Schnitzer BMW # 43 the quickest in qualifying session one

On Thursday evening, BMW Team Schnitzer set the fastest lap time in the first qualifying session for the 45th ADAC Zurich 24h Race. With his BMW M6 GT3 #43 and with just few more minutes to go, Augusto Farfus, in 2010 the first Brazilian to have won the 24h Race, crossed the line in 8:22.307 minutes, thus being a 10th of a second faster than the previous fastest lap time set by his team-mate Antonio Felix da Costa (Portugal). The quartet of 24h-Race record winners Schnitzer that also comprises Timo Scheider (Germany) und Alex Lynn (UK), was nearly a second faster than the Abt Bentley #38 with line-up war Christer Jöns (Germany), Christian Mamerow (Germany), Jordan Lee Pepper (South Africa) and Christopher Brück (Germany) who needed 8:23,255 minutes for their lap.

“Today’s times don’t really mean a lot,” said Farfus. “We now are the fastest with #43 and #42 also is among the fastest. This is okay for today but tomorrow we have to make sure that we will make it to the Top 30 Qualifying what will allow us to battle it out for the pole position.”

With their results, the two fastest cars set course to the Top 30 Qualifying. To date – after the first two VLN rounds and the 24h qualifying race – 18 of the coveted positions for the time-trial battle for the pole and the best grid positions already have been assigned. And one of these cars is the Schnitzer BMW #42 that finished third, tonight and will be raced by reigning DTM Champion Marco Wittmann (Germany), Tom Blomqvist (UK), Martin Tomczyk (Germany) and Augusto Farfus who will drive both Schnitzer coupes. In addition to the right to contest the Top 30 Qualifying, the 30 fastest cars also will be provided a blue light – mounted for the race behind the windscreen – that will help the slower cars detecting them in their rearview mirrors.

On Friday morning, from 09:30 to 11:30 CEST (08:30 to 10:30 BST), the teams will contest the second qualifying session and afterwards, the times set in the two qualifying sessions will be used to determine the order that is needed to assign the positions still available for the Top 30 Qualifying. The starting positions for the Top 30 Qualifying traditionally will be publicly drawn on Friday from 15:00 to 15:40hrs CEST in the ring°boulevard. And then, at 19:50hrs, the 30 fastest cars begin the chase for the pole. The fans can watch the action live on the Free-to-Air TV station RTL NITRO or – with numerous additional onboard cameras – via the live stream at www.24h-rennen.de.

Quotes pre-event press conference PK

Just a short time to go to the 45th ADAC Zurich 24h Race and the pleasant anticipation of the drivers is increasing. This applies in particular to last year’s winner Maro Engel who is going to contest the race in the Black Falcon Mercedes-AMG GT3 #1 and already got the goose bumps when travelling to the Nürburgring, this year. “If you leave the Autobahn, come here and see all the camp sites it makes you remember last year. The win in 2016 was the most emotional experience in my motor-racing career,” Engel said at the pre-event press conference on Thursday.

Apart from Engel, who made his DTM comeback, this year, the former DTM Champion and 24h-Race rookie Bruno Spengler (Schubert-BMW M6 GT3 #20), two-time 24h –Race overall winner Christopher Haase (Land-Audi R8 LMS #28) and Sven Müller (Manthey-Porsche 911 GT3R #59) also talked about their preparations for the race and their goals. “I had to learn a lot and this still is the case,” admitted Spengler. “You firstly have to contest a race, here, to really be able to match the pace of the fastest. Meanwhile, Haase is about to contest his 10th 24h Race and also knows the special requirements you have to cope with in a 161-vehicle field. “Finding the balance between overtaking and being patient is difficult,” he said. Müller who was born in Bingen but lives in Mainz looks forward to a lot of support. “I already feel at home in the Eifel and a lot of people from my hometown will come here to watch me racing.”

The press-conference quotes at a glance:
Maro Engel (#1, Mercedes-AMG Team Black Falcon): “The 24h Race has boosted my career. I got the chance of making my DTM comeback. This demonstrates the significance the race has got in the motor-racing world. The big advantage at Mercedes is our consistent driver line-up. The agreements and the driver swaps in general work really well. Racing together with the colleagues is big fun. For us drivers, assessing the balance of power is extremely difficult – it’s extremely close, this year. To have the chance of winning you have to deliver a perfect race. It will be extremely thrilling.”

Bruno Spengler (#20, Schubert Motorsport): “For me, this year will be a kind of a learning year. But I have got very competitive team-mates who help me to learn well and fast. I’m looking forward to this race and the new experience. Already yesterday the atmosphere was really great, witnessing the enthusiasm of the fans is just fantastic. Therefore, contesting this race will be even bigger fun. Our first goal: to make it to the Top 30 Qualifying. It definitely is an advantage to previously have driven a smaller car on this racetrack as it helps learning to watch your rearview mirrors. I think it’s a good regulation that you have to learn the track within the framework of the Nordschleife Driving Permit.
Switching from a DTM car to a GT vehicle is not so easy. In the beginning, you always brake slightly too late. So, it takes some time to find the rhythm.“

Christopher Haase (# 28, Audi Sport Team Land): “I have contested nine 24h Races and have experienced quite a lot but the weather conditions last year when the race had to be red-flagged for three hours due to torrential rain and hail were new even to me. .
Therefore I hope for nice weather, this year. To learn racing on the Nordschleife you have to begin with smaller cars. With these cars you partly have got a clearly different racing line than with the GT3 racers. Furthermore you also accustom to the partly huge speed differences between the two car categories. To date, I won the race twice, with the old Audi R8. Not I want to make it to the top step for the first time with the new R8. But achieving this goal won’t be easy as the competition is strong.

Sven Müller (#59, Manthey Racing): “I truly am looking forward to the Nürburgring 24h Race. Thanks to the preparations in the VLN races and at Daytona our team has developed very strong bonds and we are able to really depend on one another. As the Nordschleife is really special and I already raced GT3 cars in the VLN, adapting wasn’t particularly difficult for me. I’m coming from Mainz and feel really at home, in the Eifel. And there are lot of people from my hometown who will travel to ‘The Ring’ to watch me racing. But I wouldn’t call the 24h Race as my home race. There are a lot of other drivers who have covered far more kilometres at the Nordschleife. I’m really proud of being part of such a successful team as Manthey Racing.”

Free practice session: Land Audi R8 LMS #29 sets the first fastest lap tim

On Thursday afternoon, the 45th ADAC Zurich 24h Race  was officially kicked off with the first free practice session. The first fastest lap time on the combination of GP circuit and Nordschleife was set by the Land-Audi R8 LMS #29.

On their fastest lap, Connor de Phillippi (USA), Christopher Mies (Heiligenhaus), Kelvin van der Linde (South Africa) and Markus Winkelhock (Berglen-Steinach) crossed the line in 8:19.006 minutes, thus being more than six seconds faster than their second-placed fellow Audi drivers in the R8 LMS #1, entered by Audi Sport Team WRT. Nico Müller (Switzerland), Rene Rast (Frankfurt/Main), Frank Stippler (Bad Münstereifel) and Frederic Vervisch (Belgium) set a lap time of 8:25.143 minutes. Third place on the time sheets was secured in 8:26.440 minutes by the Falken-Porsche #44, raced by Laurens Vanthor (Belgium), Martin Ragginger (Austria), Jörg Bergmeister (Langenfeld) and Dirk Werner (Würzburg).

“I still opted for a relaxed approach as it was just the free practice session,” said van der Linde who set the fastest lap time with the Audi #29. “Now I hope for a good result in the qualifying session.” From 20:05hrs to 23:30hrs CEST (19:05hrs to 22:30hrs BST) the teams will go out for the first qualifying session and on Friday morning, after the second qualifying session ( 09:30 to 11:30hrs CEST) the last 12 competitors for the Top 30 Qualifying will have been found. And in this session, the 30 participating vehicles will battle it out for the pole and the positions on the first 15 rows on the grid.

BMW Schnitzer: Comeback of the record winners

The 2017 ADAC Zurich 24h Race will bring back a tradition-rich battle: Team Schnitzer makes its 24h-Race comeback as BMW works squad and will have to compete with Manthey-Racing, one the most tradition-rich Porsche squads. Both teams have won the legendary endurance race five times, to date and so, another win would mean to take the sole lead in this ranking. For five years Schnitzer was absent but now the Bavarians are back at the Nordschleife to contest the race with two BMWs BMW M6 GT3: a combination that makes every pundit click his tongue. But following their win in the two VLN races held in the run-up to the 24h Race, Manthey are among the top favourites. And so, the 2017 24h Race also will be the battle of the titans. 

Schnitzer celebrated five Nürburgring 24h-Race wins to date, the first back in 1989. To remind of this triumph, one of Schnitzer’s M6 GT3 vehicles will contest the race in the striking livery featuring of those days, featuring three coloured stripes. And the drivers of the car represent a mix of drivers with a lot of Nordschleife experience (Augusto Farfus, Timo Scheider) and Nordschleife rookies (Antonio Felix Da Costa and Alex Lynn). ”The car looks just great,” beamed Farfus, “When I was a little boy and saw a car with this livery I  knew it’s a BMW racing car.”

