ROWE RACING makes the perfect start to the 2023 Nordschleife season with a win

Maxime Martin and Dries Vanthoor guide the #99 BMW M4 GT3 to first place in the 68th ADAC Westfalenfahrt / Successful debut for the two Belgians
St. Ingbert, 18th March 2023
– The start could hardly have been better. ROWE RACING kicked off the 2023 Nordschleife season with a win and an impressive team performance. The two Belgian BMW M works drivers Dries Vanthoor and Maxime Martin guided the #99 BMW M4 GT3 to victory in the 68th ADAC Westfalenfahrt – the opening round of the Nürburgring Endurance Series (NLS) and the first race with this car in the “Green Hell” for both drivers. For Dries Vanthoor, it was the perfect debut with the St. Ingbert team, while the win also marked the perfect comeback for Maxime Martin, 1,994 days after his last race for ROWE RACING. After a total of 28 laps, the Belgian duo crossed the finish line 6.435 seconds clear of their closest rivals in an Audi.
The duo performed well in Saturday morning’s qualifying, with Vanthoor third and Martin seventh and backed up that performance in the opening stages of the race. Following a good start, Vanthoor steered the #98 BMW M4 GT3 onto the Nordschleife in first place, and maintained that lead for the opening lap, while Martin ended in third place in the #99 car.
As the team only had these two drivers available for both cars this weekend, they had to be creative with their strategy. Having led for eleven laps, Vanthoor brought the #98 car into the pits and, after 15 laps, took over at the wheel of the #99 from Martin, who had climbed to second place by this point. Vanthoor took the lead on lap 22, and held on to take the chequered flag despite coming under great pressure from the second-placed Audi right down to the finish. Only on the final lap was he able to pull clear, when he lost less time than his pursuer in two Code 60 zones and in traffic. After a short break, Martin returned to the track for five laps in the #98 BMW M4 GT3, meaning that he completed a total of 20 laps. Vanthoor lapped the Nordschleife 24 times.
“Congratulations to the whole crew on this fantastic start to the season on the Nordschleife, and the great job done during the winter preparations,” said Andreas Roos, Head of BMW M Motorsport. “Congratulations also to Maxime Martin and Dries Vanthoor, who took victory on their first appearance with the BMW M4 GT3 in the NLS.”

The second round of the Nürburgring Endurance Series takes place in two weeks on 1st April.

Hans-Peter Naundorf, team principal ROWE RACING:
“I can swap ‘Welcome to the team’ for ‘Welcome to the podium, Dries and Maxime!’ They both had a superb debut with us in the team. The race was the perfect start to the season, although it was closer than it perhaps looked. There were a lot of crashes and Code 60 periods on the track, which made it tiring and demanding. However, both drivers did a perfect job and we don’t have a single scratch on the cars. As we only had two drivers at the track today, we had to decide whether to just make up the numbers or go for the win. We decided to go on the offensive and, after one and a half stints, put all our eggs in one basket – the better‑placed car – and took the #98 out of the race. The success shows we made the right decision.”
Maxime Martin (ROWE RACING #99 BMW M4 GT3):
“That is a dream result. It was the first time in the BMW M4 GT3 on the Nordschleife for both of us. Dries is totally new to BMW M Motorsport, I am returning. There was just the two of us in two cars – and yet we still won in the end. That is perfect!”

Dries Vanthoor (ROWE RACING #99 BMW M4 GT3): “Everything was new here for Maxime and me, but the car is superb on the Nordschleife. I am excited to see how it gets on in the 24‑hour race. The Audi behind me was pretty strong. I then pushed hard and tried to get clear of it on the final lap. With a little fortune, I was able to open a larger gap thanks to some traffic.”



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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