2015 24 Hours of Nürburgring race report
Lapping the Nürburgring Nordschleife is a challenge for any driver, so to hold a 24-hour race on the hallowed ‘Gröne Hölle’ tarmac is a sure-fire recipe to create the world’s toughest endurance race.
This weekend’s 24 Hours of Nürburgring – the 43rd running of the famous event – lived up to that billing with a gruelling, twice-around-the-clock duel around the 16.12-mile track deep in Germany’s Eifel region.
Adding to the challenge throughout the event were frequent heavy rain showers that put paid to a number of competitors’ chances before the sun had even dawned on Sunday morning.
Among those caught out was the no. 30 Frikadelli Porsche 997 GT3 R, a regular frontrunner in the VLN series. After an early pit fire for the no. 26 Marc VDS BMW Z4, the red-and-white 911 found itself in the lead after a few hours.
With the help of factory drivers, Patrick Pilet and Jörg Bergmeister and regular racers, Sabine Schmitz and Patrick Huismann, the Porsche dominated the overall standings during the race’s first quarter.
However, during the seventh hour, Pilet lost control on the approach to Karussel after a coming together with another GT3 competitor. The damage was enough to put the car out on the spot, handing the advantage to the no. 1 Audi R8 and the no. 25 Marc VDS BMW Z4.
More misfortune would befall the no. 1 Audi though, promoting the Team Falken Porsche 997 GT3 R to third place, a position it would hold all through Sunday morning until the chequered flag after a tense battle with the no. 26 BMW and the no. 5 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG.
Peter Dumbreck, Wolf Henzler, Martin Ragginger and Alexandre Imperatori gave the teal-and-blue 911 its first podium at the Nürburgring 24 Hours, a fitting swansong for the 997 GT3 R.
In the SP7 class for Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars, the Black Falcon team took victory (and 13th overall) with Carrera Cup Deutschland champion, Philipp Eng, Hannes Plesse, Manuel Metzger and “Gerwin”.
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