News and Quotes 09:00 to 11:00hrs

With five more minutes to go, the podium positions in the 43rd ADAC Zurich 24h Race already seem to be secured.  At the same time, the battle for the position at the very front promises to be a real thriller. The top three demonstrated their stayer qualities, while countless rivals had to cope with early retirements.  With 19 hours of the race contested, the Audi Sport Team WRT Audi R8 LMS (#28) crosses the line with a 1:42.228-minute lead over the BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS BMW Z4 GT3 (#25). The Falken Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R (#44) defends third position. In addition to Audi, BMW and Porsche, vehicles of Bentley, Mercedes-Benz and Nissan complete the brand mix in the top 10. 

5 – Bin Turki Al Faisal / Haupt / Buurman / van Lagen (Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3
09:23hrs   
Scheduled pit stop.

7 – Mücke / Turner / Lamy / Stanaway (Aston Martin Vantage GT3)
09:24hrs    

Has battled its way back up to 20th.
10:47hrs    
Turner for Lamy.

9 – Lauck / Franchitti / Jahn / Mailleux (SCG 003c)
09:1Uhrs  

Mailleux for Lauck.
10:27hrs    
Franchitti for Mailleux. Mailleux: “The car now is running flawlessly, again.”

11 – Primat / Brück / Schmid / Seefried (Bentley Continental GT3)
09:02hrs  

Pit stop with driver swap: Seefried for Brück.
09:05hrs    
Christopher Brück: “I have been racing for a total of nine hours, now. It’s really tough and exhausting. The toughest stint was the one in the night – tougher than tough. I don’t think that we can gain positions or will get under pressure. We only try to keep our car on the track.”
10:03hrs    
Pit stop. Front brakes are changed.
10:45hrs     
Primat for Seefried who says: “Actually, we weren’t involved in any incidents, so far. But now I had vibrations and feared that we suffered a bearing failure. But fortunately, there just wasn’t enough air in one of the tyres.”

12 – Klohs / Renauer / Schlotter / Richter (Porsche 911 GT3 RSR)
09:32hrs    

Scheduled pit stop with driver swap: Richter for Schlotter.

15 – Yoong Loong / Cheng / Lee / Thong (Audi R8 LMS ultra)
09:02hrs 

Spins in the Bilstein-Kurve

17 – Laser / Cerruti / Edwards / Keilwitz (BMW Z4 GT3)
09:03hrs    

Cerruti for Keilwitz.

18 – Walkenhorst / Oeverhaus / Bollrath / Aust (BMW Z4 GT3)
10:34hrs    

Aust for Bollrath. Christian Bollrath: “So far, we contested the race without encountering major problems. We have a lot of confidence in the car and all set consistent lap times.”

21 – Schulze / Schulze / Strauß / Tresson (Nissan GT-R nismo GT3)
09:09hrs    

During the next stop,  the Nissan will have to stand for an extra 32 seconds as the team received a 32-second penalty for having undercut the pit-stop minimum time.

23 – Graf / Hohenadel / Bastian / Jäger (Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3)
09:45hrs   

Scheduled pit stop. Bastian continues.
10:54hrs    
Graf for Bastian.

25 – Martin / Luhr / Palttala / Westbrock (BMW Z4 GT3)
09:42hrs  

Lucas Luhr comes in and stays in the car for another stint.
10:49hrs    
Scheduled pit stop with driver swap: Westbrook for Luhr. The car is refuelled and the brake pads and discs are changed.
10:53hrs    
Lucas Luhr: “My stint was okay but the top speed of the Audi on the straights makes me thinking. That’s frustrating.”

26 – Farfus / Müller / Catsburg / Adorf (BMW Z4 GT3)
09:53hrs    

Catsburg for Müller.
10:57hrs    
The Marc VDS-BMW crosses the line in 8:18.690 minutes: the new fastest race lap.
09:24hrs   
Scheduled pit stop, Vanthoor continues.

28 – Mies / Sandström / Müller / Vanthoor (Audi R8 LMS)
09:42hrs   

New fastest race lap: 8:19.728 minutes.
10:11hrs    
Currently, the gap between the two alternating leaders amounts to about 1:10 minutes. The Audi has got a slight advantages as it regularly completes nine-lap stints while the MarcVDS-BMW (#25) now always pits after eight laps.
10:32hrs    
Müller for Vanthoor.
10:36hrs    
Laurens Vanthoor: “We will give our very very best to win the race. We are pushing hard to be able to beat the BMW.”

29 – Thiim / Joens / Kaffer / Vanthoor (Audi R8 LMS)
09:42hrs    

Pit stop. Kaffer continues.

33 – Huff / Heyer / Frommenwiler / Krognes (Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3)
09:42hrs    

Huff for Heyer.

35 – Buncombe / Hoshino / Krumm / Ordonez (Nissan GT-R nismo GT3)
09:49hrs    

Ordonez for Buncombe.

39 – Baunach / Kaufmann / Rönnefarth / Haezebrouck (Porsche 911 GT3 KR)
10:45hrs   

Kaufmann for Baunach.

44 – Dumbreck / Henzler / Ragginger / Imperatori (Porsche 911 GT3 R)
09:45hrs   

Dumbreck for Ragginger.

News and Quotes 07:00 to 09:00hrs

The top teams keep on stealing one another the lead.  Depending on their scheduled pit stops, the Audi Sport Team WRT Audi R8 LMS (#28) and the BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS BMW Z4 GT3 (#25) alternate at the very top, in the 16th and 17th hours of the 43rd ADAC Zurich 24h Race. At 09:00hrs, the BMW holds a 53.615-second lead over the Audi. The Falken Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 R (#44) follows in third position, 3:25.993 minutes behind the leader and ahead of the Black Falcon Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 (#5) in fourth. At sunrise, the conditions at the 25.378-kilometre combination of  GP circuit and Nordschleife are virtually perfect. This fact is demonstrated by the new fastest race lap set by the leaders’ sister car (#29) that crosses the line in 8:20.770 minutes, at 08:54hrs. 

5 – Bin Turki Al Faisal / Haupt / Buurman / van Lagen (Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3)
07:05hrs  

Technical Director Marin Wagner: “In the night, the emergency locking of the passenger door suddenly opened. Therefore, we had to come in for an unscheduled stop. In addition, we had shod the car with the wrong tyres for the weather conditions.”
08:15hrs   
Yelmer Buurman: “The conditions were great. The track is really fast, now. The car’s balance is very good but in the second part of my double stint I had to cope with a lot of traffic.”

6 – Adam / Stanaway / Lauda / Mücke (Aston Martin Vantage GT3)
07:40hrs  

The team announces that the car has gearbox problems.

7 – Mücke / Turner / Lamy / Stanaway (Aston Martin Vantage GT3)
08:04hrs   

Lamy for Turner.

9 – Lauck / Franchitti / Jahn / Mailleux (SCG 003c)
07:00hrs   

Pits with fire on the rear. The fire is extinguished and the car pushed into the garage.
07:08hrs   
Manuel Lauck: “The power steering failed all of a sudden – and all the electronic systems too. I assume that these problems were caused by the alternator. The idler pulley locked, the V belt disengaged and damaged several cables. Repairing the damage certainly will take us 45 minutes, an hour or more.“
08:01hrs  
The repair works have been completed, the car is pushed out of the garage, refuelled and rejoins the race – with Manuel Lauck at the wheel and accompanied by the applause of the mechanics.

16 – Busch / Busch / Frankenhout (Audi R8 LMS ultra)
08:57hrs  

Scheduled pit stop with driver swap. Frankenhout for Dennis Busch.

17 – Laser / Cerruti / Edwards / Keilwitz (BMW Z4 GT3)
07:49hrs  

Keilwitz for Edwards. Edwards: “Driving now is really big fun as the grip is very good – particularly in the high-speed sections.”

18 – Walkenhorst / Oeverhaus / Bollrath / Aust (BMW Z4 GT3)
08:02hrs   

Ralf Oeverhaus for Henry Walkenhorst. “There currently are a lot of accidents. Our strategy is to drive carefully and make it to the finish. More often than not, the retirements aren’t caused by technical failures but by accidents.  We want to secure a top-15 result with the #18 and a top-five result with the #17.

