Porsche #911 subsequently disqualified

The Porsche #911 entered by Team Manthey Racing in the ADAC TOTAL 24h Race has been disqualified subsequently. In the routine after-race scrutineering, the scrutineers detected irregularities when it came to the Manthey Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R’s horsepower output. The 494bhp (including four percent tolerance) defined for the examination on a roller rig was exceeded. And a second examination executed by the scrutineers within the scope of negotiations at the request of the team with an altered measuring technique also didn’t result in the mandatory values. Consequently, Team Manthey Racing was disqualified in a written procedure.

The organisers were instructed to produce a new result without the disqualified team. The following teams moved up the ranking by one position and so, these squads hold the top three positions, now:

1st place: Audi Sport Team Phoenix (with Pierre Kaffer, Frank Stipple, Frédéric Vervisch and Dries Vanthoor), Audi R8 LMS
2nd place: Mercedes-AMG Team Black Falcon (with Maxi Buhk, Hubert Haupt, Thomas Jäger and Luca Stolz), Mercedes-AMG GT3
3rd place: Audi Sport Team Car Collection (with Markus Winkelhock, Christopher Haase, Marcel Fässler and René Rast), Audi R8 LMS

The team dispensed with the right to appeal against the sentence.

Fifth overall win for Team Phoenix and Audi

Following a completely flawless performance in the ‘Green Hell’, Team Phoenix from Neuspath won the ADAC TOTAL Nürburgring 24h Race for the fifth time. In their Audi R8 LMS, the local heroes with the German-Belgian driver line-up Pierre Kaffer, Frank Stippler, Frédéric Vervisch and Dries Vanthoor prevailed in front of 230,000 enthusiastic fans and Dries Vanthoor who contested the final stint succeeded in easily keeping at bay the second-placed Porsche 911 GT3 R #911 of their neighbours in Meuspath, Manthey Racing. With 157 laps completed and a 3,984.386 kilometres covered, Phoenix celebrated their fifth win in the ‘Eifel Marathon’, thus also giving Audi their fifth win in the prestigious event. For all the drivers apart from Stippler who already won the race in 2012 it was the first ADAC TOTAL Nürburgring 24h-Race win.

“For me, having won the 24h race at the Nürburgring represents a dream come true,” said Pierre Kaffer. “It’s my home race and it has a really big significance for me in addition to my wins at Le Mans and Sebring. I’m proud of the entire Phoenix-Audi squad and have come full circle, now, as Ernst Moser was my teacher in my early motor-racing days.”

Time penalty costs Manthey-Porsche #911 the possible win

Estre and his team-mates, Earl Bamber (New Zealand), Michael Christensen (Denmark) and Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium) lost their chance of winning the race due to a 5:32-minute time penalty they received for speeding in a twin yellow flags area. The Vanthoor brothers are the first pair of siblings since 1985 that made it to the podium for two different tams. In that year, this feat was achieved by Axel und Jochen Felder.

The third and last podium was secured by Maximilian Buhk, Hubert Haupt, Thomas Jäger and Luca Stolz in the Black-Falcon-Mercedes-AMG #3. The best BMW was the Bester BMW Falken car #44 that finished seventh, while all the other five BMWs M6 GT3 were forced into early retirements, thus making for a lot of frustration in the camp of the record winners. Apart from Audi, Porsche, Mercedes-AMG and BMW, the Glickenhaus-SCG #705 and the Kondo-Nissan #45 also made into the top 10 by finishing 9th and 10th.

Duel in the early stages and fierce Audi battles

The early stages of the race were dominated by the pole-sitters, the Black-Falcon-Mercedes-AMG #2, raced by Maro Engel, and Kevin Estre in the Manthey-Porsche #911. This order lasted nearly until midnight but then, Adam Christodoulou had to park the #2. After a collision while passing a slower car, the steering gear was broken. In the night, the Glickenhaus-SCG #705 that has worked his way up consistently and held a top-three position for quite a while, had a close encounter with a slower car and the long repair stop cost it several laps

Meanwhile, the Phoenix-Audi #4 and the Land-Audi #29 entertained the crowds in the night and the morning hours with numerous enthralling slipstream battles and overtaking manoeuvres to the max. Later, the battle was even turned by the Black-Falcon-Mercedes-AMG #6 into a three-way fight and once in this battle, the Italian Black-Falcon driver Gabriele Piana pushed René Rast with a rather rmerciless move off the track and onto the grass. Rast succeeded in getting his car under control again and continue the race.

‘Musical Chairs’ in the way to the podium

A short time later, the ‘Musical Chairs’ with the potential winners and podium contenders on the way to the podium got really going. At first, Maximilian Götz lost the Mann-Filter-Mercedes-AMG #48 due to a previous damage all of a sudden in the Hohe Acht area and crashed into the crash barriers, and then the Frikadelli-Porsche #31 was forced into retirement from second place. Three hours before the race was over, the race control imposed a 5.32-minute time penalty on the clearly leading Manthey-Porsche #911 for crossing the speed trap in a twin yellow flag 120kph zone at 172 kph. After having served the penalty the Porsche rejoined the race in second position behind the new leaders, the Phoenix-Audi #4, that took the lead as the Audi #29 had to retire because half the bodywork was destroyed after a tyre damage and the Black-Falcon-Mercedes-AMG #6 had an accident and was forced into retirement before the race control could respond to the Piana move. Afterwards, the Porsche tried hard but in vain to close in on the Audi.

First German win in the Touring Car World Cup

In the run-up to the 24h Race, Benjamin Leuchter made for the first win in the Touring Car World Cup (FIA WTCR) by making perfect use of his pole position for the third race by securing the first triumph in his career. “This win means a lot to me,” said the young German. “Prior to the weekend I kept my expectations low and therefore, it’s just fantastic that I made it. Furthermore, the unofficial half-time championship was secured by the German Team All-inkl.com Münnich Motorsport and the team’s driver Esteban Guerrieri defended his lead in the drivers’ championship with a pole and two podiums.

