Second race in the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup / Two BMW M6 GT3s, five BMW works drivers and one new face / Memories of the chase in 2017
ROWE RACING’s tour of historic European circuits continues: after the “Royal Park” in Monza and the ADAC Zurich 24h race on the Nürburgring Nordschleife, the second race in the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup is approaching on Sunday (20th May) in Silverstone. Around 110 kilometres northwest of London, the circuit is the cradle of Formula 1 and is known as the “Home of British Motor Racing”. Once an ultrafast airfield track with a relatively simple layout, the most recent redesign in 2010 transformed Silverstone into a versatile and modern Formula 1 circuit that still retains its original high-speed character.
The team from St. Ingbert will be travelling with fond memories of England, after putting on a spectacular chasing performance at last year’s event. Starting from 32nd on the grid, the #99 BMW M6 GT3 made up 25 places during three hours of racing to finish seventh. This time last year, BMW works driver Jesse Krohn was in the team’s other car to witness this outstanding performance and this time around, he will be at the wheel of #99. Just as at the Nürburgring last weekend, the “flying Finn” will be supported by Connor De Phillippi from the USA, while Jens Klingmann will be the third driver in the cockpit.
There will also be a new face in the #98 car: BMW works driver John Edwards from the USA and BMW Motorsport Junior Ricky Collard from Great Britain will be joined by his compatriot Nick Yelloly, making his debut for the ROWE RACING team. Having started out in formula categories and progressed to GP2, the 27-year-old driver has most recently been competing in Porsche one-make cups, finishing second overall in the 2017 Carrera Cup. Last weekend, he claimed sixth place in the Porsche Supercup, part of the Formula 1 supporting programme. He is well acquainted with Silverstone, as he enjoys regular driving sessions in the simulator at the Force India Formula 1 headquarters right next to the circuit. In 2017, he already had the chance to gain some experience in the BMW M6 GT3 during test drives at the Lausitzring.
The Silverstone race weekend starts on Saturday with the free practice session (10:45 CET) and pre-qualifying (15:45 CET). The 60-minute qualifying session takes place at 09:45 CET on Whit Sunday and the race starts at 15:00 CET.
Hans-Peter Naundorf, ROWE RACING team principal: “Of course we are still dwelling a bit on our performance at the Nürburgring 24-hour race, but diving straight back into work is always a good distraction and helps to get over the disappointment. When you are looking forward and concentrating on the next task, you don’t think about “could, should and if” any more. We are happy that we have got the chance to show our true colours again in Silverstone right away. The circuit is very quick and has a lot of fast turns, which suit our BMW M6 GT3. We put on a great chasing performance last year and that was almost as good as a win for all of us. We want to take this memory and record another top 10 finish and I would have no objection to taking the shorter and less difficult path to this kind of result. It’s great to be welcoming a new face to the team, in the shape of Nick Yelloly, and we will do our best to help him settle in as quickly as possible.”