Same again, please! ROWE RACING is out to defend its title at the 24 Hours of Spa (29th/30th June) with Philipp Eng, Marco Wittmann and Nick Yelloly. The team from St. Ingbert will again turn to the three BMW M works drivers from Austria, Germany and Great Britain in the 2024 GT World Challenge Europe, which includes the highlight of the season at the “Ardennes Rollercoaster”. Now in its ninth year with BMW M Motorsport, ROWE RACING can call upon the services of seven top‑class drivers from the squad of BMW M works drivers when it competes at the ADAC 24h Nürburgring (1st/2nd June), the other major 24‑hour classic, drivers including Dutchman Robin Frijns and Switzerland’s Raffaele Marciello for the first time.
When ROWE RACING takes to the grid with the BMW M4 GT3 at the 24 Hours of Spa, the team will have its sights set firmly on a fourth overall victory to go with the ones they achieved in 2016, 2020 and 2023. Philipp Eng could also triumph for the fourth time at the legendary, undulating racetrack in the Ardennes region of Belgium. After finishing runner-up in both the Driver and Team standings in the Endurance Cup within the 2023 GT World Challenge Europe, ROWE RACING is also gearing up for another crack at the overall title in the renowned and strongest GT series in Europe.
In the team’s second BMW M4 GT3, Brazilian Augusto Farfus returns to ROWE RACING in the GT World Challenge Europe after a year away. “Gustl” was only in action on the Nürburgring‑Nordschleife and at the FIA GT World Cup in Macau for ROWE RACING last year, but this year shares the cockpit in the Endurance Cup with BMW M works drivers Dan Harper from Great Britain and Max Hesse from Germany. Augusto Farfus accompanied both his team-mates as a mentor during their time in the BMW Junior Team, and has also started alongside them in the ADAC 24h Nürburgring.
The 2024 GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup kicks off on 7th April with a three‑hour race at Le Castellet in the south of France. Next up for ROWE RACING after the 24 Hours of Spa is the team’s home outing at the Nürburgring on 28th July and a race at Monza (Italy) on 22nd September. Like the season‑opener, both of these races will last three hours. The season finale on 23rd November will, for the first time, be a 1,000‑kilometre race at the Formula 1 circuit of Jeddah in Saudi Arabia.
After finishing second at the ADAC 24h Nürburgring in 2021 and again last year, ROWE RACING is hungry to go one better and add a second overall victory the one they claimed in 2000. Seven top‑class BMW M works drivers are available for the team’s two BMW M4 GT3. Of last year’s squad, Philipp Eng, Nick Yelloly and American Connor de Phillippi will miss the first weekend in June, as they will be in action for BMW M Motorsport in IMSA in the USA. However, the alternatives for ROWE RACING could hardly be stronger, as BMW M newcomers Robin Frijns and Raffaele Marciello will bring a wealth of experience in the “Green Hell” to the table when they make their debut for the St. Ingbert team.
Raffaele Marciello finished third in the ADAC 24h Nürburgring in 2021 and 2023, and secured pole position last year. Robin Frijns came home third in 2017, before taking overall victory in 2022 – together with Dries Vanthoor, with whom he now meets up again at ROWE RACING. Like last year, the Belgian is joined in the team by his compatriot Maxime Martin, Marco Wittmann and South African Sheldon van der Linde, who finished runner‑up together in 2023, as well as Augusto Farfus (winner in 2010). How the seven drivers will be distributed between the two BMW M4 GT3, and who will be in action in the two cars, will be decided at a later date. In total, ROWE RACING can rely on eleven strong BMW M works drivers this year in the GT World Challenge Europe and on the Nordschleife.
“The partnership between BMW M Motorsport and ROWE RACING has been a great success story from year one,” said Andreas Roos, Head of BMW M Motorsport. “Two 24‑hour victories together at Spa‑Francorchamps and one at the Nürburgring – we want to add to that record in 2024 with another strong squad. I am really looking forward to the races together and the fantastic collaboration with Hans‑Peter Naundorf and his team. It is a real shame that not all the BMW M works drivers are available due to a schedule clash. However, I believe that our large, high-class squad means we can still put together really strong teams.”
Hans-Peter Naundorf, Team Principal ROWE RACING: “I am pleased that our partnership with BMW M Motorsport is now entering its ninth year. At its heart is great mutual respect and an extraordinarily loyal collaboration. The fact that we can approach our title defence at Spa with the same winning trio from last year gives us the perfect basis on which to once again challenge for victory there. Two of the three seats in the second car are also unchanged, while Augusto Farfus brings additional qualities, with his driving excellence, wealth of experience and exemplary team spirit. We line up on the Nordschleife with seven BMW M works drivers this year. For the first time, Robin Frijns and Raffaele Marciello, who we have encountered as extremely strong opponents in the past, will start for ROWE RACING at the ADAC 24h Nürburgring. Our whole team is looking forward to working with two such quick and successful drivers, and we welcome them with open arms to the ROWE RACING family.”
Augusto Farfus (BMW M4 GT3, ROWE RACING): “Being back with ROWE RACING is an honour for me. It’s a team with multiple successes at the 24 Hours of Spa. I have an incredible relationship with ‘HP’ and the whole team, so for me it’s a pleasure to drive for them. We have a strong line‑up, and I think a great result is ahead of us.“
Robin Frijns (BMW M4 GT3, ROWE RACING): “Last time I started on the Nordschleife in 2022, I won the 24‑hour race together with Dries Vanthoor. I am now really looking forward to my debut for BMW M Motorsport. It is one of the biggest motorsport events in Germany, and the fans there are particularly enthusiastic. It is never boring for a driver on the Nordschleife. I am excited to see how my debut in the BMW M4 GT3 goes.”
Raffaele Marciello (BMW M4 GT3, ROWE RACING): “I am really looking forward to returning to the Nordschleife – particularly with BMW M Motorsport and ROWE RACING, as they share an impressive history of good results there. I have never won the race, only finished on the podium so I am really hoping for a strong race. First of all, however, I must prepare really well with the team and in the car, which is new to me.”