News and quotes with 21 hours contested

At the end of the 21st hour the Manthey Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R #911 still holds the lead – but a 5.32-minute time penalty will jumble the order at the front end of the field. The Frikadelli Porsche #31 that also delivered in fine style, so far, had to cope with a dose of bad luck too. At first the team lost the second place because of a damaged tyre and then it stopped for good due to technical problems. The second place was inherited by the Team Black Falcon AMG-Mercedes GT3 #6, followed by the Audis of the Audi Sport Teams Land Motorsport, Phoenix Racing and Car Collection.

#4 – Audi R8 LMS (Kaffer,Stippler,Vervisch,Vanthoor)

10:35hrs: Dries Vanthoor uses the slipstream at the Döttinger Höhe to pass René Rast in the Audi #29. The two fellow Audi drivers fight really hard for third position.

#6 – Mercedes- AMG GT3 (Assenheimer,Bastian,Buurman,Piana)

11:39hrs: While trying to fend off the pressurising René Rast, Gabriele Piana pushes the German onto the grass at the Döttinger Höhe. In the incident Rast hits the Mercedes and damages one of its tyres while Rast succeeds in getting his car back under control and continues.

#29 – Audi R8 LMS (Mies,Rast,van der Linde,Haase)

12:14hrs: René Rast: “The racing was tough. In two stints I had wheel-to-wheel battles with Dries Vanthoor and a Mercedes. Unfortunately, I had a close encounter with the Mercedes. It pushed me onto the grass at the Döttinger Höhe what was rather dangerous. Altogether we can be happy as we are a factor in the battle for the podium.”

#31 – Porsche 911 GT3 R (Dumas,Campbell,Müller,Jaminet)

11:16hrs: Sven Müller: “There are less cars out there and that makes the racing somewhat easier than in the night when there was oil on the track at many places. Now we have to contest another sprint race. My stint was okay. I could pass the Mercedes at the Döttinger Höhe. There was a yellow-flag phase and it had to slightly back off what offered me the chance of building up momentum and pass it. We want to make it further up and one position should be possible. Now we will give our very best to achieve this goal.”

12:04hrs: Damaged right rear tyre. Cruises back to the pits.

Matt Campbell: “Unfortunately I suffered the puncture when I had completed just half the lap and lost several minutes on my way to the pits. Really annoying but what can you do. You have no influence on this kind of things.”

#48 – Mercedes- AMG GT3 (Hohenadel,Arnold,Marciello,Götz)

Maximilian Götz: “Several laps before my accident I had a contact with Raffaele Marciello. Therefore, it arguably was a consequential damage. It was a bad crash but fortunately I survived it unharmed. I’m really sorry for the team that worked so hard.”

News and quotes with 19 hours contested

The 18th and 19 hours of the race feature consistency and drama in equal measure. Manthey Racing’s #911 still holds the lead while the battle for second place between the Frikadelli Racing Porsche #31 and the Mercedes-AMG Team Mann Filter vehicle #48 remains close until the 19th hour is nearly over. At first, Frikadelli drop back due to a time penalty and then, Maximilian Götz crashes in the Hohe Acht region and the Mercedes-AMG GT3 is out of the contention for the top positions. Behind the two leading Porsches, the two Audis R8 LMS of the Audi Sport Teams Land (#29) and Phoenix (#4) are holding third and fourth positions.

#4 – Audi R8 LMS (Kaffer,Stippler,Vervisch,Vanthoor)

10:08hrs: Driess Vanthoor wants to pass René Rast in the Land Audi #29 but has to back down as a slower car gets into his way. To avoid hitting this vehicle, the Belgian has to opt for driving through the run-off area and temporarily loses the contact to Rast.

#6 – Mercedes- AMG GT3 (Assenheimer,Bastian,Buurman,Piana)

09:49hrs: Gabriele Piana for Nico Bastian who says: “We currently hold sixth place and could largely close the gap to the two Audis. Now we have to continue at the same speed but have to increase our consistency. Then we will be able to fully close in on the two Audis. For the rest we will need a dose of luck.”

09:59hrs: Yelmer Buurmann has to retire from the race for health reasons. Therefore, the rest of the race will be contested only by Bastian, Assenheimer and Piana.

#14 – Audi R8 LMS (Winkelhock,Haase,Fässler,Rast)

10:15hrs: Receives a 32-second time penalty for having ignored flag signals

#16 – Mercedes- AMG GT3 (van der Zande,Vautier,Seyffarth,Heyer)

Kenneth Heyer: “We have achieved our goal to survive the night without any mark worth mentioning. We suffered a tyre damage at the Nordschleife but fortunately late on the lap and consequently didn’t lose too much time. Driving in the night was rather difficult: the visibility partly was extremely poor and we witnessed a lot of accidents and Code-60 phases that cost us some time. We are consistently racing in the top 10 and have opened a slight gap on the cars behind us. There still are seven hours of racing to be contested and a lot of things still can happen. We want to keep on contesting the race without making mistakes. Should we succeed in doing so we have to wait and see where we will finish.”

#18 – Mercedes- AMG GT3 (Vettel,Ellis,Ludwig,Szymkowiak)

Jules Szymkowiak: “Things have been running well, so far. We avoid getting involved in any incidents and focus on making it to the finish. We are well prepared for the final third of the race. I drove a double stint in the night – what turned out to be a major challenge. With all these Code-60 phases you couldn’t push to the max but had to cleverly manage your approach. Nonetheless, I pushed wherever it was possible to do so. In the morning I will drive another double stint. One of our main rivals seems to be in problems while we are racing anticyclically compared to the others. The closing stages will be thrilling.”