23 – Graf / Hohenadel / Bastian / Jäger (Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3)
07:18hrs   

Pits for tyres.
08:32hrs   
Pit stop with driver swap – Bastian for Hohenadel. Rear brakes are changed.
08:48hrs   
Christian Hohenadel: “We really aren’t the lucky ones, this weekend. We have lost our third gear and that’s a gear you need rather often, here. Early in the morning, we had another impact and therefore, the track also isn’t okay. There isn’t a chance of gaining ground but we want to try to defend our position. We hope that the car will make it to the finish.”

25 – Martin / Luhr / Palttala / Westbrock (BMW Z4 GT3)
07:13hrs   

The leader pits after an eight-lap stint. In the previous stints, the car completed nine laps. The tyres are changed, Maxime Martin continues.
08:28hrs   
Luhr for Martin.

26 – Farfus / Müller / Catsburg / Adorf (BMW Z4 GT3)
07:29hrs  

Müller for Adorf.
07:37hrs   
Dirk Adorf: “The night was exciting for us as we had a fire while refuelling the car around midnight. This incident cost us nearly a lap. But the car runs so flawlessly that we were able to make up for the lost ground, over the course of the night. There currently are a lot of yellow-flag periods. You can see that many drivers are getting tired.”
08:50hrs   
Pit stop. Jörg Müller stays in the cockpit for a second stint.

28 – Mies / Sandström / Müller / Vanthoor (Audi R8 LMS)
07:19hrs   

Lap 96, 8.23.736 minutes, the fastest race lap so far.
07:27hrs   
The leaders’ gap on the second-placed BMW #25 amounts to just 1.740 seconds.
07:43hrs   
Christopher Mies keeps on defending the lead against the Marc VDS BMW #25. The lead amounts to just 1.00 seconds.
08:01hrs   
The leading WRT-Audi pits. Christopher Mies is replaced by Laurens Vanthoor.
08:38hrs   
Back in the lead after 105 laps. The 25th change in the lead.

29 – Thiim / Joens / Kaffer / Vanthoor (Audi R8 LMS)
07:21hrs   

The next fastest race lap: 8:21.648 minutes.
08:55hrs   
And another one: 8:20.770 minutes.

30 – Schmitz / Huisman / Pilet / Bergmeister (Porsche 911 GT3 R)
07:45hrs    Klaus Abbelen: Following his accident in the night, Patrick Pilet is fine. He already is back in Paris.

33 – Huff / Heyer / Frommenwiler / Krognes (Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3)
08:31hrs 

Heyer for Frommenwiler. Kenneth Heyer: “The car runs superbly and without problems. I had a slight encounter in the Schwalbenschwanz area – but without any consequences.”

44 – Dumbreck / Henzler / Ragginger / Imperatori (Porsche 911 GT3 R)
07:13hr    

The second-placed Porsche pits following a nine-lap stint.
07:20hrs   
Alexandre Imperatori takes over from Peter Dumbreck. Dumbreck: “We had some critical moments in the night as some competitors decelerated too hard for double-yellow zones and continued at less than 60kph. This behaviour nearly resulted in rear-end collisions, Now, the circuit is really fast.”
08:38hrs    Ragginger for Imperatori.

85 – Smith / Kane / Meyrick / Arnold (Bentley Continental GT3)
08:03hrs   

Pits. Repair works at the front of the body.

News and Quotes 00:00 to 07:00hrs

At 5:42hrs, the sun rose over the Nürburgring and after a relatively quiet night, the 43rd ADAC Zurich 24h Race started into its final third. With 15 hours contested, the front runners have completed 94 laps. The lead is held by the BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS BMW Z4 GT3 (#25), with the Falken Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 (#44) following 1:53.789 minutes behind in second position. Third place is held by the Audi Sport Team WRT R8 LMS (#28). In the meantime, the crowds have witnessed 24 changes in the lead, with the last eight so far having taken place between the three currently leading cars. The fastest Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3, Black falcon’s 5, currently holds fifth position. The colourful brand mix in the top 10 is completed by the Aston Martin Vantage GT3 (#6) and the Bentley Continental GT3 (#11) in the eighth and ninth positions respectively. 

1 – Haase / Mamerow / Rast / Winkelhock (Audi R8 LMS)
01:07hrs   

Last year’s winners now have been holding the lead for 12 laps.
Altogether, there have been 12 changes in the lead, so far.
01:32hrs   
Once again, a race leader is forced into retirement. The reigning champions crash in the Pflanzgarten area. The driver, Christian Mamerow, survives the incident unharmed.

4 – Basseng / Fässler / Rockenfeller / Stippler (Audi R8 LMS)
00:51hrs  

The second Phoenix Audi stands in the garage for several laps. The engine misfired and the team now looks for the mistake to possibly be able to avoid the same problem in the sister car.
02:33hrs   
Rejoins the race.
02:46hrs   
Also retires. Pits and is pushed in the garage for good.
04:40hrs   
Basseng: “After the repair of the cable break, the car ran great and we crossed the line in 8:30 minutes on our first flying lap. But there was oil on the track in the Klostertal area and our car went off – at first without hitting something. But the Aston Martin #7 lost it for the same reason and hit us in a waxy that our race was over right away.”

5 – Bin Turki Al Faisal / Haupt / Buurman / van Lagen (Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3)
01:36hr  

Haupt for Buurman.
05:37hrs   
Buuman for van Lagen.
06:54hrs   
Pits for tyres, Buurman continues.

6 – Adam / Stanaway / Lauda / Mücke (Aston Martin Vantage GT3)
01:37hrs   

Pit stop without driver swap.
04:13hrs   
Pits.
05:26hrs   
Pits.

7 – Mücke / Turner / Lamy / Stanaway (Aston Martin Vantage GT3)
04:42hrs  

Back on the track and pits right away.
04:48hrs   
Mücke: “I went off on lubricants and crashed into the tyre walls. Now we try to repair the car and continue. The front is damaged rather badly.”
05:14hrs   
Rejoins the race.

9 – Lauck / Franchitti / Jahn / Mailleux (SCG 003c)
03:12hrs  

Power-steering failure. Car is repaired in the garage. Team uses the opportunity to also completely change the brakes.
06:30hrs   
Driver swap. Manuel Lauck for Franck Mailleux.
07:00hrs   
Pits with burning rear. The fire is extinguished right away and the car is pushed into the garage.

11 – Primat / Brück / Schmid / Seefried (Bentley Continental GT3)
05:44hrs   

Harold Primat for Clemens Schmid .
06:53hrs   
Pit stop, brake pads at the front are changed.

14 – Mayr-Melnhof / Salmon / Ohlsson / Saurenmann (Audi R8 LMS ultra)
00:13hrs  

Technical failure in the Fuchsröhre area.

16 – Busch / Busch / Frankenhout (Audi R8 LMS ultra)
06:21hrs   

Dennis Busch for Marc Busch.

22 – Engel / Seyffarth / van der Zande / Jäger (Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3)
02:14hrs   

The ROWE-SLS pits and is pushed into the team tent in the paddock right away.
02:24hrs   
The ROWE-Mercedes has been retired for good. Maro Engel: “Following another tyre damage, we are so far behind that it just doesn’t make sense to continue.”

23 – Graf / Hohenadel / Bastian / Jäger (Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3)
00:08hrs  

Switches to slicks.  00:31hrs     ?Worked its way up to fifth and keeps on setting the currently fastest lap times.
01:49hrs   
The Rowe-SLS is in problems. It pits for the second time within two laps. A damaged tyre is changed and the rear cover at the right is mended with racing tape.
03:05hrs   
Scheduled pit stop.
06:01hrs   
Hohenadel for Bastian.
06:08hrs   
Nico Bastian: “The gearbox isn’t our best friend, today. We have to go easy on the third gear and so, we shift from second just very short to third and then right away on to fourth gear. We have been doing this so long, now, that I’m convinced that we will be able to finish the race, this way. It’s not the fastest way to contest the race, but the most material-friendly one.”

25 – Martin / Luhr / Palttala / Westbrock (BMW Z4 GT3)
00:37hrs  

Westbrook for Luhr.
01:54hrs   
On lap 62, the BMW closes the gap to the leading Audi by 24 seconds.
03:14hrs   
the new leader. It’s the 16th change in the lead.
03:33hrs   
Scheduled pit stop of the leaders who will lose the lead, due to this stop.
04:35hrs   
Back in the lead with 78 laps contested.
05:22hrs   
Back in the lead with 83 laps contested. The 20th change in the lead.
06:00hrs   
Martin for Palttala.
06:46hrs   
22nd change in the lead with 93 laps contested due to the pit stop of the WRT-Audi #28.

