24h Nürburgring 2024: Court rejects Rowe-BMW appeal

The ‘Rowe case’ surrounding the 2024 Nürburgring 24-hour race is over. In its session on Wednesday, July 10, the DMSB Court of Appeal rejected the BMW customer team’s appeal against the classification of the 24-hour race. The final result is now final and the Audi team Scherer Sport PHX retains overall victory in the Eifel classic.

The DMSB said of the verdict after the hearing in Frankfurt: The court, chaired by Rainer Wicke, had stated orally that the race had been correctly ended with the black and white checkered flag.

Since the race director is fundamentally responsible for preventing harm to participants and other participants in the event and Walter Hornung is considered one of the leading motorsport experts in the field of safety, particularly on the Nürburgring Nordschleife, he was able to end the race after 50 laps within the scope of his authority.

In addition, calculations by the organizer, the ADAC Nordrhein, showed that even if the red flag had been used on the 50th lap, the result would not have been any different, as the 48th lap would have been used as the basis for the calculation. According to DMSB information, the 51st lap mentioned by the appellant is considered a cool-down lap and would therefore not have been suitable as a basis for a result.

Appeal at 24h Nürburgring 2024: That’s what it was about

According to the BMW customer team Rowe Racing, the race, with only 50 laps, is the shortest in the history of the The Nordschleife classic was not completed according to the rules. As a result, the minimum pit stop times were not taken into account, the result was to the disadvantage of the team from St. Ingbert. We have explained exactly what this flag issue is all about in this article:

A protest lodged after the race by Rowe-BMW and team boss Hans-Peter Naundorf was rejected by the sports commissioners. In his letter of protest against the interpretation of the result, Rowe stated that the race had been “interrupted” at 3:05 p.m. This usually happens with a red flag, not a black and white checkered flag. In this case, different rules apply to the further proceedings and the classification, as was also seen on Saturday with the red interruption at 11:22 p.m.

However, the stewards on site ruled that this terminology was incorrect. Instead, the race was “finished” at that time. The stewards also noted that Rowe Racing had suffered “no disadvantage” as a result of the “chequered flag being shown too early”. And they continued: “Whether the premature waving of the checkered flag is considered an error or not, the order of passing at that time is decisive.” Therefore, Rowe Racing’s protest was unfounded.

Rowe saw things differently and wanted to provide clarity before the appeal court – and possibly win the overall victory retroactively at the green table. “I would like to make it very clear that our decision to go to the DMSB appeal court is not about us not wanting other teams to be successful,” said team boss Naundorf. “We want the sometimes very complex regulations in our sport to be applied reliably and correctly and that all participants can rely on them.”

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