Superior BMW win in the 24h Qualifying Race

Convincing appearance of the BMWs M6 GT3 in the ADAC Qualifying Race at the Nordschleife. In the final test race for the 24h Race held on the Corpus Christi weekend (20th to 23rd June), all the podiums were secured by the Bavarian manufacturer. While the Walkenhorst Motorsport crew – Christian Krognes (NOR), David Pittard and Nicholas Yelloly (both UK) – clinched the overall win ROWE Racing finished second (Jesse Krohn / FIN and John Edwards / USA) and third (Connor de Philippi / USA, Tom Blomqvist / UK and Mikkel Jensen (DK) respectively. While the best Porsche – a 911 GT3 R representing Frikadelli Racing – finished fourth, the best Mercedes came fifth – and the best Audi had to settle for finishing eighth.

>> Result 24h qualification race (PDF)

Thrilling early stage
The starting phase of the six-hour 24h Qualifying Race proved to be a true thriller, with the typical Nordschleife conditions adding to the battle at the front end of the field.
Many teams seemed to have opted for the wrong tyres for the wet track and started into the race on slicks. What offered Marcel Fässler in the Audi R8 LMS #4 the opportunity to shine on his wets, thus clearly outpacing pole sitter Yelmer Buurman in the Black-Falcon-Mercedes-AMG #6 and the rest of the field. But his domination didn’t last long. On lap four he had to come in for slicks as the competitiveness of his wets dropped on the drying track. After three hours, the BMWs M6 GT3 of ROWE Racing, Schnitzer and Walkenhorst as well as the two Porsches 911 GT3 R of last year’s winners Manthey Racing proved to be particularly competitive.

BMW dominates at the latest from race half-time
In the second half of the race, the BMW squads delivered in amazing style. The BMWs temporarily were eight second faster than the Porsches 911 GT3 R behind them and only a 1:32-minute time penalty for having ignored yellow flags made the BMW strategists frown. But at the end of the day, all the podiums were clinched by BMW. Record winners Manthey Racing seemed to be on the way to making it to the podium but with just a few more minutes to go they had to pit with steering-system problems – and the one-two-three for BMW was wrapped up.

Norwegian Christian Krognes described the success as follows: “This was one of my most intense moments in 2019. Closing in more and more on your rival represents a massive boost. I quickly realised that we had better grip in the slow sections. Therefore I knew that I should overtake him at the GP circuit. It has been the first win for the team in many years.”

Race Director Walter Hornung also came to a positive conclusion regarding the weekend. “We witnessed great race action that makes you look forward to the 24h Race. The teams had to cope with wet and dry weather in the practice sessions and the race, representing variegated testing conditions. We provided an optimum final test for the 24h Race – and the fans had fun due to the thrilling race action. And that’s exactly what it is about, in this event.”

The countdown is on: 100 days to go to the 24h Race!

Just 100 days to go to the race of the year at the Nordschleife: from 20th to 23rd June, the legendary Nordschleife once again will stage the biggest motor-racing event in Germany. More than 200,000 motor-sport enthusiasts will travel to the longest and most spectacular racetrack in the world to witness the 160-car grid battle it out for 24 hours for one of the most coveted trophies in international motor racing. In addition, the programme also comprises the FIA World Touring Car Cup that once again will contest three sprint races on the 24h-Race weekend. Numerous other highlights, on and aloof from the track, turn the ADAC TOTAL 24h into the highlight for fans, drivers, teams and officials. The advance booking for the Nürburgring 24h Race tickets already has begun. Those who want to secure their tickets now can do so in the online shop and via the Nürburgring website. Furthermore, you can order the tickets by phone at the hotline, +49 (0)1806 991185 (€0.20 per call from the German landline, maximum €0.60 per call from the German mobile networks).

Exciting cars on the grid
Good omens for the 2019 ADAC TOTAL 24h Race. Numerous teams already announced to contest the race or even registered for the prestigious event. This year, the front-runners will be chasing the Manthey-Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R that won last year the 46th edition by prevailing in a spectacular showdown. Due to this success, the team that is based in the immediate vicinity of the Nürburgring now is the sole record holder with six overall wins under its belt. But there are quite a number of teams that also want to make it to the hall of fame, this year. Several BMW and Porsche teams already announced to contest the race in the GT3 category that usually features the favourites. And it’s only a question of time until a number of other brands will disclose their line-up for 2019. So, it may be expected that the Audi and Mercedes-AMG vehicles also will be factors in the battle for the win. Furthermore, the Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus also announced to once again be on the 24h Race gird. In 2017, the independent squad from the USA outperformed all the favourites by securing the pole. And the Americans are determined to once again be one of the front-runners, with their spectacular SCG 003. Several other independent teams already announced their programme for the 2019 season. Bonk Motorsport, Muehlner Motorsport, Ring Racing and others once again will make for action in the ‘smaller’ classes. The first pole of the year, however, was secured by the team around skateboard legend Titus Dittmann: the team registered its bilious green Dodge Viper as the very first competitors for the 2019 24h Race – as early as in December 2018.

Regulations with slight qualifying-mode changes
In the off-season, the 24h Race organisers honed the regulations and focused on the qualifying mode while doing so. Made possible by a time-keeping revolution at ‘The Ring’, the organisers now use ‘virtual lap times’ for evaluating the competitiveness of the individual vehicles: For the front-runners, racing in the GT3 and SP-X categories, the achieved split times are used for determining and comparing theoretical lap times. Then, 80 percent of the professional teams and 80 percent of the best amateur teams will qualify for the individual time trials. The advantage of the new mode: top amateur teams also have got the chance of battling it out for the 24h Race pole in the individual time trials. In addition, the new modus operandi is supposed to prevent the teams from hiding their real competitiveness by deliberately driving slowly to manipulate the ‘Balance of Performance’ in their favour. The lap times will be determined in the Nordschleife races prior to the 24h Race – the VLN rounds as well as the final preparation race that will be contested, as it was the case in the previous years, within the framework of the 24h Race ADAC Qualifying Race. This prologue that will be held on 18th and 19th May represents the perfect preparation for the 24h Race as it features numerous elements from the individual time trials to the six-hour feature race.

