BMW's British rising star aiming for an LMDh future - Motor Informed
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BMW’s British rising star aiming for an LMDh future

This yr we’re primarily targeted on the GT World Problem, after a yr and a half of driving on the Nordschleife within the NLS. The primary yr was reduce quick with COVID, and this yr we did those previous to the 24-hour race.

Everyone seeking to compete within the Nurburgring 24 Hours will probably do the NLS beforehand, only for observe and preparation for the massive one. However after all, we needed to focus much more on it due to the brand new M4 GT3. My first expertise of the automobile was October final yr. We had a day testing every at BMW’s check monitor in France, after which the subsequent time I received within the automobile was NLS1. So, we actually didn’t get a lot time within the automobile earlier than the race began.

Between NLS1 and the qualifying races for the 24 we modified loads of issues, we made some fairly massive adjustments, and in the meantime within the background BMW was nonetheless growing as a result of it’s such a brand new automobile. Our focus was simply driving time and getting used to it. And by the point the 24 got here we had been in an excellent place with the automobile.

I’ve completed fairly a little bit of growth driving this season. At Portimao we raced with the brand new GT4. We’ve completed numerous simply personal testing. I went to Miramas in France, with the GT4 to check, [fellow BMW junior] Neil Verhagen examined in Germany after which there are different drivers which are testing in Spain – with 12-15 drivers they should unfold the work round.

I used to be the third driver within the GT4 automobile. At that time there are nonetheless so many issues that may go mistaken with the automobile system-wise, and so they’re nonetheless deciding on which suspension firm they’re going to make use of and issues like that. So, we had been giving our suggestions on the positives and negatives of every factor that they had been testing.

I actually loved it and I hope to do much more of it sooner or later. I feel I’ve completed most likely 20 days of growth testing this yr. It’s a unique form of stress, however you continue to have to be completely spot-on. In any other case, they’ll not hold you very lengthy.

It was the appropriate choice to allow us to focus absolutely on the GT World Problem, my team-mates [Verhagen and Max Hesse] and I all actually needed to get on the market and study some new grand prix tracks and do totally different sequence. I’d say it’s the hardest GT sequence on the market, the grid could be very, very robust. Enormous grids as nicely – at Spa I feel there was 60-something vehicles, and over half of them had been absolutely manufacturing unit supported vehicles seeking to win, so it was very, very robust.

Briton Harper is one third of BMW's Junior Team along with Germany's Max Hesse and American Neil Verhagen

Briton Harper is one third of BMW’s Junior Staff together with Germany’s Max Hesse and American Neil Verhagen

Picture by: Alexander Trienitz

Generally, the season has gone very nicely for us because the Junior crew. We completed primary BMW in three out of the 5 rounds. We had been unlucky at Spa with the puncture within the final hour that value us a podium, however we confirmed good potential.

I feel our major letdown now’s qualifying efficiency. In comparison with a number of the different vehicles we simply can not get the outright lap time, however over a race we at all times acquire locations. At Spa, we began 20th and we completed fifth. At Paul Ricard, we began 22nd and we completed fourth. Race tempo and tyre administration is the robust level of the automobile. What they’re engaged on is actual efficiency operating and testing, and I feel at any time when we get that sorted, then we could have a really, excellent package deal.

My purpose for the longer term is to be within the LMDh automobile. We’ve already had our first drive, which was actually cool

The BRDC SuperStars programme has additionally helped me with my growth. Since I’ve been on the programme I’ve been residing in Germany, so it wasn’t simple to get to all of the occasions, however it’s been very helpful. I discuss with Andy Meyrick on the telephone, and so they’ve helped with tuition on sponsorship proposals and negotiation, so it’s helped me with my progress as an expert driver.

My purpose for the longer term is to be within the LMDh automobile. We’ve already had our first drive, which was actually cool. Hopefully, we are able to get extra testing with the automobile all through subsequent yr. They’ve introduced that they may compete within the World Endurance Championship in 2024, in addition to IMSA. So, I feel for 2024, it’s undoubtedly the place I wish to be. If we are able to have one other good yr in 2023 and get extra time with that automobile, then we’ve got a superb likelihood.

Harper has enjoyed learning the ropes in GTWCE this year and hopes to race BMW's LMDh car in 2024

Harper has loved studying the ropes in GTWCE this yr and hopes to race BMW’s LMDh automobile in 2024

Picture by: SRO




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