26 – Farfus / Müller / Catsburg / Adorf (BMW Z4 GT3)
03:44hrs  

With its 8:28.620-minute lap, the Z4 brakes the 8:30-minute barrier.
03:55hrs   
The fourth in the standings has been the quickest for several laps, now.
04:12hrs   
Pit stop.
05:25hrs   
Pit stop.
06:13rs   
Adorf for Farfus.
06:19hrs   
Augusto Farfus: “The sunrise stint is the best. The atmosphere around the Nordschleife is great, the tyres are good, the car runs like a charm – everything is perfect.”

28 – Mies / Sandström / Müller / Vanthoor (Audi R8 LMS)
00:26hrs   

The first lap time below 10 minutes for quite a while. With its 9:47.220-minute lap, the second-placed WRT-Audi (#28) is about 10 seconds faster than the leading #1.
01:21hrs   
Pit stop. Müller continues.
01:32hrs   
The new leader with 60 laps contested. The 15th change in the lead.
02:59hrs   
On lap 67, the leaders lose about two minutes compared to their hunters. 11:37 minutes, while the other top teams set lap times between 9:11 and 9:35 minutes. Nico Müller after his double-stint: “There are a lot of yellow flag periods. And unfortunately, many drivers already decelerate to 60kph in the case of one waved yellow flag, thus making you lose a lot of time.”
03:03hrs   
Sandström for Müller.
03:14hr   
Sandström loses 15 seconds on the leaders, on his first lap.
03:43hrs   
The WRT Audi takes the lead with 73 laps contested. The 17th change in the lead.
04:17hrs   
The leading Audi pits.
05:17hrs   
Pits.
06:43hrs   
Engineer Phillip Mondelaers: “We had a dose of bad luck in the yellow-flag zones but apart from that, we got through the night rather well. Now, we will opt for a conservative approach to not break anything and make it to the finish line.”

29 – Thiim / Joens / Kaffer / Vanthoor (Audi R8 LMS)
01:53hrs   

Brake pads and discs are changed.
01:54hrs   
Pits. Kaffer continues.

35 – Buncombe / Hoshino / Krumm / Ordonez (Nissan GT-R nismo GT3)
00:25hrs   

Michael Krumm: “The weather is extremely trappy but our car fortunately survived the conditions unharmed, so far. When you enter a corner where it began to rain you haven’t got the slightest chance. You only can hope that there are some yellow flags warning you early enough.”
05:43hrs   
Kazuki Hoshino for Lucas Ordonez.

44 – Dumbreck / Henzler / Ragginger / Imperatori (Porsche 911 GT3 R)
03:04hrs   

The Falken Porsche takes the lead on lap 70. It’s the 15th change in the lead. Comes in for a scheduled pit stop following a nine-lap stint.
04:30hrs   
Pits.
05:04hrs   
Peter Dumbreck: “Morning has broken and the Falken Porsche still is in the race and going strong. This means that we have made the first step. To date, we succeeded in avoiding any close encounters and just did our own thing. I hope we will be able to continue this way.”
05:57hrs   
Brake pads are changed, driver swap: Dumbreck for Henzler. Henzler: “The track conditions are okay. But the traffic is as crazy as always.”

84 – Bleekemolen / Arnold / Menzel / Brück (Bentley Continental GT3)
00:39hrs   

The team currently is repairing the Continental by dint of a sledgehammer.

85 – Smith / Kane / Meyrick / Arnold (Bentley Continental GT3)
06:51hrs   

Kane for Smith. Smith: “Currently, it’s somewhat frustrating as you don’t have real laps, due to all the yellow flags and all the oil on the track. But driving here in the night is something very very special and a major challenge. This can be compared with no other circuit.

News and Quotes 23:00 to 24:00hrs

An Audi R8 LMS trio holds the lead in the 43rd ADAC Zurich 24h Race. At 00:00hrs, #1 leads, followed by #28 and #4. The leader and the third placed car represent the Audi Sport Team Phoenix Racing colours, with the runner-up racing for Audi Sport Team WRT. Behind the three Audis, the BMW Z4 GT3 (#25) entered by BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS holds fourth position, the Falken-Porsche (#44) follows in fifth. Meanwhile, the reason for the crash of the Frikadelli Porsche (#30) has been found. In the Karussell section, Patrick Pilet was involved in an accident with another car. The 911 GTR is a write-off. For safety reasons, the French driver is taken to the medical centre for examinations.

1 – Haase / Mamerow / Rast / Winkelhock (Audi R8 LMS)
23:24hrs

The leader crossed the line at the end of their last lap so far in 12:12.900 minutes. The rain is heavy and the track extremely wet.
23:44hrs
The Phoenix-Audi extends its lead. On lap 49 alone, the WRT-Audi #28 loses 10 seconds on the leaders.
23:46hrs
‘Mamerow: “We played it safe and came in for an early switch to wets. And it proved to have been the perfect decision.”

4 – Basseng / Fässler / Rockenfeller / Stippler (Audi R8 LMS)
23:58hrs

Pit stop with driver swap. Stippler for Fässler, switch to slicks.

6 – Adam / Stanaway / Lauda / Mücke (Aston Martin Vantage GT3)
23:23hrs

Pit stop for fuel and a switch to wets.

7 – Mücke / Turner / Lamy / Stanaway (Aston Martin Vantage GT3)
23:42hrs

Pit stop for fuel and wets. Pedro Lamy stays in the cockpit.

17 – Laser / Cerruti / Edwards / Keilwitz (BMW Z4 GT3)
23:53hrs

Pit stop. Switch to slicks.

19 – Müller / Sims / Werner / Wittmann (BMW Z4 GT3)
23:26hrs

Following a heavy impact in the crash barriers with Dirk Werner at the wheel, the left front of the car is damaged and it is repaired in the garage.
23:31hrs
Dirk Werner: “I spun at the Döttinger Höhe in the wet, went off and hit the crash barriers. We will repair the car but our chances for securing a good result arguably are over. This will cost us 30 minutes at least.”

21 – Schulze / Schulze / Strauß / Tresson (Nissan GT-R nismo GT3)
23:24hrs

Pit stop for fuel and wets.
23:47hrs
Pit stop for slicks.

23 – Graf / Hohenadel / Bastian / Jäger (Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3)
23:39hrs

With a 10:39.273-minute lap the currently fastest car.

26 – Farfus / Müller / Catsburg / Adorf (BMW Z4 GT3)
23:14hrs

The team switches to wets.

28 – Mies / Sandström / Müller / Vanthoor (Audi R8 LMS)
23:31hrs

The second placed Audi’s gap to the leaders amounts to 2:15.003 minutes.

29 – Thiim / Joens / Kaffer / Vanthoor (Audi R8 LMS)
23:05hrs

Pit stop. Switches to wets.

30 – Schmitz / Huisman / Pilet / Bergmeister (Porsche 911 GT3 R)
23:22hrs

Data engineer Erik Meyer talks about the radio contact with Patrick Pilet. The car was seriously damaged following a crash in the Karussell section and has to stop. Meyer: “I assume that we won’t be able to continue. This is a real shame as the car was running really well. Due to this incident, the lead was inherited by last year’s winners, the Audi #1.”
23:41 hrs
Subsequent entry regarding the retirement of the Frikadelli Porsche: Before hitting the crash barriers, the Porsche was involved in a collision with the Car Collection SLS #31.
23:56hrs
According to race control information, Patrick Pilet was taken to the medical centre for examinations, following the accident.

31 – Schmidt / Mattschull / Ehret / Rice (Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3)
23:28hrs

Is towed away by the DMSB-Staffel in the Wippermann area.

33 – Huff / Heyer / Frommenwiler / Krognes (Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3)
23:29hrs

Switches to wets.

85 – Smith / Kane / Meyrick / Arnold (Bentley Continental GT3)
23:01hrs

The Bentley is repaired and rejoins the race.

