24h Nürburgring 2024: Rowe-BMW appeals

The shortest race in history is going into extra time: The final outcome of the 24h Nürburgring 2024 will be negotiated before the appeal court of the German Motor Sport Federation (DMSB) in Frankfurt. The Rowe Racing team filed an appeal against a previously rejected protest on Thursday, as it announced to Motorsport-Magazin.com confirmed.

Until the matter is finally clarified, the result of the 52nd edition of the 24-hour race with the victory of the #16 Scherer Audi remains provisional. It could now be several weeks before the DMSB Court of Appeal meets to hear the case and the outcome of the race is changed or maintained by this ruling. Paddock experts are divided on how the extremely complex rule issue surrounding the end of the race will be viewed by independent judges.

Rowe-BMW confirms: 24h race Nürburgring not completed according to rules

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 on Sunday. 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 by Rowe-BMW around team boss Hans-Peter Naundorf on Sunday after the end of the race 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.

24h Nürburgring, #98 Rowe-BMW, ​​Marciello, Martin, Wittmann, Farfus
Rowe-BMW at the 24h race Nürburgring 2024, photo: Gruppe C Photography

Stewards: No disadvantage for Rowe-BMW

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 sees things differently and now wants to bring clarity to the appeals court – and possibly win the overall victory retrospectively at the green table. According to team boss Naundorf, the Rowe team developed a strategy in the race with a pit stop during the five formation laps on Sunday, “which we believe was the right one and with which we would have won the race if all the rules had been followed.” The #98 BMW M4 GT3 (Marciello/Martin/Wittmann/Farfus) is in seventh place in the provisional results.

Naundorf: “It’s not about us not being happy for other teams’ success”

The ‘Rowe Racing case’ has been received in different ways among fans: support and criticism have alternated regularly. “I would like to stress very clearly that our decision to go to the DMSB Court of Appeal is not about us not being happy for other teams to succeed,” team boss Naundorf was quoted as saying in a team press release on Monday after the race.

And he continued: “We want the sometimes very complex regulations in our sport to be applied reliably and correctly and that all participants can rely on them. In our opinion, the race management did not end the race in accordance with the rules. We want the DMSB Court of Appeal to clarify this matter.”

According to Naundorf, he has “received a lot of support from other teams and manufacturers who assess the events in the same way as we do. All participants, and ultimately the organizers, would benefit from a clarification of the regulations in the future.”

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