The BMW M3 E30 – small but competitive

Charly Lamm already was the Schnitzer Team Principal when the squad secured its maiden 24h-Race win and he loves to remember the BMW M3 E30 the team raced with in those days. “It was a small car with a small engine but a true driving machine,” he said. “When it comes to the horsepower we were inferior to our rivals, such as Ford, Volvo, Jaguar or Rover. But the M3 was on its first lap as fast as on its last. The tyres didn’t degrade and it didn’t consume a lot of fuel. Therefore, we could drive long stints and win the race twice.” And  with Roberto Ravaglia, Emanuele Pirro and Fabien Giroix the team could rely on an extremely competitive driver line-up.

Later, Schnitzer opted for a first multi-year break but from 2003 to 2005 they were back  with the M3 GTR (E46) and celebrated another two 24h-Race wins. Five years later the Bavarian squad contested their next. Brazil’s Augusto Farfus who also is a member of this year’s driver line-up, recalls the year 2010: “We won the race in my first year, in the second we came twice.”

First appearance with a GT3 vehicle

Now Schnitzer returns to the Nordschleife but despite all the successes they rather feel like rookies: “In the few weeks since we are back we had to realise that quite a lot of things have changed,” admits Charly Lamm. The main difference is the GT3 category. “Yes, we have won several editions of the race but a lot of time has gone by since 2011. So yes, we have got a certain level of experience but we also are rookies. After all it’s the first time that we will contest the race with a GT3 vehicle.”

Clever race tactic will be crucial

What will be necessary to add another win to the team’s tally? The Nordschleife and its special characteristics always are of major significance. “The circuit actually is the same,” says Lamm, “The few changes aren’t worth mentioning. But the Nordschleife is a mystery – it’s length and its environment, such as the weather, turn the races here into extremely difficult challenges. “And so, you have to know all the secrets and challenges of the circuit to incorporate them into your operative business.“ Team Schnitzer contested two VLN rounds and a test at the Nordschleife, with the BMW M6 GT3, and still are on the way to getting to know the car. And in addition there is the balance of performance the team has to cope with for the first time. “I don’t know if its boon or bane,”  Lamm says laughing. “The fans are provided a well-balanced field but it’s virtually impossible to open a gap on your rivals. Now it’s important to find your rhythm right at the start and to be one of the front-runners and outpace your rivals as soon as a situation such as a fast driver or the perfect tyre choice or the night offers you the chance of doing so.”

Farfus: “Winning here is more difficult than at Le Mans” 

Meanwhile, the drivers also think about the challenge to come: “The 24h Race has turned into a sprint race,” explains Augusto Farfus. “In the past it was enough to just battle your way through and make it to the finish line and you secured one of the top positions. There is no safety-car and this means that every lost second really is lost. Winning here is more difficult than winning at Le Mans. The circuit is a massive challenge. There are more vehicles and you have to push all the time.”

The drivers: a mix of old hands and young guns 

Antonio Felix da Costa is one of the drivers who will race the BMW with the historic livery and at the same time, it will be his first Nürburgring 24h Race. “I already race for Schnitzer in DTM and it’s just fantastic that I also will race for them at ‘The Ring’,” beams the Portuguese “It won’t be easy for us as Alex Lynn and I are Nordschleife rookies. But on the other hand, Augusto Farfus und Timo Scheider have got a lot of experience.” Farfus even regards the mix as an advantage. “They will opt for a more open approach. As experienced drivers you are so accustomed to everything that you won’t come up with new ideas. The rookies, however, possibly will.”

Top-class grid for the race of the year

Now it’s official: the grid for the 2017 ADAC Zurich 24h Race will feature more top-class competitors than virtually ever. The entry list comprises more than 150 teams and more than 30 of them registered for the top categories of the potential winners.  Therefore, the entry list of these categories is tantamount to the who-is-who of the endurance, GT and touring-car racing aces. Audi, Bentley, BMW, Mercedes-AMG and Porsche all send their works drivers to the race of the year, among them numerous DTM aces, 24h-Race winners and sports-car specialists. Meanwhile, the race also will be contested by costumer teams of these brands as well as by prototype squads representing Ferrari and Renault. They all will be welcomed by more than 200,000 spectators who travelled to the Eifel to witness them racing on the Ascension weekend (25th to 28th May) on the combination of the Nürburgring’s GP circuit and the Nordschleife. They all will be fighting for one of the most coveted trophy available in international endurance racing. And this year, the event features an additional highlight: two rounds of the World Touring Car Championship, WTCC, that will be contested on Saturday, right before the start of the 24h race.  Furthermore, the ‘Rockfestival of Car Racing’ also will entertain the visitors from Wednesday by numerous support-programme highlights aloof from the track.

Predicting a real favourite for this year’s edition of the 24h race is virtually impossible. The grid features just too many squads with top-class drivers, perfectly-practiced racing crews and cars that have got what it takes to win. The defending champions of course will contest the race with the #1 on their car: with Maro Engel, Manuel Metzger and Adam Christodoulou, three of last year’s overall winners are going to once again contest the race for Mercedes-AMG Team Black Falcon. And they will be joined by a new team-mate, Dutchman Yelmer Buurman. Meanwhile, the other Mercedes-AMG GT3 vehicles that will be entered – apart from Black Falcon – by HTP Motorsport und Team Haribo also will be raced by DTM and sports-car aces as well as Nordschleife specialists. “As I see it, the Nürburgring 24h Race is the toughest and most gruelling car race in the world,” says Maro Engel.” More than 30 potential race winners on the grid combined with the most demanding and coolest racetrack on our planet. The reception by spectators, drivers, teams and manufacturers demonstrates the outstanding significance of this race. I think that winning the Nürburgring 24h Race is tougher than winning the Le Mans 24h Race. There they have got just a handful of race-win contenders.”

Competitive teams on the grid
The challengers also are well prepared for their campaign to steal the win from the Mercedes-AMG squads. Audi, for instance, will represented by works drivers racing for Team WRT and Land Motorsport, with further R8 LMS vehicles being entered by very competitive customer teams. And by their win in the 24h qualifying race, local heroes Phoenix Racing also must be regarded as one of the top favourites. Meanwhile, BMW also do their very best to cement their position as most successful brand in the 24h-Race history. Since the maiden edition of the race, back in 1970, the Munich based brand celebrated 19 overall wins and this year, Schubert Motorsport and Rowe Racing are supposed to make it 20. And don’t forget the most successful 24h-Race team that is back after a five-year break: Schnitzer. In the fight for the lead in the all-time record list the Bavarian team also will have to battle it out with their direct rivals in the fight for this title: like Schnitzer, Manthey Racing also secured fiver overall wins to date and with its Porsches 911 GT3 R that are raced by works drivers they definitely represent a force that has got what it takes to become a factor. A fact that has been demonstrated by their two wins in the two 2017 VLN (Endurance Championship Nürburgring) rounds contested to date. Also representing the Porsche colours will be Falken Motorsport and Frikadelli Racing, two teams that demonstrated more than once that they are among the fastest when it comes to racing at the Nordschleife.

Top favourites under pressure
And even beyond the ‘Big Four’ the 2017 Nürburgring 24h-Race entry list is peppered with top-class teams that are determined to give the apparently superior works squads the hardest possible time. The squad around James Glickenhaus, for instance, that will contest the race with two SCG009c prototypes under the team name ‘Traum Motorsport’ did particularly well in the qualifying race. Only a technical failure stopped the team on the way to its first triumph. At the same time, Bentley also is very competitive. Yes, it has to be admitted that the Bentley is the concept-wise oldest GT3 on the grid but entered by Abt and raced by outstanding drivers, the brawny Briton was among the front runners, in the qualifying race. There it also had to compete with independently entered GT3 Ferrari from Switzerland that also will be back for the 24h Race. A glance at the ‘smaller’ categories demonstrates that these classes also feature a lot of top-class team, drivers and cars. Numerous independent cars will fight with one another in the cup classes and entertain the fans with thrilling battles. But there also will be works teams racing in these categories. For instance in the booming GT4 class that is contested by Aston Martin with a works squad while Audi’s R8 is making its debut. Meanwhile, several brands are contesting the event in the production-car category: Hyundai and Subaru are racing in the SP3T and Toyota Gazoo in the SP3 to possibly secure the class win.

WTCC promises top-class entertainment
The fans will be provided a first true highlight even before the ADAC Zurich 24h Race will be started on Saturday afternoon: the World Touring Car Championship, WTCC, once again will contest two championship rounds on the combination of Grand Prix circuit and Nordschleife, with the World Championship even making an exception, for the event at the planet’s most legendary circuit: for once, both races will feature the same distance.  The race distance of both races amounts to three laps and they only will be interrupted by a short repair break. Once again, the WTCC drivers will be joined by their European Touring Car Cup (ETCC) colleagues who will contest the race in an extra starting group. Particularly thrilling: who will follow in the footsteps of Citroën who dominated the Nordschleife action in 2016? Following the retirement of the French manufacturer as works squad, Honda and Volvo Polestar currently have been dominating the World Championship season so far.