News and Quotes 21:00 to 23:00hrs

Drama at 23:00hrs. The Frikadelli Racing Team’s Porsche 911 GT3 R (#30) crashes out of the race. Short after the end of the seventh hour, the car of the amateur team that is based in Barweiler, not far from the Nürburgring, doesn’t cross the finish line as expected. Frenchman Patrick Pilet lost it in the Kesselchen and crashed into the crash barriers. It’s unlikely that the car will be able to continue the race. Due to this accident, the 2014 winners, the Team Phoenix Racing Audi R8 LMS (#1), inherited the lead, followed by the BMW Sport Trophy Team Schubert BMW Z4 GT3 (#19). Third position is held by Audi Sport Team WRT (#28). The fastest Porsche is the Falken Motorsport 911 GT3 R (#44).

1 – Haase / Mamerow / Rast / Winkelhock (Audi R8 LMS)
21:17hrs

Driver swap: Christopher Haase for Rene Rast.
22:34hrs
The leader pits without driver swap.
22:56hrs
Pit stop, switches to wets.

2 – Buurman / Simonsen / Christodoulou / Schneider (Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3)
21:16hrs

With active support of Adam Christodoulou, the team tries to re-fix the rear wheel out there at the track.
21:28hrs
Back on the track after the wheel could be fixed thanks to the help of a Mathol Racing driver.
22:06hrs
The lost wheel is back. It made it back to the team earlier than the damaged SLS that still hasn’t made it back to the paddock.
22:43hrs
The Mercedes has rejoined the race and currently holds 112th position.

4 – Basseng / Fässler / Rockenfeller / Stippler (Audi R8 LMS)
22:57hrs

Pit stop for wets.

6 – Adam / Stanaway / Lauda / Mücke (Aston Martin Vantage GT3)
21:17hrs

Receives a 1:32-minute time penalty for pit-lane speeding.

7 – Mücke / Turner / Lamy / Stanaway (Aston Martin Vantage GT3)
22:54hrs

Driver swap: Lamy for Turner.

8 – Alzen / Holzer / Siedler / Götz (Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3)
21:06hrs

Marco Holzer is replaced by Norbert Siedler. Holzer: “My stint was quite alright. But under double yellow, when we are supposed to driver at a speed of 60kph, some of the drivers drive at speeds of 30 or 40 kph and make you lose a lot of time.”
21:14hrs
Is pushed by the team into the garage, Norbert Siedler gets out. The Mercedes is damaged at the front and the rear.
21:30hrs
The Mercedes has to be retired. Siedler: “I lost it on the wet track while accelerating out of the Hohe Acht, spun and crashed into the crash barriers.”

9 – Lauck / Franchitti / Jahn / Mailleux (SCG 003c)
21:21hrs

David Jahn is replaced by Franck Mailleux. Jahn: “The last laps on slicks already were rather dangerous as it was extremely slippery.”
21:57hrs
The second speeding in one of the speed-limit zones. The ‘reward’: a 3:32-minute time penalty.

10 – Weiss / Kainz / Krumbach / Christensen (Porsche 911 GT3 RSR)
21:04hrs

The car is damaged beyond repair and must be retired for good as Michael Christensen crashed into the crash barriers. The team tried hard to repair the Porsche but in the end, they had to give up.

11 – Primat / Brück / Schmid / Seefried (Bentley Continental GT3)
21:14hrs

Marco Seefried: “We avoided getting involved in any incidents and therefore, we also didn’t receive any penalties. It slippery in some sections: Fuchsröhre, Bergwerk, Hohe Acht and Brünnchen. Nonetheless, we keep on racing on slicks.”
22:21hrs
Brück for Primat. Primat: “Everything works fine. But it partly is difficult to assess the level of wetness on the track. And it goes without saying that you don’t want to take unnecessary risks in these conditions.”

14 – Mayr-Melnhof / Salmon / Ohlsson / Saurenmann (Audi R8 LMS ultra)
21:10hrs

Cruises slowly back to the pits. Damages at the left front and rear.

15 – Yoong Loong / Cheng / Lee / Thong (Audi R8 LMS ultra)
21:57hrs

Driver swap: Marchy Lee for Franky Cheng.
22:03hrs
Receives a 3:32-minute time penalty for the second speeding in a speed-limit zone.

16 – Busch / Busch / Frankenhout (Audi R8 LMS ultra)
21:19hrs

Marc Busch for Dennis Busch.

17 – Laser / Cerruti / Edwards / Keilwitz (BMW Z4 GT3)
21:54hrs

Pit stop

18 – Walkenhorst / Oeverhaus / Bollrath / Aust (BMW Z4 GT3)
22:13hrs

Driver swap: Walkenhorst is replaced by Oeverhaus. Walkenhorst: “A lot of dirt, a lot of lubricants and many yellow flags – but everything is okay as long as the fog stays away. There are camp fires all around the track and you can smell the barbecues. That’s how it has to be.”

19 – Müller / Sims / Werner / Wittmann (BMW Z4 GT3)
22:09hrs

Drivers swap: Werner for Wittmann who says: “There were a lot of yellow flags, during the rain-period. The track was particularly slippery between Hohe Acht and Brünnchen and keeping the car on the track was not exactly easy. But apart from that, it was a trouble-free stint.”

20 – Baumann / Hürtgen / Klingmann / Tomczyk (BMW Z4 GT3)
21:34hrs

Torsten Schubert: “Jens will go out for a lap, now. But this lap only represents a function test as the repair works have not yet been completed.”
21:47hrs
Is retired. Torsten Schubert: “Jens Klingmann was out for a lap but that couldn’t be called driving. The car was just undriveable.”
22:04hrs
Team Schubert keeps on trying to repair the car and possibly rejoin the race action.

26 – Farfus / Müller / Catsburg / Adorf (BMW Z4 GT3)
21:39hrs

Pits for a scheduled stop and rejoins the race. Farfus stays in the car for another stint.

28 – Mies / Sandström / Müller / Vanthoor (Audi R8 LMS)
22:35hrs

Pit stop of the third placed car – no driver swap.
22:57hrs
Pit stop: switches to wets.

30 – Schmitz / Huisman / Pilet / Bergmeister (Porsche 911 GT3 R)
21:46hrs

The Frikadelli Porsche comes in for an unscheduled tyre change.
21:53hrs
Unscheduled stop of Pilet: Technical Director Ulli Lienert: “In our data recordings we could see that the 911 had a slow puncture. We called Pilet in and changed the tyre. He confirmed that the handling of the car was unstable.”

31 – Schmidt / Mattschull / Ehret / Rice (Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3)
22:41hrs

Pit stop for fuel and tyres.

35 – Buncombe / Hoshino / Krumm / Ordonez (Nissan GT-R nismo GT3)
21:37hrs

Driver swap: Kazuki Hoshino is replaced by Michael Krumm. Team Principal Bob Neville: “We have been racing on slicks all the time.”

44 – Dumbreck / Henzler / Ragginger / Imperatori (Porsche 911 GT3 R)
22:12hrs

Driver swap: Henzler for Ragginger who says. “My stint was completely crazy.”

84 – Bleekemolen / Arnold / Menzel / Brück (Bentley Continental GT3)
21:43hrs

Pit stop: Christian Menzel stays behind the wheel. Lance David Arnold talks about his stint in the opening stages of the race: “I made a good start and worked my way up from eighth to fourth position. But during the refuelling, the petrol station worked too slowly and we dropped back again. I could make up for a part of the lost ground but then, my team-mate had a problem wit the door.”
22:56hrs
Christian Menzel: “I contested my double stint but only three of the laps were fun. It was extremely exhausting as we had countless yellow flags and some of the drivers seem to just not know how to behave in such a situation.”

News and quotes 19:00 to 21:00hrs

With five hours contested, the situation at the front end of the ADAC Zurich 24h-Race field has changed. Once again rain began to fall and consequently, the tyre choice turned into a gamble – with winners and losers. Last years winners, racing the Audi R8 LMS (#1) entered Audi Sport Team Phoenix made everything right and hold the lead, after five hours, 13.868 seconds ahead of the Team Frikadelli Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R (#30) in second position. Third and fourth positions are held by the Audi Sport Team WRT Audi R8 LMS (#28) and Haribo Racing Team’s Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 (#8). The gull-wing racer with the striking fruit-gum bear started into the race from 17th grid position but worked its way up in impressive style. Meanwhile, the BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS BMW z4 GT3 (#26) was one of the big losers of the past two hours. The temporary leader missed the perfect point in time for switching to wets, lost a lot of time and dropped back to fifth position. The gap to the leaders 2:40.965 minutes.

