They finally won their class with a gap of more than one and a half minutes. Even though this sounds like a clear victory, it was the result of a hard work inside the cockpit, performed by the BMW driver trio Dominik Thiemann, Hajo Müller and Jens Riemer. Their efforts were, however, rewarded with a win in class V5 at the season opener of the VLN endurance racing championship Nürburgring. The BMW E35 left its Porsche rivals behind in places two and three. “That was a great race. It was the first time for us to win our class right away at the first race of the season”, said a happy Hajo Müller after the finish of the 62nd ADAC Westfalenfahrt. “A perfect start into the season.”
It was already in the timed practice that the car with start number 450 gave a clear signal of its performance. With an advance of just below four seconds, the trio set the fastest lap time in their class and completed the course in 9:28.879 minutes. An excellent starting position of which start driver Jens Riemer was not able to take full advantage though. The Porsche Cayman of the Team Pixum Adrenalin Motorsport first of all passed the BMW and went into the lead of class V5 for the first laps. Christian Büllesbach, Andreas Schettler and Daniel Zils should also remain the biggest rivals for the BMW trio throughout the four hours racing time.
When, little later, Müller changed positions with Riemer, the tide turned. Müller was pushing very hard and exercised a lot of pressure. He then passed the Porsche and pulled away, gaining a lead of almost one minute in the course of his stint. Final driver Thiemann, too, was 100% reliable after another change of drivers. He even extended the advance and secured the class win ahead of the Adrenalin-Porsche and another Cayman of the Team Prosport Performance (Timo Möllig/ Nicolaj Møller Madsen/ Nico Verdonck). “We knew what we are capable of. We did, however, not anticipate this success in our class as it is normally dominated by the Porsche Cayman”, said Müller. “But we really had a perfect race. We were fast enough to keep our rivals at bay.”
That famous little bit of luck, though, was also part of their success, considering that already after the practice, the BMW suffered some differential problems which the mechanics concealed from the drivers. Müller: “A repair was not possible in the available time. In the end, the differential then failed completely, but fortunately we still made it to the finish.”
The atmosphere in the team was accordingly great, also considering that with 14 starters, the class was very competitive already at the opening round. So the ambitions in the team have now even increased. “Well, we might perhaps be able to fight for the championship in the current season”, said Müller.