Punctually at 16:00 p.m., the participants of the ADAC Zurich 24h Nürburgring race crashed over the Start and finish straight of the Nürburgring. The hunt through the green hell - around the clock and twice - begins with a clear BMW tour.
The first hour was from the two BMW Sports Trophy Teams Marc VDS and Schubert dominates. The BMW Z4 GT3 # 20, # 26 and # 19 fought a good 50 minutes in formation flight over the Nordschleife - only with the pit stop did the front ranks move again.
After the first hour, the Schubert BMW with starting number 19 was in front (Müller / Sims / Werner / Wittmann) - followed by the triumphant and unleashed Bentley with starting number 84 (Bleekemolen / Arnold / Menzel / Brück). The WRT Audi R8 # 28 (Mies / Sandström / Müller / Vanthoor) followed on three. The rowe SLS with the starting number 23 (Graf / Hohenadel / Bastian / Jäger) completed the colorful field of brands at the top.
The 43rd Zurich ADAC 24-hour race was much less hectic in the beginning than in previous years. Despite the strong line-up of the factories, there was no "hot chase" of 2013 and 2014 this year. Nevertheless, hours two and three brought a lot of movement into the tableau of the long-distance classic - the lead changed six times. A rain shower caused spectacular, but unusual drift angles in a number of vehicles. The first prominent total failure was the Zakspeed team, whose Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 (# 27) was irreparably damaged during a ride. "The accident damage to our Mercedes is so great that it makes no sense to continue driving," said team principal Peter Zakowski.
Other teams are not even afraid to change the engine, so the Click vers.de team with the Porsche 911 GT3 (# 69). After three hours and 20 laps, the Black Falcon Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 (# 5) was in the lead. The lead over the BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS 'second-placed BMW Z4 GT3 (# 26) was as thin as 0,171 seconds. The Frikadelli Racing Team took third place with the Porsche 911 GT3 R (# 30).
Again and again tough duels bumper to bumper, every millimeter over the racetrack. The race found its rhythm as night fell over the Eifel. But then the “Eifel side” of the racetrack came out again. Around 23 p.m. the rain started again. As usual, not all sections of the route with the same strength. The right decision when it comes to choosing a tire was a gamble.
The spectators celebrated their party outside on the racetrack. Their number? The organizer speaks of 200.000 - however over the entire Ascension weekend. The fact that in the end you can probably only assume that there were 50.000 who were really at the racetrack does nothing to stop the race.
Scuderia Glickenhaus SCG003
The weekend hadn't really started yet when it was already over for 50% of the Glickenhaus team. The “yellow” SCG003 was the victim of a driving error on Thursday and as a result turned into scrap in the rain. Damage to the monocoque was diagnosed and repair was not possible on site. The Glickenhaus team withdrew the second car and thus also released the place in the top 30 qualifying.
The black sister car with the starting number # 9 was able to keep up with the pace of the top cars during the 24h race with lap times around 8:26. However, smaller and larger zippers troubled the team around the Scuderia. James Glickenhaus also emphasized that the advantage of the SCG003, the extreme performance in the upper speed range, would be massively curtailed by the introduced speed limits.
40 minutes before the end of the race, the hydraulics of the start number # 003 SCG9 also failed and Lauck, Franchetti, Jahn and Mailleux had to tackle the last few kilometers under tougher conditions.
Gambling in the rain
There were winners and losers. The previous year's winners had done everything right in the Audi R8 LMS (# 1) of Audi Sport Team Phoenix and the team had thus fought for the lead after five hours. The lead over the second-placed Frikadelli-Racing Team in the Porsche 911 GT3 R (# 30) was barely 10 seconds at times. The Audi R8 LMS (# 28) of the Audi Sport Team WRT and the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 (# 8) of the Haribo Racing Team followed on the other positions.
The gullwing with the eye-catching gold bear had only started the race from position 17 and in the evenings, after 5 hours of racing, had a good chase to catch up. The BMW Z4 GT3 (# 26) of the BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS had gambled at the rain poker. The occasionally leading team missed the right time to change the tires and fell back to fifth place.
The drama at 23pm
Lying in the lead, the raging meatball flew off. Not without the complicity of a competitor! Patrick Pilet crashed into the guardrails in the carousel area with the 911 GT3 R (# 30). The Porsche meatball was transformed, the Porsche 911 GT3 R became a 1.300 kg pile of core scrap. Fortunately for Patrick Pilet the accident ended lightly. After an examination at the medical center, the all-clear was given and Patrick was on his way home much too early. The previous year's winners of Team Phoenix Racing in the Audi R8 LMS (# 1) inherited the top without a fight. The two BMW Z4 GT3s (# 19) from the BMW Sport Trophy Team Schubert followed in the eventful Eifel night. Third place went to the drivers of the Audi Sport Team WRT (# 28). At that time, the fastest Porsche was the 911 GT3 R (# 44) from Falken Motorsports.