1 – Haase / Mamerow / Rast / Winkelhock (Audi R8 LMS)
19:33hrs

The absolutely fastest time on lap 23: 8:23.387 min.
19:47hrs
Driver swap: Rene Rast for Markus Winkelhock.
20:32hrs
10th change in the lead. Now, last year’s winner are at the very top for the first time in this year’s race. Their lead over the Frikadelli Porsche: 8.5 percent.
20:42hrs
With an 8:31.792-minute lap, the Audi slightly increases its lead.

2 – Buurman / Simonsen / Christodoulou / Schneider (Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3)
20:40hrs

Cruises slowly in the Kesselchen area and is passed by the BMW #2. A few metres later, the Mercedes loses its left rear wheel and stops. Adam Christodoulou gets out and tries to re-fix the wheel himself, then he is helped by the DMSB-Staffel.
20:42hrs
Christodoulou uses his smart phone to make a phone call right from the trackside.
20:44hrs
The SLS is towed away by the DMSB-Staffel.
20:53hrs
Bernd Schneider: “I already had prepared for my stint. I don’t know if a part of the wheel is broken. Unfortunately, Adam couldn’t continue on three wheels as he had no propulsion due to the limited slip differential. To lift the car you need the air jack or he should have parked on a curb. But he couldn’t have continued, from there and so – it was the only possibility to stop the car. Now our guys are on the way to the car to fix the wheel again. And then we have to check in the pits if we have to repair something. We still can’t say if it’s a secondary damage.”

4 – Basseng / Fässler / Rockenfeller / Stippler (Audi R8 LMS)
19:40hrs

Driver swap: Marc Basseng for Mike Rockenfeller. An additional heat sheet is mounted to the rear.

5 – Bin Turki Al Faisal / Haupt / Buurman / van Lagen (Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3)
19:49hrs

The previously leading SLS currently can’t fully match the pace of the leaders. Al Faisal loses 10 to 15 seconds per lap.
20:51hrs
Driver swap: Jaap van Lagen for Abdulaziz Bin Turki Al Faisal.

6 – Adam / Stanaway / Lauda / Mücke (Aston Martin Vantage GT3)
19:54hrs

Driver swap: Richie Stanaway for Matthias Lauda.

7 – Mücke / Turner / Lamy / Stanaway (Aston Martin Vantage GT3)
19:42hrs
David Richards: “The Nürburgring 24h race is unique in the world. You won’t find such an event anywhere else. The big number of cars, the huge crowd and this very special racetrack characterise this race. To win here you have to be respectful and careful. A 24h race isn’t won in the first corner. But of course you also need a dose of luck regarding the weather conditions.”
20:04hrs
Driver swap: Darren Turner takes over from Stefan Mücke.

8 – Alzen / Holzer / Siedler / Götz (Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3)
19:45hrs

Maximilian Götz: “I couldn’t complain about a lack of action. I permanently was involved in battles with the Audis – and then I had to avoid an accident that occurred in front of me. There was a lot of action going on out there but made good progress and survived everything unharmed.”

9 – Lauck / Franchitti / Jahn / Mailleux (SCG 003c)
19:59hrs

Driver swap: David Jahn for Marino Franchitti. Franchitti: “We temporarily switched to intermediates but this decision was wrong. We lacked so much traction that we switched back to slicks. The traffic is pure madness and you really have to use your head. I was in quite a number of tight situations but at the end of the day, nothing happened.”

10 – Weiss / Kainz / Krumbach / Christensen (Porsche 911 GT3 RSR)
19:45hrs

Repairs in the garage after a crash. Team Principal Olaf Manthey: “The car driving ahead of us lost coolant, we slipped on it, lost it and hit the crash barriers. „We arguably will have to change both right suspensions at the rear.”

14 – Mayr-Melnhof / Salmon / Ohlsson / Saurenmann (Audi R8 LMS ultra)
19:33hrs

Ronnie Saurenmann for Micke Ohlsson.
19:36hrs
Micke Ohlsson: “This is so much fun. Yes, making no mistakes in the traffic represents a huge challenge but driving here is just fantastic.”

17 – Laser / Cerruti / Edwards / Keilwitz (BMW Z4 GT3)
20:51hrs

Time penalty for undercutting the minimum pit-stop time.

19 – Müller / Sims / Werner / Wittmann (BMW Z4 GT3)
20:44hrs

Marco Wittmann replaces Alexander Sims.

20 – Baumann / Hürtgen / Klingmann / Tomczyk (BMW Z4 GT3)
20:30hrs

Torsten Schubert: “there still is some work to be done on the front. We certainly will need another 30 minutes.”

25 – Martin / Luhr / Palttala / Westbrock (BMW Z4 GT3)
19:33hrs

Driver swap: Markus Palttala for Richard Westbrook: “We made a safety stop for wets. Unfortunately, this decision proved to be wrong. The track sill was too good and therefore, we lot too much time. That’s a real shame.”
20:36hrs
Maxime Martin for Markus Palttala.

26 – Farfus / Müller / Catsburg / Adorf (BMW Z4 GT3)
19:32hrs

Driver swap: Nicky Catsburg for Dirk Adorf. Adorf: “This wasn’t a battle with the leading Black-Falcon-SLS (#5). It pushed that hard that I let it pass. We have the task to win a 24h race. If they keep on racing like that they won’t get far.”
20:08hrs
The ninth driver swap: Due to the pit stop of the Frikadelli Porsche, the MarcVDS-BMW #26 now is back in the lead.
20:25hrs
Nicky Catsburg replaces Augusto Farfus.

29 – Thiim / Joens / Kaffer / Vanthoor (Audi R8 LMS)
19:00hrs

Pits with a damaged right front and after a short inspection by the team, the car is pushed into the garage. There, the entire front is exchanged.
19:33hrs
Rejoins the race. Christer Jöns: “It’s still early in the race. Yes, we lost 20 minutes but the race is not yet lost. You have seen how quickly one can be involved in an incident.”

30 – Schmitz / Huisman / Pilet / Bergmeister (Porsche 911 GT3 R)
19:40hrs

The eighth change in the lead. Now, the Frikadelli-Team has re-gained the lead. 4.116 seconds ahead of the 2014 winners, the Audi #1.
19:54hrs
The currently leading Frikadelli Porsche comes in for its next scheduled pit stop.
20:04hrs
Driver swap: Patrick Huisman for Jörg Bergmeister. Bergmeister: “Actually, I had planned to push but I only succeeded in doing so to a limited extent. There was a lot of traffic and surprisingly, many drivers closed the door. I prefer a free track but nonetheless, I got through rather well.”

44 – Dumbreck / Henzler / Ragginger / Imperatori (Porsche 911 GT3 R)
20:57hrs

Martin Ragginger for Alexandre Imperatori.

News and quotes 17:00 to 19:00hrs

The second and third hours brought quite a lot of action to the 43rd ADAC Zurich 24h-Race leader board, with six changes in the lead. Due to a rain shower, several cars entertained the crowds with unusual but spectacular power slides. The first prominent early retirement was Team Zakspeed following an off-track moment of their Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 (#27), as the car was frayed beyond repair, in the incident. “Our car is damaged that seriously that continuing the race just wouldn’t make sense,” said Team Principal Peter Zakowski. Meanwhile, other teams don’t even shy away from changing the engine – such as Team Click vers.de on their Porsche 911 GT3 (#69). With three hours and 20 laps contested, the Black Falcon Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 (#5) holds the lead., with its tiny lead over the second-placed BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS BMW Z4 GT3 (#26) amounting to 0.171 seconds. Third place is held by the Frikadelli Racing Team Porsche 911 GT3 R (#30).

2 – Buurman / Simonsen / Christodoulou / Schneider (Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3)
17:47hrs   

Collision of #2 and #9 in the Eschbach area. Both can continue without problems.
18:01hrs   
Slight collision with the Audi TT #112 at the Aremberg exit.

5 – Bin Turki Al Faisal / Haupt / Buurman / van Lagen (Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3)
17:29hrs   

Leads, followed by the BMW #26. the gap between the cars amounts to just 0.491 seconds.
18:15hrs   
pot stop. Is shod with new slicks, Hubert Haupt for Yelmer Buurman.
18:47hrs   
Passes the MarcVDS-BMW (#26) in the Zurich-Z for the lead. .
18:57hrs   
Abdulaziz Bin Turki Al Faisal: In about an hour I’m going to take over from Hubert and I hope that we still will be the leaders, then. And who knows if I won’t be able to even extend this lead.  10 – Weiss / Kainz / Krumbach / Christensen (Porsche 911 GT3 RSR)
18:30hrs   
Changes from wets to slicks. Driver swap: Christensen for Krumbach.

