Published on July 30th, 2016 | by Subhash Nair0
ROWE Racing sees both BMW M6 GT3 in the Super Pole action
On the BMW M6 GT3’s first appearance at the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps (BE), both of ROWE Racing’s cars made it into the Super Pole competition. The best BMW driver on Friday in the top 20 individual time trials was last year’s winner Nick Catsburg (NL) in car number 98.
It took him 2:19.517 to complete a lap of the 7.004-kilometre track. This sees Catsburg, Stef Dusseldorp (NL) and Dirk Werner (DE) start the 68th edition of the 24-hour classic on the ‘Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps’ from 15th on the grid. Clemens Schmid (AT, Mercedes) clinched pole position.
After heavy rain showers in the afternoon, the sun appeared between the clouds now and then during the Super Pole competition. After two fast laps, the second BMW M6 GT3, ROWE Racing’s number 99, secured the 19th starting place. Alexander Sims (GB) achieved a best time of 2:19.865 minutes. Over the course of the race, Sims will share the wheel of the BMW M6 GT3 with Maxime Martin (BE) and Philipp Eng (AT).
BMW Team Italia, headed by team principal Roberto Ravaglia (IT), achieved 48 in qualifying. BMW works driver Martin Tomczyk (DE), who is competing in the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps for the first time in his long and successful career, will share the cockpit of the #15 BMW M6 GT3 with Stefano Colombo (IT), Giorgio Roda (IT) and Max Koebolt (NL). BMW Team Italia is contesting the Pro-Am Cup. Boutsen Ginion Racing is also competing in this class; the team will attack the 24-hour race with the #12 BMW M6 GT3 and the drivers Karim Ojjeh (SA), Julian Darras (FR), Olivier Grotz (LU) and Arno Santamato (FR) from 52nd on the grid.
BMW starts the Ardennes marathon as reigning champion after the BMW Z4 GT3 celebrated victory last season in its last major 24-hour race. After the warm-up on Saturday morning, the race is scheduled to start at 4:30 p.m. CEST. 24 hours later, one of the 65 participating GT3 cars will be crowned the winner.