24h Nürburgring - 6h report: Audi Sport Team Phoenix in the lead
ADAC Zürich 24h Nürburgring race in first 6 hours of running afforded lots of excitement and dramas to the spectators, but also to the drivers and teams. The race began under grey sky, with with Jörg Müller starting in #26 BMW Z4 GT3 of BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS from pole position.
But he wasn’t leading too long, because Martin Tomczyk in #20 Z4 GT3 of BMW Sports Trophy Team Schubert took the lead in first lap. Third was #19 BMW of Schubert, driven by Dirk Werner.
Three BMWs are in the lead for much of the first hour. A short shower interrupted proceedings a little after the 60 minute mark, and cars took differing strategies with pit stops and tyres changes.
In the early phase two of top-class cars were retired. Number 27 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 of Zakspeed was retired unrepairable damage, and the same reason is for retiring #20 BMW of Team Schubert. Efforts to repair BMW last over three hours, but they didn’t succeed.
Successful was Bentley’s mechanics who repaired #85 Continental GT3 which stopped after 2 hours of racing with damaged front left wheel. Similar problem has #2 Mercedes of Black Falcon which lost left rear wheel and was towed to garage.
On the leading position there was frequent changes because of lots of pit stops. Leaders was #26 BMW of Team Marc VDS, #5 Mercedes of Black Falcon, #30 Porsche of Frikadelli Racing and #1 Audi of Team Phoenix.
After six hours of racing and 40 laps leading crew are last year’s winners Haase/Mamerow/Rast/Winkelhock in Audi R8 LMS of Team Phoenix. Second were Schmitz/Huisman/Pilet/Bergmeister in #30 Porsche of Frikadelli Racing and third were Mies/Sandstrom/Muller/Vanthoor in #28 Audi of Team WRT.