11 – Primat / Brück / Schmid / Seefried (Bentley Continental GT3)
17:52hrs   

Pits for wets.

13 – Dittmann / Albrecht / Lachmayer / Schall (Chrysler (Dodge) Viper)
17:16hrs   

Cruises slowly in the Pflanzgarten area.

16 – Busch / Busch / Frankenhout (Audi R8 LMS ultra)
17:40hrs   

Pit stop for wets.
18:48hrs
Driver swap: Christiaan Frankenhout for Dennis Busch.

19 – Müller / Sims / Werner / Wittmann (BMW Z4 GT3)
17:01hrs
Scheduled pit stop of the leaders.  
17:12hrs  

Dirk Müller replaces Dirk Werner. Werner: “I had a lot of fun, out there. The opening stages were really exciting. I could pass the Mercedes in turn two and from that point in time we contested the first stint as synchronised triplets. What a great stint!
18:20hrs   
Dirk Müller: “Actually I was supposed to complete just a normal stint but as I had such a nice battle for the lead we spontaneously decided that I should stay in the car. Driving in the rain was really difficult and I’m happy that I brought the car back to the pits without any damages.”

20 – Baumann / Hürtgen / Klingmann / Tomczyk (BMW Z4 GT3)
17:39hrs   

The Schubert BMW Z4 that held the lead for quite a while suffers a suspension damage in the Döttinger Höhe section. Pits and is pushed into the garage right away.
17:46hrs   
Claudia Hürtgen: “It was raining. In the Pflanzgarten area, I jumped over the tip and went aslant when landing. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get the car under control again. It arguably will take us another hour before we will be able to rejoin the race.

21 – Schulze / Schulze / Strauß / Tresson (Nissan GT-R nismo GT3)
17:11hrs   

Pit stop, driver swap: Florian Strauß for M. Schulze. Schulze: “I made a good start and tried to stay in my group. And I succeeded in doing so until I came in for the driver swap.”
18:44hrs   
Rejoins the race after repair works. The belt of the servo pump had disengaged.
18:50hrs   
Is towed off the track in the Breidscheid area.

23 – Graf / Hohenadel / Bastian / Jäger (Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3)
18:10hrs   

Pits. Slight front damage is mended with race tape.
18:59hrs   
Nico Bastian: “I’m going to take over after this stint. But things aren’t running too well for us. In the opening stages, when the car in front of him had to brake, Christian gut into a sandwich. He was hit from behind and the front was damaged too. Now we have to pit again and again to work on the damage.” Currently, the car is driven by Thomas Jäger.

25 – Martin / Luhr / Palttala / Westbrock (BMW Z4 GT3)
17:16hrs   

Richard Westbrook for Lucas Luhr.
17:23hrs   
Lucas Luhr: Compared to the chaotic conditions in 2014, this year’s opening stages were very quiet. I didn’t take any risks and the car is running superbly. I wouldn’t mind if things continued like this.”
18:00hrs   
Pit stop: the team switches two wets, Westbrook remains at the wheel.

26 – Farfus / Müller / Catsburg / Adorf (BMW Z4 GT3)
17:37hr  

Dirk Adorf already is waiting to take over when the car comes in for the next stop.
17:58hrs   
Change in the lead: Der MarcVDS-BMW is back in the lead, with the Black-Falcon-Mercedes #5 following in second position.
18:07hrs   
Dirk Adorf takes over. Back to slicks.

27 – Asch / Coronel / Ludwig / Vietoris (Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3)
17:20hrs   

Stands on the green area next to the track, with the front pointing to the wrong direction.
17:32hrs   
Christian Vietoris: “I was pushed onto the
grass while overtaking and hit
the crash barriers.” Team Principal Peter Zakowski:
“The steering and the suspension of the right front wheel are damaged. We hope that we will be able to continue.
17:50hrs   
Peter Zakowski: “The damages on our car are so massive that continuing doesn’t make sense. The repair time would be far too long. At the right front, everything is broken: suspension, steering, body…”

28 – Mies / Sandström / Müller / Vanthoor (Audi R8 LMS)
17:12hrs   

Fire during the refuelling. Christopher Mies jumps out of the car but a short time later, the works can be continued.

30 – Schmitz / Huisman / Pilet / Bergmeister (Porsche 911 GT3 R)
17:17hrs  

Driver swap: Patrick Pilet for  Patrick Huisman.
18:07hrs   
With 8:53.561 minute on the previous lap the clearly fastest car in the field.
18:22hrs   
On lap 15, Pilet once again outpaces the entire field by several seconds.
The lead over the Phoenix Audi #1 now adds up to 39.9 seconds.
18:42hrs   
Scheduled pit stop for race leader Patrick Pilet.
18:43hrs   
Jörg Bergmeister is supposed to take over. Bergmeister: “I will drive for the first time in dry conditions and am looking forward to it. You couldn’t expect that we would get in such a good position. I will give my very best to continue on this level.

31 – Schmidt / Mattschull / Ehret / Rice (Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3)
18:43hrs   

Slicks for intermediates.

35 – Buncombe / Hoshino / Krumm / Ordonez (Nissan GT-R nismo GT3)
17:12hrs   

Alex Buncombe for Michael Krumm.
17:18hrs   
Team Principal Bob Neville: “We start into the race with a conservative approach, without trying to push. Everything is fine.
18:47hrs   
Driver swap: Lucas Ordonez for Alexander Buncombe. Buncombe: “We deliberately opted for slicks. Yes, I had to back off in several sections, thus losing some time but I could easily make up for these losses in other sections. I don’t know what the other teams are doing but we will stick to this strategy.”

44 – Dumbreck / Henzler / Ragginger / Imperatori (Porsche 911 GT3 R)
17:08hrs   

Wolf Henzler for Martin Ragginger.
17:30hrs    
Off-track moment into the gravel in the Aremberg area.
18:24hrs   
Peter Dumbreck for Wolf Henzler. Henzler: “A third of the track is wet, the rest is dry. So, switching to wets wouldn’t make sense. I had an eventful stint and was pushed off the track by the green Bentley. Fortunately, I didn’t hit anything.”

84 – Bleekemolen / Arnold / Menzel / Brück (Bentley Continental GT3)
17:06hrs 

Jeroen Bleekemolen after the pit stop: “Lance David Arnold now will drive another stint. When he comes in after seven laps, I will take over. This was a very good start. The first laps couldn’t have run any better, for us.”
18:06hrs   
The third-placed Bentley also pits.
18:09hrs   
Switches to slicks.
18:13hrs   
Nearly loses it in the Hatzenbach section after having slipped on the own lubricants.

85 – Smith / Kane / Meyrick / Arnold (Bentley Continental GT3)
18:02hrs  

Stands in the airport exit area.
18:44hrs   
Steven Kane: “We don’t know what happened. The contact with our driver, Guy Smith, was interrupted. It looks as if he was hit from behind. We now try to get the car back to the pits and hope that we will be able to repair it.”

88 – Preacher / Thomson / Lungstrass / Duffy (Aston Martin Vantage V8-GT4)
17:37hrs   

Switches to wets.
18:43hrs   
Drives off the track in the Breidscheid section.
18:46hrs   
Back on the track that it left in the Breidscheid area due to technical problems.

News and quotes 16:00 to 17:00hrs

The race of the year is on. At 16:00hrs sharp, Race Director Walter Hornung sent the ADAC Zurich 24h-race field into the ‘Green Hell’ for the legendary chase twice around the clock. The first hour was dominated by the two BMWs Z4 GT3 representing the colours of the BMW Sports Trophy Teams Marc VDS and Schubert. The BMWs Z4 GT3 #20, #26 und #19 contested the first stint as synchronised racers until the first pit stop – after about 50 minutes – jumbled  the order for the first time.  With the first hour contested, Müller / Sims / Werner / Wittmann (BMW Z4 GT3, BMW Sports Trophy Team Schubert, #19) held the lead, followed by Bleekemolen / Arnold / Menzel / Brück (Bentley Continental GT3, Bentley Motors Ltd, #84) and Mies / Sandström / Müller / Vanthoor (Audi R8 LMS, Audi Sport Team WRT, #28). Fourth position was held by the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 of Graf / Hohenadel / Bastian / Jäger (ROWE Racing, #23).

