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Rowe Racing won't enter Porsche in DTM this year

Rowe Racing will not enter a Porsche on top of its existing two-car BMW programme in the DTM, team boss Hans-Peter Naundorf has clarified.

#98 ROWE Racing Porsche 911 GT3-R: Nick Tandy, Earl Bamber, Laurens Vanthoor

The German outfit, best known for its successful exploits in endurance racing, is expanding into the DTM this year with two M6 GT3 cars for factory BMW drivers Timo Glock and Sheldon van der Linde, having been enticed by the championship’s switch to the GT3 machinery.

Rowe Racing also owns a Porsche 911 GT3 R with which it won the Spa 24 Hours last year, and Naundorf was open to the idea of fielding the car in the DTM when interviewed by Motorsport’s com’s sister title Motorsport-Total last month.

"We still have the possibility for a third car, that's true," he said. “Either another BMW, but we also have a Porsche in the garage. The cars are made to be driven on the race track. If someone is interested, we're open to running a third car as well."

Podium: Race winner #99 Rowe Racing BMW M6 GT3: Alexander Sims, Nicky Catsburg, Nick Yelloly

Podium: Race winner #99 Rowe Racing BMW M6 GT3: Alexander Sims, Nicky Catsburg, Nick Yelloly

Photo by: Alexander Trienitz

However, Naundorf now insists that the team will stick to a two-car entry in its first season in the DTM, effectively ruling out the possibility of Porsche making a long-awaited debut in the German category.

“Actually with the Rowe Racing project it’s not an option at all,” Naundorf confirmed at the Hockenheim test. “We considered doing this with two BMWs and we are happy with that. Yeah, I have a Porsche in the workshop and it looks good inside the workshop. So no, there is not an option to run it.”

Nandorf explained that it’s already too late to secure funding for a third car, with the season due to get underway in just over two months' time at Monza in June.

It is understood that BMW is providing minimal support in the DTM this year while its full focus is on the development of the new M4 GT3 challenger, leaving M6 teams like Rowe and Walkenhorst to secure private backing for their cars.

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"We had decided to draw a deadline - and this deadline for us was [Hockenheim] the test event," Naundorf told Motorsport-Total

"We had said ‘until then, we'll wait to see if anything sensible happens’. [Now that the test is over] it's no longer realistic to implement it at this level. We're now doing what we committed to and what was contractually agreed to.

"There were a lot of inquiries coming in [for drivers to race in a third car], but none of them were even remotely financially interesting or financially sound. We now understand that there's not enough money on the market right now to put this Porsche to work.

"You just need more money now because it would be such a [big challenge] to use a car like this at short notice, to make it happen in the next two months. After all, it's supposed to be at the same level as our other projects. At the moment, you can't even get a truck to transport a third vehicle like that. In addition, there is equipment and manpower [to consider].”  

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