(C) Axel Weichert

24H NBR 2021

After the first two rounds of the Nürburgring Endurance Series and the 24-hour qualifying race without spectators, fans were finally allowed on the track at the Nürburgring for the first time this year again. After all, up to 10,000 spectators were able to watch the big 24h race on selected grandstands. This gave the event back at least a bit of the feeling all the teams were used to and also put smiles on fan`s faces.

Walkenhorst Motorsport participated with four cars in 2021. The BMW M6 GT3 #100 with Henry Walkenhorst, Friedrich von Bohlen, Jörg Breuer and Andreas Ziegler. The BMW M6 GT3 #101 with Christian Krognes, David Pittard and Ben Tuck and the last BMW M6 GT3 #102 with Jörg Müller, Mario von Bohlen, Sami-Matti Trogen and Kuba Giermaziak. The BMW M4 GT4 #74 with Cameron Evans, Lance Boicelli, David Thilenius and Charlie Postins.

The race event started with the free practice which was followed by the qualifying. The qualifying session was held under slippery conditions with very light rain showers, but the cars were all driving on slicks – it wasn´t wet enough for rain tyres. Because of the light rain, it was a roulette game for the drivers on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife. The Walkenhorst M6 GT3 #102 endet the session on P7, the #101 on P16 and the #100 on P32. In the SP10 class the BMW M4 GT4 ended the session on P5. The car started the race from this position aswell while the M6 cars went directly to the Top-Qualifying. The Top Qualifying at the 24h Nürburgring decides about the starting grid for the 24h Race. After Top Qualifying 1 a massive thunderstorm with enormous rain erupted on the racetrack.

Christian Krognes drove in the Walkenhorst Motorsport BMW M6 GT3 #101 the 8th quickest time in Top Qualifying 1. Because of that, the #101 didn´t qualify for Top Qualifying 2. Only the four fastest vehicles slip into the final session. 16 Cars were entered before in Top Qualifying 2 after their speed in the races before the 24h race. Position 14 at the End of Top Qualifying 1 goes to Sami-Matti Trogen in the BMW M6 GT3 #102. The BMW M6 GT3 #100 was pre-entered in Top Qualifying 2. But the session was moved by 15 minutes after the thunderstorm hit the track. Because of the weather the car didn´t start in the session. Walkenhorst Motorsport didn´t want to risk any incidents before the race.

The big 24 hours started on Saturday. It was a brutal start for the 24h race at the Nürburgring, Changing wheather conditions ended in heavy rain showers all over the track. Many accidents and spins overshadowed the race in the first two hours. Unfortunately also the PRO car of the team had an issue after a contact. Even though the team did their best to repaid the car, the #101 was two laps behind.

However, the track dried quickly. The first drivers soon switched to slick tyres. With a lap time of 8:28.183, Sami-Matti Trogen drove the fastest lap of the race so far in the Walkenhorst Motorsport BMW M6 GT3. The young fin had the Yokohama Slicks mounted to his M6 GT3. Team manager Niclas Königbauer was really happy with the performance of his junior driver. After four hours the car was on P20 after starting from P30.

The weather at the Nürburgring never makes it boring. After some hours the race was dominated by fog which was responsible for a red flag after six hours of racing. It wasn`t possible to restart the race for around 15 hours. Finally, the 24h Nürburgring was restarted at 12:00. The track was completly dry, but heavy fog was still in the air at at some sections of the track.

Final results:

BMW M6 GT3 #101 – P15

BMW M6 GT3 #102 – P12

BMW M6 GT3 #100 – P24 in class

BMW M4 GT3 #74 – P5 in class