Australian driver Chaz Mostert celebrates his debut for the team from St. Ingbert / Britain’s Nick Yelloly in action for the second time / Competing with two BMW M6 GT3s
An atmospheric drive into the night awaits ROWE RACING at the third of the season’s five Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup races at the Circuit Paul Ricard in Le Castellet, in the south of France. The 1000-km race is special in two respects: it lasts for six hours with the field of 51 GT3 cars driving into the night and it starts on Saturday afternoon, coming to a conclusion just before midnight. Last year, the #99 BMW M6 GT3 from ROWE RACING led the race at the halfway point, before a technical fault saw hopes of a podium finish evaporate.
The 5.791-kilometre circuit has been resurfaced in preparation for the return of Formula 1 to Paul Ricard for the first time since 1990, and the Blancpain GT Series participants have already had the opportunity to check out the new asphalt during preseason testing. ROWE RACING got to grips well with the new conditions.
The driver line-up for Paul Ricard features one new face: the 26-year-old Australian driver Chaz Mostert will be competing for the St. Ingbert team for the first time. Mostert, who is normally found in the popular Australian V8 Supercars series, has already made his mark in the BMW M6 GT3. Competing in the legendary 12-hour race in Bathurst, he reached the front row of the grid in 2017 and claimed pole position in 2018, as well as leading the race for some time on both occasions. He will be sharing the cockpit in the #98 car on his debut for ROWE RACING with the two BMW works drivers Jens Klingmann from Germany and Tom Blomqvist from Great Britain, who will be appearing for the second time this year after competing in the ADAC Zurich 24h race at the Nürburgring.
Britain’s Nick Yelloly will also be appearing for the second time in the team’s other car. After a successful start at Silverstone, he returned to compete in the Porsche Supercup last weekend and celebrated his first win in that series. The race was part of the supporting programme for Formula 1 and took place in the legendary surroundings of Monaco. At Le Castellet, Yelloly will be sharing driving duties with his compatriot, BMW Motorsport Junior Ricky Collard, and BMW works driver Jesse Krohn from Finland.
The race weekend in the south of France starts with the free practice session on Friday, at 10:50. This is followed by pre-qualifying at 15:40, and both sessions last for 90 minutes. After a one-hour qualifying session at 09:40 on Saturday, the six-hour, 1000-km race starts at 17:45.
Hans-Peter Naundorf, team principal ROWE RACING: “At Le Castellet this weekend, we want to build on last year’s good performance, as we had led the race until a technical problem occurred. However, we are all starting from scratch this season as the circuit has been completely resurfaced. The new asphalt has a high level of grip and the tyres hardly show any wear and don’t deteriorate suddenly. We coped well with that during the tests, but so did our competitors. We have struck a good balance but our BMW M6 GT3 struggles on the two long straights. We are delighted that Nick Yelloly can compete for us again after his good debut performance in Silverstone. He will be very confident after his success at the Porsche Supercup race in Monaco and I hope he will be successful for us. We also welcome Chaz Mostert, who has already had some opportunities to show how fast he can drive in a BMW M6 GT3. We will work as a team and do everything we can to make his debut go as smoothly as possible.”