a start to the new season of the GT World Challenge Europe. Just like last year at Monza, ROWE RACING celebrates an impressive victory at the opener of Europe’s most participant‑rich GT series at Le Castellet, southern France.

Veteran Augusto Farfus from Brazil and his two young BMW M factory driver colleagues, Dan Harper from Great Britain and Max Hesse from Germany, gave a flawless performance in the St. Ingbert team’s #998 BMW M4 GT3 and won the race confidently with a 13.519‑second lead. For all three, it was their first victory in the GT World Challenge Europe, and with 25 points each, they now lead the drivers’ standings and ROWE RACING leads the team standings in the Endurance Cup.

Moreover, the team from St. Ingbert could have even achieved a double podium or, like in 2023 at Monza, a 1‑2 finish. However, the three last years winners and later victors of the 24 Hours of Spa 2023, Marco Wittmann from Germany, Nick Yelloly from Great Britain and Philipp Eng from Austria were set back by a refuelling problem during the last pit stop and had to settle for twelfth place after a necessary additional stop.

Augusto Farfus had a good start on his GTWC return to ROWE RACING and pushed forward from fifth on the grid to third place in the first lap. After the first driver change and the end of the fourth safety car period within the first hour of the race, Dan Harper was initially in second place and displaced the leading Lamborghini from the top spot in the 43rd lap with a strong overtaking manoeuvre, which he held until handing over the vehicle to Max Hesse. After the last round of pit stops, Max Hesse was back in first place and then confidently drove to victory.

The sister #98 car started from tenth position. Marco Wittmann had to avoid a spinning competitor after a good start and initially fell back to eleventh place. The two‑time DTM champion then steadily worked his way up to fifth place and was even leading for a lap due to his slightly later pit stop. Nick Yelloly quickly lined up in third place as the second driver, a position he maintained until the last driver change. After the pit stop, which was nearly 19 seconds longer due to refuelling issues, Philipp Eng started a comeback from ninth place and was already back in fourth place with contact to the podium positions when he had to pit for refuelling again in the 75th lap and had to bury hopes for a top result.

Hans-Peter Naundorf, Team Principal ROWE RACING: “That was a fantastic start to the season for the team! Augusto Farfus, Dan Harper and Max Hesse impressively showed today what they’re made of and how well the combination of the experienced mentor and the young guns works. Dan and Max have proved that they are no longer juniors but first‑class and fully‑fledged BMW M factory drivers. All three did a perfect job, drove cleverly, and superbly implemented the strategy. The whole team has shown the mix of routine and enthusiasm needed to compete at the front in this high‑calibre series again this year. I feel sorry for the guys from the #98 car, as they also did a flawless job and would have deserved to be on the podium as well. Unfortunately, there were irregularities with the fuel flow during their last pit stop, which caused them to lose time first and then had to make an additional stop. Without that problem, like last year at Monza, even a 1‑2 would have been possible.”

Augusto Farfus (#998 BMW M4 GT3, ROWE RACING): “It is a great honour for me to share the car with these two amazing guys. This victory is for the entire team. We complemented each other very well. I had a good start and got to third place, Dan took the lead with his overtaking manoeuvre, and Max brought the victory home confidently in the last stint. I have been following the development of Dan and Max from the beginning and now share the car with real professionals.”

Dan Harper (#998 BMW M4 GT3, ROWE RACING): “It’s a very special feeling to win the season opener after we were second last year – just fantastic! A great way to start the year together with ROWE RACING, Augusto and Max. Many thanks to BMW M Motorsport for this opportunity! We worked incredibly well together as a team, had no problems, and all three of us were happy with the driving feel in the car.”

Max Hesse (#998 BMW M4 GT3, ROWE RACING): “That was a fantastic start. This season, 20 Pro cars and some of the best GT drivers in the world are competing against each other, and to win the first race with Augusto, Dan and ROWE RACING is something very special for me. I will remember this day for a long time.”

Philipp Eng (#98 BMW M4 GT3, ROWE RACING): “I am very happy for our sister car. That was a grand victory. The entire team did a super job all weekend. Unfortunately, we didn’t quite have the balance we wanted in qualifying, but the car was really top for the race. It looked like a podium for a long time, if not even a 1‑2 for ROWE RACING and BMW M Motorsport. Then we unfortunately had a problem with refuelling and had to stop again to make it to the finish. Nevertheless, I am very happy for my teammates.”



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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