Programme complete: Full-speed show at The Ring!
Apart from the new name sponsor, TOTAL, the 2019 edition features further new main sponsors – and all the new partners have got high motor-racing affinity. Just in time for the 100-day countdown, the number of sponsors comes close to being completed and so, an important component of the race is all wrapped up. Inter alia thanks to this support by the partners, the organisers are able to provide a unique programme at constant ticket prices. In addition to the FIA World Touring Car Cup (FIA WTCR) that once again will contest three races at the Nordschleife, on the 24h race weekend, the visitors may look forward to even more top-class racing: on Friday, the three-hour ADAC 24h Classics contested on the combination of Nordschleife and GP circuit, the 24h Race Top Qualifying and the first FIA WTCR race will be the highlights. Furthermore, the Audi Sport Seyffarth R8 LMS Cup will race at the GP circuit. Meanwhile, the RCN performance test will represent the traditional start into the 24h Race weekend. And there also is a lot going on aloof from the track. The impressive Ravenol Ferris wheel once again will be the paddock eye-catcher. Here, the visitors can make an impressive panorama ride throughout the weekend. The ‘Fan Mile’ at the ring°boulevard and the ‘Fan-Arena’ in the historic paddock also are planned to again become popular attractions for the visitors. And on Friday evening it’s time to party: the open pit lane invites the motor-racing enthusiasts to a pit walk and simultaneously, the Falken Drift Show will thrill the fans in the Müllenbachschleife.

New qualifying mode for the 24H Race makes for a better-balanced grid

It’s a constant of the 24H Race like fried sausages and motor-racing party: the Top-Qualifying represents the thrilling climax in the prelude of the endurance-racing classic. The battle for pole that is popular with both fans and drivers also will be contested in the time-trial format, in the future – but the regulations for 2019 have been clearly refined. In the regulations worked out by the 24H Race organisers in cooperation with technology experts and team representatives, the transparency regarding the true competitiveness of a vehicle represents a top priority, just as the promotion of the amateurs in the fast car categories. The qualifying in the VLN rounds held prior to the 24H Race as well as the 24H Qualifying Race will remain part of the schedule but here, theoretical lap times – the addition of the best split times set in the qualifying sessions and races – will be taken into account. Furthermore, a specified contingent of Top-Qualifying positions will be secured for Pro-AM teams what means that the fastest of them definitely will have the chance of being a factor in the battle for pole. At the same time, the number of cars contesting the Top-Qualifying will be flexible, in the future. It will amount to 80 percent of the entries of Pro and Pro-AM teams. For information on the 24H Race and the latest state of affairs regarding the 24H Race please visit

The gambling in the run-up to the 24H Race traditionally is booming. After all, no team is ready to disclose the true competitiveness of its car before it has to go out in anger in the legendary endurance-racing classic. A fact Race Director Walter Hornung is well aware of: “On the one hand, nobody is ready to put their cards on the table and on the other, there is this persistent belief that the parameters for the Balance of Performance are derived directly from the lap times – what hasn’t been the case any more for a long time.” Therefore, the course of the grid positions has been refined and is no longer determined by the full lap times. Three of the Top-Qualifying positions will be secured in each of the VLN rounds held prior to the 24H Race and further eight in the 24H Qualifying Race. One of the three positions available per VLN race meeting will be secured in the qualifying session and the other two in the races, while the fastest theoretical lap of a vehicle being used as criterion. This is used as average of the best split times set in the qualifying sessions and races respectively. In the 24H Qualifying Race, the three fastest teams in the Top-30-Qualifying of the event will secure a position for the Top Qualifying and the other five in the race – and once again by means of the fastest theoretical laps. “The procedure is transparent as it eliminates many disruptive factors or reduces their impact, at least,” explains the Race Director. “Those who are on the way to setting a great lap but are hampered in a section of the Nordschleife will like the new approach. At the same time, we also diminish the deliberate decelerations to hide the own competitiveness.”

In the future, 80 percent of the Top teams will contest the Top-Qualifying
With the three VLN rounds and the 24H Qualifying Race contested, 17 positions for the Top-Qualifying are secured (three in each of the VLN meetings, eight in the 24H Qualifying Race). The actual number of competitors will be determined as soon as the 24H Race entry list is closed – it will amount to 80 percent of the Pro and Pro-AM teams. The comparison with the teams already qualified will result in the still available Top-Qualifying positions for the two categories. These positions will be assigned based on the results in the two qualifying sessions and once again based on the fastest theoretical laps generated by the five fastest split times. ”This sounds fare more difficult in theory than it really is,” says Walter Hornung. “I definitely am happy that we ensure this way that the Top Qualifying isn’t a closed session for the pros but that the international stars will have to keep on fighting against amateurs and Nordschleife specialists. At the same time, we also set our focus on encouraging the competition on the track. After all, the direct battles between fascinating vehicles at the greatest racetrack in the world is exactly what everybody involved wants to see – from the Race Director to the fans.”

6th November 2018

24h-Race winners’ press conference

#912 Manthey Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R / Richard Lietz
“I think it was a perfect weekend – for us and for Porsche. We witnessed new track records in the qualifying sessions. This also was very special for us as the level of this circuit and this event is extremely high. This is one of the biggest race – not only nationwide but internationally too. At the beginning, a tyre puncture made us drop back to 90th position but then we battled our way back up. Then, however, we received the time penalty and we’d like to apologise for the offense. But things like that can happen when you are pushing to the max. The team provided us with a perfectly prepared car and in the end, this win is the icing on the cake for this weekend and something very special for us.“

#912 Manthey Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R / Patrick Pilet
“That’s motor racing! Just incredible and this result is something really special, particularly at this circuit. We are really happy about this success as the race was virtually nullified, after the red flags. I didn’t watch the race at the moment when it was red flagged but I think it was the appropriate decision. It is a pity for the AMG guys but sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. And this race was just crazy.”

