24h Nürburgring: A race full of calculation games

Traditionally, the ADAC RAVENOL 24h Nürburgring is a “single event”. From the very beginning, it was never primarily about championship points, but above all about the honour of winning the toughest race of the year on the legendary Nordschleife. However, several classifications now add even more spice to the action. Even before the 24-hour race, the top teams are competing in a complex qualifying mode to secure one of the coveted places in the top qualifying: Only five of 17 places are still up for grabs on the race weekend, for which some of the strongest Nordschleife teams will be fighting. Two important classifications for which points are up for grabs at the 24h Nürburgring will also provide additional excitement. Firstly, the race will count towards the joint manufacturers’ classification with the Nürburgring Endurance Series – so at the end of the season it will be determined which make was the most successful during the entire Nordschleife season. Another completely new feature is the awarding of points for the Intercontinental GT Challenge (IGTC). The main focus here is on the drivers who compete in the drivers’ standings. Three manufacturers are also registered for the one-make classification, which thus becomes a comparison of the strongest international GT3 endurance races. So there are plenty of factors for teams and drivers to keep an eye on. Fortunately for the spectators, despite all the arithmetic, one realisation remains very simple: no matter in which classification – it pays to be faster than all the other competitors. So at the 24h Nürburgring, it’s full throttle to the end!

Top qualifying: tough and decisive competition

The first important decision at the ADAC RAVENOL 24h Nürburgring is traditionally made before the race weekend, when the first teams earn their place in the decisive Top Qualifying 2 (TQ2). Their performances in the NLS races and the two races of the ADAC 24h Qualifiers are taken into account. Places are kept free for a fixed quota of 40 per cent of the Pro and Pro-Am teams – this calculation results in exactly twelve starting places in TQ2 for 2024. In addition, there are five further starting places for which all teams that have not yet qualified compete against each other in Top Qualifying 1: This year, that will be 15 teams. And this qualifying can be decisive for success in the race – because the 24h Nürburgring is probably the only endurance race in the world that is not completely neutralised, but always continues – these are replaced on the Nordschleife by Code 60 zones, for example. Once time gaps have been created, they therefore remain and do not melt away again due to safety car phases.

“Even though this is an endurance race, the grid position is now of great importance and the cornerstone for a good position in the race,” says GetSpeed team boss Adam Osieka, explaining why participation in the decisive second top qualifying session is so important. His team’s Mercedes-AMG GT3s face the task of overcoming precisely this hurdle on the 24-hour weekend. “Unfortunately, we are not yet seeded for TQ2. Therefore, our primary goal is to continue to optimise the set-up for the new tyres in the three qualifying sessions in order to then secure one of the remaining five places for the final showdown with both cars in the first part of the top qualifying session.” Another scheduled Nordschleife test also served the same purpose of optimising the tyre set-up in order to further refine the tyre set-up in particular.

After a strong performance in the four NLS and 24h Qualifiers races on the Nordschleife so far, Manthey EMA can take a much more relaxed approach: “I am always reassured that we are represented in Top Qualifying 2,” says Nicki Raeder, Team Principal and Managing Director of Manthey-Racing GmbH. “It’s easier to take a more relaxed approach to the whole weekend and plan better.” The Manthey-Grello #911 has made it into the race with one race win and two further podium finishes so far. “If you haven’t secured your grid position in advance, it’s always a bit exciting to still make it into the race. That brings unrest to the team’s entire processes. That way, we get a clean start to the 24-hour weekend in Top Qualifying 2.” The goal is then always the same for all the teams represented there – to achieve the best possible grid position. Raeder describes it like this: “Of course, you can theoretically win from the back – but then you would have to take significantly greater risks.”

Starting positions already allocated in top qualifying 2

Pos # Competitor Manufacturer Class
1 33 Falken Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R (992) SP9 Pro
2 911 Manthey EMA Porsche 911 GT3 R (992) SP9 Pro
3 16 Scherer Sport PHX Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II SP9 Pro
4 44 Falken Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R (992) SP9 Pro
5 5 Renauer u. Renauer GbR Porsche 911 GT3 R (992) SP9 Pro
6 15 Scherer Sport PHX Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II SP9 Pro
7 4 Mercedes-AMG Team HRT Mercedes-AMG GT3 SP9 Pro
8 27 Red Bull Team Abt Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo2 SP9 Pro
9 35 Walkenhorst Motorsport Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT3 Evo SP9 Pro-Am
10 6 Team Advan x HRT Mercedes-AMG GT3 SP9 Pro-Am
11 17 PROsport Racing GmbH Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT3 SP9 Pro-Am
12 24 Lionspeed GP Porsche 911 GT3 R (992) SP9 Pro-Am
13 Top-Qualifying 1 – Position 1
14 Top-Qualifying 1 – Position 2
15 Top-Qualifying 1 – Position 3
16 Top-Qualifying 1 – Position 4
17 Top-Qualifying 1 – Position 5