Another race day, the same exciting race
At 5:42 a.m. the sun rose around the Nürburgring. The day woke up and the 43rd ADAC Zurich 24h race started the last third of the race after a "normal" Eifel night.
The lead kept changing between the BMW Z4 GT3 (# 25), the Porsche 911 GT3 (# 44) from Falken Motorsports and the last remaining Audi R8 LMS (# 28) from the Audi Sport Team WRT in the early hours of Sunday morning. The varied field at the top was completed at the time by the currently fastest Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 (# 5) from the Black Falcon team. At the time, the exotic Aston Martin Vantage GT3 (# 6) and the Bentley Continental GT3 (# 11) had also taken positions in the top 10.
Even after the new day woke up, the lively interplay at the head of the field continued. Depending on which team came into the pits, the Audi R8 LMS (# 28) of Audi Sport Team WRT and the BMW Z4 GT3 (# 25) of BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS shared the lead kilometers in hours 16 and 17 of the 43rd ADAC Zurich 24h race. The Falken Motorsport team's Porsche 911 GT3 R (# 44) held third place. Black Falcon's Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 (# 5) was fourth at the time. The conditions around the 25,378 kilometer long combination of GrandPrix course and Nordschleife were almost perfect in these morning hours.
Greetings from Japan - Lexus accepts the Nordschleife challenge!
The fact that the Japanese love the Nordschleife can be seen in 43rd ADAC Zurich 24-hour race For example, the fact that the organizer always connects a Japanese moderator for the many fans from Japan. The 24-hour race will be held on Live Stream broadcast all over the world and Japanese petrolheads love the races on the Nordschleife.
Lexus is now known as a manufacturer of special premium vehicles. So the new belong Lexus NX 200t and the new Lexus RC to the competitors in the premium segment. But the road vehicles are just one side, if you want to demonstrate what you can really do - then you have to face the sporting competition. Lexus does that. Lexus demonstrates the Japanese passion for the “most beautiful racetrack in the world” in the 24h race. (Go to Article)
On the performance of the Bentley GT3, the Nissan GT-R GT3, the Premio Mercedes SLS and the Aston Martin we will go directly into individual articles again!
The last four hours - Porsche, BMW and Audi in the fight for victory!
When there were four hours left on the clock, the top 5 were within one lap. The number 28 Audi led the field just ahead of the MarcVDS # 25 and the Falken Porsche. Behind it is the second MarcVDS Z4 GT3 and the best Mercedes SLS from Black Falcon at the time.
The seats already seemed to be occupied four hours before the 24-hour clock expired. But if you know the 24-hour race, you know that the tide can turn again in the last few minutes. What did a famous racing driver say?
“To finish first, you have to finish first!
All brands were represented in the top 15 three hours before the end of the race. The fastest Audi R8 did its laps at the top. The fastest BMW Z4 (# 25) from MarcVDS caught a lap behind due to the shorter stints. The Falken Porsche followed at a manageable distance of three minutes. His mission: Arrive on the podium and keep the second MarcVDS Z4 at a distance.
The last 90 minutes
Almost two hours before the finish line, the positions at the top seemed to be solid. The Audi R8 with Mies, Sandström, Müller and Vanthoor led the way with around 45 seconds. Team MarcVDS 'BMW Z4 GT3 rushes the Audi and a good three minutes behind the Falken Porsche. Should this really be the first podium for the Falken team?
The weather was not gracious with the fans shortly before the end of the race. We were no longer granted sun. Fortunately, no rain either.
And suddenly there was tension again. Should the whole thing turn into a thriller? On lap 143, the BMW Z4 # 25 hit a lap in the asphalt that was 11 seconds short of the Audi R8.
However, the round showed at what level the new Audi R8 LMS were operating. The WRT-Audi countered the MarcVDS attack with an 8:30.
8: 25,019 - 8: 26,467 - 8: 29,850: The lap times of the top 3 in lap 146. With less than 80 minutes remaining, the top 3 picked up the pace again. However, it seemed as if every quick lap of the pursuers, at the top of the Audi R8, could be countered at will.
The WRT-Audi R8 and the new Audi 8 LMS fought for victory over this exciting 24-hour race. More than deserved, the second place in the MarcVDS troupe. Here you have to think back to the night, a fire, a pit stop too long. But how did Dirk Adorf say?
“..Hould, would have, bicycle chain ..”
And in third place - earned - the Falken Porsche 3 as the best Porsche. You stayed out of it, you set your own pace and didn't let yourself be irritated.
And also - yes - if everything did not go perfectly this year. The questionable speed limit, the discussions about the GT3 vehicles, the tragic accident at the first VLN run - and even if the 200.000 spectators only come into play over 4 days - the 24-hour race is still the best motorsport we have in Germany.
And this year there are three deserved winners again. Point.
Cover picture: Self-service media, Stefan Baldauf