#912 Manthey Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R / Fred Makowiecki
“Our engineer made the decision that I should drive the final stint as I had been driving prior to the red flags and therefore was the one who remembered the track conditions best. Following the puncture in opening stages there was just one strategy for us: every lap flat out. An approach that paid off, in the end – although you have to admit that a dose of luck also was involved. After all, so many things can happen in the wet and fog.”

#912 Manthey Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R / Nick Tandy
“The strategy was clear as early as at the end of lap one: give your very best and secure the best possible result. Okay, there were situations in the race when we had to repair the car and had difficulties. It was an interesting race and winning the 24h Race is particularly difficult. Therefore, sitting here makes us particularly proud.”

#4 Mercedes-AMG Team Black Falcon Mercedes-AMG GT3 / Maro Engel
“Another great weekend, the Nürburgring 24 Race just beats everything! A huge compliment to the crowds who stayed on site even in the bad weather we had to cope with. Yes, it was tight – but the colleagues were just faster than we had expected. Of course it was a pity that we lost our lead due to the red flags. Had we raced the full 24 hours, we possibly could have won.”

#4 Mercedes-AMG Team Black Falcon Mercedes-AMG GT3 / Adam Christodoulou
“When we made our final stop we didn’t know if it would be for one or two laps. And to be safe we refuelled the car with some extra litres! On the one hand this resulted in a gap and to be honest, the tyre performance also began to decrease. I nonetheless gave my very best but in the end, it wasn’t enough. We pushed throughout the race and occasionally too hard – this also was the reason for my shot excursion onto the grass. But congratulations to the winners. I was a great race and I already look forward to next year. Then we will give them a hard time.”

#4 Mercedes-AMG Team Black Falcon Mercedes-AMG GT3 / Manuel Metzger
“You never know how the weather will be in such a race. So many things can happen in a 24h race. This time, the rain came earlier than expected and so, we arguably stopped a lap too late. Apart from that we were ready for everything and also succeeded in solving all our problems well. Up to the red flags we hadn’t made any mistakes and our car hadn’t a single mark. Afterwards we gave our very best. At the end of the day, finishing second in the greatest and most demanding race in the world is not too bad, is it?”

#4 Mercedes-AMG Team Black Falcon Mercedes-AMG GT3 / Dirk Müller
“I have mixed emotions. On the one hand we lost first place but on the other we won second. And finishing in a battle like the one we witnessed out there today is extremely great. On the other hand, our lead at the point in time when the race was red flagged amounted to nearly four minutes. Without the red flags we could have won the race – but it wasn’t to be. We are happy nevertheless. Now I want to thank my team-mates and the entire team. You really have to praise everybody who belongs to the team. And of course our fans who always are loyal.”

#5 Mercedes-AMG Team Black Falcon Mercedes AMG GT3 / Yelmer Buurman
“Of course the red flags improved our chances of making it to the podium and therefore it suited us rather well – what can be said about our team-mates racing #4. In turn one, right after the restart, I was hit from behind and spun. Afterwards I squeezed the maximum out of the car, closed the gap and was able to pass the two cars ahead of me. It was really annoying that I crossed the line one second before the race was over as this meant that I had to do another lap. It’s a situation you only can l lose in but I took it easy, lifted and secured the third place.

#5 Mercedes-AMG Team Black Falcon Mercedes AMG GT3 / Thomas Jäger
“All the manufacturers work hard to prepare for this race. Nonetheless, everybody including the customer teams is well aware how difficult this race and planning it is. To secure two podiums in this race is really great. Congratulations to Porsche on their win. We started from fifth position into the final hour and made it to the podium, in the end – just great. We are virtually over the moon and will return perfectly prepared, next year.”

#5 Mercedes-AMG Team Black Falcon Mercedes AMG GT3 / Jan Seyffarth
“It’s my goal to definitely sit in the middle after having finished first. [laughs] next time. So I will be back next year by all means! Up to the red flags I was determined to make it to the podium but to really sit here, now, feel just amazing. This race is the highlight of every year and we are working on the preparations for 12 months. Therefore, we soon will begin with the preparations for the 2019 edition before long.” .

#5 Mercedes-AMG Team Black Falcon Mercedes AMG GT3 / Luca Stolz
“I wasn’t in the car in the final hour but I think that I can speak for all of us. Our pulse was at least as high as Yelmer’s. We shared the thrill with him in the garage, contributed to the strategy decisions and to the planning. We were extremely nervous but we knew that we could trust him. And he did it.”

News and quotes after 24 hours

In a spectacular final spurt, the Manthey Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R #912 wins the 46th ADAC Zurich 24h Race, with the two Black Falcon Mercedes-AMG GT3 #4 and #5 finishing second and third respectively. In the final appearance of the V8 Vantage GT3, Aston Martin Racing secure fourth place and the best Audi, the R8 LMS #1, comes sixth.

14:10hrs the first lap after the restart has been completed. The Black Falcon Mercedes #4 holds the lead, the Manthey-Porsche #912 is second. The Black Falcon Mercedes #6, the Aston #7 and the Black Falcon Mercedes #5 follow in third, fourth and fifth positions.

14:20hrs At the end of the home straight, Makowiecki goes for it in the #912 and succeeds in passing Adam Christodoulou in the #4 despite a slight collision. #4 spins but continues.

14:28hrs Christodoulou slightly touches the crash barriers in the Schwalbenschwanz area, continues.

15:01hrs On the wet track, Fred Mackowiecki sets a 9:55.854-minute lap, is nine seconds faster than Christodoulou.

#25 – Audi R8 LMS (Mücke,Jöns,Fässler,Kaffer)
14:27hrs Marcel Fässler spins at the exit Kesselchen.
14:34hrs pits after the impact with massively damaged rear wheels.

#912 – Porsche 911 GT3 R (Lietz,Pilet,Makowiecki,Tandy)
15:24hrs In the final pit stop, the Porsche of the leaders is refuelled with just 21 litres.

