West Wratting driver Alexander Sims secured a fourth-place finish with his Rowe Racing team-mates in the second round of the Blancpain GT Endurance Cup, held at Silverstone’s Grand Prix Circuit, Northamptonshire.
In preparation for upcoming endurance race the Nürburgring 24 Hours, Sims contested the round alongside regular Austrian team-mate Philipp Eng and BMW DTM driver Maxime Martin in the Rowe Racing BMW M6 GT3.
The trio will be joined at the legendary endurance race by former DTM driver Dirk Werner, who was unfortunately unable to compete this weekend due to illness.
Sims, Eng and Martin put in strong performances during qualifying at Silverstone. They topped the timesheets in the first and second qualifying sessions but were knocked off the top spot in the third session.
A fastest lap time of 1:58.905 put the team-mates third in the order and secured them a place on the second row of the grid for the weekend’s three-hour race.
Lined up third on the grid, Martin started the race in the #99 BMW M6 GT3. However, after just 13 laps of the 83-lap race while running in fifth the team experienced gearbox issues.
Despite thinking that this might be the end of the race, the team persevered, adapting to the difficult conditions that meant they had to drive in higher gears than ideal.
Sims took over the drive of the #99 during the midpoint of the race, maintaining pace and fifth position before handing over to Eng for the final stint.
With just 20 minutes of the race remaining, the safety car was out on track following an incident. At the restart, Eng managed to get around Dutchman Indy Dontje to climb a place.
In the closing laps he defended his position hard and managed to bring the BMW M6 GT3 across the line fourth.
“We’re all absolutely delighted with this weekend’s result,” said Sims. “There was one point where we thought it might have to stop as we had a gearbox issue but we managed to overcome this; it was a real team effort.
“The competition was tough with a very strong grid of cars, so to get a fourth place is a really good result. Everything is now focused on the Nürburgring 24 Hours and I can’t wait to get out there.”
The strong result at Silverstone added 12 points to Sims’ and Eng’s tally, putting them sixth overall in the Blancpain GT Series standings on 33 points. The Rowe Racing team now has a free weekend before heading to the ‘Green Hell’ of the Nürburgring for its legendary endurance race on 28-29 May 2016.