Rowe’s #98 machine completed a detailed second in what was the shortest-ever operating of the German endurance basic final weekend, less than nine seconds behind the winning Manthey Racing Porsche in a three-and-a-half hour dash to the flag.
The sister #1 M6 that had began on pole and led when the race was resumed after a delay of greater than 14 hours on account of fog was compelled to retire with downside.
Previous to the race BMW formally unveiled its next-generation M4 GT3 automobile in full livery, revealing the brand new machine will make its race debut later this month within the Nurburgring Endurance Sequence (previously VLN) earlier than being made out there to clients in 2022.
Meaning the M6 GT3, which was first launched in 2016, will possible solely be campaigned by privateer groups if in any respect subsequent season.
Van der Linde, who shared the #98 machine with Connor de Phillippi, Marco Wittmann and Martin Tomczyk, advised Autosport he was happy to offer the M6 a podium in its closing Nurburgring 24 outing as BMW’s flagship GT3 automobile.
“It was an effective way to finish the final 12 months of the M6 on the Nordschleife,” stated van der Linde, who will proceed to race the M6 within the DTM this 12 months with Rowe.
“We confirmed once more, despite the fact that it’s older than the opposite automobiles, we have been capable of get on the rostrum, and the win was on the playing cards at one stage I feel.
“We have been main with one and a half hours to go, however we obtained caught in a Code 60 [slow zone] and we misplaced round 15 seconds, which was what we would have liked to get forward of the Porsche.
“We have been quick all race, we might have deserved it, everybody drove effectively with none errors. I’m comfortable for the staff.”
Podium: third place #98 ROWE Racing BMW M6 GT3: Connor De Phillippi, Martin Tomczyk, Sheldon van der Linde, Marco Wittmann
Picture by: Andreas Beil
Van der Linde was on the wheel of the #98 automobile for many of the closing three hours after taking on from Tomczyk on the first post-restart pitstop.
At that stage, each the BMW and the Manthey Porsche have been on the identical technique, however Rowe elected to come back in two laps earlier on the subsequent cycle of pitstops in a bid to benefit from a Code 60.
That resulted in van der Linde shifting into the online lead, however with an extended closing pitstop hanging over the staff – which proved decisive in permitting Kevin Estre’s Porsche again into the lead.
Explaining the choice to go off-strategy, van der Linde stated: “We have been looking for monitor place, and we timed it effectively as a result of there was a Code 60 at that time, which I cleared as quickly as I exited the pitlane after my cease.
“I feel we timed it effectively, however we misplaced it once more in [another] Code 60. It all the time evens itself out, and we will’t be too upset with P2.”