Rowe-BMW crashes while in the lead after triple crash

The #99 Rowe BMW crashes while leading the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring. Sheldon van der Linde is the victim of a triple crash.

Robert Seiwert

Robert Seiwert

Head of Motorsport

Robert was already writing for sports media before his time at MSM. He has been reporting on DTM, Daytona, Le Mans and other events directly from the racetrack since 2011.MORE

24h Nürburgring, #99 Rowe-BMW, ​​Frijns, S. van der Linde, D. Vanthoor, Farfus
The #99 Rowe-BMW is out of the fight for overall victory, Photo: Gruppe C Photography

It has the first contender for victory in the 24h Nürburgring 2024 caught: After around three hours, the leading #99 Rowe-BMW (Frijns/S. van der Linde/D. Vanthoor/Farfus) crashed on the Nordschleife. Former DTM champion Sheldon van der Linde was hit by the #420 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport while lapping in the Fuchsröhre area and hit the guard rails.

A third car, the #507 1 Series BMW from Giti Tire, was involved in the crash and even overturned. Fortunately, all drivers survived the triple collision unharmed and were able to get out on their own. A bitter end, however, for the Rowe team, which is aiming for its second Nürburgring overall victory in 2020. With the #98 (Marciello/Martin/Wittmann/Farfus), the team led by team boss Hans-Peter Naundorf only has one hot iron in the fire.

BMW M boss after Rowe collision: “Shit happens”

“This is one of those moments that you don’t like to experience,” said BMW M CEO Frank van Meel, who had taken a seat in the livestream team’s commentary booth a few minutes earlier. “Sometimes just a small touch is enough and you can’t control the car anymore. Fortunately, all the drivers are OK. Shit happens.”

The fast van der Linde was on his 22nd lap after starting from P7 and was preparing to lap the 1 Series BMW and the Cayman Porsche. Then the South African lost control of the BMW M4 GT3 after being hit on the left side by the Porsche. On the far left, the small BMW made the track too narrow at that moment. The accident put the #99 Rowe BMW out of the race for victory early. The incident triggered a lengthy Code 60 phase on the Nordschleife.

Driver uninjured after triple accident

“Sheldon is okay,” said Rowe’s teammate Robin Frijns gave the all-clear after the crash. “That was very unfortunate. The sister car had a small accident in the first qualifying and the team had to work all night. Up until then everything was going great, we didn’t risk too much. Then Sheldon was hit by a Porsche. Unfortunately, that’s part of motorsport.”

After 25 laps, the sister car with starting number #98 was in fifth place. After the first three pit stops and the start of the race in wet conditions, Dennis Marschall in the #16 Scherer Audi (Stippler/Mies/Feller/Marschall) was leading ahead of the #3 HRT Mercedes (Beretta/Bird/J. Owega/Maini).

The third GT3 BMW in the SP9 starting field, the #72 from RMG (Harper/Hesse/Weerts), finished in P3 and put on a great show in the starting phase: Starting from pole position, Dan Harper had to make a pit stop after the formation lap and change from slick to rain tires. The young Brit then made an inimitable comeback to the top 3 of the classification and was at times the fastest car on the track.

© Motorsport Magazine


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