SIXTH PLACE FOR ROWE RACING AFTER A STRONG RECOVERY PERFORMANCE TO START THE GT WORLD CHALLENGE EUROPE
Dirk Werner, Julien Andlauer and Klaus Bachler in the #99 Porsche 911 GT3 R gain four positions during the race / Bad luck ahead of qualifying
ROWE RACING made a positive start to the GT World Challenge Europe with a strong recovery performance. At the first Endurance Cup race in the race series formerly known as the Blancpain GT Series, the St. Ingbert team reached sixth place at the historic Imola circuit in Italy with their #99 Porsche 911 GT3 R. The newly formed ROWE RACING driving trio of German Porsche works driver Dirk Werner, French Porsche Young Professional Julien Andlauer and Porsche specialist Klaus Bachler from Austria gained a total of twelve positions during the three-hour race.
ROWE RACING had prepared well for the debut on the 4.909-kilometre circuit at the legendary Autodromo Dino e Enzo Ferrari but was unable to show true potential in qualifying. Repairs to underfloor damage caused when going wide during pre-qualifying were only completed just before the start of the qualifying session, robbing the team of the time required to configure the ideal setup. Posting a time 0.544 seconds slower than the leader saw them drop to 18th on the grid in a competitive field.
Former DTM driver Dirk Werner started Sunday’s race and defended that position before handing over the Porsche 911 GT3 R to Julien Andlauer. The 22-year-old French driver then moved up nine positions on the track and a perfect second pit stop saw the team gain another four places. A rather confused situation after the fourth of five safety car periods saw final driver Klaus Bachler slip back one position when lapping, but he was able to cross the finishing line in sixth place.
The next stop for the Endurance Cup in the GT World Challenge will be a home race for ROWE RACING. The second of the season’s four races will take place on the Nürburgring GP circuit on 6th September.
Hans-Peter Naundorf, ROWE RACING team principal: “Firstly, we are all delighted that the SRO Motorsport Group has successfully developed a hygiene protocol that allows the European racing season to get going. Many thanks to all the members of our team for their exemplary implementation of these guidelines. Moving up twelve positions in this unbelievably competitive field is an immense achievement for the entire team, from the drivers in the cockpit to the pit stop crew, who moved us up by a number of places. We are very pleased that our Junior driver Julien Andlauer made such a good start to the series and has found his feet right away in our team. In the middle third of the race, he also showed that our Porsche 911 GT3 R will certainly be competitive this year. A few other cars were a bit faster today, but we can still look ahead confidently to our home race at the Nürburgring.”