Walkenhorst Motorsport to start the 24-hour race at Spa-Francorchamps from fifth and 14th positions – Timo Glock and Jens Klingmann take to the track in the new BMW M4 GT3.

Spa-Francorchamps. Everything is ready for the classic
endurance race in the Ardennes: Walkenhorst Motorsport secured a
promising starting position for the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps
(BEL) in Super Pole qualification on Friday evening. Sheldon van der
Linde (RSA) claimed fifth place in the #34 BMW M6 GT3, Thomas
Neubauer (FRA) finished the final qualifying session in the #35 BMW
M6 GT3 in 14th place.


Van der Linde is sharing the cockpit in the #34 car with Marco
Wittmann (GER) and David Pittard (GBR). Neubauer will be driving the
#35 car with Martin Tomczyk and Timo Glock (both GER). The two BMW M6
GT3s put on a strong performance in Thursday’s multi-session
qualifying, which was red-flagged several times. The average of the
best times for the individual drivers in each car is calculated to
determine qualifying classification. The 20 fastest cars move on to
Super Pole. This posed no problem for Walkenhorst Motorsport, with
fifth place for the #34 car and #35 in sixth.


On Friday afternoon, it was time for a different event, the FANATEC
Esports GT Pro Series race. This sim racing series is a central
element of the FANATEC GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS, which
also includes the 24-hour race at Spa-Francorchamps. Each team
nominates a driver who competes in the race on the Assetto Corsa
Competizione platform and can score points for the real overall
standings. Victory at Spa-Francorchamps went to BMW as Pittard won the
sim race for the Walkenhorst Motorsport team.


Super Pole followed on Friday evening, a shootout with two flying
laps for each car. Rain began to fall just before the start of the
final qualifying session, but the conditions were still conducive to
driving on slicks. The two BMW M6 GT3s went out onto the track, one
after the other. Van der Linde recorded a fastest time of 2:18.590
minutes, which was enough to secure fifth on the grid for him and his
team-mates. Neubauer claimed 14th place, going round in 2:19.011 minutes.


“That was a really good Super Pole for us and that makes me happy,”
said van der Linde. “We are also aware that qualifying is not decisive
at Spa, so I am confident about the race. I think that we’ve got a
good race car, which is what counts. But it was nice to be driving in
Super Pole for the first time. Thanks to the team for placing their
trust in me. Now I am hoping that we can record a great result.”


“It is not easy to compete against the world’s fastest GT3 drivers in
Super Pole, and when you see a bit of rain as you are getting into the
car, things get a bit more tense. But we were still able to push on
dry tyres and the track conditions were good,” reported Neubauer. “Us
BMW drivers had a decent qualifying session, and especially Sheldon
did a mega job so congratulations to him. Our plan is now to make a
good start, then to keep our heads down and avoid making any mistakes.”


The #10 BMW M6 GT3 car from Boutson Ginion Racing, competing in the
Pro-Am Cup, will be starting from 45th position. Jens Klingmann (GER),
Karim Ojjeh (KSA), Jens Liebhauser (GER) and Yann Zimmer (SUI) will be
sharing driving duties in this car.


Right after Super Pole, BMW M Motorsport provided a glimpse of the
future as the new BMW M4 GT3 completed several demonstration laps of
the ‘Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps’. The new GT3 flagship, which will
be competing as of 2022, appeared with Glock at the wheel before
Klingmann took over.


“It was so much fun driving the new BMW M4 GT3 here. Those were my
very first laps in this car, but I have to say that all the hard work
that has been put into this race car has really paid off,” explained
Glock later. “As soon as you get into the BMW M4 GT3, you feel good.
The driving position and the level of driving comfort are just as good
as everything else. The car feels very, very good right away and
delivers convincing driveability. The guys really did some outstanding
work. I am already looking forward to getting some more laps in with
the car, but that was a very positive start.”


“Driving the first demo laps with the new BMW M4 GT3 was definitely
something special,” said Klingmann. “That gives you an idea of what
next year will be like, when we will hopefully be battling for overall
wins with that car. But I think that the demo laps were enough to
realise just how much potential the car has. I can now compare it
directly with the BMW M6 GT3, which I am also driving here this
weekend, and I think that the car gets a great reception in the
paddock. A lot of teams have already shown an interest, which shows
that BMW M Motorsport is on the right path with the BMW M4 GT3.”


The 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps will start on Saturday, 31st July
at 16:30.