Youngest total winner of all time: BMW Junior Workforce takes its first victory on the Nordschleife with the BMW M6 GT3.
Nürburg. After four extremely exciting hours of racing, a dream came true for the BMW Junior Team: the first overall victory on the Nordschleife with the BMW M6 GT3. Neil Verhagen (USA), Max Hesse (GER) and Dan Harper (GBR) won the fourth race of the Nürburgring endurance series in 2021. With a brilliant performance they prevailed against strong competition and were thus the youngest team in the history of endurance races, the won at the Nürburgring (GER).
Harper laid the cornerstone for this success in the morning qualifying when he secured second place on the grid for the # 44 BMW M6 GT3. Verhagen was the first at the wheel of the race and kept the trio on course for the podium from the first lap. During Hesse’s stint, some of his lap times were five seconds faster than his closest pursuers. A drive-through penalty, which the team received after a start collision two hours after the start of the race, initially caused the team to fall back through the field. However, this should only be a brief setback.
A good one and a half hours before the end, Harper moved up to the front of the field in the # 44 BMW M6 GT3. He then confidently defended his lead in a gripping duel with the second-placed Audi. When both cars made their last pit stop at the same time around 40 minutes before the end of the race, the Audi briefly took the lead. It only took Harper a few corners to regain the lead as the team cheered. After four hours of racing, the # 44 BMW M6 GT3 was the first to cross the finish line. The car was operated by BMW Team RMG.
“That was a fantastic race,” said mentor Jochen Neerpasch, who watched the events in the garage with fascination. “In the 24-hour race, the guys showed that they belong in the top class. Today, however, they graduated here in style. It was an outstanding achievement. It wasn’t given to them, but it was a very tough race. How they withstood the pressure was impressive. This is by no means a given at this young age. The BMW Juniors have once again shown how well they work together as a team. ”
“I’m just super, super happy. This is a dream come true for all of us, ”said Hesse. “We worked hard all year and were unfortunately not rewarded with the result that our performance deserved. I think we’ve paid the team back a little now. The guys really stepped on the gas. A big thank you also goes to Augusto Farfus, without whom we would certainly not be here now. We are just happy and want to continue like this. ‘
“Max and Dan did a great job; BMW Team RMG and BMW M Motorsport also did a great job for the great car we had, ”added Verhagen. “We just bowed our heads, we got in, we were able to get through the drive-through penalty and bring us back into the lead. It was very impressive. To be the youngest overall winner on the Nordschleife is something very special. It was amazing.’
Harper said of his last hour and a half stint, which turned into an exciting sprint to the finish line: “I had full thrust from the start when I got into the car. I had the Audi right behind me. The whole time, that hour and a half, was very intense. There were a few wild moments on the pitch, but I’m just so proud of the entire team, BMW Team RMG, BMW M Motorsport and of course my team-mates Max and Neil. From last year when the program started until now we’ve come so far together and I think it’s a bit of a fairy tale. I just hope that we can take the top step of the podium together many more times. ‘
The Nordschleife season for Harper, Hesse and Verhagen continues on July 10th and 11th with races five and six of this year’s Nürburgring endurance series.
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BMW – Bayerische Motoren Werke AG published this content on June 26, 2021 and is solely responsible for the information contained therein. Distributed by public, unedited and unchanged, on June 26, 2021 17:18:01 UTC.