The 42nd 24 Hours of Nurburgring has come to an end with Audi taking the win this year. The No.4 Audi R8 LMS of Phoenix Racing finished first after leading for a long period, keeping a 2 minute distance between it and the Mercedes rival cars. Last year’s winner Black Falcon Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 missed the win but managed to finish P2 ahead of yet another Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 of Rowe Racing.
That makes a double podium finish for Mercedes, almost the same as the Mercedes F1 team in the neighboring country Austria, who also won a double podium finish today. It was a battle that lasted for 24 hours and once again proving the rigidity of the German car makers. This was Audi’s second win after doing the same in 2012, Mercedes had its first ever win last year. BMW still has the most number of wins at 19 in the 24 Hours of Nurburgring history.
Aston Martin Racing finished in P5 in the 007 Aston Martin behind team Falken Motorsports and that wrapped up the top five finishes in SP9 GT3 class. McLaren started the race in pole after setting the fastest time during qualifying session. They lost the lead in the early hours to the BMW Sports Trophy Team Schubert BMW Z4 GT3 No.19 while the Black Falcon Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 and the Phoenix Racing Audi R8 LMS ultra ran closely behind them.
The first major crash occurred in less than 90 minutes when the No.3 Phoenix Racing Audi R8 LMS ultra crashed at the barriers in the Hohenrain-Chicane. After five hours of racing, it was clear that the No.66 McLaren MP4-12 GT3 of Dörr Motorsport was not going to let go but so was the Phoenix Racing Audi R8 LMS, the Marc VDS Racing BMW Z4 and the Black Falcon Mercedes SlS AMG GT3.
The Car Collection-SLS AMG GT3 was forced out of the race after a crash involving the Manthey-Porsche No.12. A frustrated Schmersal said, “I will drive home now, listen to the ´football in the radio and look forward to seeing my wife.” When the night fell, the leaders were Phoenix Audi R8 in the lead followed by the Marc VDS BMW Z4 GT3 and the Black Falcon Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 in third. The leading McLaren fell back after suffering technical problems losing the lead to the Germans.
The drivers woke up to a romantic skyline with the Germans still in the lead having completed 98 laps in total. At around 5am in the morning, the Black Falcon Mercedes was leading the Phoenix Audi R8 LMS, with the BMW Sports Trophy team in third. Marc VDS team lost the lead after an accident involving their No.26 car. Meanwhile, Falken Motorsports were in fourth in their Porsche 911 GT3 R while Aston Martin crossed the 98th lap in fifth place with the 007 car.
After 17 hours the Phoenix Racing Audi R8 was in the lead, Black Falcon Mercedes in second and BMW Sports Trophy in third. The Falken Motorsports Porsche was slammed with a 10-second penalty in the pit lanes and lost the fourth place to Rowe Racing Mercedes SLS AMG GT3. It has been a thrilling race for all the drivers. The top spot was dramatically contested by the Germans, in the end Audi took the win.