News and quotes 21 hours into the race – Dense fog: race is red-flagged

Safety first: Due to dense fog, the race control opted for red-flagging the 46th ADAC Zurich 24h Race at 11:59hrs CEST. The race couldn’t be continued as the marshals couldn’t see the next post what made the communication between the marshals impossible. At this point in time, the Manthey-Porsche #912, the Black Falcon Mercedes-AMG GT3 #4 and the third-placed Aston Martin V8 Vantage #7 entertained the crowds with an intense and thrilling battle for the lead. Around 12:30hrs, the Porsche lost the lead to the Mercedes-AMG due to a 3:32-minute time penalty for speeding in a Code-60 zone.

11:59hrs race is red-flagged

#1 – Audi R8 LMS (Mies,van der Linde,van der Linde,Rast)
11:47hrs Christopher Mies spins while braking into the Adenauer Forst and hits the crash barrier to the right. He can continue right away and lost only some 15 seconds.

#3 – Audi R8 LMS GT3 (Haase,Stippler,Vervisch,Müller)
11:39hrs Frederic Vervisch: “I try to survive. It’s extremely slippery. You try to be fast and keep the car on the track at the same time. I had some moments. Remember: anything still can happen.”

#4 – Mercedes-AMG GT3 (Engel,Christodoulou,Metzger,Müller)
10:59hrs Dirk Müller: “Just crazy! A fantastic team effort. We knew exactly when the rain would come. I save a lot of fuel and so, we could do a nine-lap stint. I drove from the wet into the dry and back into the wet. Pure madness. We had shod the car with the proper tyres at the perfect point in time.”

#5 – Mercedes-AMG GT3 (Buurman,Jäger,Seyffarth,Stolz)
11:28hrs Yelmer Buurman following his stint: “The conditions changed lap by lap. I opted for going out on intermediates and driving with them proved to be difficult on the first lap – but got better afterwards. From the fourth lap the rain got heavier and I had to pit for wets. Nonetheless I had aquaplaning and was struggling. But I think my pace was good and that felt great.”

#16 – Mercedes-AMG GT3 (Heyer,Asch,Sandström,Vautier)
11:11hrs Tristan Vautier: “It’s my first Nürburgring 24h Race. My mission is clear: to take the car back to the pits unharmed and learn a lot. We now are in the top 10 – with big gaps to the cars ahead and behind. We just want to make it to the chequered flag.”

#24 – Audi R8 LMS (Winkelhock,Rockenfeller,Haase,Müller)
10:35hrs Spins in the Ravenol-Curve

#102 – BMW M6 GT3 (Farfus,Palttala,Krognes,Schiller)
10:39hrs Augusto Farfus: “I was sliding around massively, during my stint, as I had opted for the wrong tyre compound. The team asked me to stay out, nevertheless – and so I just gave my best.”

#912 – Porsche 911 GT3 R (Lietz,Pilet,Makowiecki,Tandy)
11:30hrs Pits and serves – at first – its 3:32-minute time penalty for Code-60-zone speeding.

News and quotes 19 hours into the race

Black Falcon’s Mercedes-AMG GT3 #4 takes the lead while Manthey’s #912 receives a time penalty for a Code-60 offense. Also drama at Audi Sport Team Land: Kelvin van der Linde loses the #1 in third position – resulting in a repair break. The car rejoins the race in eighth place. The Aston Martin V8 Vantage GT3 #7 that also still races on the same lap as the leader, keeps on delivering in flawless style. In addition to their race leader, #4, Black Falcon now have succeeded in also bringing their Mercedes-AMG GT3 vehicles #5 and #6 to the top flight. While Audi’s spearhead now is the Audi Sport Team Phoenix R8 LMS #3 in sixth position.

#1 – Audi R8 LMS (Mies,van der Linde,van der Linde,Rast)
08:3hrs Pit stop of the still reigning champions. Kelvin van der Linde who stays behind the wheel after having worked his way up to third.
09:43hrs Kelvin van der Linde spins into the crash barriers while approaching the Hohe Acht. As the grass is wet he can’t get back from the grass strip. Team Principal Wolfgang Land on the crash of Kelvin van der Linde: “We don’t know if the wheels still are standing straight. Things like that happen if you have to take risks. We were racing on slicks.” Van der Linde cruises back to the pits. The left side of the car is massively damaged, the left rear wheel is standing aslant.
10:06hrs René Rast rejoins the race for the reigning champions.

#30 – Porsche 911 GT3R (Arnold,Müller,Henzler,Campbell)
08:56hrs Team Principal Klaus Abbelen: “We had hoped for more. But I’m quite happy with the current race situation of our #30. We had a few tyre problems as we didn’t always opt for the perfect tyre compound.”

#48 – Mercedes-AMG GT3 (Hohenadel,Dontje,Götz,van der Zande)
09:54hrs Maximilian Götz: “I think my stint was not too bad. I love these conditions. I was racing on slicks and that was mega. The perfect choice. In the past 2.5 hours we did a really great job.” Indy Dontje gets into the cockpit.

#33 – BMW M6 GT3 (Dumbreck,Dusseldorp,Imperatori,Klingmann)
09:12hrs 89-second time penalty for falling below the pit-stop minimum time.

#912 – Porsche 911 GT3 R (Lietz,Pilet,Makowiecki,Tandy)
08:46hrs Once again on a watch due to a potential Code-60 offense.
10:15hrs At 04:17hrs, #912was clearly too fast (82.6kph) in a Code-60 zone at post 70 (Hatzenbach). The 3:32-minute time penalty will have to be taken during the next pit stop. As the car is the current race leader, the incident was investigated particularly extensively – but the GPS data, vehicle data and video footage all confirmed the offense.

News and quotes 17 hours into the race

The 11th hour of the race proved to be disastrous for the long-term leaders, the Manthey Porsche #911. An accident forced the car into retirement and the deck for the battle for the lead was re-shuffled. In the following hours, the second Manthey Porsche, car #912, and the Black Falcon Mercedes-AMG GT3 #4 alternated as race leaders several times, with the Audi Sport Team Land Audi R8 LMS #1 working its way up consistently. In the morning hours, the Audi holds fourth position, behind the Aston Martin V8 Vantage GT3 #7.

