Nürburgring: Dennis Marschall has weekend to forget in ADAC GT Masters
Dennis Marschall contested races seven and eight of the 2018 ADAC GT Masters for BMW Team Schnitzer at the Nürburgring last weekend. He did really well there in 2017, his debut season, by finishing fourth in the Super Sports Car League. He took his maiden podium for third place last time out at the Red Bull Ring, but this time around, Marschall and team-mate Victor Bouveng were really up against it at the weekend.
It soon became apparent in practice that they would struggle to repeat their excellent result from Austria on this German ‘old-school’ race track. Its layout made finding the right balance for the BMW M6 GT3 a real challenge. In qualifying on Saturday, Marschall managed, nevertheless, to move up into the hotly contested middle of the field of 35 supercars. Qualifying in 16th place, he was less than half-a-second adrift of pole position and was also the second-fastest BMW driver, just a few hundredths down on BMW Team Schnitzer’s sister car.
In the first race, though, their good position on the grid with the prospect of another finish in the points soon proved to have been for nothing. The BMW M6 GT3, bearing number 43, dropped down the field following a collision at the start. Marschall handed the car over to team-mate Bouveng towards the middle of the race. He was eventually forced to retire the stricken vehicle with ten laps to go to the chequered flag.
Marschall’s team-mate, Bouveng, qualified the BMW in 32nd place on Sunday. In the race, they struggled with high temperatures and tyre degradation in the extremely hot weather. As a result, they were unsuccessful in their attempts to work their way up into the mid-field. Marschall crossed the finish line in P29, one place behind the car driven by his BMW Team Schnitzer team-mates.
Marschall will be heading next to the ADAC GT Masters race weekend at Zandvoort in two weeks’ time (17th – 19th August) where he will push hard again to finish in the points on the roller-coaster circuit in the dunes.
Dennis talking about…
… his difficult position at the Nürburgring: “We knew beforehand that the Nürburgring’s track characteristics would not necessarily suit us, and then we had the heat to contend with as well. We could see in practice that it would be problematic, especially on the long runs. Tyre wear was the crunch factor. It’s never been as bad before as it was here, and of course, we could have well done without it in the race.”
… the ray of light in qualifying: “We had a good quali after having a hard time in practice and were very satisfied in the end. We thought that P16 was a really good result, especially as we were in striking distance of the front-runners. Besides, I felt on my lap that even more might have been possible. I didn’t get the line quite right through all of the turns, so there was definitely a bit more potential there.”
… two tough races: “We had a contact in the first race that damaged the car. We continued in order to collect more data, but the car’s balance had been so badly affected by the impact that we realised there was no point in continuing. And then in Race 2, tyre degradation over the distance gradually became more problematic, making it a lost cause. All in all, it was a weekend to forget.”
… the upcoming race at Zandvoort: “I feel fairly confident that things will go better for us at Zandvoort. The circuit has some fast corners that are more suited to the BMW than the passages at the Nürburgring. But quite apart from that, I really like the race track, because it’s old school and is a real challenge into the bargain. There is also, of course, its location in the dunes next to the beach, making Zandvoort an outstanding venue.”