Fantastic programme for the fans
Not only the teams, drivers and organisers already have got tingling sensations in the run-up to the 24h Race for quite a while. The visitors also have completed their preparations to once again let the event develop its legendary independent aloof-from-the-track life. On the race weekend the circuit is surrounded by barbecues galore and the countless small and bigger fan groups try to outperform one another with the fanciful presentation of their independent motor-racing festivals. And exactly these enthusiasts are the ones the organisers once again have got numerous highlights for: at the racetrack they will not only witness the two WTCC rounds and the 24h Race but also the classic cars and the younger classic cars of the ‘ADAC Tourenwagen Classic’ as well as the Audi Sport TT Cup makes-cup racers. And the event traditionally will be kicked off on Thursday morning by the RCN (Rundstrecken Challenge Nürburgring) performance exams. Aloof from the track, the action even begins a day earlier: during the ‘Adenauer Racing Day’, fans and drivers traditionally meet on Wednesday afternoon in the heart of the motor-racing city located next to ‘The Ring’. On Thursday, the ring°boulevard hosts the official autographing session. Here, many exhibitors make for an attractive programme and provide information, merchandise products and far more throughout the weekend. In the evening, the 24h-Race night qualifying will fascinate the visitors. The Friday programme features – apart from the first race of the weekend – the crucial qualifying sessions for the WTCC and 24-Race grid positions. The positions on the first 15 rows of the latter will be determined in the evening, in the spectacular Top 30 time trial. A perfect start into the party evening that later will be continued with the pit walk of the fans and the ‘Falken Drift Show’ in the Müllenbachschleife. So, there definitely will be a reason to get bored – and even less so as there is quite a number of further attractions, such as the fan area in the historic paddock. Here, Red Bull entertains the visitors with a motorbike stunt-rider show and Stihl Timbersports with sports wood-chopping. In addition, Falken lets the visitors feel the speed in their drifting taxis and Red Bull are once again active for the fans: this year, the energy-drink takes the Drift Brothers – on Friday and Saturday – to the Nordschleife where they will make the tires smoke on the spectator hot spots of the circuit several times.

Advance-booking tickets available
Those who don’t want to buy their ADAC Zurich 24h-Race tickets only after having arrived at ‘The Ring’ also can purchase them in advance. To do so, just call the ticket hotline +49 (0)180 6 570070. Or you book your tickets online at www.eventim.de or www.nuerburgring.de.

Winners’ press-conference quotes

An amazing race that will be remembered for a long time. Please find below what the drivers of the top-placed teams in the 44th ADAC Zurich 24h Race had to say.

Maro Engel (Winner): “To have won this 24h race means a huge dream come true. It’s just incredible to be sitting here and celebrate the win with these three guys. I’m truly overwhelmed. I have been pushing to the max all the time but there was so much traffic. I came close to despairing. But then I was offered the chance. I exited the Dunlop Kehre on a better line and also was faster in the Schumacher-S and so I was right behind him. I think Christian also was aware of the situation. I assume that he looked into his rear-view mirror. He had the possibility to close the door at the inside – but he didn’t and moved to the right, instead. That was my possibility to brake into the inside. I was aware that if I was going to make a move it had to be a clear move. This meant that I had to put my car completely next to his – and I did so. Then, when I was next to Christian, he turned in and hit me at the rear area of my fender. I can understand his disappointment. Had I lost the race win on the final lap I also would feel sad. Chris and Renger are good friends of mine. I’m really sorry. But I think they knew that I would try to make a move, being that close behind. There was no order to try not

Adam Christodoulou (Winner): “To have won with the entire team is just incredible. When Maro passed Christian I shouted so loud that my voice is nearly gone, now. We demonstrated that you always should give your very best and push to the very end. Finally all the perseverance and all the work of the past years have paid of.”

Manuel Metzger (Winner): “The VLN title already was outstanding but to be here, in the 24h Race, on the top step is just incredible. I’m really proud that the team put its trust in me, thus allowing me to demonstrate what I’m able to achieve. The key to the success this time was the reliability of the entire team.”

Bernd Schneider (Winner): “The competition was clearly tougher than last year. Just take a look at what was going on in the Top 30 Qualifying. The lap times an cornering speeds were just incredible, this time. The work with the team was huge fun. As we weren’t too successful, in 2015, everybody all the teams collaborated to the max, this year. In the race however, it was every team for itself. It’s easy to understand that the team that didn’t win is disappointed but if you see a chance of clinching the win you just have to make use of it. This will be my arguably last win. It was an incredibly tough race. With five perfectly prepared cars, Mercedes-AMG was extremely competitive as team. And the brand-internal competition represented an additional motivation.”

Christian Vietoris (second): “We are truly disappointed to have lost the 24h-Race win on the final lap. We always were among the front-runners. Surviving the opening stages unharmed already represented an achievement. After the retirement of our sister car, we were supported by the entire team. The last hour was truly nerve-wracking. I’m just proud of being part of this team. Currently, the disappointment predominates but now I’m going to sleep and next week, I will travel fully motivated to the DTM race meeting at the Lausitzring.”

Lance David Arnold (Third): “The fact that everybody was racing the same material and all the teams could rely on the services of a top-class driver line-up made thinks so much more difficult. every driver line-up was. To overtake somebody who is as good as you as a driver and races the same car actually is virtually impossible. But joking aside, the performance of our Mercedes-AMG GT3 racers was just great. And the fact that the major part of our competitors eliminated themselves definitely also represented an advantage for us. The car ran flawlessly to the chequered flag – just great.”

Maximilian Götz (third): “Haribo did a fantastic job. We held the first and second positions for a long time. Lance had a close encounter with an Audi in the night but this didn’t mean a disadvantage for us. It was great to see that we partly were able to really outpace the others.”

Jan Seyffarth (Third): “This race will make history for two reasons: the closest finish and the earliest red-flag period. In such a situation, you of course think about the spectators that are camping out there for a week. We had a tough time in those difficult conditions. That alone is a reason to be happy about having come through. The guys and girls that stuck the 24 hours out – in rain, hail and everything else they had to cope with – deserve my full respect. They are the true motor-racing enthusiasts, that is the Nürburgring. That’s why the people come here and that’s why we produce this show.”

Uwe Alzen (Third): “We are extremely proud of finally having made it to the podium. Thanks to the entire Haribo squad that did a perfect job – just as my team-mates that drove flawlessly throughout the race. We have been among the top three for 20, actually even for 24 hours. We all had a lot of fun and cooperated really well. To have made it to the podium in the end was a great reward. I hope that we will continue to possibly also contest the 2017 edition with two cars.”

Mercedes one-two-three-four in the Eifel

Great moment for Mercedes-Benz Eifel. In the memorable 44th ADAC Zurich Mercedes-AMG, the Stuttgarters celebrated a one-two-three-four, spiced up by a last-minute win. In the end, the AMG-Team Black Falcon #4 raced by Bernd Schneider, Maro Engel, Adam Christodoulou and Manuel Metzger won the race after 3,400.65 kilometres with a 5.697 second lead, followed by another three Mercedes-AMG GT3 vehicles. With a fantastic final spurt, Maro Engel passed the previously leading Christian Hohenadel in the HTP Mercedes AMG GT3 #29 with a tough move on the GP circuit to then defend the lead and secure the closest win in the 47 years of the event’s history by defending the lead until he took the chequered. So, Hohenadel and his team-mates, Christian Vietoris, Marco Seefried and Renger van der Zande, had to settle for finishing second. Information on the 24h Race at www.24h-rennen.de.

In front of 185,000 spectators, Mercedes did not only celebrate their second 24h-race success after 2013 but also clinched the best result for a manufacturer since BMW secured all the six top positions in 1998. Behind the four Mercedes-AMG vehicles, BMW (fifth), Bentley (seventh), Audi (eighth) and Porsche (ninth) four other manufacturers also made it to the top 10.

Second triumph for Bernd Schneider
“Incredible that Maro succeeded in making it. I’m lost for words. A just phenomenal feeling. I hadn’t believed that we would be able to turn the table. But I think we deserved it. We had a good race from the lights to the flag. I am giddy with excitement,” said the DTM Record Champion following his second 24h-Race success after 2013. Three years ago, he also won the race with Black Falcon. And now, Mr DTM and his colleagues – and the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 – added a second triumph to the one secured in 2013 with the predecessor, Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3.

For a long time, the HTP squad succeeded in avoiding getting involved in any battles or critical situations. But a final pit stop with some 9:30 minutes to go cost them the oh so close win in the legendary endurance race. Hohenadel who drove their final stint succeeded in rejoining the race a few seconds ahead of Engle but wasn’t able to fend his pressurising fellow Mercedes-Benz driver off.

Third position was secured by the Haribo Racing vehicle #88 raced by Uwe Alzen, Lance David Arnold, Maximilian Götz and Jan Seyffarth and the second Black-Falcon car (#9) that was raced by Engel, Hubert Haupt, Yelmer Buurman and Dirk Müller came fourth. .

For the major part of the race, the Mercedes armada was involved in a brand-internal battle for the race win. 32 times, the previous leader was stolen the lead. And the two BMW M6 GT3 run by Rowe Racing and driver Markus Palttala as well as Schubert Motorsport with driver Jörg Müller as well as a Manthey Porsche 911 GT3 R driven by Fred Makowiecki were the only race leaders without a star.

Rain and hail force the race control to red-flag the race
But all the drivers and fans also will remember the 2016 edition of the endurance classic due to the thunderstorm on Saturday, short after the start. Within a few minutes, rain and hail turned the track into a slide and consequently in to a big car park. As the safety of the drivers couldn’t be guaranteed and even 500bhp racing cars weren’t able to go uphill on the partly glassy track, Race Director Warter Hornung made the only appropriate decision: to red-flag the race. But despite numerous incidents in the minutes before this decision, nobody was hurt. More than an hour went by before all the cars were back in the pits and some three hours until the race could be restarted.