#31 – Porsche 911 GT3 R (Dumas,Campbell,Müller,Jaminet)

08:40hrs: Serves his 33-second time penalty for falling below the minimum stop time during the previous stop. Jaminet is replaced by Müller. Due to the time penalty the car drops back to third, behind the Mann-Filter Mercedes #48.

#48 – Mercedes- AMG GT3 (Hohenadel,Arnold,Marciello,Götz)

09:12hrs: Collision with the #141 in the Dunlopkehre. Apparently both vehicles can continue.

Günter Aberer, Team Principal: “We had a severe close encounter with a Porsche. The Porsche saw us somewhat too late and turned in. The tracking of our car was slightly bent but the guys were able to readjust it. We hope that the car will stand the rest of the race. No matter what position you are in – you have to keep on praying until the race is over.”

10:09hrs: Maxi Götz spins at the Hohe Acht and slightly crashes backwards into the crash barriers.

10:15hrs Maxi Götz is towed away by the DMSB Staffel.

News and quotes with 17 hours contested

At the end of the 17th hour the spectators witness a Porsche one-two. The Manthey Racing #911 still holds the lead, followed by the Frikadelli Racing Porsche #31. The second- to ninth-place vehicles still are in the same lap. The toughest rival of the two Porsches is Mercedes-AMG Team Mann Filter GT3 #48. Meanwhile, two Audis R8 LMS (Audi Sport Teams Land #29 and Audi Sport Team Phoenix #4) are fighting for fourth position. Despite their problems in the night, the Glickenhaus in 17th remains the fastest vehicle of those not racing in the GT3 category.

#6 – Mercedes- AMG GT3 (Assenheimer,Bastian,Buurman,Piana)

08:04hrs: Nico Bastian skids over the grass in the Schwedenkreuz to avoid hitting the TJ-Opel Astra #164.

#7 – Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo (Mapelli,Jefferies,Di Martino,Lyons)

Team Principal Franz Konrad: “The night was okay, nothing worth mentioning. We had a few problems with our drivers, one of them didn’t cope well with driving in the night. Now we want to push again. Let’s find out if our baby is ready to do so.”

#11 – Ferrari 488 GT3 (Keilwitz,Kainz,Krumbach,Mattschull)

07:17hrs: Alexander Mattschull: “The ride into the morning really was my first stint that allowed me to slightly familiarise myself with car and circuit and to complete eight consistent laps. I think I slightly improved my times lap by lap. Due to the rising sun the visibility was partly poor. It was like being blind.”

#16 – Mercedes- AMG GT3 (van der Zande,Vautier,Seyffarth,Heyer)

07:35hrs: Jan Seyffarth: “I contested a double-stint. Driving out of the night and into the morning sun always is awesome. Our pace was fine but once or twice we had bad luck with Code 60 zones. Kenneth Heyer now arguably also will drive a double stint. We are happy with our race so far.”

#22 – Ferrari 488 GT3 (Weiss,Weiss,Dontje,Still)

07:31hrs: Hendrik Still: “I contested a double stint. The car’s performance was really great. Hey, I just have seen: the fastest race lap. That absolutely fantastic!”

#31 – Porsche 911 GT3 R (Dumas,Campbell,Müller,Jaminet)

07:39hrs: Sven Müller: “In the night we had to cope with ups and downs. I didn’t drive a lot but will cover more kilometres in the closing stages of the race. Matt Campbell told me that it was truly chaotic, out there. There was oil on the track – and a lot of debris. But we survived the chaos well and the car is still okay. We currently hold second position but the fight with the Mercedes is close.”

07:44hrs: 33-second penalty for falling below the minimum pit-stop time.

#122 – Opel Manta (Beckmann,Hass,Strycek,Schulten)

07:19hrs: Crash in the Ex-Mühle area.

#911 – Porsche 911 GT3 R (Bamber,Christensen,Estre,Vanthoor)

6:57hrs. Kevin Estre completes the 100th race lap. Due to the numerous code-60 phases in the early stages of the race it will be arguably impossible to tie the 159-lap record. 157 laps seem more probable.

07:31hrs: Kevin Estre: “When I woke up, we held a two-minute lead. That felt nice. The car is really great, only the brake-pedal travel is somewhat ‘long’. We now changed the brake callipers, let’s see if that helps. I hope that we will continue as trouble-free as we did before.”

News and quotes with 15 hours contested

The night was clearly less dramatic than the first hours of the 24hr Race that caused a stir with numerous major and minor incidents. The leading Porsche #911 impressed with consistent lap times and defended its lead throughout the night but a hand full of vehicles entertained the crowds with a fierce fight for the positions behind. The gap between the second and the seventh-placed car amounted to just a minute, with several Porsches, Mercedes’ and Audis battling it out with one another. The toughest opponents of the leaders were the Mann-Filter-Mercedes #48 and the Frikadelli-Porsche #31. The Glickenhaus lost time due to a front-end collision and the Manta is back in the race.

#1 – Porsche 911 GT3 R (Lietz,Makowiecki,Pilet,Tandy)

01:17hrs: Spins in the Schwalbenschwanz area. The driver gets out of the car. Richard Lietz: “The kind of Nordschleife accident that can be witnessed often. I hope the other driver is fine. I’m okay but the car unfortunately isn’t. But that’s racing. If you don’t push you are too slow but if you push you things like this can happen.”

#3 – Mercedes- AMG GT3 (Buhk,Haupt,Jäger,Stolz)

02:20hrs: Luca Stolz: “My first double stint. It was very hectic, there were a lot of accidents and so, it proved to be difficult to find your rhythm. The car is running very well and I could gain some ground.”

