The 50th edition of the Nürburgring 24h race promised action. Here you can read about the most important events of the anniversary edition. Audi won ahead of Mercedes.
The 2022 24-hour race at the Nürburgring is over! In the end, the Phoenix-Audi (#15) crossed the finish line first with Kelvin van der Linde at the wheel. The South African left nothing to be desired and won the long-distance classic with his teammates Dries Vanthoor, Frédéric Vervisch and Robin Frijns. Victory is still tentative, however, as there is an investigation by race officials into an offense committed during the last pit stop. There will probably be a fine.
Adam Christodoulou follows in the first GetSpeed Mercedes (#3), who was no longer able to put the factory Audi under pressure in the last hour of the race. The podium is completed by the second GetSpeed Mercedes (#4), driven by Maro Engel in the last stint.
The second factory Audi (#22) from the Car Collection team just missed out on the podium. The #16 Audi ended up in 5th place, with another Audi (#24) coming in sixth. Two other Mercedes (#12 and #6) finished 7th and 8th. The top 10 was completed by the Falken Porsche (#33) and the Lamborghini Huracan (#7). The last remaining BMW (#20) retired in the last hour due to a technical defect. So four Audis and four Mercedes finished in the top 10.
Here are the race results for the top 10:
- Audi #15
- Mercedes #3
- Mercedes #4
- Audi #22
- Audi #16
- Audi #24
- Mercedes #12
- Mercedes #6
- Porsche #33
- Lamborghini #7
With that we say goodbye for this year and look forward to the next 24-hour race at the Nürburgring!
The last hour begins and the Audi with starting number 15 is still in the lead. Kelvin van der Linde had a set of cut slicks put on again after 149 laps. The factory Audi is 50 seconds ahead of the GetSpeed Mercedes (#3). Adam Christodoulou is now in it after Maximilian Götz got out after just one stint.
The reigning DTM champion defended his team's decision: "Sometimes we were on the right tires, sometimes not. That was the most difficult lap I've ever driven here."
Van der Linde is currently controlling the race, if the weather doesn't go crazy again, things are looking good for Audi. It would be the 6th victory for the Ingolstadt team and the first triumph since 2019. Mercedes has been waiting for overall victory in the Green Hell since 2016.
The rain is getting heavier! The weather once again plays a decisive role in the 50th edition of the 24-hour race towards the end of the classic. The Mercedes in second place (#3) puts on fresh slicks during its pit stop as the track is dry in many places.Maximilian Götz takes over from teammate Fabian Schiller.
The Phoenix squad gave Kelvin van der Linde cut slicks to take with him when he took over the factory Audi (#15) from Dries Vanthoor. The decision is currently proving to be the right one. The lead is now more than 40 seconds over the GetSpeed Mercedes. The drivers now have to use all their skills to stay on the road and be fast in these difficult mixed conditions.
The race is 21 hours old. And the top separates half a second. There is only something like that on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife. Audi and Mercedes meet as equals. Both in terms of speed and reliability.
Dries Vanthoor (#15) is spreading out on the Nordschleife so as not to offer a target for Fabian Schiller (#3). The rest is suspended. The second GetSpeed (#4) switched to slotted slicks at the last pit stop – but that didn't help him because the rain shower only lasted for a short time. Jules Gounon currently manages third place.
Four hours to go and it smells like a duel for overall victory. The leading Audi (#15) is just under six seconds ahead of the consistently fast GetSpeed Mercedes with #3. Dries Vanthoor is currently in the Phoenix-Audi, while Fabian Schiller in his AMG doesn't hesitate in lapping traffic and puts Vanthoor under pressure.
The second GetSpeed Mercedes (#4) follows more than two minutes later. The second factory Audi (#22) with René Rast behind the wheel is fourth. The only BMW in the top 5 is from the Schubert team (#20).
Head of Audi Customer Sport Chris Reinke on the fight for victory: "The weather could mess everything up again and turn the last four hours into a real sprint." And it starts to dribble just in time for high noon...
Rain was actually announced, but it's still dry here. Accordingly, not much dramatic happens at the top. However, Adam Christodoulou in the #3 GetSpeed Mercedes managed to reduce the gap to the leading #15 Phoenix Audi from 35 to 9 seconds. After the last round of pit stops, Frederic Vervisch is still in the Audi, while Christodoulou has made room for Fabian Schiller in the Mercedes. The gap is now 13.299 seconds. The Schubert-BMW #20 takes third place, which continues to be driven in a staggered stop rhythm.