 

News and Quotes 14:30 to 15:30hrs

The battle for the 2016 ADAC Zurich 24h-Race title was taken down to the final metres. In the end, the AMG-Team Black Falcon won the race with its Mercedes-AMG GT3 #4 by crossing the line just 5.697 minutes ahead of the sister car #29 run by HTP-Motorsport.

1 – Vanthoor / Mies / Müller / Kaffer (Audi R8 LMS)
13:57hrs Driver swap. Nico Müller for Christopher Mies.

2 – Leonard / Frijns / Sandström / Vervisch (Audi R8 LMS)
13:56hrs Driver swap: Stuart Leonard for Robin Frijns.

4 – Schneider / Engel / Christodoulou / Metzger (Mercedes AMG GT3)
14:37hrs Pit stop for driver swap: Engel for Schneider.
14:43hrs Bernd Schneider: “What a weird race: I never witnessed a race having to be red-flagged due to hail. And the conditions also were tough apart from that. The final spurt will be really close, for us. Due to an unscheduled schedule we are in a rhythm that will be unfavourable, in the final hour.”
15:31hrs Maro Engel takes the lead with an uncompromising move in the Ravenol-Kurve.

5 – Stippler / Fjordbach / Mortara / Meyr-Melnhof (Audi R8 LMS)
13:44hrs Accident in the Hohe Acht area.

9 – Haupt / Buurman / Engel / Müller (Mercedes AMG GT3)
14:13hrs Pits for tyres and fuel.

16 – Busch / Busch / Mamerow / Rast (Audi R8 LMS)
15:05hrs The Twin Busch Audi also comes in for the final pit stop.

23 – Sims / Eng / Martin / Werner (BMW M6 GT3)
14:29hrs ROWE also comes in for a last scheduled pit stop. Dirk Werner for Maxime Martin.
14:37hrs Maxime Martin: So far, so good. A pity that we had these problems in the early stages as we certainly would have been able to match the pace of the Mercedes vehicles or even battle it out for the win. Now it’s all about defending our position.”

29 – Vietoris / Seefried / Hohenadel / Van der Zande (Mercedes AMG GT3)
14:11hrs Scheduled pit stop after nine-lap stint. .
15:17hrs Nail biter for the leaders. The team isn’t sure if the fuel will be enough and calculates if the car has to be called in for a splash ‘n dash.
15:20hrs The Mercedes has to pit again indeed.
15:21hrs Rejoins the race.

33 – Ziegler / Saurenmann / Schmidt (Audi R8 LMS)
14:27hrs Peter Schmidt for Ronnie Saurenmann.

37 – Jöns / Kane / Holzer / Brück (Bentley Continental GT3)
15:03hrs Marco Holzer to contest the final stint in the white Bentley.

38 – Brück / Menzel / Smith / Hamprecht (Bentley Continental GT3)
15:03hrs Last pit stop. Christopher Brück to contest the final stint.

44 – Dumbreck / Henzler / Ragginger / Imperatori (Porsche 991 GT3R)
14:26hrs Peter Drumbeck for Martin Ragginger for the final stint.

75 – Heyer / Asch / Ludwig / Keilwitz (Mercedes AMG GT3)
15:19hrs In the battle for sixth position, the lead of the Zakspeed-Mercedes-AMG over the Bentley #38 amounts to just 10.281 seconds.

88 – Alzen / Arnold / Götz / Seyffarth (Mercedes AMG GT3)
14:37hrs Alzen for Arnold for the final stint.

News and quotes 12:30 to 14:30hrs

The trilling showdown of the 44th ADAC Zurich 24h Race is in the offing. Apparently, only the four Mercedes-AMG racers that dominated the race action for the biggest part of the previous 23 action have the chance of winning the race: HTP-Motorsport (#29), Haribo-Racing (#88) and the Black Falcons #4 and #9. But behind them, the competitors still are waiting four their chances of spoiling the party for the Stuttgarters: the fastest BMW M6 GT3 (#23) holds fifth position, the Bentley Continental GT3 #38 follows in sixth.

1 – Vanthoor / Mies / Müller / Kaffer (Audi R8 LMS)
13:57hrs Driver swap, Nico Müller for Christopher Mies

2 – Leonard / Frijns / Sandström / Vervisch (Audi R8 LMS)
13:04hrs Driver swap. Robin Frijns for Frederic Vervisch
13:56hrs Driver swap: Stuart Leonard for Robin Frijns.

4 – Schneider / Engel / Christodoulou / Metzger (Mercedes AMG GT3)
12:45hrs Lap 114: the Black Falcon Mercedes is 27 seconds faster than race leader ’29.
14:27hrs The Black Falcon Mercedes-AMG GT3 takes the lead on lap 125

5 – Stippler / Fjordbach / Mortara / Meyr-Melnhof (Audi R8 LMS)
13:06hrs Pit stop for slicks.
13:11hrs Driver swap. Frank Stippler takes over
13:44hrs Accident at the Hohe Acht.

9 – Haupt / Buurman / Engel / Müller (Mercedes AMG GT3)
13:13hrs Pits for fuel and fresh tyres. No driver swap.
14:13hrs Pits for fuel and fresh tyres.

16 – Busch / Busch / Mamerow / Rast (Audi R8 LMS)
13:07hrs Switches from wets to slicks. Driver swap. Dennis Busch for Chris Mamerow.

21 – Weiss / Kainz / Krumbach / Stursberg (Porsche 911 GT3 R)
12:41hrs 30-second time penalty for pit-lane speeding.

23 – Sims / Eng / Martin / Werner (BMW M6 GT3)
12:51hr In the previous lap, the currently fifth-placed car was a massive 50 seconds faster than the race leaders.
13:21hrs Pits for fuel, tyres and driver swap: Martin for Sims. Sims: “With the line being completely dry, slicks aren’t a problem. There’s a Code 60 out there and therefore, the lap times are so high.”
14:29hrs Another scheduled pit stop. Dirk Werner for Maxime Martin.

29 – Vietoris / Seefried / Hohenadel / Van der Zande (Mercedes AMG GT3)
12:52hrs Pits as scheduled after a nine-lap stint. Hohenadel for Van der Zande.
14:06hrs New fastest lap time on lap 123: 8.19,788 minutes
14:11hrs Scheduled pit stop after a nine-lap stint.

33 – Ziegler / Saurenmann / Schmidt (Audi R8 LMS)
14:27hrs Peter Schmidt replaces Ronnie Saurenmann for the final stint.

44 – Dumbreck / Henzler / Ragginger / Imperatori (Porsche 991 GT3R)
14:26shr Final scheduled pit stop. Peter Dumbreck for Martin Ragginger for the final stint.

65 – Kroner / Schuhbauer / Dr. Bez / Neuser (Aston Martin Vantage V12)
13:14hrs Driver swap, Heinz-Jürgen Kroner for Wolfgang Schuhbauer

701 – Lauck / Mailleux / Bleekemolen / Laser (SCG SCG003C)
13:35hrs Bad crash in the Metzgesfeld area. Driver okay.

News and quotes 10:30 to 12:30hrs

The fight for the overall win in the 44th ADAC Zurich 24h-Rennen is heating up. While it seems to be sure that a Mercedes will win the race it is absolutely impossible to predict which of the four leading Mercedes-AMG GT3 racers will make it to the top step. The Haribo-Team (#88) lost valuable time due to a time penalty for a yellow-flag infringement, with HTP-Motorsport benefiting from the incident. With 112 laps completed, #29 now holds the lead. The two Black Falcon sister cars follow 2:09.026 minutes (#4) and 2:56,146 minutes (#9) behind, with Haribo being fourth. But the rain that begins to fall stronger keeps the hopes of the competitors alive. The Rowe Racing BMW M6 GT3 #23 still holds fifth position and behind it, the fastest Audi R8 LMS #5 follows in sixth. And the Bentley Continental GT3 #38 in seventh increases the brand variety at the front end of the field.

1 – Vanthoor / Mies / Müller / Kaffer (Audi R8 LMS)
10:58hrs Kaffer for Vanthoor.
Vanthoor. A good stint. I slightly pushed in the dry to set a fast lap time. Later, in the rain, it wasn’t that easy. Taking more risks now wouldn’t give us anything.”
12:25hrs Christopher Mies for Pierre Kaffer:

2 – Leonard / Frijns / Sandström / Vervisch (Audi R8 LMS)
10:33hrs Crash at Eschbach, continues.
10:42hrs The Audi R8 LMS is pushed into the garage. The team wants to check the suspension geometry. In addition, the front is repaired.
11:24hrs Frederic Vervisch for Edward Sandström.

4 – Schneider / Engel / Christodoulou / Metzger (Mercedes AMG GT3)
10:49hrs Metzger for Christodoulou.
12:06hrs Scheduled stop. Manuel Metzger continues.

5 – Stippler / Fjordbach / Mortara / Meyr-Melnhof (Audi R8 LMS)
10:34hrs Switches like numerous other teams to intermediates.
11:40hrs Frank Stippler for Edoardo Mortara.

9 – Haupt / Buurman / Engel / Müller (Mercedes AMG GT3)
11:04hrs With 9:08 minutes the currently fastest in the field.
11:51hrs Maro Engel who was replaced by Dirk Müller reports: “My stint was fun. The rain made the racing slightly trick but we still had a lot of grip. I think we were able to again gain some ground.”