#14 – Audi R8 LMS (Winkelhock,Haase,Fässler,Rast)

03:29hrs: Christopher Haase: “It was rather busy out there. At this time several drivers seem lose their concentration and consequently it was a difficult phase. Following our poor start we worked our way up to fifth to eighth position. Now we want to survive and find out where we will be in the morning.”

#29 – Audi R8 LMS (Mies,Rast,van der Linde,Haase)

05:09hrs: Christian Land: “Kelvin van der Linde will stay in the car for another stint. He is on a roll and sets top-class lap times. The stint before was contested by René Rast who also delivered in fine style. Therefore, we are closing in on the leaders consistently.”

#31 – Porsche 911 GT3 R (Dumas,Campbell,Müller,Jaminet)

03:02hrs: Mathieu Jaminet: “I could gain two positions at the beginning of my double stint. In the second stint the balance of the car changed and I had to opt for a more careful approach. There were accidents and Code-60 zones again and again but I tried to avoid risky situations as far as possible.”

#39 – Nissan GT-R Nissmo GT3 (Menzel,Liberati,Jöns,Vaxiviere)

01:56hrs: Crashes in the Hohenrain Chicane, Menzel gets out of the car.

#48 – Mercedes- AMG GT3 (Hohenadel,Arnold,Marciello,Götz)

04:07hrs: The second-placed team is ‘rewarded’ with a 32-second time penalty for ignoring flag signals.

#100 – BMW M6 GT3 (Walkenhorst,Ziegler,Schmidt-Staade,Tresson)

01:3hrs: Spins and hits the crash barriers in the Fuchsröhre.

#122 – Opel Manta (Beckmann,Hass,Strycek,Schulten)

04:56hrs: The Opel Manta is back. Following a multi-hour repair the idol of the fans rejoins the race. After a short check-up lap the car returns to the pits, is subjected to another extensive check and rejoins the race with Peter Hass behind the wheel.

#705 – SCG 003C (Mutsch,Fernandez-Laser,Mailleux,Simonsen)

01:31hrs: Thomas Mutsch comes in for an unscheduled stop. The left front of the SCG003C is damaged and the car needs a new front.

01:47hrs: The repair works are completed and Thomas Mutsch rejoins the race. Felipe Laser: “Thomas unfortunately was involved in a collision. A real shame as we lost a lot of ground and won’t be able to make up for it. But giving in isn’t an option and therefore, we will keep on pushing.”

#911 – Porsche 911 GT3 R (Bamber,Christensen,Estre,Vanthoor)

Michael Christensen: “We are fast but you have to be careful out there to not get involved in an incident. It was close twice, in my stint, but nothing happened so far.”

06:02hrs: Nicki Raeder: “We are happy with holding the lead. But a two-minute lead can be lost quickly if you make a mistake in a Code-60 zone because of poor visibility. We currently won’t use every overtaking opportunity but on the other hand, the lads aren’t too good when it comes to driving really slowly.”

06:15hrs: New brake discs were held ready but then, the leading Manthey Porsche rejoins the race just on fresh tyres and refuelled.

06:05hrs+++|The night now is officially over. Instead of the reflecting display panels the marshals now ´will use the flags again.

News and quotes with nine hours contested

The Manthey Racing Porsche #911 defends its lead into the night and extends it to about 2:50 minutes. The fierce battle for the positions behind it is continued and spiced up by several dramatic incidents. The long-time leaders for instance, the Mercedes-AMG GT3 #2, has to retire after a close encounter with a lapped car. Afterwards, the Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus moves up to second but is pressurised by the Mercedes-AMG GT3 #48. Frikadelli Racing’s Porsche 911 GT3 #31 races on fourth position into the night, followed by the fastest Audi R8 LMS, the #1 of Audi Sport Team Car Collection. The last BMW M6 GT3 that is still racing, representing the Walkenhorst colours, holds 24th position at the beginning of the 10th hour.

#2 – Mercedes- AMG GT3 (Christodoulou,Engel,Metzger,Müller)

Dirk Müller: “I experienced the full Monty. I drove from the day into the night. The Porsche was lucky to have just one Code 60 while I had to cope with two. Therefore, it was able to suddenly close the gap. We are the two fastest cars in the field – that was fun.”

23:05hrs: +++The Black Falcon-Mercedes #2 and the Gazoo-Toyota #90 collide in the Yokohama-S. Pits after a short lap. The Mercedes is pushed into the garage and the team checks the front of the car. Adam Christodoulou exits the vehicle. Maro Engel on Adam’s accident: “Unfortunately the steering gear was damaged and we need a longer repair stop. Adam isn’t to blame. The incident was the result of a misunderstanding. It hurts but what can you do? Nonetheless, we can be proud of our weekend performance.”

00:05hr: The Black Falcon Mercedes-AMG GT3 that held the lead for quite a while is officially retired.

#8 – Porsche 911 GT3 R (Slooten,Luhr,de Leener,Jans)

22:55hrs: Receives a 5:32-minute penalty for ignoring the pit-lane driving regulations and causing a collision.

#16 – Mercedes- AMG GT3 (van der Zande,Vautier,Seyffarth,Heyer)

Team Principal Adam Osieka: “We are really happy with the race so far as we didn’t encounter any problems. The cars are running absolutely flawlessly. The competition on the track, however, is really tough. We want to survive the night unharmed – to achieve this goal is extremely important. A short time prior to the start we had a problem with the car lifter of #16 and have to improvise now. During the pit stops of #16 the guys now have to the lifter with car jacks throughout the race as the left piston doesn’t work.”

