Published on September 1st, 2015 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
BMW Motorsport Juniors gain valuable experience at the 24 Hours of Zolder
It was the highlight of the season for the BMW Motorsport Juniors: the first race together at the 24 Hours of Zolder (BE). Victor Bouveng (SE), Louis Delétraz (CH) and Trent Hindman (US) alternated with their head instructor Dirk Adorf (DE) at the wheel of the BMW M235i Racing, eventually coming home 15th overall after 710 laps. The quartet finished ninth in the BMW M235i Racing Cup class.
After Thursday’s qualifying was dominated by heavy rain, Zolder was at its best in summery conditions for the start of the race on Saturday. Bouveng lined up 24th on the grid for the first stint, which took place in ideal racing conditions. In the first third of the race, the team lost time in the garage due to an electrical fault and seriously worn brakes. After that, the number 246 BMW M235i Racing ran without any problems. The Juniors completed flawless stints and clocked consistent lap times as they made up many places. All 11 BMW M235i Racings that started the race finished in the top 20 overall.
Far more important than the final result was the valuable experience that the BMW Motorsport Juniors gained at the iconic circuit in Flanders. This was the first endurance outing for all the Juniors except Bouveng, who contested the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring with the BMW M235i Racing media car and is a regular in the VLN Endurance Championship. As well as the unique challenges of a 24-hour race, the youngsters also experienced how to look after the car when driving it twice round the clock, how to act as a team, and how to share a car. The four-kilometre circuit in Zolder does not have a long straight and demands maximum concentration from the drivers. Given the traffic encountered during a 24-hour race, with cars of different speeds, this was another important test for the Juniors, and one which they passed with flying colours.
The Juniors’ eventful week had started with a tyre workshop at Dunlop. The Official Partner of BMW Motorsport is the sole provider of racing tyres for the BMW M235i Racing, and offered the talented youngsters a glimpse of what goes on behind the scenes at its production facility in Hanau (DE). The Juniors were particularly interested in the elaborate and precise manual work that goes into producing the racing tyres.
Bouveng must wait no longer than next weekend for the next highlight of the BMW Motorsport Junior programme. He will contest the seventh round of the VLN Endurance Championship at the wheel of a BMW Z4 GT3 fielded by Walkenhorst Motorsport, who was also responsible for the Juniors’ BMW M235i Racing in Zolder. The young Swede will deputise for Jesse Krohn (FI): the “BMW Motorsport Junior of the Year 2014” is in action in the European Le Mans Series with BMW Sport Trophy Team Marc VDS.