14th May 2018
Tom Blomqvist’s weekend at the Nürburgring ended in disappointment after a time penalty followed by a technical issue ultimately ended the #98 ROWE Racing BMW M6 GT3’s twice round the clock race after being in contention for the race win.
After receiving a late call-up to the annual Nürburgring 24 Hours, Tom joined Nick Catsburg (Netherlands), Richard Westbrook (Great Britain) and John Edwards (USA) in the #98 ROWE Racing BMW M6 GT3 to complete a strong driver lineup.
With the team already through to the top-30 qualifying shoot-out, they used the free practice and two qualifying sessions to fine-tune the team’s race pace and one-lap pace in preparation for the upcoming qualifying and race.
Finishing the two qualifying sessions in 13th and 2nd place respectively, the team’s pace showed promise as John Edwards took control on the #98 for the top-30 qualifying. Posting a 8:12.493-minute lap time, Edwards secured a 14th place starting place for the #98 but, with it being a 24-hour race, starting places weren’t too important.
In the early stages of the race, the #98 BMW M6 GT3 opted for a different strategy, pitting after four laps, and, after three hours, had made their way through the order and into second place. Three more successful hours followed and the #98 consequently led the race on several occasions in the first quarter of the race.
Running in 8th place, the #98 BMW M6 GT3 hit its first setback in the form of a 3:32-minute time penalty for not respecting yellow flags. Falling back down the order outside the top-twenty places, the #98 strung together a great recovery and, after ten-hours, they had fought their way back to inside the top-ten as darkness descended on the Nordschleife.
As heavy rainfall fell on the ‘Green Hell’ through the night, the #98 encountered problems with the electric throttle position and the ROWE Racing team decided to retire the #98 BMW M6 GT after running inside the top-ten.
Tom was disappointed to see the car be retired after looking in contention for a good result at the infamous race.
“It was sad to see our race come to an end because of a technical fault. We had driven a smart race up until that point and were fighting for a podium position. Operationally it was going well, everyone in the team and my teammates were doing a great job - unfortunately, luck just wasn’t on our side.”