#18 – Mercedes- AMG GT3 (Vettel,Ellis,Ludwig,Szymkowiak)

Fabian Vettel: “To race into the night was an amazing experience. I realised how the fans began to set fire to their grills. Then the smell of fried sausages began to fill the air. You smell it and start to get slightly hungry. A great feeling. On the other hand, you drive through the wads of smoke of the huge campfires and your eyes begin to burn. It wasn’t easy but a great experience. We currently are doing quite alright but we have not even reached race half-time. I was right behind when the bad accident at the Döttinger Höhe happened. Suddenly I saw a car flying through the air and then the entire track was full of debris. That demonstrated how fast your race can be over – even on a straight where you think that nothing can happen.”

#44 – Porsche 911 GT3 R (Bachler,Bergmeister,Ragginger,Werner)

Martin Ragginger is replaced by Klaus Bachler and says: “Actually everything was quite okay. We encountered quite a lot of trouble in the early stages but now, everything is running according to plan. The car once again is running really well. A pity for everybody that our start was rather mediocre. Now we try to make the best of it.”

#705 – SCG 003C (Mutsch,Fernandez-Laser,Mailleux,Simonsen)

Felipe Laser: “Driving into the night was really nice. There was a long-term Code-60 zone in the Brünnchen area and so, you could really enjoy the atmosphere along the track, there. Our pace was good. Now we hope that we will be able to continue on this level throughout the night.”

#911 – Porsche 911 GT3 R (Bamber,Christensen,Estre,Vanthoor)

Kevin Estre: “The Mercedes had to cope with some bad luck in the traffic what helped me to close in on it quickly. I used the first chance I was offered and I think that he deliberately drove slightly to the left. But I didn’t lift and kept on pushing. So he moved back to the right, I had more room and passed him.”

News and quotes with seven hours contested

The sixth hour was kicked off by a new leader: In his Manthey Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R #911 Kevin Estre passed the previously leading Mercedes-AMG GT3 #2 at the Döttinger Höhe. Up to the end of the seventh hour, with 46 laps completed, the Manthey Porsche had opened a 30-second gap over the second-placed car. Meanwhile, the battle for third position proved was fierce and spectacular. Three cars – the Mercedes-AMG Team Mann Filter Mercedes AMG GT3 #48, the Frikadelli Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R #31 and the Scuderia Glickenhaus SCG 003C #705 entertained the crowds with enthralling motor racing. In the seventh hour, Felipe Fernandez Laser won the battle for the time being to continue in third place.

#16 – Mercedes- AMG GT3 (van der Zande,Vautier,Seyffarth,Heyer)

Tristan Vautier: “I hadn’t covered a big mileage on the Nordschleife, this year. Therefore, I just couldn’t wait for my first stint. „We currently hold a top-10 position and doing so was our goal for the first half of the race. I had a nice battle with the Land Audi and really enjoyed it.”

#30 – Porsche 911 GT3 R (Abbelen,Müller,Renauer,Preining)

21:17hrs: Is pushed into the garage. The Porsche loses oil. Alex Müller: “In the cooler conditions the car handled really well on the mediums. The lap times improved more and more but all of a sudden, we got vibrations in the steering system and at the exit of the Karussell the power steering stopped working completely. Now we will try to repair the car.”

#31 – Porsche 911 GT3 R (Dumas,Campbell,Müller,Jaminet)

Sven Müller: “The stint was big fun. We made good progress on our way to closing in on the leaders. And the racing is very close at the front end of the field, with the battles on the track being extremely tough. “Partly, seeing anything was really difficult due to the setting sun. Now we have to try to make no mistakes and survive the night unharmed. The car handles absolutely perfectly. As I see it, the Nürburgring 24h Race is the most difficult race worldwide for both man and machine. The material has to take extreme punishment – you fly through the Karussell and jump over bumps. At the end of the day it’s crucial to keep your mistake rate as low as possible and achieve a good performance.”

21:48hr: While entering the Schwedenkreuz and in the battle with another car Sven Müller has to draw aside to avoid a safeguarding vehicle and hits the crash barriers.

#38 – Nissan GT-R Nissmo GT3 (Wlazik,Menzel,De Oliveira,Burdon)

21:20hrs: Philipp Wlazik: “It’s really tumultuous out there but the atmosphere is outstanding. Driving into the sunset is just great. Yes, there are places where you are blinded by the sun and have your problems to recognise the flags. After the bad accident with an M6 in the Brünnchen area I had Code 60 in this section throughout my eight laps. It makes you lose your rhythm again and again. Now we have to have a clean race in the night and then we will see where we will be tomorrow morning.”

#44 – Porsche 911 GT3 R (Bachler,Bergmeister,Ragginger,Werner)

Dirk Werner: “Unfortunately, a tyre damage forced us to come in for a longer repair stop. The damage was caused by debris on the track. Now we are 51st but the lads succeeded in getting the car ready to race again. We witnessed several bad accidents – a fact that leaves me puzzled as the track conditions are fine.”

#48 – Mercedes- AMG GT3 (Hohenadel,Arnold,Marciello,Götz)

Maximilian Götz: “My stint was somewhat frustrating as there were so many Code 60 situations. I hadn’t a single free lap and several nuts around me that activate the left indicator and drive to the right. I really lost time but this applied to all of us. In these situations you have to stay focused, struggle through and avoid making mistakes.”

News and quotes with five hours contested

At the end of the fifth hour, the Mercedes-AMG Team Black Falcon #2 still holds the lead with the Manthey Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R #911 following in second position. With 33 laps completed, the best Audi (#14, Audi Sport Team Car Collection) is fifth. Meanwhile, the BMW teams encountered a disastrous first quarter of the race as four BMWs M6 GT3 were forced into retirement by accidents or technical problems. Surrounded by GT3 cars, the Glickenhaus holds seventh position. Short before the fifth hour was over the fans had to cope with a major blow as the Opel Manta, the idol of the fans, was involved in a bad crash and had to be retired.

