Audi Sport Team WRT wins 24 Hours of Nürburgring
Audi Sport Team WRT is the winner of 43rd ADAC Zürich 24h Nürburgring race at famous circuit which combined Nürburgring Grand Prix Circuit and legendary Nordschleife. This is second in the row victory for Audi and first ever triumph at Nürburgring for Belgian squad.
Well deserved victory is the result of excellent strategy of pits stops and fantastic driving skills of international crew. Drivers for Team WRT were German Christopher Mies, Swedish Edward Sandstrom, Swiss Nico Müller and Belgian Laurens Vanthoor. In #28 Audi R8 LMS they lapped 156 times around 25,3 km long track and were just 40 seconds faster than second placed Team Marc VDS in #25 BMW Z4 GT3. This is smallest gap between P1 and P2 in history of race.
Battle for the victory between those two team lasted about 12 hours, with almost twenty changes on the P1, exchanging the lead at each pit stop. At the end it was deciding factor. In total there was 35 changes on P1, which is all time record for 24h Nurburgring race.
Drivers of #25 BMW who deserved second podium place are Maxime Martin, Lucas Luhr, Markus Palttala and Richard Westbrook. Third in the standings are #44 Porsche of Falken Motorsports with drivers Peter Dumbreck, Wolf Henzler, Martin Ragginger and Alexandre Imperatori. They were also in the lead few hours through the night, after two serious accidents which completely changes standings at the top, because two leading car retired.
First accident happened at 11pm when Frikadelli Racing’s Patrick Pilet had collision with #31 Mercedes of Car Collection Motorsport and then finished in the barrier. Porsche was badly damaged but Pilet luckily wasn’t hurt.
After that #1 Audi of last years winners Team Phoenix was in the lead 14 more laps, but Christian Mamerow crashed at Pflanzgarten and retired. Sister car #4 Audi of Team Phoenix also crashed few laps earlier, when spun on oil at Steilstrecke/Klostertal and was hit heavily by another spinning car.
One more team who has losted both cars are Team Schubert. They started excellent, because Martin Tomczyk at the start took the lead in #20 Z4 GT3 and Dirk Werner was third in #19. Both cars later retired after hitting the barriers and damage was to big to repair.
Some more victims of tough conditions and dangerous track are #27 Mercedes SLS of Zakspeed, #2 Merceds of Black Falcon, #8 Mercedes of Haribo Racing, #22 Mercedes of Rowe Racing, #84 Bentley Continental GT3 and #6 Aston Martin. All they will have a chance next year and now it’s time to celebrate the winners.
1. Audi Sport Team WRT – Audi R8 LMS – Mies/Sandstrom/N. Muller/Vanthoor
2. BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS – BMW Z4 GT3 – Martin/Luhr/Palttala/Westbrook
3. Falken Motorsports – Porsche 997 GT3 R – Dumbreck/Henzler/Ragginger/Imperatori
4. BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS – BMW Z4 GT3 – Farfus/J. Muller/catsbrug/Adorf
5. Black Falcon – Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 – Al Faisal/Haupt/Buurman/Van Lagen
6. Walkenhorst Motorsport – BMW Z4 GT3 – Laser/Cerutti/Edwards/Stuck
7. Audi Sport Team WRT – Audi R8 LMS – Thiim/Joens/Kaffer/Vanthoor
8. Bentley Team HTP – Bentley Continental GT3 – Primat/Bruck/Schmid/Seefried
9. Nissan GT Academy Team RJN – Nissan GT-R GT3 – Buncombe/Hoshino/Krumm/Ordonez
10. Team Premio – Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 – Heyer/Frommenwiller/Huff/Krognes