11 – Ohlsson / Bollrath / Oeverhaus / Hackländer (Audi R8 LMS)
12:19hrs Crash in the Schwalbenschwanz area, continues.

16 – Busch / Busch / Mamerow / Rast (Audi R8 LMS)
12:25hrs Pit stop: Switch to wets. Christian Mamerow continues.

18 – Farfus / Krohn / Müller / Wittmann (BMW M6 GT3)
11:03hrs Augusto Farfus: “The blown engine yesterday evening hurt badly. We held the lead and were really quick. And we still are that quick. A huge compliment to the entire Schubert squad. The guys put the disappointment away and worked through the night to again get the car ready to race. As I see it, they are the real heroes.”

21 – Weiss / Kainz / Krumbach / Stursberg (Porsche 911 GT3 R)
11:58hrs 52.6-second stop-and-go penalty for undercutting the minimum pit-stop time.

29 – Vietoris / Seefried / Hohenadel / Van der Zande (Mercedes AMG GT3)
11:29hrs Renger van der Zande pits from the lead for tyres and fuel. Continues.

29 – Vietoris / Seefried / Hohenadel / Van der Zande (Mercedes AMG GT3)
12:24hrs The HTP-Mercedes-AMG GT3 regains the lead.

42 – Cate / Dr. Kamelger / Turner / Guelden (Aston Martin Vantage GT8)
12:23hrs Accident in the Kesselchen.

44 – Dumbreck / Henzler / Ragginger / Imperatori (Porsche 991 GT3R)
12:00hrs Pits for tyres and fuel. No driver swap.
12:03hrs Pit stop for tyres and fuel. Driver swap – Ragginger for Henzler.

65 – Kroner / Schuhbauer / Dr. Bez / Neuser (Aston Martin Vantage V12)
10:32hr Dr Ulrich Bez for Heinz-Jürgen Kroner.
12:16hrs Wolfgang Schuhbauer for Dr Ulrich Bez.

75 – Heyer / Asch / Ludwig / Keilwitz (Mercedes AMG GT3)
11:50hrs Luca Ludwig for Daniel Keilwitz. Kellwitz on his stint: “It wasn’t easy. I had a lot of yellow-flag periods in my first stint. After the pit stop the rain began to fall and so, every single lap proved to be a challenge. But we opted for continuing on slicks and doing so was the right decision. We also opted for slick for our current stint as the circuit is nearly completely dry.”

88 – Alzen / Arnold / Götz / Seyffarth (Mercedes AMG GT3)
11:07hrs 1:32-minute time penalty for having ignored yellow flags and a Code 60 zone.
11:08hrs Pit stop for tyres and fuel. The car is shod with slicks. No driver swap, Götz continues.
12:10hrs In for the scheduled pit stop and the time penalty.
12:14hrs Lance David Arnold for Maximilian Götz. Fuel, fresh tyres and Gaffa tape for the front.

101 – Henkola / Yamauchi / Sandritter / Richardson (BMW M6 GT3)
11:52hrs Scheduled pit stop. Henkola continues.

912 – Lietz / Bergmeister / Christensen / Makowiecki (Porsche 911 GT3 R)
10:41hrs Michael Christensen stopped the car. No propulsion and the engine also refuses to start.
10:51hrs Reason for the early retirement: damage in the drive-train area. Michael Christensen: “All of a sudden I had no more power and then, the engine wouldn’t start again. So I only could park the car. Very disappointing as we possibly could have gained ground in the rain.”

999 – Bouveng / Blomqvist / Krognes / Di Martino (BMW M6 GT3)
11:51hrs Pit stop with drivers swap: Bouveng for Di Martino.

News and quotes 08:30 to 10:30hrs

About five hours before the race winner will take the chequered flag, the situation with four Mercedes-AMG GT3 vehicles at the front end of the ADAC Zurich 24h Race remained virtually unchanged. The lead with 100 laps completed is held by the Black Falcon #4, followed by Haribo Racing #88, HTP-Motorsport #29 and the second Black-Falcon, #9. Fifth to seventh positions are held by the opponents: The Porsche 911 GT3 R #912 (fifth), the BMW M6 GT3 #23 (sixth) and the Audi R8 LMS #5 (seventh). Meanwhile, the Schubert Motorsport M6 GT3 #100 was forced into retirement. After a collision while lapping another car, the race of Lucas Luhr and the car was overt. The rain forecasted for the night began to fall at 10:30hrs and promises a thrilling closing stage of the race.

1 – Vanthoor / Mies / Müller / Kaffer (Audi R8 LMS)
09:35hrs Driver swap, Laurens Vanthoor for Nico Müller
09:49hrs: Nico Müller describes his accident in the night: “There was oil on the track in the so-called courage corner. Right ahead of me, a car spun and while trying to hit it I lost it myself and hit the crash barriers. We repaired the car and will try to make it to the chequered flag.”

2 – Leonard / Frijns / Sandström / Vervisch (Audi R8 LMS)
08:53hrs Driver swap – Stuart Leonard for Robin Frijns
10:12hrs Pit stop for fuel with driver swap – Sandström for Leonard.

4 – Schneider / Engel / Christodoulou / Metzger (Mercedes AMG GT3)
09:12hrs Driver swap Maro Engel for Bernd Schneider
09:29hrs Correction: Driver swap – Adam Christodoulou and not Maro Engel replaces Bernd Schneider in the cockpit.
09:36hrs Christodoulou pits for fuel and tyres. No driver swap.
10:28hrs The race leaders are the first to have completed 100 race laps.

5 – Stippler / Fjordbach / Mortara / Meyr-Melnhof (Audi R8 LMS)
09:49hrs During the pit stop the team works on the rear of the car. Continues after refuelling and tyre change with Edoardo Mortara behind the wheel.

9 – Haupt / Buurman / Engel / Müller (Mercedes AMG GT3)
09:01hrs Pits, thus allowing #29 to take the lead.
09:09hrs Pit stop with driver swap – Maro Engel for Yelmer Buurman.
10:22hrs Pit stop for fuel and tyres.
10:26hrs Maro Engel: “A thrilling night in a fantastic atmosphere: the drying track, fog and camp fires all around the circuit. We survived the night without any damages and both our cars are racing at the very top. That’s a great initial situation for the coming hours.”

18 – Farfus / Krohn / Müller / Wittmann (BMW M6 GT3)
08:33hrs Completed a lap as function test. Team Principal Torsten Schubert: “We still have to find out why the engine blew up. We now equipped it with a new engine and will check the car to then demonstrate what would have been possible.”

23 – Sims / Eng / Martin / Werner (BMW M6 GT3)
09:23hrs Pit stop, Dirk Werner for Maxime Martin. Coolant is refilled.

29 – Vietoris / Seefried / Hohenadel / Van der Zande (Mercedes AMG GT3)
09:20hrs Christian Hohenadel for Marco Seefried .
09:54hsr HTP back in the lead. .
10:20hrs Schedule pit stop for tyres and driver swap. Renger Van der Zande for Christian Hohenadel.

33 – Ziegler / Saurenmann / Schmidt (Audi R8 LMS)
10:05hrs G. Tonic for Peter Schmidt.

37 – Jöns / Kane / Holzer / Brück (Bentley Continental GT3)
09:47hrs Steven Kane: “The conditions in the night were really difficult. The circuit changed lap by lap. Since the repair of the accident-caused damages, our Bentley runs flawlessly and we worked our way up from 101st to 27th position. Let’s see what we can doe in the remaining 5:45 hours.”

38 – Brück / Menzel / Smith / Hamprecht (Bentley Continental GT3)
08:32hrs 30-second stop-and-go penalty for pit-lane speeding.
09:06hrs Christopher Brück: “I drove from 04:00 to 06:45hrs. To drive from the night into the day is just amazing. There still is a long way to go to the finish and our main goal is to defend our 10th place.”

65 – Kroner / Schuhbauer / Dr. Bez / Neuser (Aston Martin Vantage V12)
09:13hrs Driver swap, Heinz-Jürgen Kroner for Wolfgang Schuhbauer

75 – Heyer / Asch / Ludwig / Keilwitz (Mercedes AMG GT3)
10:27hrs Daniel Keilwitz: “Unfortunately we were hampered by several minor problems, in the night and in addition we received a penalty. Consequently wee dropped back slightly but currently everything is running fine and I hoe that it will remain dry. I think that we will be able to make up for some of the lost ground and hope for a top-10 result.”

88 – Alzen / Arnold / Götz / Seyffarth (Mercedes AMG GT3)
10:25hrs Lance David Arnold: “Everything is fine so far. We changed the brake discs in the night as we had vibrations on the front axle. But in the second stint I could push again. The Mercedes-AMG GT3 runs flawlessly and we have got a good rhythm. Now it’s all about finishing without making mistakes.”

100 – Edwards / Klingmann / Luhr / Tomczyk (BMW M6 GT3)
09:33hrs Bad collision with #93. Lucas Luhr gets out. The #100 still had a chance of making it to the podium, but now, the M6 GT3 nearly is a total loss
10:04hrs Lucas Luhr: “We were really fast out there. To hold this position with a brand-new car is something we may be proud of. While I passed a slower car, another driver passed it on the other side and hit my car. For me, it came virtually out of nowhere. After the check, the doc told me that my head was in the same condition as prior to the accident. I don’t really know if this is good or bad news.”