#14 – Audi R8 LMS (Winkelhock,Haase,Fässler,Rast)

Markus Winkelhock: “Currently things aren’t looking too bad. We are moving around the eighth position and that’s far better than what we expected. But there still is a very long way to go. We focus on making no mistakes – and then we have to wait and see what will be the result of this approach.”

#16 – Mercedes- AMG GT3 (van der Zande,Vautier,Seyffarth,Heyer)

Jan Seyffarth: “The first stint was difficult due to the extremely high temperatures. We didn’t want to use the hardest tyres as our experience with them is limited. Therefore, we opted for the mediums but they tended to get too hot and consequently I was hampered by understeer. At sundown, with the temperatures falling, the car handled far better and I could start pushing. Now Renger is in the cockpit and will push harder. And we will do even better in the darkness, with the lower temperatures

#29 – Audi R8 LMS (Mies,Rast,van der Linde,Haase)

Christian Land: “We succeeded in surviving the first hours without making any mistakes and already worked our way up to eighth. But as our opponents are racing on different strategies it’s difficult to say where we are really standing.”

#44 – Porsche 911 GT3 R (Bachler,Bergmeister,Ragginger,Werner)

20:20hrs Following a tyre damage on the Nordschleife the tread has torn off the ABS sensor. Therefore, the car had to come in for a longer repair stop.

#98 – BMW M6 GT3 (Eng,De Phillippi,Blomqvist,Jensen)

19:01hrs The Rowe BMW stops in the Hohe Acht area due to a technical failure and has to be towed away.

19:32hrs: The early end of the race for Rowe Racing. When #98 has stopped on the track the team packs up and also pushes the #99 into the tent. The car lost too much time due to a suspension failure but was kept ready as support for the sister car.

Team Principal Hans-Peter Naundorf: “The saddest and poorest 24h Race we ever encountered. To have lost both cars just 3.5 hours into the race is absolutely disappointing. #98 driver Mikkel Jensen said that he had a close encounter – that resulted in a radiator failure.”

#99 – BMW M6 GT3 (Catsburg,Wittmann,Krohn,Edwards)

Following a long repair stop due to a suspension failure, the car rejoins the race with John Edwards behind the wheel – but returns to the pits following just one short GP-circuit lap. John Edwards: “We repaired the damaged suspension but the car possibly suffered a consequential damage. But we now have the task to possibly support the other car anyway – for instance by testing other setups or tyre combinations.”

#101 – BMW M6 GT3 (Krognes,Pittard,Ordonez,Yelloly)

18:44hrs Walkenhorst has to retire the car.

#122 – Opel Manta (Beckmann,Hass,Strycek,Schulten)

20:28hrs Collision with the cars #46 and #52 at the exit of the Mercedes Arena. Olaf Beckmann has to park the idol of the public with a damaged front and a torn off left front wheel.

#705 – SCG 003C (Mutsch,Fernandez-Laser,Mailleux,Simonsen)

18:44 Mailleux sets a new fastest race lap: 8:19.670 min

#911 – Porsche 911 GT3 R (Bamber,Christensen,Estre,Vanthoor)

Laurens Vanthoor: “My stint wasn’t easy. It’s difficult to find the proper line in the heavy traffic. You just have to keep your cool and avoid taking too many risks. I had bad luck regarding a code 60 that cost me a lot of time compared to the Mercedes. But there still is a long way to go.”

20:08hrs: The Schnitzer BMW #42 and the Hyundai TCR #170 crash and have to retire.

24h-Race 2019 Split Result 3h

In the second and third hours of the race the Mercedes-AMG Team Black Falcon Mercedes #2 kept on defending its lead against the Porsche 911 GT3 R #911. Behind the two leaders, the Audi Sport Team Car Collection R8 #14 and the ROWE Racing BMW M6 GT3 #98 alternated – depending on the pit stops – in third position. The second Manthey Porsche – #1 – lost its position among the front-runners due to a damaged tyre. The best non-GT3 competitor is the Glickenhaus SCG003C in fourth position.

#1 – Porsche 911 GT3 R (Lietz,Makowiecki,Pilet,Tandy)

Patrick Pilet: “It was as good start and I could work my way up from fifth position to third. I lost some time compared to the two leading cars but in a 24h race you have to assess the risks correctly and mustn’t be too aggressive in the traffic. The car is running flawlessly and there still are many kilometres to be covered.”

17:14hrs: The reigning champions suffer a damaged tyre in the Kesselchen area. Due to the puncture and the time they lost while cruising back to the pits the team dropped back to 35th place.

#2 – Mercedes- AMG GT3 (Christodoulou,Engel,Metzger,Müller)

Maro Engel: “The starting phase ran really well and I was able to defend the lead. Balance and performance of the car are good. There was a lot of traffic and I had a moment with a slower car. The atmosphere out there is fantastic. Thanks for the huge support.”

#3 – Mercedes- AMG GT3 (Buhk,Haupt,Jäger,Stolz)

Luca Stolz: “The information lap with all the fans was pure madness – goose bumps to the max. My start was good, I hadn’t any contact. At the end of my last lap I could pass the GetSpeed Mercedes-AMG GT3 and den Phoenix Audi. Our car runs perfectly and now, Hubert Haupt is contesting the next stint.”

#5 – Audi R8 LMS (Bleekemolen,Kolb,Schramm,Stippler)

16:39hrs: Yelmer Buurman: “It was big fun. I lost a position during the start but was able to work my way back up. Afterwards I was able to gain even more ground. A good start for us.”

#8 – Porsche 911 GT3 R (Slooten,Luhr,de Leener,Jans)

17:59hrs: Jan-Erik Slooten: “The first stint was good. A lot of chaos out there but everything was okay. I had two minor close encounters with other cars as it’s really tight on the track. But everything went well

#13 – Dodge Viper CC (Albrecht,Dittmann,Reinhard,Lachmayer)

17:03hrs Accident in Metzgesfeld area, continues.

