It proved to be a tough weekend of racing for us at the infamous Nürburgring circuit.

Testing on Friday was just two laps of the 25km track, and qualifying started at the break of dawn on Saturday. Our BMW M3 GT felt good on new tyres, and I completed the first lap in 9 minutes and 11.3 seconds.

That was a quick start, but knew I could improve on that time. I completed my second flying lap in 9:03.5 which secured us a first place in our category (that gave us 40th place on the grid, a situation only possible when there are 200 cars racing at exactly the same time!)

The race started at noon and I was first in the car as I had done qualifying for the team. The start of these races is chaotic as everybody races down to the first corner trying to get ahead and claim an advantage, beginning on the Grand Prix F1 circuit and then moving out onto the Nordschelife.

With many of the Porsches and cars surrounding me having greater power and straight line speed, it was pretty tough trying to hold on to my initial track position as I’d out-qualified a lot of faster cars, but I managed to retain first-in-class for the majority of my opening stint.

It soon was time for new tyres, fuel and a driver change. The pitstop went smoothly; my co-driver was in the hotseat and I was watching our progress when suddenly a car appeared in our team garage. I thought it was our teammates in the sister car, but my heart sunk when I realised it was ours. He explained later that he’d had been forced to take evasive action to avoid contact with another car and in the fallout had accidentally clipped the tyre wall in the chicane. Unfortunately this left our car limping into the Pitlane with steering damage.

The team jumped onto the car to repair it, but it was too badly damaged to continue. The wheel, steering, and the steering pump all were all affected, and we had to retire us from the race just 1.5 hours in to the 6 hour marathon.

It was a real shame that the things had ended so early for us, but we had demonstrated good progress with the car set up, and the whole team had done a great job throughout the weekend.

I’m looking forward to getting back to the track for my third Nürburgring experience in just two weeks time. Although we didn’t get quite the result we were looking for on this trip, I’m confident we will be able to secure a place on the podium in our next race.

This will be one of the two final races before the huge 24 hours challenge around the Nürburgring held on the 25th-26th June.