In the qualifying sessions on Thursday and Friday, the team led by Reiterberger, Michalczyk, Guarnoni and Kenny Foray (France) as the fourth driver to finish second on the grid secured a good starting position for the marathon on the Arden roller coaster. And from the start of the race, it was clear that the #37 BMW M 1000 RR was one of the favorite cars.
Ritterberger, Michalczyk and Guarnoni battled out front, took pole positions multiple times and always stayed in the top three until they finally took the lead during the night. But in the morning the race, which until then had been held in dry summer weather, took a turn. Around 8 am it started raining and the track conditions became more than treacherous. While a few other riders fell, the BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team riders took as much risk as necessary.
They were leading by a wide margin when the race had to be stopped after just over 21 hours due to a huge oil slick on the track. Only after a two-and-a-half hour break, the race resumed for 15 minutes – in the pouring rain. The BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team did not allow the victory to be taken away from them, and at 1pm local time the tension in the potholes gave way to unbridled jubilation.
BMW private LRP Poland finished ninth in the EWC class and tenth overall with the BMW S 1000 RR #90. The bike was driven by Dominic Vinson (Germany), Pepin Bigsterbusch (NED) and Bartlomé Lewandowski (Poland).
Voices over victory at 24H SPA EWC Motos.
Mark Bongers, Director, BMW Motorrad Motorsport: “I am very happy. It was just a great weekend. I am very happy for the team and partners. It was a well deserved win, even after the opening ordeal of the season at Le Mans. We have been working really hard on this project over the past few years, we have worked out a lot of details, and when It was rewarded with an absolutely flawless weekend win, that’s great. It was a very good start and at the start it was a sprint. During the night, the racers had to deal with technical problems or driving errors. And we didn’t allow ourselves to make a single mistake. It was All the stops are in place, we were able to drive the longest on one tank, our drivers were very consistent, reliable and safe even in the toughest conditions.It paid off in the end.Of course, the last two hours after the red flag were very exciting until it was decided to start racing again. Since we had a few laps ahead, all we had to do was bring the bike home.But the tension was still too high, and it was the moment we crossed the finish line and scored our first 24 hour victory for a European manufacturer since 1 971 and the first for BMW Motorrad is more beautiful.”
Werner Daemen, BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team Manager: “The race was amazing. The first hour was a fast race on the superbike and it was really nerve-wracking. The rest of the race: the guys did a great job. I think we are the only team that didn’t make any mistakes. We may not have been the fastest, but we didn’t make any mistakes. In the endurance races at the end. We entered the final minutes by eight laps. It’s a dream come true. For me as a Belgian who said 20 years ago ‘I will come back to win’ It’s a dream. This is something no one can take away from us. A big thank you to the team, BMW And all of our partners and sponsors who made this possible. Without them we cannot do racing. And also, above all, to the drivers who have done a fantastic job.”
Marcus Ritterberger: “I am very happy. Even the preparation for the race was great, with a very good test. We knew we were strong. In my stints I was able to fight really well up front because our bike has real power on the run and is still very economical. We just tried to keep pace. Consistent, make no mistakes and hope nothing breaks. And we made it. Everyone else had falls, mistakes or technical problems. Our team did a great job, the drivers did a good job. I think the whole team, BMW and everyone involved deserve this win. It’s our first win in 24 hours, with a Belgian team coach in Belgium, in such a great circuit. And it was really exciting right up until the end, with breathtaking final minutes. But we made it, and thank you to BMW and the team because everything went Fine “.
Ilya Mikhalchik: “It feels great. This is a very special victory. Aside from the fact that it was my first win in a 24 hour race, it was also the team’s first win – and it was a home race at the time. All the hard work of the team paid off. It was important. Unbelievable and we achieved it all together. I hope we can continue like this in the next races.”
Jeremy Guarnoni: “I am very happy, especially for the team and BMW. Because I think after Le Mans everyone was hoping that we would win at Spa. I am new to this team and to win the second race with them at Spa is unbelievable. The team deserves it so much. They are working hard and now they have got Rewarded for all their hard work during the winter.Elijah and Reeti have also been great on the track.They have always been fast, at night, in wet and dry conditions.I am very proud of them and happy for myself.I have now won all three races on the 24 hour calendar, Which is great. I hope we can fight well in the championship because in stamina you can win until the last minute of the last race.”
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