#22 – Ferrari 488 GT3 (Weiss,Weiss,Dontje,Still)

Leonard Weiss: “Not too bad for my first start. A few cars could pass me but I’M happy with the performance so far. Furthermore, there still are a few hours to go.”

#38 – Nissan GT-R Nissmo GT3 (Wlazik,Menzel,De Oliveira,Burdon)

17:35 JP Oliviera: “I made a great start and certainly gained 10 positions over the course of the first stint. We are racing at a reasonable speed and manage the race. I’m happy with the car and had a nice battle with Fässler and Mies. It’s my first 24h race and I’m amazed about the numerous contacts I had.”

#42 – BMW M6 GT3 (Farfus,Tomczyk,van der Linde,Scheider)

Augusto Farfus: “Unfortunately I was hit just a short time after the start and spun. Very frustrating. Fortunately, the car wasn’t damaged and runs well. And the race still is long. We definitely will give our very best and really go for it to make up for the lost ground.”

#44 – Porsche 911 GT3 R (Bachler,Bergmeister,Ragginger,Werner)

17:44 Misses the pit-lane entrance and has to complete a short extra lap on the GP circuit.

#55 – Ferrari 488 GT3 (Grossmann,Trummer,Hirschi,Prinz)

17:31hrs The Ferrari is driving burning around the GP circuit.

#99 – BMW M6 GT3 (Catsburg,Wittmann,Krohn,Edwards)

With a damaged front the BMW M6 GT3 comes in for an unscheduled stop and is pushed into the garage for repair works. Jesse Krohn explains that he was involved in a collision with another car. “When I rejoined the race there was very slow Porsche ahead of me. I went next to him to pass him. In turn one I went as far to the inside as possible but he went too far to the inside, nevertheless, and hit me. I don’t know if he didn’t see me.”

#911 – Porsche 911 GT3 R (Bamber,Christensen,Estre,Vanthoor)

16:36hrs: Kevin Estre: “The car is running really well but working your way through the traffic was difficult. The first stint always is somewhat difficult as the drivers of the slower cars have not yet found their rhythm. Several times it was really close. I’m happy that we are among the front-runners. The information lap was absolutely awesome – as usual.”

News and Quotes after one hour

The technical commission once again has made Balance of Performance (BOP) changes for the 47th ADAC TOTAL 24h Race. The BMWs M6 GT3 may get rid of 10kg handicap weight while the Mercedes’-AMG GT3, that qualified – inter alia – first and second had to take another 10kg aboard and the Porsches 911 GT3 R even 20 kilos.

#31 – Porsche 911 GT3 R (Dumas,Campbell,Müller,Jaminet)

Sven Müller: “Additional weight never is perfect but we drivers try to ignore it. We will give our very best, nevertheless, and try to drive a clean race. You definitely feel the weight while accelerating but we hope that we nonetheless will be able to become a factor in the battle for the top positions.”

#54 – BMW 335i (Borum,Eden,Moore)

15:25hrs: Stops due to technical problems in the Klostertalkuve area

16:16hrs: The BMW 335i rejoins the race

#100 – BMW M6 GT3 (Walkenhorst,Ziegler,Schmidt-Staade,Tresson)

Team Principal and driver Henry Walkenhorst: “We are confident that the BoP adaptations represent a step in the right direction. Nonetheless, we aren’t on the level we would like to be on. Yesterday in the Top Qualifying we gave our very best but were six or seven seconds than the others – that wasn’t exactly funny. I think that we gained about 1 to 1.5 seconds by the adaptation and the others were restrained by about a second due to the additional weight. Nonetheless, there still is a certain gap. That’s not perfect but we have to live with the situation.”

#705 – SCG 003C (Mutsch,Fernandez-Laser,Mailleux,Simonsen)

Race engineer Dario Pergolini: “We are happy with the Balance of Performance. Now it’s up to our team to make the best of it.”

Engel takes the leads from his pole position

At the start into the 2019 ADAC TOTAL 24h Race, former DTM driver Maro Engel made perfect use of the pole he secured on Friday: on the way to turn one, the driver of the Black-Falcon Mercedes #2 won the acceleration battle against fellow Mercedes-AMG driver Lance-David Arnold in the Mann-Filter Mercedes #48 and already had opened a small gap when entering the Nordschleife. At the end of lap one, Engel crossed the line 3.5 seconds ahead of Kevin Estre in the Manthey-Porsche #911 who had passed Arnold for second position at the Döttinger Höhe to then begin to pressurise the race leader – in brilliant sunshine and in front of the enthusiastic visitors.

On the following laps, Engel and Estre entertained the crowds with a thrilling battle for the lead. The Porsche driver closed in on the Mercedes but each of his efforts to steal the lead in the first hour was fended off by Engel as the latter kept his cool even when lapping slower cars in the heavy traffic. After exactly one hour, with seven laps completed, the two leaders pitted simultaneously for the first tyre change.

Last year’s winners in the Porsche #1 passed Arnold on the second lap for third position but lost it when Patrick Pilet who drove the first stint pitted after only five laps. Team-mate Fred Makowiecki got behind the wheel of the Porsche 911 GT3 R – and took the lead when the two previous leaders came in for their first stop.

Everything prepared for the 24h Race

When the starting lights will be switched green, today at 15:30hrs CEST, some 155 cars will start into the 24-hour battle for positions, class wins and the overall win, with about 580 drivers from 32 countries giving their very best – in cars of 22 manufacturers.

Once again, more than 200,000 motor-racing enthusiasts travelled to the Eifel to witness the ADAC TOTAL 24-Race action live on site and a huge team is necessary for organising such a mega event. The efforts made both on and aloof from the track for turning the event into a success are outstanding.

