The 24h countdown is running relentlessly

Preparations for the ADAC RAVENOL 24h Nürburgring from 30 May to 2 June are in full swing. After the prologue at the 24h Qualifiers, the teams now have just under a month left to get their cars ready for the race of the year. There can be no talk of “great silence”. Numerous top drivers will be on the road in the coming weeks to chase points in the DTM, Intercontinental GT Challenge and other top series. At the end of May, they will all come together again at the Nürburgring to determine the best in the longest race of the year on the longest racetrack in the world. The benchmark seems to be the Porsche teams: after a dominant performance in the four Nordschleife races completed so far as part of the Nürburgring Endurance Series (NLS) and 24h Qualifiers, they have assumed the role of favourites. The exciting hunt for the 911 is therefore on – and fans can experience it live on site: Tickets for the ADAC RAVENOL 24h Nürburgring are available from 34 euros (day tickets Thu / Fri / Sun) in advance at

The current balance of power on the Nordschleife is also reflected in the joint manufacturers’ classification for the NLS and 24h Nürburgring. The GT3 makes collect points in this classification. After two NLS races and two 24h Qualifiers races, Porsche is clearly ahead of Audi and Mercedes-AMG. The 911 GT3 R of the Falken and Manthey teams have shared the victories so far, while all other makes have had to queue up behind them. “A positive weekend with two podium finishes,” said Manthey driver Ayhancan Güven, summarising the qualifiers, before adding with a lot of understatement: “I think the preparation is going well for us. On Sunday we were even faster than on Saturday.”

In the Falken team, which alone accounted for three of the four victories, the mood is also excellent after the successful test phase: “We currently have a very good basis and have made a step forward compared to last year with the combination of tyres, car and set-up,” said Klaus Bachler, summarising the experience for the Japanese tyre manufacturer’s team. Keeping up with the Porsche’s insane pace was still difficult for others at the start of the season because the decisive fractions of a second were missing. “We’re not completely sorted yet,” summarised Mercedes-AMG driver Maro Engel. “The new tyres are playing into the hands of the competition at the moment. We have to analyse the data and draw the right conclusions.”

Others got off to a slightly better start, but were also still struggling: one of the Audi R8 LMS GT3 evo IIs has finished in the top three twice in the races so far. “Our car is well known and we have a similar speed to last year,” explained veteran Frank Stippler (Scherer Sport PHX). “Not much has happened in terms of development. The competitors have made more progress in terms of development. We still have to find something somehow, because otherwise we’re a tad too slow.” By the 24h Nürburgring – that much is certain – not only Stippler’s team is likely to have thoroughly checked and optimised the race car once again.

24h Qualifiers impressed with class diversity
A large part of the show on the Nordschleife is provided not only by the mighty GT3 cars, but also by the many production and ‘24h specials’ racing cars. At the ADAC 24h Nürburgring Qualifiers in April, the more than 120 participants were divided into almost 20 different vehicle classes. Here, too, every metre and every second is at stake. And those who classify this “colourful league” as a “mass sport” are only partly right: quite a few of the vehicles are used or at least financed by car manufacturers or companies from the supplier industry. Subaru, for example, started in the SP4T class, and Hyundai has just announced the biggest entry in its history for the 24h Nürburgring endurance classic: The Koreans are sending three works cars into the battle for the crown in the TCR class, which is also attracting a lot of international attention. They will be joined by several tyre manufacturers, who will not only be promoting their own cause with some very prominent entries, but will also gain important motorsport knowledge that will later be incorporated into the development of road tyres.

Manufacturer’s standings: Interim standings after four races

1 – Porsche: 86 points
2 – Audi: 65 points
3 – Mercedes-AMG: 60 points
4 – Lamborghini: 56 points
5 – Glickenhaus: 41 points
6 – Aston Martin: 31 points
7 – BMW: 30 points
8 – Ferrari: 15 points