ROWE RACING finishes on the podium after tyre drama and strong charge in “their” ROWE 6h ADAC Ruhr Cup race
BMW DTM driver Philipp Eng and BMW works driver Tom Blomqvist win second place / #99 BMW M6 GT3 the fastest car at the VLN highlight at the Nordschleife
St. Ingbert, 18th August 2018 – ROWE RACING finished in second on the podium after a strong charge in “their” ROWE 6h ADAC Ruhr Cup race. The #99 BMW M6 GT3 of BMW DTM driver Philipp Eng of Austria, who made his first appearance for the St. Ingbert team after his promotion to the DTM at the start of the season, and British BMW works driver Tom Blomqvist was the fastest car in the field of more than 160 cars at the 5th round of the VLN Endurance Championship. However, unlucky tyre damage prevented the potential fifth win for ROWE RACING at the traditional highlight of the VLN Endurance Championship.
From third on the grid, Eng delivered a strong performance over the first few laps to catch up with the Black Falcon Mercedes that started from pole position and piled the pressure on the front-runner. Shortly after the first driver change during the second pit stop, Blomqvist took the lead, but the team’s celebrations were short-lived. A slow puncture meant that the son of former World Rally Champion Stig Blomqvist had to complete almost a whole lap of the Nordschleife at a slower pace while returning to the pit to change the tyre. This saw the #99 lose more than two minutes in total and drop from first to fourth place.
With a strong combative performance from the whole team, Blomqvist and Eng kept on working their way up through the field until they were in second place. They were unable to improve further due to a necessary additional brief pit stop fifteen minutes before the end of the race. Afterwards, Eng confidently brought second place home, behind the Black Falcon Mercedes. This was ROWE RACING’s second podium of the 2018 VLN season after the victory at the 2nd round of the VLN, and the second second-place in a row, 20 days after the 24 Hours of Spa.
Hans-Peter Naundorf, team principal ROWE RACING: “That was a fantastic achievement by the whole team today, the drivers were highly motivated and delivered a great performance. We did really well in the race and were the fastest car in the entire field. Unfortunately, we noticed a loss in tyre pressure shortly after entering the Nordschleife and Tom had to keep reducing speed to make it to the pist. That cost us more than two minutes in total, and on top of that, the unplanned pit stop messed up our rhythm, meaning that we had to make another refuelling stop shortly before the end. Overall, we are very happy to have finished on the podium from fourth on the grid. It was an exciting race for all the fans at the Nordschleife, and was a big show down to the wire. All in all, it was a fabulous season for us at the Nordschleife. We have made it onto the podium in every race we finished.”
Tom Blomqvist, #99 ROWE RACING BMW M6 GT3: “The team did a great job, the car was really great. Philipp did a great job. Unfortunately, sometimes these things just happen. But we have to be happy with finishing the race in second with this puncture because we lost a lot of time.”
Philipp Eng, #99 ROWE RACING BMW M6 GT3: “Congratulations to Black Falcon on a great job, even in qualifying, where they were really fast. It was a good race for us as well; every lap was so much fun. Tom was flawless, the team was flawless, unfortunately, we suffered tyre damage at the rear right, which set us back slightly. No idea if it would have been enough if it weren’t for that but we are pleased with second place. Many thanks to the team.”