The clouds around the race track form a threatening backdrop. A downpour would make the last few hours a little lottery. After the next series of pit stops, the Phoenix-Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo2 with starting number 15 leads. Frederic Vervisch is currently steering it. Behind them, Mercedes driver (#3) Adam Christodoulou is approaching. The gap is 18 seconds. With a remaining race time of 5:50 hours, that can easily be made up for.Third is the Schubert-BMW, which is 42.4 seconds short and has a different boxing rhythm. The rest lag behind at least two minutes.
Here is the intermediate result from the top 10:
- Audi #15
- Mercedes #3
- BMW #20
- Mercedes #4
- Audi #22
- Mercedes #6
- Audi #16
- Mercedes # 12
- Audi #24
- Porsche #18
As you can see: Audi and Mercedes are clearly in the majority. BMW still has one car in the running for overall victory. For Porsche, the 50th edition of the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring was practically over in just a few hours.
We'll get back to you and briefly summarize the events of the night for you. Relatively little has happened at the top over the night. The Phoenix-Audi #5, which had to serve the penalty for a yellow card offense in the evening, collided with a Porsche Cayman shortly after serving the penalty and was eliminated. This eliminated another candidate from the top group.
There were even more fights in the Audi warehouse. At around 1 a.m., Nico Müller in the #22 Car Collection car turned the #44 Falken-Porsche of Alessio Picariello extremely roughly and received a penalty of 1m32s for doing so. The race was history for the #44. Also missing are the #101 Walkenhorst BMW M4 after a dovetail accident and the #26 Octane126 Ferrari 488, which had a broken tie rod.
In the early morning, the #72 Junior BMW finally said goodbye. After the crash at the beginning, you continued to work your way forward, but flew off in the courage curve. Shortly before eight o'clock, the Schubert Motorsport teammates were hit. As the last BMW M4 GT3, the #20 was still involved in the action at the front, but slipped into the dirt in the Metzgesfeld area when it started to rain. Alex Sims then limped into the pits with a puncture on the right front and fell back several places. Previously, you had to accept a time penalty of 32 seconds for ignoring flag signals.
Frederic Vervisch is currently leading in the #15 Phoenix Audi ahead of the two GetSpeed Mercedes #3 and #4. Adam Christodoulou's #3 is 40 seconds behind, Dani Juncadella's #4 is almost two minutes behind. They were followed by the #22 Car Collection-Audi and the Schubert-BMW (#20). Remarkable: Luca Stolz's HRT-Mercedes #12 follows, which had to be repaired after a collision with a Porsche Cayman. However, the race to catch up after that paid off in full. You are currently five minutes behind the leader.
The Konrad Lamborghini is still within reach of the top ten in 12th place. After a good start, Maximilian Hackländer had a flat tire and Michele di Martino kissed the barriers.
The lead of the #98 BMW after the Aston Martin (#90) retired only lasted a few minutes.Sheldon van der Linde apparently crashes into the guardrail on the right after a technical problem and is out. The South African doesn't want to admit it and sits in his stranded M4 GT3 for a while. Again and again he shakes his head and waves it away.
The new leader is the #15 Phoenix Audi. Frédéric Vervisch is at the wheel. His lead over second-placed Maximilian Götz in the GetSpeed-Mercedes (#3) was around 15 seconds before he came into the pits. Alexander Sims in the Schubert-BMW (#20) completes the top 3. With a deficit of 50 seconds, the BMW is the manufacturer's last vehicle with a chance of winning. All other cars are already hopelessly behind or have failed.
In fourth place is Maro Engel with the second GetSpeed Mercedes (#4). After a collision with a Cup Porsche, the race director is investigating the incident. A possible penalty has not yet been determined. The Audi of Ricardo Feller (#5) is in 5th place. But he also got a time penalty of 2:32 minutes for disobeying flag signals. The onboard footage showed the Swiss overtaking seven cars at once in a yellow zone.
With that we say goodbye for today and get back to you tomorrow morning!
The death of favorites continues. The Aston Martin #90 is on the Döttingerhöhe after 45 completed laps and seven hours in the race. Up until then, the British had been among the hot contenders for victory. Now #98 Rowe-BMW takes the virtual lead. Up until this incident, things were relatively quiet at the top. The #15 Audi with Frederic Vervisch is still the closest pursuer of the #98, followed by the #3 GetSpeed.