101 – Henkola / Yamauchi / Sandritter / Richardson (BMW M6 GT3)
08:57hrs Driver swap. K. Yamauchi for Max Sandritter.

912 – Lietz / Bergmeister / Christensen / Makowiecki (Porsche 911 GT3 R)
09:24hrs Dr. Frank-Steffen Walliser, Porsche Motorsport Director: “At the Nürburgring, surviving the night is of particular importance. We avoided getting involved in any hassle and defended our sixth position. There still are six hours to go – the distance of a WEC race. With another three already contested. This means for us to once again push to the max. Now it counts. It seems as if the will some rain be falling. And it’s a well-known fact that rain is Porsche weather, due to our traction advantage.”

999 – Bouveng / Blomqvist / Krognes / Di Martino (BMW M6 GT3)
09:11hrs Driver swap, Michele Di Martino for Tom Blomqvist

News and quotes 22:30 to 00:30hrs

With nine hours of the race contested, A Mercedes quartet holds the lead in the 44th ADAC 24h Race. The leading car is the one of Haribo racing who focus on car ’88 since 22:50hrs as the team had to retire the sister car due to an accident earlier than scheduled. Behind the race leaders who currently have completed 34 laps, the teams Black Falcon #9 and HTP-Motorsport #29 and #30 held the positions two to four. The Porsche 911 GT3 R #912 follows in fifth position, the fastest BMW M6 GT3 (#100) is sixth. The best-place Audi R8 LMS, the car #2, currently holds eighth position.

1- Vanthoor / Mies / Müller / Kaffer (Audi R8 LMS)
22:54hrs driver swap, Laurens Vanthoor takes over
23:41hrs driver swap: Pierre Kaffer for Vanthoor
23:48hrs Vanthoor: “The first stint was poor, as we had made a bad decision regarding the tyre pressure. The car was virtually undrivable. The second stint was quite okay but there was a lot of traffic and always at the wrong places.”

2 – Leonard / Frijns / Sandström / Vervisch (Audi R8 LMS)
22:55hrs driver swap, Robin Frijns in the cockpit.
23:29hrs Frijns: “We had some problems in the rain as the tyre pressure increased more and more, So, we were somewhat slow compared to our competitors. Therefore, I opted for switching early to slicks. A courageous but good decision The first two laps weren’t easy as there still were some wet spots but altogether we were faster.”
23:41hrs driver swap Stuart Leonard for Robin Frijns

3 – Abbelen / Schmitz / Huisman / Siedler (Porsche 991 GT3R)
22:46hrs The Porsche was hampered by an electronic throttle-response problem. The team announces to have detected and solved the problem .
23:25hrs Pit stop for tyres, switches from intermediates to slicks. Driver swap: Abbelen for Siedler. Siedler: “My stint war slightly longer as we had a throttle problem. It refused to open to more than 50 percent and therefore, I had to pit.”

4 – Schneider / Engel / Christodoulou / Metzger (Mercedes AMG AMG GT3)
23:02hrs Driver swap, Manuel Metzger for Bernd Schneider
23:05hrs On lap 25, the currently second in the overall standing gains 10 seconds on the leader..
23:22hrs driver swap – Adam Christodoulou for Manuel Metzger

5 – Stippler / Fjordbach / Mortara / Meyr-Melnhof (Audi R 8 LMS)
00:05Uhrs Driver swap – Nicki Mayr-Melnhof for Anders Fjordbach

6 – Haase / Rast / Winkelhock / Stippler (Audi R8 LMS)
00:02hrs Driver swap – Rene Rast for Markus Winkelhock

7 – Thiim / Turner / Sorensen / Lamy (Aston Martin Vantage)
22:56hrs Darren Turner comes in for scheduled pit stop
23:24hrs driver swap: Nicki Thiim for Darren Turner

8 – Alzen / Arnold / Götz / Seyffarth (Mercedes AMG AMG GT3)
22:50hrs Pushed through the garage into the team tent. Jan Seyffarth had hit the crash barriers, with the Mercedes.
22:53hrs Seyffarth: “At the Pflanzgarten/Großer Sprung area I had a close encounter with a car to be lapped. A misunderstanding. I spun, went off and hit the crash barriers with the front, thus destroying the front splitter. You can’t continue with the car like that”
23:07hrs Gerhard Ungar: “Repairing the car makes no sense. We had retired one of the two cars later in the night anyway.”

9 – Haupt / Buurman / Engel / Müller (Mercedes AMG AMG GT3)
23:46hrs driver swap, Maro Engel for Dirk Müller

10 – Lee / Thong / Cheng / Yoong Loong (Audi R8 LMS)
00:15hrs Stands in the Hohe Acht area after having hit the crash barriers. According to the latest information the car isn’t able to roll.

14 – Al Faisal / Gerwin / Dontje / Huff (Mercedes AMG AMG GT3)
23:47hrs driver swap – Indy Dontje for Robert Huff

22 – Graf / Westbrook / Catsburg / Palttala (BMW M6 GT3)
23:20hrs Westbrook pits for tyres, continues.

23 – Sims / Eng / Martin / Werner (BMW M6 GT3)
23:49hrs driver swap – Dirk Werner for Maxime Martin
23:54hrs Maxime Martin: “I had a real good first stint. In the beginning I was racing on wets but the track dried more and more and so we opted for switching to slicks. Driving in the night is not too easy if there is only one dry line. In particular if there’s a lot of traffic. But I had a lot of fun and we have to continue like that.”

27 – Adam / Rees / Lauda / Stanaway (Aston Martin Vantage)
23:33hrs Richie Stanaway currently racing the car
23:48hrs 5:32-minute stop-and-go penalty due to a yellow-flag infringement

28 – Basseng / De Phillippi / Rockenfeller / Scheider (Audi R8 LMS)
23:56hrs driver swap – Scheider for Rockenfeller.

29 – Vietoris / Seefried / Hohenadel / Van der Zande (Mercedes AMG AMG GT3)
23:14hrs Driver swap, Renger Van der Zande takes over

33 – Ziegler / Saurenmann / Schmidt (Audi R8 LMS)
23:01hrs Too short pit stop – 32.4-second stop-and-go penalty
23:29hrs driver swap. Ronnie Saurenmann takes over
00:01hrs 30-second stop-and-go penalty for pi-lane speeding
00:22hrs Driver swap – Peter Schmidt for Ronnie Saurenmann

38 Brück / Menzel / Smith / Hamprecht (Bentley Continental GT3)
23:17hrs Christopher Brück: “Some sections still are wet. So racing on slicks ain’t no bed of roses.”

42 – Cate / Dr. Kamelger / Turner / Guelden (Aston Martin Vantage GT8)
23:55hrs Technical failure in the Eiskurve.
00:33hrs Technical failure at the Galgenkopf

43 – Dr. Bänziger / Leemhuis / Dr. Kamelger / Mal (Aston Martin Vantage V8)
23:07hrs Drives slowly in the Adenauer Forst area

44 – Dumbreck / Henzler / Ragginger / Imperatori (Porsche991 GT3R)
22:41hrs Switch to slicks and driver swap: Henzler for Imperatori.
00:04hrs Driver swap – Ragginger for Henzler.
65 – Kroner / Schuhbauer / Dr. Bez / Neuser (Aston Martin Vantage V12)
23:04hrs Driver swap Tobias Neuser for Heinz-Jürgen Kroner

75 – Heyer / Asch / Ludwig / Keilwitz (Mercedes AMG AMG GT3)
23:43hrs collision in the Yokohama-S with the Audi #10. Both cars can continue, the Audi after having spun.

77 – Hertenstein / Preacher / Lungstrass (Aston Martin Vantage V8)
23:30hrs technical failure on the GP circuit.

88 – Alzen / Arnold / Götz / Seyffarth (Mercedes AMG AMG GT3)
23:45hrs scheduled pit stop for fuel and tyres. Arnold continues.
00:03hrs In the previous lap, the race leader was at least 35 seconds faster than the other cars holding top-eight positions.

100 – Edwards / Klingmann / Luhr / Tomczyk (BMW M6 GT3)
23:39hrs scheduled stop for fuel and tyres – I. Luhr continues

702 – Mutsch / Westphal / SIMONSEN / Laser (SCG SCG003C)
22:53hrs Strong performance of the die Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus: As 10th for the first time in the top 10.
00:17hrs driver swap, Andreas Simonsen takes over.

912 – Lietz / Bergmeister / Christensen / Makowiecki (Porsche 911 GT3 R)
23:53hrs On lap 30, the Porsche takes the lead for the first time to then come in for a scheduled pit stop. As one of the few teams fighting on the front end of the field, the Porsche completed a nine-lap stint in dry conditions.
23:54hrs pit stop – Fred Makowiecki is replaced by Michael Christensen who is about to contest his first stint. Makowiecki: “I had a good stint. Our car is competitive. We delivered in consistent style in the wet and when we switched to slicks we could make it to the top positions. Let’s see what happens. After all, there still are 16 hours to go.”

999 – Bouveng / Blomqvist / Krognes / Di Martino (BMW M6 GT3)
00:13hrs After a repair break back in the race. Team Manager Niclas Königbauer: “At Pflanzgarten 2, the driver reported irregularities on the car. So we called him in and detected a rear-axle damage. We hope that we will be able to work us back up, now. It was a real pity as we just had battled our way up to 10th.”