#1 – Audi R8 LMS (Mies,van der Linde,van der Linde,Rast)
02:55hrs Rene Rast pits again. This means that he pitted three times during the course of five laps.
07:17hrs Christopher Mies: “The conditions range from abysmally wet to still wet. I have to admit that I was wrong when I claimed that one manufacturer was classified too well. The difference arguably was caused by the suspension setup as no BoP can work in wet conditions.”

#2 – Porsche 911 GT3 R (Jans,Böckmann,Slooten,Luhr)
07:14hrs Steve Jans for Marek Böckmann. Böckmann: “I had to work hard to keep the car on the road. You mustn’t make any mistakes. In addition, we had some tyre problems. But altogether it ran not too bad for the conditions.”

#4 – Mercedes-AMG GT3 (Engel,Christodoulou,Metzger,Müller)
03:07hrs Manuel Metzger passes Richard Lietz in the Porsche #912 at Wehrseifen for the lead. The 15th time the lead was stolen – in 76 laps.
07:25hrs Der Black Falcon Mercedes completes lap 100 with eight more hours to go.
08:06hrs Adam Christodoulou: “The race is running rather well for us although the conditions are really difficult. The track changes lap by lap and so, adapting is difficult. It’s mad out there. But we are in a good position, it depends on the pit stops who is holding the lead.”

#7 – Aston Martin Vantage GT3 (Martin,Sorenson,Thiim,Turner)
02:46hrs On the previous lap – including pit stop for wets – Nicki Thiim crossed the line in 11:11 minutes. The two leaders, #912 and #4, needed 11:09 minutes each – on slicks and without pit stop.
05:35hrs Maxime Martin once again confirms his reputation as wet-race expert. With his 10:01.072-minute lap, the Belgian is 20 seconds faster than the race leaders.

#11 – Mercedes-AMG GT3 (Assenheimer,Schmid,Bleekemolen,Marciello)
01:07hrs the car that broke down at the Kesselchen continues.

#31 – Porsche 911 GT3R (Siedler,Seefried,Laser,Jaminet)
02:12hrs M. Jaminet reports that the 911 GT3 R hasn’t got propulsion any more. The car currently is standing at Aremberg

#911 – Porsche 911 GT3 R (Estre,Dumas,Vanthoor,Bamber)
01:36hrs the previous race leader is standing in the Schwalbenschwanz area after having crashed into the crash barrier. Romain Dumas lost it while lapping a slower car and crashed without external influence.

#912 – Porsche 911 GT3 R (Lietz,Pilet,Makowiecki,Tandy)
06:56hrs Collision with the Renault Megane #165 in the Hatzenbach area. After having spun, Nick Tandy can continue. The incident should have cost him some 30 seconds.

News and quotes nine hours into the race

Nine hours of the 46th ADAC Zurich 24h Race are over and 60 laps completed. The fastest 14 cars still are racing on the same lap, with the Manthey Porsche 911 GT3 R #911 still holding the lead, followed by the Black Falcon Mercedes-AMG GT3 #4 and the MANN Filter Mercedes-AMG GT3 #47. Back in the top 10 is the ROWE Racing BMW M6 GT3 #98, while the fastest Audi – representing the Audi Sport Team Phoenix colours – currently holds fifth position.

#7 – Aston Martin Vantage GT3 (Martin,Sorenson ,Thiim,Turner)
22:46hrs Nicky Thiim: “The pulse is lower now as you have accustomed to racing here. There’s far less traffic, now. Driving here in the dark is just incredible. You only see the lights of the other cars and that’s totally cool, while it’s like in a horror movie when you are driving alone.”

#11 – Mercedes-AMG GT3 (Assenheimer,Schmid,Bleekemolen,Marciello)
23:22hrs Raffaele Team Principal Günter Aberer: “Raffaele Marciello hit something and this incident resulted in a broken suspension. Therefore, we had to change it.”
23:56hrs Clemens Schmid: “Apparently our car stopped without propulsion. We don’t know yet if the car also crashed.”

#25 – Audi R8 LMS (Mücke,Jöns,Fässler,Kaffer)
22:32hrs pits and is pushed into the garage. The mechanics tape the front and connect the car with a lap top.
22:53hrs Team Principal Peter Mücke: “We had an electronic problem but were able to solve it. The car had misfire and we couldn’t continue the race like that.”

#911 – Porsche 911 GT3 R (Estre,Dumas,Vanthoor,Bamber)
23:45hrs The Manthey Porsche now has been holding the lead for 20 laps. The lead over the competitors is increased consistently – by several seconds on nearly every lap.

News and quotes seven hours into the race

Setback for ROWE Racing in the seventh hour of the race. Due to a time penalty, the BMW M6 GT3 #98 drops out of the top flight. Meanwhile, Manthey Racing Can extend the lead of #911 and #912 also makes it to the top three. The Aston Martin Racing #7 holds second place between the two Porsches, Falken Motorsports holds fourth place. Glickenhaus also keep on working their way up, their SCG003c currently is fifth. An accident forces the Audi R8 LMS #8 into Retirement and causes a long-ish Code-60 phase.

#1 – Audi R8 LMS (Mies,van der Linde,van der Linde,Rast)
21:27hrs Sheldon van der Linde: “I had a really good stint. What a pity for Dries Vanthoor to have been forced into retirement so early. In the meantime, the competitiveness of the Audis seems to be improved. I’m somewhat surprised that we are that fast. We are really happy with the performance of the car.”

#8 – AUDI R8 LMS (Rast,Frijns,Vanthoor,van der Linde)
21:13hrs Accident following collision of Dries Vanthoor in the Hohenrain-Chicane. While drawing aside due the slowly cruising Mercedes AMG GT3 of Patrick Assenheimer (puncture), the Audi touches #307 307 (Wolfgang Weber), gets on the green and spins at the entrance of the chicane. While the drivers indicates that he is okay, the R8 LMS doesn’t look as if it will cover another metre in this race.

