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Sims finishes fifth in gruelling 24-hour race

Alexander Sims celebrated a fifth-place finish at last weekend’s iconic ADAC Zurich Nurburgring 24-Hour race.

The West Wratting driver, who was behind the wheel of the BMW M6 GT3, formed part of a four-man team that also included Philipp Eng, Maxime Martin and Dirk Werner.

It was not all plain sailing for the quartet, who had to negotiate their way through hail showers, icy conditions and mechanical problems to end the race as the highest non-Mercedes car.

The German race track combined the Nurburgring Grand Prix circuit and the legendary Nordschleife to create a 25km route that is well renowned for its unruly conditions.

Starting 15th on the grid after qualifying, Werner took on the first stint, only for the event to be stopped soon after for three hours because of the inclement weather.

After the restart, the Rowe Racing squad suffered electrical problems that had to be fixed by the mechanics back in the pits.

However, upon returning to the race, Sims took on a double shift overnight and worked his way through to field to get the BMW into ninth position.

Further strong drives from Sims and team-mate Martin in the morning saw the gap close on the leaders to just two minutes and although that proved an impossible margin to bridge, Rowe Racing still managed to come home a respectable fifth.

Having failed to finish the race in two previous attempts, 28-year-old Sims was pleased to have lasted the course this time, despite getting so close to a place on the podium.

“It’s a great feeling to get my first finish at the Nurburgring 24-hours, especially in a car like the BMW M6 with Rowe Racing,” said Sims.

“The mechanics and engineers worked tirelessly all weekend and I’m so pleased that we were able to make the finish of the race.

“Unfortunately, due to an electrical glitch from the extreme weather, we were not quite able to fight for a podium position but nevertheless, fifth place is very credible in such a big race.

“On a personal level, I really enjoyed my time in the car.

“The conditions were typically changeable for the Nürburgring and there were some hairy moments at times but our pace was very good.

“It’s been a great experience and one that gives us even more confidence.”

Sims is now taking a week-long break from the sport, which means he will not be in action this weekend.

Then, on June 11 and 12, he will be racing at Silverstone in the first round of the 2016 British GT Championship.

Last year, Sims was part of the Ecurie Ecosse powered by Black Bull team that finished the overall tournament in second position.

That will be followed by a second 24-hour race of the campaign with the Rowe Racing outfit at the Spa-Francorchamps track in Belgium on July 28-31.

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