News and quotes 20:30 to 22:30hrs

With seven hours contested, the ADAC Zurich 24h-Race drivers have familiarised themselves with the still difficult weather conditions. In the sixth and seventh hour of the race, they made for thrilling bit trouble-free motor racing. On the slowly drying track in occasionally poor vision, experience is of particular importance. At 22:30hrs, the two Haribo Racing Mercedes-AMG racers #88 and #8 hold the lead. At the end of lap 21, Lance Arnold crossed the line with a 1:15.588-minute lead over the sister car driven by Jan Seyffarth. Third position was held by the remaining Manthey Porsche 911 GT3 R #912. The sister car #911was forced into the retirement as early as in the opening stages of the race. Prominent retirement at the beginning of the second fourth of the race: the Schubert Motorsport BMW M6 GT3 #18. Due to a blown engine at the Döttinger Höhe, Jörg Müller had to retire from the lead, right at the pit-lane entrance.

1 – Vanthoor / Mies / Müller / Kaffer (Audi R8 LMS)
21:33hrs Pit stop with driver swap: Laurens Vanthor for Nico Müller.

2 – Leonard / Frijns / Sandström / Vervisch (Audi R8 LMS)
21:10hrs Pit stop for fuel and fresh tyres – driver swap. Frijns for Vervisch.
22:01hrs Pits for fuel and a fresh set of tyres – slicks for wets.

3 – Abbelen / Schmitz / Huisman / Siedler (Porsche 991 GT3 R)
20:54hr On lap 11, the Frikadelli Porsche has dropped back from eighth to 34th position.
20:59hrs There’s a transponder problem in the Frikadelli Porsche and the time keepers have to register the car manually. That’s the reason for the car jumping up and down on the time monitors.
21:13hrs Pit stop with driver swap: Norbert Siedler for Sabine Schmitz,
21:20hrs Sabine Schmitz: “Earlier it still really wet but nor the track start drying and it’s fun to drive. Unfortunately the car lacks power. 220kph at the Döttinger Höhe is the maximum.”
21:27hrs Pits. The car is connected with a laptop and pushed into the garage.
22:18hrs Continues following a long-ish repair break.

4 – Schneider / Engel / Christodoulou / Metzger (Mercedes AMG AMG GT3)
21:15hrs At the Döttinger Höhe, the car drops back from fourth to sixth.

5 – Stippler / Fjordbach / Mortara / Meyr-Melnhof (Audi R8 LMS)
20:57 hrs Drops back from eighth to 13th on lap 12.
21:20hrs Driver swap: Anders Fjordbach for Frank Stippler
.

6 – Haase / Rast / Winkelhock / Stippler (Audi R8 LMS)
21:22hrs Pit stop with driver swap: Winkelhock for Haase.
Haase: “In the beginning it was extremely difficult out there A lot of aquaplaning. Now it’s clearly better and the car handles really well.”
22:02hrs Pit stop: slicks for wets. The team has taken the bonnet of and works in the engine area.
22:21hrs Winkelhock back in the pits after two laps because of gear-change problems. The team changes the potentiometer that transfers the impulse from the gear lever to the gearbox.

7 – Thiim / Turner / Sorensen / Lamy (Aston Martin Vantage)
21:28hrs Pit stop with driver swap: Darren Turner for Pedro Lamy.
22:01hrs Hits the crash barriers at Wehrseifen – continues.
8 – Alzen / Arnold / Götz / Seyffarth (Mercedes AMG AMG GT3)
20:37hrs The Haribo GT3 is the car of the front-runners that gained the biggest number of positions. From fifth to first.
21:27hrs Pit stop with driver swap: Seyffarth for Alzen.

14 – Al Faisal / Gerwin / Dontje / Huff (Mercedes AMG AMG GT3)
20:52hrs Scheduled stop. ‘Gerwin’ takes the wheel.
21:03hrs Pit stop for fuel and driver swap: Gerwin for Al Faisal.

16 – Busch / Busch / Mamerow / Rast (Audi R8 LMS)
21:13hrs Pit stop for fuel.

18 – Farfus / Krohn / Müller / Wittmann (BMW M6 GT3)
21:38hrs The Schubert BMW takes the lead.
21:46hrs The leader is stopped by a blown engine at the end of the Döttinger Höhe. The BMW rolls on but tops short before the pit-lane entrance.
21:48hrs The BMW is burning.
21:49hrs Augusto Farfus who was ready for the driver swap: “Well, you could see what happened. I just had prepared for my stint as the M6 was supposed to come in for the scheduled pit stop.”

21 – Weiss / Kainz / Krumbach / Stursberg (Porsche 911 GT3 R)
21:40hrs Pit stop for the WTM-Porsche after a 12-lap stint.
22:26hrs Pits for fuel and slicks. No driver swap.

22 – Graf / Westbrook / Catsburg / Palttala (BMW M6 GT3)
20:34hrs Loses the lead in the Karussell to the two Mercedes AMG previously following it. (#29 und #8)
21:09hrs Puncture at the right rear wheel, pits for a fresh set of tyres.
21:57hrs Pit stop with driver swap: Westbrock for Palttala. Is shod with slicks.
22:00hrs Markus Palttala: “In the beginning it was really difficult. Particularly after the restart there was a lot of water on the track. Therefore, I tried to take the lead as fast as possible. Unfortunately we weren’t lucky and had a puncture that cost us some 20 positions. We switched to slicks now although it actually isn’t dry enough. Bu this will change.”

23 – Sims / Eng / Martin / Werner (BMW M6 GT3)
20:46hrs With a 10:50.177-minute lap the currently fastest car out there.
22:02hrs Tyre change: slicks for wets

27 – Adam / Rees / Lauda / Stanaway (Aston Martin Vantage)
22:07hrs Hits the crash barriers at Ex-Mühle.
22:29hrs Stands in the Pflanzgarten.

29 – Vietoris / Seefried / Hohenadel / Van der Zande (Mercedes AMG AMG GT3)
20:39hrs Spins at stops at the tyre walls at Hatzenbach.
21:07hrs Hohenadel pits for fuel and tyres, continues.
22:22hrs Slicks for wets and driver swap: Van der Zande for Hohenadel.
Hohenadel: “The car is running rather good but in the previous laps, the performance of my wets ceased massively.”

30 – Baumann / Mücke / Buhk / Jäger (Mercedes AMG AMG GT3)
21:11hrs Baumann pits, continues. .
22:23hrs Slicks for wets, Jäger for Baumann.

33 – Ziegler / Saurenmann / Schmidt (Audi R8 LMS)
20:31hrs Off-track moment in the Aremberg-Kurve without hitting anything.
21:05hrs Scheduled pit stop. Ronnie Saurenmann for ‘G. Tonic’.

38 – Brück / Menzel / Smith / Hamprecht (Bentley Continental GT3)
21:16hrs Pit stop with driver swap. Christopher Brück for Guy Smith.. Smith: ‘Racing here is tough anyway, and the fact that I haven’t any wet weather experience at the Nordschleife makes it even tougher for me.”

44 – Dumbreck / Henzler / Ragginger / Imperatori (Porsche 991 GT3R)
21:36hrs Pit stop with driver swap Imperatori for Dumbreck. Dumbreck: “In the opening stages it was really crazy and you automatically drover carefully. Even on the straights I didn’t dare to go flat out. Our car handled really well in the wet but now we unfortunately won’t be able to match the pace of the fastest as they have got a higher top speed.”

64 – Devigus / Weishaupt / Boquoi Toril / Farnbacher (Porsche 991 GT3 Cup)
21:02hrs Pit stop, no driver swap.
22:28hrs Arturo Devigus for Mario Farnbacher

75 – Heyer / Asch / Ludwig / Keilwitz (Mercedes AMG AMG GT3)
20:58hrs Pit stop for tyres and driver swap: Asch for Ludwig.

76 – Weber / Bermes / Preacher / Hennerici (Aston Martin Vantage V8)
20:54hrs Pit stop for fuel.
22:06hrs Superior lead in the SP10/GT4 category.

88 – Alzen / Arnold / Götz / Seyffarth (Mercedes AMG AMG GT3)
21:05hrs The second-placed car comes in for a scheduled pit stop. Maximilian Götz continues.
22:08hrs On lap 19 the first to break the 9.30 barrier: 9:29.391 minutes.
22:29hrs Pit stop with driver swap: Arnold for Götz. Götz: “It’s getting better and better and faster and faster. We now have got the same conditions with a clean and dry racing line like yesterday in the Top 30 Qualifying.”

100 – Edwards / Klingmann / Luhr / Tomczyk (BMW M6 GT3)
21:16hrs Pit stop for fuel and tyres.
22:13hrs Slicks for wets and driver swap: Luhr for Klingmann.

140 – Schoeller / Kuhn / Boquoi Toril (Porsche 991)
21:34hrs Pit stop with driver swap. Andre Kuhn for Miquel Boquoi Toril.

702 – Mutsch / Westphal / SIMONSEN / Laser (SCG SCG003C)
21:25hrs Loses fluid.

911 – Tandy / Estre / Bamber / Pilet (Porsche 911 GT3 R)
20:52hrs Porsche Motorsport Director Dr Frank-Steffen Walliser: “The 911 GT3R #911 won’t rejoin the race. We checked the damages and repairing the car would take too much time. Jörg Bergmeister does a great job at the wheel of the #912 in the wet. The car is clicking like a clockwork. Fred Mako will be the next one to race the car.”

