The third race of the Digital Nürburgring Long Distance Series powered by VCO on Saturday saw two top finishes for the BMW Z4 GT3. After three exciting hours of racing, position two went to the BMW M Motorsport Customer Racing Team Walkenhorst Motorsport with the 34 number car. The BMW Bank team with BMW works driver Bruno Spengler (CAN) followed in third place. A total of eight BMW Z4 GT3s were in the race.
Once again, the professional racing drivers and the Sim racers delivered a thrilling long-distance race on the virtual Nürburgring-Nordschleife (Germany). In the end, the #189 BMW Z4 GT3 from the BS + COMPETITION team, driven by BMW works driver Philipp Eng (Austrian), Alexander Voß and Laurin Heinrich (both German), crossed the finish line in first place. Due to a violation of the rules, however, a time penalty was imposed, which caused the vehicle to fall back to sixth place. The MAHLE Racing Team was thus rated as the winner.
The #34 BMW Z4 GT3 from Walkenhorst Motorsport moved from third to second place. David Pittard, Sam Michaels and Scott Michaels (all British) had worked their way from the eighth place in the race to the top three. Spengler and his teammates Nils Koch and Kay Kaschube (both German) succeeded in catching up in the BMW Bank #107 BMW Z4 GT3 after a turbulent initial phase. They reached the finish in fourth place and subsequently took third place on the finish line.
“After my victory on Thursday in the IMSA iRacing Pro Series, it was great to be driving here on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife now,” says Spengler. “I learn a lot from my teammates here, especially in qualifying, I’m still not where I want to be. But in the race I got better with every lap. Unfortunately I was turned over twice in the first laps and we fell far behind. I then improved to eleventh place again, and my two teammates Nils Koch and Kay Kaschube did a great job and brought us up to fourth place. Due to the unfortunate punishment for Philipp Eng and his team, we ended up third.
BMW works driver Eng and his teammates Voß and Heinrich were among the favorite in the #189 BMW Z4 GT3 from BS + COMPETITION. In the final phase, they were confidently in the lead and were the first to reach the finish line after three hours before being punished for breaking the rules at the pit stop.
“We really had a great race. The exit with the subsequent time penalty, which cost us the win, is of course somewhat sad,” said Eng. “Unfortunately we didn’t change all the tires at the pit stop because we weren’t aware of the change in the rules. That was unfortunate and not a bad intention, but of course our mistake. Still, the pace of the car was great. Everyone on the team did a great job.”
BMW Team Green Hell was also unlucky with the two BMW works drivers Martin Tomczyk and Jens Klingmann (both German). The #112 BMW Z4 GT3 was involved in an accident in the first lap and was damaged so badly that they had to stop for repairs. They then used the rest of the race distance to prepare for the next run.
Results BMW Z4 GT3 – Run three of the DNLS powered by VCO.
2nd place overall / 2nd SP9: # 34 Walkenhorst Motorsport (David Pittard, Sam Michaels, Scott Michaels)
3rd place overall / 3rd SP9: # 107 Team BMW Bank (Bruno Spengler, Nils Koch, Kay Kaschube)
6th place overall / 6th SP9: # 189 BS + COMPETITION (Philipp Eng, Alexander Voß, Laurin Heinrich)
19th place overall / 15th SP9: # 108 VRS Coanda Simsport (Jesse Krohn, Martti Pietilä)
20th overall, 16th SP9: # 112 BMW Team Green Hell (Martin Tomczyk, Jens Klingmann)
27th place overall / 18th SP9: # 113 BMW Junior Team (Neil Verhagen, Dan Harper, Max Hesse)
53rd place overall / 21st SP9: # 35 Walkenhorst Motorsport (Mikkel Jensen, Christian Krognes)
57th place overall / 22nd SP9: # 118 VRS Coanda Simsport (Marc Basseng, Jörn Schmidt-Staade, Paschalis Gkergis)
Interesting facts about Sim Racing:
In the current pandemic situation, simulator racing is becoming increasingly popular. In Sim races, the drivers sit at their racing simulators at home. In races with virtual driver changes, the driver hands the vehicle over to his teammate, who is based in another city, another country or even on another continent. Apart from the g-forces, the physical requirements are almost as high as in real racing cars. In the event of an accident, the vehicle must wait in the pits for repairs and then a time corresponding to the damage before it can go back on the track. The race management can also issue time penalties.
One of the special features of sim racing is that professional racing drivers from real motorsport can start together with professional sim racers. And the proximity to the fans is also very great. You can follow the action live on the internet and on various social media channels, for example on the Facebook and YouTube channels of BMW Motorsport.