#11 – Mercedes-AMG GT3 (Assenheimer,Schmid,Bleekemolen,Marciello)
21:07hrs Patrick Assenheimer cruises slowly in the Schwalbenschwanz area. Puncture left front tyre.

#16 – Mercedes-AMG GT3 (Heyer,Asch,Sandström,Vautier)
20:36hrs Team receives a 3.32-minute time penalty for misconduct during a yellow-flag phase.

#24 – Audi R8 LMS (Winkelhock,Rockenfeller,Haase,Müller)
21:30hr Markus Winkelhock:”The car was great to drive, I found a nice rhythm. The race still is long, One of the Audi colleagues unfortunately crashed in a fast section. I hope he is well.”
21:58hr Team Principal Peter Mücke: “We touched another car while overtaking. The left rear tie rod broke in this incident but now the damage is repaired and the car can rejoin the race.”

#25 – Audi R8 LMS (Mücke,Jöns,Fässler,Kaffer)|Pierre Kaffer
22:26hrs “I was rather fast but then, on my penultimate lap, I was braked down by misfire. We don’t yet know the reason. Therefore, Marcel went out but he also has misfire.”

#30 – Porsche 911 GT3R (Arnold,Müller,Henzler,Campbell)
21:33hrs Matt Campbell: “The car handles well. Sometimes, overtaking other cars is somewhat difficult. Nonetheless, we haven’t had a close encounter with other cars, so far – and that’s exactly how we want it.”

#48 – Mercedes-AMG GT3 (Hohenadel,Dontje,Götz,van der Zande)
22:28hrs Christian Hohenadel is replaced by Indy Dontje and says: “We try to make the best of it. Following the crash in the opening stages we have two problems: a stabiliser broke and we still are trying to repair it – and the headlights are bent slightly down. This won’t be easy for Indy in the dark. But we don’t give up.”

#98 – BMW M6 GT3 (Catsburg,Westbrook,Edwards,Blomqvist)
20:42hrs Team receives a 3:32-minute time penalty for misbehaviour during a yellow-flag phase. The Rowe-BMW currently holds fourth place.
22:17hrs The Rowe-BMW, currently raced by John Edwards, comes in for a scheduled stop – and the time penalty.

#99 – BMW M6 GT3 (Sims,Krohn,De Phillippi,Tomczyk)
21:46hrs Car rejoins the race with Jesse Krohn at the wheel after a long repair break due to the broken radiator. Team wants to do a test lap to then decide if continuing the race makes sense. Team Principal HP Naundorf: “We try to get #99 going again. We have repaired several things, that could have been the reason. Now we wait if this really is the case and will decide afterwards.”

#102 – BMW M6 GT3 (Farfus,Palttala,Krognes,Schiller)
21:22hrs Pit stop for tyres, fuel and driver swap. Augusto Farfus gets into the cockpit for Fabian Schiller who says about his stint: “It was so difficult, extremely many yellow flags, Code-60 zones everywhere, crash barriers that had to be repaired. I had a lot of difficult situations with cars to be lapped but I think we may be happy altogether. We now will try to just find our rhythm. Along the track the camp fires slowly are lit – pure Nordschleife feeling.”

#705 – SCG003c (Mutsch,Mailleux,Simonsen,Westphal)
21:59hrs Team Principal James Glickenhaus: “We are really happy as we are having a trouble-free race. We are confident that our car will run even better when the temperatures drop in the night. Should this be the case we could slowly work our way up. We have seen several bad crashes that I just don’t understand. This is an endurance race. You don’t win by being two seconds faster by lap but risking to lose your car all the time.”

#911 – Porsche 911 GT3 R (Estre,Dumas,Vanthoor,Bamber)
20:41hrs Overtakes the Black Falcon Mercedes-AMG #4 at the end of a Code-60 zone in the Kesselchen area to take the lead on lap 34.

More than 70 years old and still going strong

Jim Briody contesting his 18th ADAC Zurich 24h Race

The Porsche Cayman S #134, entered by the Secural Sorg Rennsport Team is raced – inter alia – by a very special driver: Being more than 70 years old, the US-American Jim Briody is not only one of the oldest drivers on the grid but with a total of 91 24h races contested he also is one of the most experienced participants. In 2001 he contested his first ADAC Zurich 24h Race and since then he was hooked. Therefore, the 2018 24h Race in the Eifel is his 18th. But should you believe that Briody calmed down due to his age you are mistaken. “I secured 49 class podiums and 24 class wins and it goes without saying that I also want to win my class in 2018. Otherwise I wouldn’t start,” says the old hand from Prescott. When asked how long he plans to continue his motor-racing career, his wife answers with a smile:

“We said let’s make it 100 and see what happens. On the other hand, we already said four years ago that we slowly are getting to old for the races – and we are back nevertheless.”

News and quotes five hours into the race

The battle for the lead between the Manthey Racing Porsche #911 and the Black Falcon Mercedes-AMG GT3 #4 is getting more intense. And depending on the pit-stop situation, the MANN Filter Mercedes-AMG GT3 #47 gets closer to the top 2. Despite the unscheduled stop on lap 2, the Manthey Racing Porsche 911 GT3 #912 has closed in on the front-runners. The Scuderia Glickenhaus in 13th position still is the best non-GT3 vehicle.

#4 – Mercedes-AMG GT3 (Engel,Christodoulou,Metzger,Müller)
20:04hrs Adam Christodoulou crosses the line in 8.17.631 minutes, thus setting a new lap record.

#24 – Audi R8 LMS (Winkelhock,Rockenfeller,Haase,Müller)
19:02hrs Nico Müller: “Things aren’t running exactly well for us. We can’t match the pace of the leaders. That’s not what we had hoped for although we knew that it wouldn’t be easy. I hope that it will get better when the temperatures drop.”

#25 – Audi R8 LMS (Mücke,Jöns,Fässler,Kaffer)
18:52hrs Stefan Mücke: “My stint wasn’t too easy. We tried to switch to another tyre compound but it obviously didn’t work properly. That wasn’t easy as the balance was difficult. But now have learned another lesson.”
20.13hrs Christer Jöns: “The team’s third stint was my first. You always need some time to familiarise yourself. They all are taking their cars to the limit and therefore, you have to be really careful. Our grip could be better and consequently we have to take a closer look at the tyre compounds. But others also have problems.”