912 – Lietz / Bergmeister / Christensen / Makowiecki (Porsche 911 GT3 R)
21:06hrs The best Porsche is on the way up. Now it already holds sixth position.
21:19hrs The new third-placed car in the overall standings has gained nine positions during the course of 11 laps. On the first installation lap it still was 14th.
21:59hrs The Porsche keeps on working his way up with a 9:33,534-minute lap.

999 – Bouveng / Blomqvist / Krognes / Di Martino (BMW M6 GT3)
21:28hrs Pit stop with driver swap: Blomqvist for Krognes. Krognes: “Driving out there is pure madness. With all the spray you see nearly nothing.”
22:14hrs Pit stop for fuel and tyres. Slicks for wets.

News and quotes 15:30 to 20:30hrs

The first hours of the ADAC Zurich 24h race was hampered by freak weather. Just 49 minutes after the start into the Eifel marathon at 15:30hrs the race was red-flagged. Parts of the 25.378-kilometre combination of the Nürburgring GP circuit and the Nordschleife had been made impassable by heavy hail. The cars went out again at 19:20hrs in torrential rain. Therefore, the race only was restarted after three information laps. At the end of the fifth race hour – the time kept on ticking on, during the red-flag period – Markus Palttala held the race lead in the Rowe Racing BMW M6 GT3 #22, with his lead over the second-placed HTP-Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT3 amounting to just 1.626 seconds. Third and fourth positions were held by the Haribo Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 vehicles #8 and #88.

2 – Leonard / Frijns / Sandström / Vervisch (Audi R8 LMS)
16:43hrs Made it back to the pits!

3 – Abbelen / Schmitz / Huisman / Siedler (Porsche 991 GT3 R)
16:10hrs Pit stop.
16:17hrs Repair stop due to electronics problems. Loses a lap.
16:46hrs Klaus Abbelen: “You can’t influence the weather. Our car fortunately survived the incident unharmed. We were at the pit due to a problem – a plug wasn’t connected – and went out on wets. But now we are stuck out there in the track.”
19:17hrs Sabine Schmitz: “At the Nürburgring I don’t rely on our weather app. In the case of doubt I call my mum.”

4 – Schneider / Engel / Christodoulou / Metzger (Mercedes AMG AMG GT3)
16:31hrs Bernd Schneider: “The weather is just crazy. Even id it may sound weird: the best option is to just stop.”
17:49hrs Adam Christodoulou: “The start was good. Prior to the start, I talked to the drivers around me and we agreed to not opt for a too aggressive style of driving, into the first corners. This worked fine and we started into the race unharmed. When the heavy rain began to fall I decelerated to 25kph in the Schwedenkreuz area when I saw a BMW skidding into the crash barriers. But even at that speed, keeping the car on the track was extremely difficult. It felt like driving on ice.”

8 – Alzen / Arnold / Götz / Seyffarth (Mercedes AMG AMG GT3)
16:02hrs Drops back to fifth behind Hohenadel (#29).
16:31hrs Made it back to the pits.
17:47hrs What a Uwe Alzen: “What a glissade. Up to then, the race was super. We could match the pace and defend our position. Then it began to rain all of a sudden – combined with hail. The track was completely white and the BMW ahead of me hit the crash barriers three times before it gave up in the Breidscheid area. To red-flag the race definitely was the correct decision. Here is everything fine, our car has not a mark.” ”

9 – Haupt / Buurman / Engel / Müller (Mercedes AMG AMG GT3)
17:46hrs Maro Engel: “I had a good, clean start and got through. Jörg Müller in the BMW pressurised me but I succeeded in defending the lead. In the rain chaos I slightly touched a crash barrier. But we can use the red-flag period to repair the car.”
20:16hrs Black Falcon Team Principal Jean Paul Breslin: “We told Maro to slightly step off the gas. We don’t want to take any risks.”

12 – Klohs / Dieter Schmidtmann / Richter / Renauer (Porsche 911 GT3 R)
15:40hrs Drives slowly through the Schwalbenschwanz section with a puncture at the left rear tyre.
15:46hrs The car is pushed into the garage. Driver remains in the cockpit.
20:20 hrs Technical failure at the ‘Hohe Acht’.

16 – Busch / Busch / Mamerow / Rast (Audi R8 LMS)
16:51hrs Dennis Busch: “I was lucky and had only to cope with torrential rain, not with hail. Then, I returned to the pits via the short layout as the team told me via team radio that it was pure chaos, out there”.

18 – Farfus / Krohn / Müller / Wittmann (BMW M6 GT3)
15:38hrs Jörg Müller follows race leader Maro Engel in his slip stream. The pairing already opened a slight gap on the competitors. Behind them, the two Haribo Mercedes racers also are racing close behind one another.
16:49hrs Jörg Müller: “I experienced a lot at the Nordschleife but hail – that was new to me. That’s incredible. Never before have I seen the racetrack covered by ice in May. Unbelievable. The Thunderstorm came out of nothing. I was driving at 60kph when I went off and touched the brake just slightly. But the car began to aquaplane at once. “I’m absolutely fine with the decision to red-flag the race.”
20:05hrs Short off-track moment at the Nordschleife entrance, defends the lead.
20:25hrs Pits for fuel and tyre change. Jörg Müller continues. The team executes suspension modifications.

23 – Sims / Eng / Martin / Werner (BMW M6 GT3)
17:39hrs Dirk Werner: “I was standing in the Adenauer Forst section. Up the Fuchsröhre still was possible but in the Adenauer Forst area everybody braked so hard that it resulted was a traffic jam. Afterwards, starting again was absolutely impossible. I tried it for a minute, but the wheels didn’t stop spinning. So I shutdown the engine and waited until it all was over.”
19:04hrs Stops on the track, doesn’t start into the current information lap.
19:18hrs Philipp Eng had an electronic problem at the restart. The engine wouldn’t start but is running again, in the meantime. The car initially had been pushed off the track.

29 – Vietoris / Seefried / Hohenadel / Van der Zande (Mercedes AMG AMG GT3)
15:40hrs One of the winners of lap one is Christian Hohenadel: from his ninth position on the grid he worked his way up to fifth. .
20:27hrs Sets the currently fastest race lap: 10:00.078 minutes.

30 – Baumann / Mücke / Buhk / Jäger (Mercedes AMG AMG GT3)
16:15hrs Pit stop for wets.
16:19hrs Hits the crash barriers at the Schwedenkreuz.

33 – Ziegler / Saurenmann / Schmidt (Audi R8 LMS)
20:08hrs ‘G Tonic’ takes the wheel.
20:31hrs Off track moment in the Aremberg-Kurve without hitting anything.

44 – Dumbreck / Henzler / Ragginger / Imperatori (Porsche 991 GT3R)
15:59hrs Pit stop for fuel and fresh tyres.
16:00hrs Unscheduled pit stop due to loss of pressure on the right front wheel. Refuelled and fresh tyres.

54 – Kodidek / Perlini (Porsche 911 GT3 CUP)
15:50hrs Spins in the Mercedes-Arena.
15:52hrs Spins again in the Ravenol Kurve.

69 – Chrzanowski / Jodexnis / Schelp / Scharmach (Porsche 997 GT 3)
20:17hrs Pit stop for fuel – no driver swap.

76 – Weber / Bermes / Preacher / Hennerici (Aston Martin Vantage V8)
16:13hrs Pits for wets.
19:47hr Stands in the garage – electronics problems.

83 – Ackermann / Welschar / Wiskirchen / Walter (Porsche GT3 Cup)
16:15hrs Pit stop.

88 – Alzen / Arnold / Götz / Seyffarth (Mercedes AMG AMG GT3)
17:48hrs Maximilian Götz: “The start was okay. We were third and fourth but the, we got in the traffic and Uwe lost a position while I remained third. And in the sixth or seventh lap the monsoon began to fall. In the previous lap it always was slightly wet at that spot and I knew that it would be really really wet on the following lap. Then I went across the Flugplatz and was warned by the team that water was standing on the track. So I hit the brakes and then cruising was all one could do. Nonetheless, several drivers went off. It was luck that we made back to the pits with both cars unharmed and can prepare for the restart.”
20:29hrs Hits the crash barriers in the Fuchsröhre..
20:31hr Is towed a way with a damaged front suspension.

100 – Edwards / Klingmann / Luhr / Tomczyk (BMW M6 GT3)
16:20hrs Martin Tomczyk during the thunderstorm via team radio; “I’ve got wheelspin. I don’t get up the hill!”
16:49hrs Martin Tomczyk: “that’s the Nordschleife. We knew that something like this could happen. But Ice falling fro, the sky so early in the race – that was quite a surprise. My wheels kept spinning and I just couldn’t get up the Fuchsröhre. Incredible. The car is alright, so far.”

911 – Tandy / Estre / Bamber / Pilet (Porsche 911 GT3 R)
15:48hrs Hits the cars barriers at the Hohe Acht. Driver okay.
15:53hrs Nick Tandy reports: the rear is damaged and the engine wouldn’t start again.
17:40hrs On its way back to the paddock on the tow truck
19:05hrs Car can’t be repaired. The race is over

999 – Bouveng / Blomqvist / Krognes / Di Martino (BMW M6 GT3)
15:40hrs Pits
15:44hrs Reason for the pit stop. Engine cover was loose. Team Manger Niklas Königbauer: “We don’t know if this was caused by a contact or not. We will check everything now. I hope the other 23:50 hours will run flawlessly.”