Three New Zealanders have been confirmed to enter this year’s 24 Hours of Nürburgring with expat Kiwi Tom Blomqvist lining up in the GT SP9 category while series veterans Peter Scharmach and Wayne Moore are set to make their 10th and 26th starts at the German venue.
102 entries have been confirmed to enter the race which has been moved from its traditional start date in May to September due to the global pandemic. Consequently, the race will also be held behind closed doors for the first time in its history.
An eight-time New Zealand Karting champion, Blomqvist is set to enter in a ROWE Racing BMW M6 GT3 partnering DTM aces Marco Wittmann, Lucas Auer and Philipp Eng.
Blomqvist has recorded four visits to the Nürburgring podium in his VLN and N24h qualification races but is yet to crack the top-three in the main race with a best result of fourth in 2017. This year will be his fifth attempt at winning the storied race.
Christchurch resident Peter Scharmach will be contesting his 10th 24 Hour event from the Nürburgring where he will continue his Porsche loyalty by lining up in 911 GT3 Cup car, similar to those seen in the Porsche Supercup series.
Scharmach has never finished on the podium in his class at the race with a best result of fourth on two occasions.
Elsewhere, 68-year-old Moore will be behind the wheel of a VW Golf VI GTI in a three-driver team alongside German pilot Niklas Kry and British racer David Drinkwater.
Wayne’s first Nürburgring 24 Hour race came through an invitation from former New Zealand co-driver of the 1990s Florian Schmidt. He has since gone on to contest 24-hour races in Dubai and Bathurst and boasts a quarter-of-a-century of starts at the historic 25.3km circuit which runs through the Eifel Mountains.
Due to international travel restrictions, this year’s entry list is significantly lower than recent races with factory Toyota and Subaru, and a handful of Asian private teams, forced to withdraw. Toyota has been competing on the Nordschleife since 2007 and had already announced plans to compete in this year’s event with a Lexus LC before the Covid-19 outbreak.
Last year’s champions Phoenix racing will be out to defend their crown with a dual Audi R8 outfit while German giants Porsche, Mercedes and BMW all boast strong entry numbers.
The race will be held a week after the 24 Hours of Le Mans on September 24-27.