The Konrad-Lamborghini #7 stayed in the pits for a long time and dropped far back to 25th place. After touching the crash barrier, Franz Konrad's team had to change the tie rod.
After six hours, the Aston Martin Vantage GT3 from TF Sport (#90) still sets the tone. Driver Marco Sørensen is self-confident after his stint: "We are definitely fighting for victory. We can only complain about small things." Behind the Aston Martin is still the Rowe-BMW (#98), which Marco Wittmann is currently driving on the Nordschleife. Third is the best Audi (#15) with Robin Frijns at the wheel.
Behind the top 3 are the Mercedes from GetSpeed with start numbers 3 and 4, which unobtrusively but without problems, constantly unwind their laps. Just in the top 10 is the strong Konrad-Lamborghini (#7), who bravely puts up a fight against the armada of German manufacturers and is on the road with an ailing front end.
Bad luck for the Car Collection Audi (#22). René Rast lost more than a minute during his stint in a code 60 zone on the Döttinger Höhe: "The others all drove through ahead of me without the double yellow.Of course we have a huge gap now, but let's see what else happens."
Night has slowly fallen and the Nordschleife has become completely dark. The drivers now have to adjust to the changed visibility and especially to the slower ones when lapping traffic Vehicles pay attention. It is important not to lose too much time, but also not to produce an accident.
Scenes have just played out here where you actually just put your head together Teichmann Racing's KTM X-Bow GTX (#160) catches fire in the rear. Pilot Felix von der Laden parks it on the grass. He gets out, but the burning car is unsecured. It rolls downhill towards the Fuchsöhre. After About 50 meters the KTM cones into the inner guardrail. There the racing car lies sideways - and continues to flare up.
The situation is currently calming down a bit. At the front, depending on the pit stop, the Rhythm different protagonists. The Aston Martin Vantage GT3 of TF Sport (#90) is definitely in the best shape and has a 20 second lead over the #98 BMW of Rowe-Racing. The #15 driver from Audi Sport Team Phoenix made it comfortable in third place. It lags behind by a total of 38 seconds. Fabian Schiller's #3 GetSpeed Mercedes is already a minute behind. Fifth place was taken by Vincent Kolb in the private #5 Scherer Audi from Phoenix.
Audi and Mercedes each have three cars in the top ten, BMW at least two, plus an Aston Martin and a Lamborghini. The Konrad Lamborghini is indeed one of the surprises of the race so far. Porsche, on the other hand, experienced a fiasco. The best 911 from Dinamic (#28) with Pirelli tires is in 11th place, the two Falken cars in 16th (#44) and 17th (#33).
In the meantime, Dries Vanthoor also commented on the accident with his brother: "I've had better days than this. The situation itself is difficult to assess and I don't think either of us did anything wrong in the end. It's a great pity that he's out now. Laurens Vanthoor said: "It's difficult to put into words. I'll be honest: it's the dumbest moment I can remember, we love each other dearly, we've been racing since we were little. I knew it was my brother, otherwise I would have withdrawn long ago. It got the upper hand and was stupid on my part too. I'm not angry, something like this shouldn't happen."
After the violent crash of the Manthey Porsche (#1), the drivers have to slowly pass the scene of the accident because the crash barrier has to be repaired. Laurens Vanthoor himself has to undergo a health check at the medical center. After the accident, he was able to get out of the destroyed 911 GT3 R.
The Aston Martin (#90) is still at the top. David Pittard is now behind the wheel.His lead over second-placed Nicky Catsburg in the Rowe-BMW (#98) is almost ten seconds. Dries Vanthoor in the Phoenix-Audi (#15) is 35 seconds behind the Aston Martin. The Belgian survived the crash with his brother Laurens without any further damage.
The next Audi, driven by Frank Stippler (#5), follows closely behind. Adam Christodoulou rounds off the top 5 in the currently best Mercedes (#3). What can be said is that in the first four hours, several favorites from the fight for overall victory have already said goodbye.
The defending champion is out! Laurens Vanthoor in the Manthey-Porsche (#1) collides with his brother Dries Vanthoor, who is driving the Phoenix-Audi (#15). In the Hohenrain chicane, neither of them want to give up and Laurens hits Dries at the rear, spins and crashes hard into the guardrail. The marshals ducked in fear. With that, "Grello", one of the fan favourites, has been eliminated and the great race to catch up is for naught.