#30 – Porsche 911 GT3R (Arnold,Müller,Henzler,Campbell)
19:19hrs Alex Müller reports: “My stint was okay. There was a lot of traffic and many Code-60 zones but that’s something everybody has to cope with. When it comes to the lap times we hold a position between fourth and eighth place. We are working our way up, focus on ourselves and do our thing.”

#31 – Porsche 911 GT3R (Siedler,Seefried,Laser,Jaminet)
18:51hrs Norbert Siedler has to stop in the Schwalbenschwanz area because his radiator was blocked by grass after a jink in the Schwedenkreuz area. Afterwards, the temperatures rose and the engine overheated,

#33 – BMW M6 GT3 (Dumbreck,Dusseldorp,Imperatori,Klingmann)
19:16hrs The M6 GT3 is pushed into the garage and jacked up. Jens Klingmann: “We had engine problems since stint two and now two sensors have to be changed. This unfortunately will take half an hour. Actually, going out again doesn’t make too much sense but we don’t give up.”

#35 – Renault RS01 (Schmidtmann,Hammel,Wittmer)
18:34hrs Stops in the Schwalbenschwanz area.

#44 – Porsche 911 GT3 R (Bachler,Müller,Ragginger,Werner)
19:05hrs Klaus Bachler is replaced by Sven Müller. Bachler: “Altogether, our stint was very good – but there were a lot of Code-60 zones. Once, the car ahead of us drove at just 40kph what cost us a lot of time.”
19:52hrs can’t draw aside while lapping a vehicle and hits the tail of the KTM XBow #201 ins Heck

#46 – Porsche 991 GT3 Cup MR (Ackermann,Lukovnikov,Csaba,Wiskirchen)
19:09hr puncture at the right rear wheel.

#48 – Mercedes-AMG GT3 (Hohenadel,Dontje,Götz,van der Zande)
20:02hrs Christian Hohenadel for Maxi Götz who says: “I passed several cars and battled hard. I could match the pace of the leader but unfortunately we are three laps behind. A real shame.”

#98 – BMW M6 GT3 (Catsburg,Westbrook,Edwards,Blomqvist)
18:38hrs Nicky Catsburg: ”This was my first stint and I had done just two laps on the past days. Therefore I needed some time to acclimatise. I had a battle with the Porsche #912. It passed me. The Porsches seem to opt for a rather aggressive approach.”

#99 – BMW M6 GT3 (Sims,Krohn,De Phillippi,Tomczyk)
19:18hrs Connor de Phillipi: “I was in a traffic jam and the car ahead of me braked very easily while approaching a Code-60 zone. The result was a contact with an Audi R8 that suffered a radiator damage and lost coolant. I’m really sorry for the team. The damage possibly can be repaired but the chance of winning the race is over.”

#102 – BMW M6 GT3 (Farfus,Palttala,Krognes,Schiller)
18:44hrs Krognes: “I had a close encounter in turn one when I just had rejoined the action. The bonnet came undone and I had to return to the pits. This was really disappointing and destroyed our rhythm. But we can continue and will work as hard as possible. We now have to forget the incident.”

#912 – Porsche 911 GT3 R (Lietz,Pilet,Makowiecki,Tandy)
20:05hrs Now Nick Tandy sets a new lap record by crossing the line in 8:17.340 minutes. It’s the second new lap record within 30 seconds what demonstrates the perfect track conditions.

News and quotes three hours into the race

The Rowe Racing BMW M6 GT3 #98 benefits from its early stop and battles it out now with the Manthey Racing Porsche 991 GT3 R #911 for the overall lead. With the Black Falcon Mercedes-AMG GT3 #4 in third position and the Audi Sport Team WRT Audi R8 LMS #8 in fourth, the top-four positions are held by four different brands. The best non-GT3 team is the Scuderia Glickenhaus SCG003c in 12th position.

#4 – Mercedes-AMG GT3 (Engel,Christodoulou,Metzger,Müller)
17:40hrs Maro Engel: “The Porsches have found a lot of speed compared to the qualifying race, particularly on the straights. So, you have nearly no chance of matching their pace. I was just able to keep contact to the Falken Porsche, on the straight. Doing more was just impossible. In the second stint I had quite a number of battles, was in a lot of traffic – a lot of hot action. Therefor we stopped earlier than scheduled to get a clear track.”

#5 – Mercedes-AMG GT3 (Buurman,Jäger,Seyffarth,Stolz)
18:09hrs The Black Falcon-Mercedes-AMG will receive a penalty for falling below the minimum pit-stop time.

#7 – Aston Martin Vantage GT3 (Martin,Sorenson ,Thiim,Turner)
17:48hrs Nicki Thiim: “My pulse still is at the limit. I had completely forgotten how spectacular and intense it feels to race at this circuit. Everybody is really going for it.”

#12 – Porsche 911 GT3 R (Klohs,Kern,Olsen,Frommenwiler)
17:04hrs Nico Bastian is replaced by Gabriele Piana and says: “It’s running really well. We opted for a different strategy and pitted early. I had a quiet stint. The small ones still have to accustom to being lapped and we to overtaking.”

#17 – Porsche GT3 R (Christensen,Cairoli,Bergmeister,Lotterer)
16:42hrs Jörg Bergmeister: “It was a rather mediocre stint. We had slight handling problems. I hope this will better in the second stint what would help us to up the ante.”

#31 – Porsche 911 GT3R (Siedler,Seefried,Laser,Jaminet)|Marco Seefried
16:37hrs “That was tough. I could control the field behind me but lost contact to the front-runners. At the start I had a slight contact with another car but this wasn’t deliberately.”

#35 – Renault RS01 (Schmidtmann,Hammel,Wittmer)
17:24hrs Kuno Wittmer: “It’s difficult for us as the tarmac is so hot. Let’s see what we can do, At least, we already worked our way up from 25th to 20th position.”