1 – Haase / Mamerow / Rast / Winkelhock (Audi R8 LMS)
16:18hrs    

Gained two positions in the traffic and holds 11th place, now.

2 – Buurman / Simonsen / Christodoulou / Schneider (Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3)
16:10hrs    

Had to let two BMWs Z4 pass and currently holds fourth place.

4 – Basseng / Fässler / Rockenfeller / Stippler (Audi R8 LMS)
16:55hrs   

Driver swap. Frank Stippler for Marcel Fässler.

5 – Bin Turki Al Faisal / Haupt / Buurman / van Lagen (Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3)
16:44hrs    

Scheduled pit stop.

6 – Adam / Stanaway / Lauda / Mücke (Aston Martin Vantage GT3)
16:27hrs  

Matthias Lauda: “So far, everything went fine. We just lost a few positions in the opening stages and now we have to focus on finding our rhythm.”

8 – Alzen / Holzer / Siedler / Götz (Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3)
16:53hrs    

Pit stop for the Haribo Mercedes.

11 – Primat / Brück / Schmid / Seefried (Bentley Continental GT3)
16:44hrs    

Scheduled pit stop.

13 – Dittmann / Albrecht / Lachmayer / Schall (Chrysler (Dodge) Viper)
16:52hrs    

Holds a 16-second lead over the Saxon 1-Series BMW in the alternative category.

19 – Müller / Sims / Werner / Wittmann (BMW Z4 GT3)
16:16 hrs    

The second Schubert-Z4 passes the MarcVDS-BMW for second place.

20 – Baumann / Hürtgen / Klingmann / Tomczyk (BMW Z4 GT3)
16:09hrs    

Leader after lap one.
16:11hrs    
Crossed the line in 8:31.227 min.
16:13hr     
Wehrseife area: on his second lap, Martin Tomczyk already laps the first car.
16:30hr     
Claudia Hürtgen: “Martin drove a great first lap and had no problems whatsoever when it came to getting through the traffic. We started into the race in good style  – and now we will have to wait and see how things will develop.”

22 – Engel / Seyffarth / van der Zande / Jäger (Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3)
16:30hrs   

Pits with damaged right front tyre.
16:31hrs    
Mechanics are working on the car – suspension problems. The incident resulting in the damage occurred on the way to the Hohnrain chicane.
16:34hrs    
The Problem has been solved. After three minutes, the car rejoins the race.
16:51hrs    
Renger van der Zande: Of course, it’s always bad to have a puncture as early as on lap two. But we will keep on fighting. Things like this can happen to the others, too. Therefore, the race is far from being over, for us.

25 – Martin / Luhr / Palttala / Westbrock (BMW Z4 GT3)
16:37hrs     

8:23.887 minutes – the fastest .lap time so far.

26 – Farfus / Müller / Catsburg / Adorf (BMW Z4 GT3)
16:20hrs

Jörg Müller re-passes fellow BMW driver Dirk Werner on the home straight. The original order is re-established.
16:54hrs    
pits and rejoins the race.

84 – Bleekemolen / Arnold / Menzel / Brück (Bentley Continental GT3)
16:11hrs 

Works its way up from eighth to fifth on lap one.
16:36hrs    
Passes #2 for fourth place.

87 – Weber / Bermes / Preacher / Still (Aston Martin Vantage V8-GT4)
16:57hrs    

Already more than minute lead in the GT4 category

BMW the leaders after the first hour

The race of the year is on. At 16:00hrs sharp, Race Director Walter Hornung sent the ADAC Zurich 24h-race field into the ‘Green Hell’ for the legendary chase twice around the clock. The first hour was dominated by the two BMWs Z4 GT3 representing the colours of the BMW Sports Trophy Teams Marc VDS and Schubert. The BMWs Z4 GT3 #20, #26 und #19 contested the first stint as synchronised racers until the first pit stop – after about 50 minutes – jumbled  the order for the first time.  With the first hour contested, Müller / Sims / Werner / Wittmann (BMW Z4 GT3, BMW Sports Trophy Team Schubert, #19) held the lead, followed by Bleekemolen / Arnold / Menzel / Brück (Bentley Continental GT3, Bentley Motors Ltd, #84) and Mies / Sandström / Müller / Vanthoor (Audi R8 LMS, Audi Sport Team WRT, #28). Fourth position was held by the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 of Graf / Hohenadel / Bastian / Jäger (ROWE Racing, #23). All the information on the endurance classic in the Eifel is available in the World wide Web at www.24h-rennen.de and live at the German sports channel Sport1.

The first hour of the 43rd ADAC Zurich 24h Race entertained the crowds with a lot of excitement. And although the top teams were racing on the 25.378-kilometre combination of GP circuit and Nordschleife with the gaps between them adding up to just a few metres, there were no incidents worth to be mentioned. “What a great start into the race,” said Claudia Hürtgen, team-mate of DTM ace Martin Tomczyk who was the first driver to race the BMW Z4 GT3 #20. “Martin drove a great first lap and had no problems whatsoever when it came to getting through the traffic. We started into the race in good style  – and now we will have to wait and see how things will develop.” Dirk Werner who contested the first stint in the sister car #19, was happy with his seven laps: “I had a lot of fun. This was an exciting opening stage. I could pass the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 driving ahead of me in turn two. From that point in time, we formed the top flight as synchronised triplets – a fantastic stint.”

But of course, the first 60 minutes were just the prelude and the decision still is far, far away. Now, the teams are on the way to racing into the darkness of the night.  And when the sun rises again, there still will be another 10 hours to go before you will know the winner, as the race will be finished at 16:00hrs. Meanwhile, thousands of thrilled motor-racing enthusiasts around the most beautiful and challenging racetrack in the world will keep on celebrating – for another 23 hours – the greatest motor-sport party worldwide.

Organisation in facts and figures

A titanic team is involved in organising the ADAC Zurich 24h Race. Both on and aloof from the track, huge efforts are made to once again make sure that the event will be a success. Organisation, marshals, the safety staff and the competitors themselves – they all contribute to the success of the legendary event.  Birgit Arnold from the motor-racing office and Manfred Strack, operational head of project of the world’s biggest motor-racing event provided us with impressive figures. 

Race control

40 Is the number of the race-control team staff members, with the Race Director, Head of organisation, Head of the track safety and medical-squad leader as well as the secretaries and assistants of the race control representing the inner circle.

120 Additional persons are working for the extended organisation, such as the stewards, scrutineers and the technical committee as well as the document-acceptance and driver information helpers, welcome centre /check in and ticket deposition, time-keeping, presentation ceremony, Parc Fermé, camping organisation, support programme, runners etc.

Marshals

950  Marshals are – working in a total of 17 sections – positioned all around the Nordschleife. The coordination is executed by 32 section chiefs and their deputies.

90 Marshals are working in the pit lane. Since 2014, they have been wearing protective gear: fireproof overalls as well as helmets, reflecting armlets and vests.

40 Marshals have their operational area in the paddock where they supervise the activities and make sure that the safety regulations are followed

35 Marshals act as drivers of the shuttle vehicles that are available for teams, marshals, journalists and VIP who want to get from one part of the circuit to another.

30 Marshals are needed for the pre-start and the starting grid, and on Sunday, another 20 marshals will be working in the Parc Fermé.

1.700 visitors from all over Germany will attend the event as guests of ADAC that will hold its local-club meeting in the framework of the 24h race.

Safety

60  Persons are working in shifts for the ‘DMSB-Staffel’. They are on site with 11 S-vehicles.

38 Persons form the intervention team that safeguards scenes of accidents, thus allowing for salvage and rescue measures.  This year, four Audis RS 6 Avant are positioned around the circuit, for this purpose. Furthermore, two Audis RS 3 Sportback and three Audis RS Q3 are used as medical cars that will bring the emergency doctors even faster to an accident scene.

12  Persons are working in the additional E-Unit safety and emergency vehicles.

2 Specially equipped extrication vehicles improve the possibility to rescue competitors that possibly have suffered spinal injuries.

