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Headline:Tough weekend for ALPINA drivers at the NürburgringDate:11/07/2011
Source:The ALPINA Register   (Click Here for more details).News
   
Review:Tough weekend for ALPINA drivers at the Nürburgring

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ALPINA and the LIQUI MOLY Team Engstler experienced a tough weekend at the fourth round of the ADAC GT Masters at the Nürburgring, which was held together with the Truck-Grand-Prix in front of 212.000 spectators. Incidents with competi- tors during the two races prevented Alex Margaritis and Dino Lunardi in the BMW ALPINA B6 GT3 from collecting further championship points. Alex Plenagl und Florian Spengler in the second BMW ALPINA B6 GT3 briefly missed points in race one with a eleventh place finish und retired early from race two after Plenagl had an accident. On a brighter note, championship contenders Margaritis/Lunardi are still second in the drivers ranking behind the Lamborghini of the two Stuck-brothers Johannes and Ferdinand. The LIQUI MOLY Team Engstler is third in the team championship behind Reiter Lamborghini and the Abt Audi.

A neon-green number 95 on the windscreen of the BMW ALPINA B6 GT3 made it clear to everyone why the weekend in the Eifel mountains was so tough for ALPINA and the LIQUI MOLY Team Engstler. The number indicated the weight penalty applied on the Margaritis/Lunardi BMW ALPINA B6 GT3 for the Nürburgring round. After the victory in the last round at Zolder, the championship contenders were heavily loaded- up with penalty (success) weights. On top of that came another 15kg, as the organi- sers changed the Balance of Performance of the BMW ALPINA B6 GT3. The aim of Margaritis/Lunardi was to collect to some points and the first half of race one showed that a top 10 finish would have been possible. But then a Corvette made contact with the right rear of the BMW ALPINA B6 GT3 driven by Margaritis. The rear suspension broke, Margaritis had to retire. Alex Plenagl and Florian Spengler finished the race in 11th position in the 40 car strong field and only just missed the points.

The second race started with a big moment for Plenagl. At the end of the fourth lap, Plenagl had a big off in the last corner, but escaped from a heavily damaged car without injuries. The exact reason for the incident are subject to ongoing analysis. Margaritis was duelling with the Mercedes SLS from Carsten Tilke for several laps for place nine. As a result of close racing first Margaritis spun and a little later also the Mercedes after contact with the B6 GT3. Margaritis managed to finished on a res- pectable eight place, but the stewards penalised Margaritis for the incident with the Mercedes with a 45 second penalty, which dropped the BMW ALPINA B6 GT3 down to 20th position.

„Yesterday, a Corvette drove into my car and the stewards didn’t react. Today I had a fight with a Mercedes which finally spun and I was penalised. That’s not very fair“, Margaritis said after the race. „The fights in the mid field are pretty hard in this cham- pionship, but with all that additional weight we had in the car this weekend, a better position wasn’t possible.“

„We had a hard weekend“, a disappointed Dino Lunardi agreed. „It was not only because of the weight, but also because of the smaller air restrictor, which was applied on the car before the last round at Zolder. At Zolder, it was all about braking and traction, but here the smaller restrictor came into play, which made overtaking very difficult for us. Our objective was to get some points today, that would have been possible. Unfortunately we got a penalty after the race.”

“This weekend made clear that the success ballast-system works, even if that wasn’t favourable for us at all this weekend. After our recent victory at Zolder it wasn’t pos- sible for us to race at the front“, ALPINA managing director and head of motorsport Andreas Bovensiepen said. Fortunately Alex Plenagl escaped from the accident in race 2 without injuries. The BMW ALPINA B6 GT3 proved once again to be a safe race car. This was a though weekend for us, but we will fight back at the next race and will try to retake the championship lead at the Red Bull Ring.”

The next race will take place at the newly reopened Red Bull Ring in Austria. It’s the first time that the ADAC GT Masters will take place in Austria.
Cars:Alpina B6 GT3 Evo 2011 (E63 (11- ))

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