#48 – Mercedes-AMG GT3 (Hohenadel,Dontje,Götz,van der Zande)
16:59hrs Renger van der Zande hits the tyre walls while accelerating out of the Mercedes-Arena but can continue. Drives across the GP circuit to the pit lane and is pushed into the garage.

#99 – BMW M6 GT3 (Sims,Krohn,De Phillippi,Tomczyk)
18:01hrs jack-knifes at the entrance of the Adenauer Forst. De Philippi is able to get the car under control – just – and avoid an accident.
18.03hrs Rolls at the Breidscheid on the emergency road. A front-end collision arguably resulted in a damaged radiator. The team will try to get the car back to the pit lane.

#911 – Porsche 911 GT3 R (Estre,Dumas,Vanthoor,Bamber)
16:32hrs Kevin Estre pits from the lead. Earl Bamber gets behind the wheel.
17:49hrs Earl Bamber: “I had a lot of traffic during my stint but it wasn’t too bad, in the end. Everybody is driving their own race, here, so you also have to take your time and be considerate. The car is running good, Manthey have done a great job.”

News and quotes after one hour

With several extremely fast laps, Kevin Estre defends his lead with his Manthey Porsche #911 in outstanding style. Falken Motorsports still holds second place, followed by the Black Falcon Mercedes-AMG GT3 #4. Early pit stops of some of the front runners and first Code-60 phases make for changes in the order.

#24 – Audi R8 LMS (Winkelhock,Rockenfeller,Haase,Müller)|Mike Rockenfeller
16:28hrs “It’s frustrating to be so far behind. We only can continue and wait and see what the race will bring. Currently we are just too slow.”

#25 – Audi R8 LMS (Mücke,Jöns,Fässler,Kaffer)
16:29hrs Crashes in the Code-60 zone at the exit of the Veedol-Chicane into the tail of the BMW 325i #130.

#30 – Porsche 911 GT3R (Arnold,Müller,Henzler,Campbell)|Matt Campbell
16:26hrs “The car handles well. I’m happy with my first stint.”

#33 – BMW M6 GT3 (Dumbreck,Dusseldorp,Imperatori,Klingmann)|Dusseldorp:
16:29hrs “My stint was very very nice. I had great battles with Audi and the Porsches. All the GT3 vehicles are close together, and everybody on the track are really fair. Now Peter Dumbreck is racing for us.”

#40 – Aston Martin Vantage V8 (Chadwick,Cate,Adam,Lynn)
15.31hrs stops at the Hohenrain-Chicane
15:42hrs fuel-pump problems were the reason
15:50hrs more problems, again at the Hohenrain-Chicane

#41 – Audi R8 LMS GT4 (Dontje,Möller Madsen,He,Hofer)
16:01hrs goes off into the gravel at the exit Michael Schumacher S

#47 – Mercedes-AMG GT3 (Baumann,Mortara,van der Zande,Juncadella)
16:18hrs Team Principal Günter Aberer: “We made an early pit stop for fuel and fresh tyres. We hope to get out of the heavy traffic by this move and have a free track.”

#69 – Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo (Wächtler,Scholze ,Trebing ,Möller)
16:18hrs Driveshaft broken. Stands in the garage.

#80 – Porsche 997 GT3 Cup (Vleugels,Warum,Welschar,Sapino)
16:06hrs Hubert Haupt hits Kevin Warum in the Galgenkopf area. Warum spins and crashes backwards into the crash barriers.

#911 – Porsche 911 GT3 R (Estre,Dumas,Vanthoor,Bamber)
15:48hrs Despite having to lap the first cars Estre needs just 8:19.230 minutes for lap two.
15:51hrs Estre’s first lap in 8.18,473 minutes represents a new lap record. The old, 8:18.690 minutes, was set in 2015 by Augusto Farfus in a BMW Z4 GT3.
16:10hrs Kevin Estre drives an outstanding first stint. With an 8:17.960-minute lap he improves the lap record once again. .

#912 – Porsche 911 GT3 R (Lietz,Pilet,Makowiecki,Tandy)|Pilet
15:41hrs Pits after the first lap and an additional short GP circuit lap.
15:43hrs the reason for the pit stop: the sensors signalled low pressure in the left front tyre.
15:47hrs The Porsche had a puncture due to debris in the tyre.

Great Estre show in the first hour of the race

The 46th ADAC Zurich 24h Race was kicked off in brilliant sunshine by a great Kevin Estre show. The Frenchman in the Manthey-Porsche #911 did not only take the lead from the pole position but also delivered to the max right away. He did not only improve the official lap record set by Augusto Farfus as early as on lap one by crossing the line in 8:18.473 minutes but also opened a 4.7-second gap on fellow Porsche driver Dirk Werner in the Falken-Porsche #44 ab. At the end of the following lap he had extended his lead to 10 seconds and on lap three he improved the lap record once again (8:17.960 minutes).

Short moment of shock in turn two
All this after a short moment of shock. Estre had to survive a short moment of shock in turn two when the three leading Porsches touched one another slightly in the Mercedes Arena – and consequently, Marco Seefried in the Frikadelli Porsche #31 lost his third position to Maro Engel in the Black-Falcon Mercedes #4. In the opening stages of the race, Maxime Martin in the Aston Martin #007 und Martin Tomczyk in the Rowe-BMW #99 were the only drivers in the top 10 who didn’t race cars made by Porsche or Mercedes-AMG.

While Estre pitted after seven laps for the first time from a 10-second lead, the Manthey sister car #912 already was more than three minutes behind. First-stint driver Patrick Pilet had to return to the pits from the GP circuit due to a puncture, thus losing a lot of time. Meanwhile, Kevin Warum in the Porsche #80 had the first bad crash of the race: Hubert Haupt in the Black-Falcon Mercedes ‘#6 touched the Porsche while lapping it and pushed it heavily into the crash barriers. The following repair works made for the first Code-60 phase in the still short race. You can watch the race live at RTL Nitro or via the live stream at