In the case of emergencies

100 Persons form the ADAC Zurich 24h-Race medical service.. They are working in shifts. Eight emergency vehicles are positioned around the circuit, and in addition, a team of emergency doctors, surgeons, anaesthetist, and ambulance men are positioned in the fully equipped medical centre. Another five emergency vehicles, two doctors with emergency cars and more than 30 ambulance men are positioned in the outer area. Several hospitals are on the alert, during the 24h race and an emergency helicopter positioned next to the medical centre is ready to lift off at any time.

120  Fire fighters are on site. Eight vehicles are positioned around ‘The Ring’. One of them at the special ‘petrol’ station for alternative fuels. In addition, there are two fire trucks for the outer area.

Salvage

12 Vehicles – positioned all around the track – are responsible for salvaging stranded competitors. These vehicles comprise – inter alia – two trucks and salvage tractors. Two of the vehicles feature compressors and specially educated staff to be able to quickly execute the necessary repair works in the case of seriously damaged crash barriers.

Nürburgring

80 full-time employees are working on supporting the capricorn NÜRBURGRING GmbH during ADAC Zurich 24h Race. From the track administration to the key issue – they make their contribution to making sure that the huge sports facility with the big number of areas is and remains operational.

600  Helpers of the track operators are needed for operating – for instance – the box offices and the car parks or for the gate controls during the event.

680 Mobile closets have been erected all around the Nordschleife.

60,000 cars can be parked on the car parks around the 25.378-kilometre combination of GP circuit and Nordschleife .

1.5 million Square metres of camping sites are available to the fans.

9km of curbs that all had to be re-coloured – just like the track-side marking (both sides)

6km of construction-site fences for marking prohibited areas

10,000 man hours had to be executed in the run-up by about 60 persons until everything is organised and erected.

Competitors 

152 Vehicles will contest this year’s 24h race. This meets the number of cars that are allowed to contest – following the scrutineering – the practice and qualifying sessions. The cars will be raced by some 600 drivers.

188 Vehicles will contest the ADAC 24h Classic Race. In the three-hour race, some 400 drivers will race cars from five decades.

195 Circuit Challenge (RCN) vehicles will kick off the 24h-Race weekend with their 190-minute event. The 190 cars also will be driven by about 400 drivers.

17 Competitors are contesting the World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) that will make its 24h-Racce support programme debut, this year: two three-lap races on the Nordschleife.

24 Vehicles form the Porsche Carrera Cup Germany grid. Other than all the other championship series racing the in the Nürburgring 24h-Race support programme, the Porsche Carrera Cup Germany will contest only one round, this weekend.

Food 

30,000 Sausages will be eaten over the course of the four event days all around the circuit – plus three to four tons of chips.

The figures are approximate and the number of people involved can change due to cancellations at short notice or additional demand.  For better clearness, we opted for omitting certain function areas and so, adding up the figures stated will result in a discrepancy. Altogether, some 2,000 staff members are working for the 24h-race organisation.

24h and WTCC: A twin pack of Nordschleife fun

Quite a number of the WTCC drivers use the first appearance of the Word Touring Car Championship programme in the ADA Zurich 24h-Race support programme for making a double appearance. As two sprint races aren’t enough for them, Rob Huff, Tom Chilton and Tom Coronel also will contest the endurance classic. And the World Championship debut at the Nordschleife also seems to be highly interesting for the 24h-race drivers: the acknowledged Nordschleife experts Sabine Schmitz and Jaap van Lagen will make guest appearances on the WTCC grid. That’s what the aforementioned drivers say about the double burden, the differences and the similarities:

Rob Huff:  “For me, this is a great opportunity to race the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 for Team Premio. A really great car that doesn’t surprise you with any bad habits. Driving this car on the Nordschleife is just great.  When getting back behind the wheel of my touring car I always have to re-adapt as it has got front-wheel drive. And you always realise that it has its problems when it comes to coping with the Nordschleife. In certain sections, the driving the car rather resembles a rodeo ride on a wild bull.”

Tom Chilton
: “Yokohama were the initiators of my double appearance. The adapting effort isn’t too big as both my WTCC-Chervolet and the Audi TT RS are front-wheel fe is clearly easier – thanks to the bigger engine and the bigger tyres. But it has to be like that if you want to be able to complete two-hour stints, in the 24h race. I achieved nearly identical lap times, with the two vehicles but I have to admit that I will have to take the car to its very limit, in the WTCC races. But that’s okay for a three lap race. With the respective set-up changes, the Audi certainly could be faster but then, it wouldn’t be fit for an endurance race.”

Tom Coronel: “It’s just huge fun. The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 virtually is tailor-made for the Nordschleife. To have the chance of competing in both races represents a unique opportunity and there aren’t many drivers who contest both the races in a support series and the 24h race itself. Adapting and readapting doesn’t represent a major effort and the brake points are virtually the same: on the one hand, the SLS produces more grip but on the other, it’s faster and heavier than my WTCC Lada.  You just mustn’t forget to press the button in your head and realise what car your just are racing in.”

Sabine Schmitz
: “For me, as regular driver of rear wheel driven cars, adapting to the front wheel drive represent a huge challenge. Apart from that, it isn’t to exhausting – aside from the long walks from garage eight to the helicopter landing field and the WTCC paddock and vice versa. But adapting is my biggest problem as you always have to go easy on the front wheels, in WTCC – not matter if you are braking or accelerating. In the beginning, I drove the WTCC car like my Frikadelli Porsche and think that the Chevrolet engineers never saw this kind of brake values, to date. But despite my adapting problems and the difficulties to find a good set-up, competing in WTCC big fun. I wouldn’t mind if the series would come back, next year.”

Jaap van Lagen
: “Contesting both the 24h race and the WTCC is somewhat exhausting but I created a good schedule for myself. Therefore, I can cope with it. My cars, the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 and the WTCC-Lada, are two completely different vehicles but I’m accustomed to driving different cars. So far, everything went fine. In the free practice session I even was faster than Rob Huff.”

The first-stint drivers

With just a few more minutes to go to the start into the 43rd ADAC Zurich 24h Race, the excitement of the fans around the Nordschleife is increasing. The following drivers will contest the start and the first stint, for the top-30 teams:

Pos. 2: #2 Mercdes Benz SS AMG GT3
Andreas Simonsen
Pos. 1: #26 BMW Z4 GT3
Jörg Müller
Pos. 4: #19 BMW Z4 GT3
Dirk Werner
Pos. 3: #20 BMW Z4 GT3
Martin Tomczyk
Pos. 6: #25 BMW Z4 GT3
Lucas Luhr
Pos. 5: #29 Audi R8 LMS
Nicki Thiim
Pos. 8: #84 Bentley Continental GT3
Lance-David Arnold
Pos. 7: #28 Audi R8 LMS
Christopher Mies
Pos. 10: #4 Audi R8 LMS
Marcel Fässler
Pos. 9: #1 Audi R8 LMS
Christopher Haase
Pos. 12: #7 Aston Martin Vantage GT3
Darren Turner
Pos. 11: #23 Mercedes Benz SLS AMG GT3
Christian Hohenadel
Pos. 14: #27 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3
Luca Ludwig
Pos. 13: #30 Porsche GT3 R
Patrick Huisman
Pos. 16: #8 Mercedes Benz SLS AMG GT3
Uwe Alzen
Pos. 15: #22 Mercedes Benz AMG GT3
Maro Engel
Pos. 18: #6 Aston Martin Vantage GT3
Richie Stanaway
Pos. 17: #5 Mercedes Benz SLS AMG GT3
Yelmer Buurman
Pos. 20: #85 Bentley Continental GT3
Guy Smith
Pos. 19: #44 Porsche 997 GT3 R
Martin Ragginger
Pos. 22: #10 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR
Oliver Kainz
Pos. 21: #11 Bentley Continetal GT3
Christopher Brück
Pos. 24: #9 SCG 003c
Manuel Lauck
Pos. 23: #53 Lexus LFA Code X
Kazuya Oshima
Pos. 26: #17 BW Z4 GT3
John Edwards
Pos. 25: #12 Porsche 911 GT3 R
Robert Renauer
Pos. 28: #21 Nissan GT-R nismo GT3
Michael Schulze
Pos. 27: #92 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup MR
Sven Müller
Pos. 30: #33 Mercedes Benz SLS AMG GT3
Rob Huff
Pos. 29: #61 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup
Phillip Eng

All the teams will start into the race on slicks – state of affairs: 15:40hrs: