Audi has won the 2015 edition of the 24 Hours of Nurburgring for the second year in a row with the #28 Audi R8 LMS of Audi Sport Team WRT. The German team shares the podium stage with the #25 BMW Z4 GT3 which finished in second place and the #44 Falken Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R in third place. Pole winner Augusto Farfus finished in P4 in another BMW Z4 GT3 while the #5 Black Falcon Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 rounded off the top five.
The team of Mies, Sandström, Mueller and Vanthoor are now the 2015 Nurburgring 24 Champions giving Audi three total career wins with the Audi R8 LMS racecar, the first win was in 2012. The #11 Bentley Continental GT3 managed to finish in the top 10 in P8 ahead of the #35 Nissan GT-R GT3. Elsewhere, the #61 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup finished first in SP7 class while the infamous Gazoo Racing Lexus LFA Code-X won SP-Pro class. The #301 BMW M235i Racing took the win in Cup 5 class while the #162 Porsche 911 Carrera won the V6 class.
The race kicked off as soon as Race Director Walter Hornung gave the green light with BMW’s Augusto Farfus leading the field escorted by two other BMW Z4 GT3 cars. After the first pitstop, the order was changed and Bentley moved into second while Audi moved into third. Thus, after the first hour of extreme racing the field was led by the #19 BMW Z4 GT3 of BMW Sports Trophy Team Schubert followed by the #84 Bentley Continental GT3 of Bentley Motors Ltd and #28 Audi R8 LMS of Audi Sport Team WRT.
The second and third hours were even more exhilarating as rain showers began to drop, the fans were treated to powerslides in the wet conditions. Of course this came at a cost especially to the teams with some retiring early such as the #27 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 of Team Zakspeed which ran off track damaging beyond repair. Up to that point the lead was held by the #5 Black Falcon Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 followed by the #26 BMW Z4 GT3 and #30 Frikadelli Racing Team Porsche 911 GT3 R.
Rain began to fall properly after five hours of Green Hell racing, the #26 BMW Z4 GT3 was the biggest loser after missing to change into wets, the team dropped further down into P5. Audi cars were now in the lead with the #1 Audi R8 LMS from Audi Sport Team Phoenix in P1, followed by the #30 Porsche 911 GT3 R and the #28 Audi R8 LMS of Audi Sport Team WRT. The #8 Haribo Racing Team Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 was running P4.
After seven hours the first major incident occurred when the then leading #30 Frikadelli Racing Team Porsche 911 GT3 R crashed out of the race. Thus the lead was taken by the #1 Audi R8 LMS while the #19 BMW Z4 GT3 of BMW Sport Trophy Team Schubert was in P2 followed by the #28 Audi R8 LMS of Audi Sport Team WRT in P3.
After another hour three Audi’s were in P1, P2 and P3. The #1 was leading followed by the #28 and #4; the #25 BMW Z4 GT3 was fourth while the #44 Falken Porsche 911 GT3 was in fifth. The sun began to rise after 15 hours with the lead being held by the #25 BMW Z4 GT3, followed by the #44 Porsche 911 GT3 and the #28 Audi R8 LMS. A total of 94 laps had been completed with 24 lead changes.
17 hours into the race and the lead was still dominated by the Germans – the #25 BMW Z4 GT3 had acquired a 53.61 seconds lead over the #28 Audi R8 LMS while the #44 Falken Porsche 911 GT3 was third. The #5 Black Falcon Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 was running fifth. Meanwhile, the #29 BMW Z4 GT3 set a new lap record of 8:20.770 minutes. After 19 hours of racing the top 10 was made up of Audi, BMW, Bentley, Porsche and Nissan.
Basically the final hours of the race were dominated by the #28 Audi R8 LMS and the #25 BMW Z4 GT3. The #44 Porsche 911 GT3 held onto P3 for the better part of the race having tasted the lead prior to that. The #5 Black Falcon Mercedes-Benz has also remained in the top five for most part of the race.
24 Hours of Nurburgring Top 30 Results