The first camp sites at ‘The Ring’ open their gates for the short-vacation visitors as early as on Monday. At the circuit itself, the preparations for most challenging racer in the world and the state of emergency caused by it are executed in well-practiced style. 600 helpers alone do their very best to make sure that the visitors have a trouble-free time – from the arrival to the departure: the cashiers, the marshals on the stands or the car parks for more than 60,000 passenger cars and far more.

In the run-up to the 24h Race, about 60 persons executed more than 10,000 of working hours until everything has been organised and erected. For instance, 18 kilometres of construction hoardings were erected to mark prohibited areas and another six kilometres to protect nature conversation areas. In addition, 90 mobile floodlight masts make for the necessary illumination of the total of 1.5 million square metres of camping and parking sites.

Furthermore, 700 mobile toilets and 150 showers are positioned around the Nürburgring Nordschleife. And 106 two-cubic-metre barrels as well as 15 10-cubic-metre tanks supply the visitors with water.

Just as important as the supply with fresh water is the disposal. This task is executed by experienced service providers that already know the Nürburgring as event location. They work hard to collect and dispose the garbage accumulated during the 24h Race but also have to rely on the support by the visitors around the circuit to be able to preserve the ‘Green Hell’.

Starting drivers

Right before the start of the 47. ADAC TOTAL 24h-race the excitement of the fans is rising at the Nürburgring.

The following drivers will be the starting drivers:

 

Pos. 1: #2 Mercedes- AMG GT3 

Maro Engel

Pos. 2: #48 Mercedes– AMG GT3 

Lance David Arnold

Pos. 3: #911 Porsche 911 GT3 R 

Kevin Estre

Pos. 4: #4 Audi R8 LMS 

Pierre Kaffer

Pos. 5: #31 Porsche 911 GT3 R 

Matt Campbell

Pos. 6: #6 Mercedes– AMG GT3 

Yelmer Buurman

Pos. 7: #1 Porsche 911 GT3 R 

Patrick Pilet

Pos. 8: #3 Mercedes– AMG GT3 

Luca Stolz

Pos. 9: #16 Mercedes– AMG GT3 

Jan Seyffarth

Pos. 10: #55 Ferrari 488 GT3 

Simon Trummer

Pos. 11: #7 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo 

Marco Mapelli

Pos. 12: #12 Porsche 911 GT3 R 

Lars Kern

Pos. 13: #101 BMW M6 GT3 

Christian Krognes

Pos. 14: #18 Mercedes– AMG GT3 

Luca Ludwig

Pos. 15: #29 Audi R8 LMS 

Christopher Mies

Pos. 16#42 BMW M6 GT3 

Augusto Farfus

Pos. 17: #5 Audi R8 LMS 

Kim Luis Schramm

Pos. 18: #44 Porsche 911 GT3 R 

Dirk Werner

Pos. 19: #705 SCG 003C 

Thomas Mutsch

Pos. 20: #99 BMW M6 GT3 

John Edwards

Pos. 21: #98 BMW M6 GT3 

Connor de Phillippi

Pos. 22: #39 Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 2018 

Edoardo Liberati

Pos. 23: #22 Ferrari 488 GT3 

Leonard Weiss

 

Pos. 24: #8 Porsche 911 GT3 R 

Lucas Luhr

Pos. 25: #45 Nissan GTR Nismo GT3 

Tom Coronel

 

Pos. 26: #100 BMW M6 GT3 

Jordan Tresson

Pos.27: #17 Mercedes AMG GT3 

Markus Palttala

Pos. 28: #11 Ferrari 488 GT3 

Oliver Kainz

 

Quotes pole press conference

Maro Engel / #2 Mercedes AMG Team Black Falcon / Pole Position

“Contesting the Top Qualifying feels fantastic every single time. In a 24h Race your grid position isn’t quite as crucial but being among the front-runners is important, nevertheless. But the two free laps on this wonderful circuit are just awesome. I have to thank my entire Mercedes-AMG Team Black Falcon that provided me with a perfectly prepared Mercedes-AMG GT3 shod with the suiting tyres. No doubt, one or two fast laps aren’t representative for your long-run pace but we did a good job, prepared well and so I hope that we will be among the fastest, tomorrow. On the other hand, there certainly are several cars that are standing behind us on the grip and will push to the max. Therefore, the race won’t be easy. The lap itself also wasn’t easy but everything ran virtually perfectly and now I’m really happy. It goes without saying that the clear view will be helpful during the start and as long as we and Maximilian Götz don’t lock horns in the first corner.”

Maximilian Götz / #48 Mercedes-AMG Team Mann-Filter / Second grid position

[With a look to Maro Engel]: “We won’t collide with one another during the start – no matter who will drive the first stint. The pole is good and means a first row for Mercedes-AMG. But it also is a good initial position for us. We had to fight our way through the new qualifying format and did so successfully. I have to thank the team – and for the great opportunity to drive this lap. It was outstanding fun – it can’t come any better! Out there on new tyres – and with nobody ahead of or behind you. Just brilliant! Nonetheless, it’s annoying to have missed the pole by a tenth. But somebody was ahead of me in the Breidscheid area and there was grass on the track. Therefore, I possibly was slightly too careful when braking. But at the end of the day, we have to look for this circuit on the track. I think that losing a tenth on such a long lap is okay. But I have to admit that it nettles me as being a racing driver you always want to be the fastest, here.”

Laurens Vanthoor / #911 Manthey Racing / third grid position

“We all came here to win and I only can say that we at Porsche prepared for this race as well as possible. But you also have to admit that the race distance doesn’t amount to just three laps but to 24 hours. As we had to cope with a lot of rain in the VLN races, the preparation was particularly difficult when it came to the tyres. As I see it, the Nürburgring 24h Race definitely is the most difficult endurance race in the world – and that’s something I want to explicitly and once again underline, here.”