Teams authorised to start in Top Qualifying 1

# Bewerber Hersteller Klasse
1 Frikadelli Racing GmbH Ferrari 296 GT3 SP9 Pro
3 Mercedes-AMG Team Bilstein Mercedes-AMG GT3 SP9 Pro
7 Konrad Motorsport GmbH Lamborghini Huracan GT3 SP9 Pro-Am
8 Mercedes-AMG Team GetSpeed Mercedes-AMG GT3 SP9 Pro
11 Schnitzelalm Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 SP9 Pro-Am
34 Walkenhorst Motorsport Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT3 Evo SP9 Pro
36 Walkenhorst Motorsport Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT3 Evo SP9 Pro-Am
54 Dinamic GT Porsche 911 GT3 R (992) SP9 Pro
60 Hankook Competition Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (992) SP-X Pro-Am
71 Juta Racing Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II SP9 Pro-Am
72 BMW M Team RMG BMW M4 GT3 SP9 Pro
98 Rowe Racing BMW M4 GT3 SP9 Pro
99 Rowe Racing BMW M4 GT3 SP9 Pro
130 Mercedes-AMG Team GetSpeed Mercedes-AMG GT3 SP9 Pro
706 Glickenhaus Racing LLC SCG 004c SP-X Pro


Intercontinental GT Challenge: recognises top events worldwide

The 24h Nürburgring will be spiced up this year with the Intercontinental GT Challenge classification. The championship combines four high-calibre international endurance races – the 24h Nürburgring and the 24 Hours of Spa are included as European races. After the season opener in Bathurst, Australia, three Porsche drivers will come to the Eifel as the leaders, although they will no longer be competing in a joint team, but will also be fighting among themselves: Laurens Vanthoor and Ayhancan Güven climb into the #911 Grello Porsche of the Manthey team, while Matt Campbell pilots the #13 GT3-911 in the Renauer u. Renauer GbR team. “Of course, it’s a shame that Matt can’t defend his IGTC lead together with Ayhancan and me,” says Laurens Vanthoor, who is confident about his team-mates Kevin Estre and Thomas Preining: “They are world-class GT drivers who know their way around the Nordschleife. Overall, we are a very strong team, but the same can be said of most of the other SP9 professionals. It will be an incredibly close competition.”

One of the top BMW drivers at the 24h is ranked fourth in the IGTC ahead of the race weekend: Maxime Martin is looking forward to racing in the Rowe-BMW M4 GT3 #98 and enthuses: “It’s fantastic that the 24h Nürburgring is now part of the Intercontinental GT Challenge. It’s a great championship in which BMW M Motorsport has celebrated many successes in the past. This year, we started the season at Bathurst and fought for the podium right to the finish line with the BMW M4 GT3 of BMW M Team WRT.” With him in the cockpit: Raffaele Marciello, who drives together with Martin, Marco Wittmann and Augusto Farfus in an extremely strong team. “In the second IGTC round of the season, we are driving with Rowe Racing, and I have a very special connection to the Nürburgring 24 Hours,” says the Belgian Martin. “I really feel at home on the Nordschleife and after three second places on the podium in the past, the aim is certainly to get to the top step of the podium now. That would be a fantastic success and would give us and BMW M Motorsport a real boost in the battle for the drivers’ and manufacturers’ championship in the IGTC.”

Intercontinental GT Challenge standings ahead of the ADAC RAVENOL 24h Nürburgring

Drivers’ standings

Pos. Driver Make Points
1 Laurens Vanthoor*
Ayhancan Güven*
Matt Campbell*
alle Porsche alle 15
2 Kenny Habul
Jules Gounon*
Luca Stolz*
alle Mercedes-AMG alle 18
3 Joel Eriksson*
Jaxon Evans
Bastian Buus*
alle Porsche alle 15
4 Valentino Rossi
Maxime Martin*
Raffaele Marciello*
alle BMW alle 12
5 Broc Feeney
Will Brown
Mika Grenier*
alle Mercedes-AMG alle 10
6 Cameron Waters
Craig Lowndes
Thomas Randle
alle Mercedes-AMG alle 8
7 Maro Engel*
Felipe Fraga
David Reynolds
alle Mercedes-AMG alle 6
8 Alessio Picariello*
Harry King
Yasser Shahin
alle Porsche alle 4
9 Alex Riberas
Ross Gunn
Ian James
alle Mercedes-AMG alle 2
10 Jamie Whincup
Jordan Love
Prince Jefri Ibrahim
alle Mercedes-AMG alle 1

*): Participants ADAC RAVENOL 24h Nürburgring

Manufacturers’ standings

Pos. Make Points
1 Porsche 40
2 Mercedes-AMG 28
3 BMW 12

Calendar Intercontinental GT Challenge

15.02. – 18.02. 2024 Repco Bathurst 12 Hour Australien
30.05. – 02.06. 2024 ADAC RAVENOL 24h Nürburgring Deutschland
27.06. – 30.06. 2024 Crowdstrike 24 Hours of Spa Belgien
04.10. – 06.10. 2024 Indianapolis 8 Hour Presented by AWS USA


Manufacturers’ classification: Porsche in front after a commanding start to the season

The fact that the season opener on the Nordschleife went so damn well for Porsche in particular is also reflected in the joint manufacturers’ standings of the Nürburgring Endurance Series (NLS) and 24-hour race. Until the end of the season, all car manufacturers represented in the SP9 (GT3) and SP-X classes collect points here for the performance of their teams. This classification ultimately determines who has provided the fastest and most successful model for the world’s longest and most beautiful race track in the current year. After four victories for the Porsche teams from Falken Motorsports and Manthey EMA, it is no wonder that the team from Zuffenhausen is clearly in the lead ahead of the ADAC RAVENOL 24h Nürburgring. After two podium finishes for Scherer Sport PHX, among others, Audi is in second place in the interim standings, with the third-placed Mercedes-AMG squad hot on their heels.

Interim manufacturers’ standings after four races

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