Audi captures fifth Nürburgring 24 Hours win in eight years
For the fifth time in eight years, an Audi has won the Nürburgring 24 Hours race. Phoenix Racing’s R8 LMS took the checkered flag after the Manthey Porsche 911 GT3 R that dominated most of the race was hit with a late penalty for speeding under yellow. The winning team of Pierre Kaffer, Frank Stippler, Dries Vanthoor, and Frédéric Vervisch completed 157 laps of the 15-mile track.
After taking the lead over the #6 Black Falcon Mercedes-AMG GT with a pass on the grass, the #911 Porsche led the race for 14 hours straight when Laurens Vanthoor got caught ignoring double yellow flags and doing 172 kph in a zone restricted to 120. A 5:23 penalty put the Porsche back in fourth place, but there was still more drama later in the race.
The #29 Audi from Team Land took the lead but had a flat on lap 139, tearing up bodywork and damaging the cooling system, causing it to retire, putting the #4 Audi with Dries Vanthoor at the wheel into the lead with only about an hour to go.
Then, the #6 Mercedes-AMG in third place crashed with Nico Bastian at the wheel. That gave Kévin Estre in the #911 Porsche second place and the #3 Black Falcon Mercedes-AMG third.
Estre made a furious charge in that last hour, but Vanthoor held him off for the victory, winning by a lap.
BMW had a terrible outing, with five of its six entries dropping out of the race before the halfway mark. The sole survivor, an M6 GT3 run by Falken Motorsport, finished sixth. Nissan likewise had only one GT-R running at the end, the #45 car from Kondo Racing, which finished tenth.
James Cameron’s Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus SCG003C was running the ‘Ring race for the final time and finished ninth.