After more than two and a half hours, the first major collision occurs in the leading group. The Rowe-BMW (#99) with Nick Yelloly at the wheel slams into the fast Toksport-Porsche (#27) in the NGK chicane. When turning, Yelloly hits Julien Andlauer, who is sitting in the Porsche, with his right front wheel on his left rear wheel. This knocks both cars out of their promising positions for overall victory.
Spicy: The two brawlers had previously made contact when exiting the pit lane when Yelloly and Andlauer did not agree on the right of way.
The Aston Martin (#90), which Maxime Martin is currently driving on the Nordschleife, is now at the top. On the Döttinger Höhe, the Frenchman didn't give his compatriot Frédéric Makowiecki in the Manthey-Porsche (#1) a chance with his superior top speed and slipstream. Despite the spin in the early stages, the Aston Martin was able to move to the top. The pace of the traditional English brand is impressive at this point in time.
The Rowe-BMW (#98) took second place. It is followed by the first Audi with Kelvin van der Linde at the wheel (#15). Makowiecki is fourth, while veteran Frank Stippler is in second place in the Scherer-Audi (#5). The first ten cars are within a minute after 20 laps and still have every chance in the battle for overall victory.
I like this race. After a little more than two hours, three cars are within a second. Augusto Farfus in the Rowe-BMW (#99) has the Konrad-Lambo with Pepper (#7) and the Toksport-Porsche with Matt Campbell at the wheel behind him. The three are in the same pit stop rhythm.
Several dramas happened in the second hour of racing. Aston driver Nicki Thiim lost valuable seconds due to a spin. It was worse for the pole setter and the BMW juniors.The Octane-Ferrari, which was the fastest around the Nordschleife yesterday, hobbled through the Green Hell with punctures.
Simon Trummer scolded: "A Porsche flies off in front of me, hits the guardrail in front of the mine and then shoots across the race track. I brake and a lapped BMW crashes into my rear from behind." The Octane Ferrari needs repairs. The Swiss team can forget about the race for overall victory.
The BMW junior team around Daniel Harper, Max Hesse and Neil Verhagen (#72) arrived as one of the favorites after strong performances in the NLS. But Harper made a costly mistake. He drove into a BMW 330i in the Hohenrain chicane at the end of the Nordschleife lap. The mechanics have to replace the tie rod and the front end. From the dream of a top result.
After the first series of pit stops, the Aston Martin (#90) with Nicki Thiim at the wheel is in the lead. The Manthey Porsche of the defending champion (#1) follows in second place. During the stop, the Manthey mechanics used gaffer tape to repair the damaged front left-hand side. Sheldon van der Linde in the Rowe-BMW (#98) is currently third. Fourth place is taken by Ricardo Feller in the Scherer-Audi (#5), followed by brand colleague Vincent Kolb (#24).
The leaders benefited from their early stops on lap 5. As a result, the service life was shorter than that of the Rowe-BMW (#99) and the Konrad-Lamborghin (#7). The shorter the stint, the shorter the mandatory minimum downtime. The current race picture does not yet reflect the order. Why did the spike stop so early anyway? To get the cars off the road.
BMW driver Philipp Eng (#99) was enthusiastic about his starting stint: "That's the greatest thing you can do!" His BMW sustained minor damage after contact with the enemy with the Konrad-Lamborghini (#7), which was also scrutinized in the pits.
Team boss Franz Konrad: "The damage doesn't look that bad. Apparently the Jordan likes the BMW because he touches it so often. The grille is bent inwards a bit. It got stuck in the radiator shaft. The radiator itself hangs at an angle in it. I hope it holds up and we don't get any radiator damage. We'll take a closer look at it at the next stop."
It's over with the Italian glory at the top. It now leads BMW. In the third lap, the Konrad-Lamborghini initially takes the lead. Jordan Pepper overtook the Ferrari with two wheels in the grass. A little later, BMW driver Philipp Eng also snorted Jonathan Hirschi's Octane Ferrari.
At the beginning of the fourth lap, Eng grabs the Lamborghini and leads the race. The pace is high.After just one and a half laps on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife, the GT3 drivers were caught up in traffic being lapped by the slower racing cars. You take a lot of risk. At Porsche, there was contact within the brand. The defending champion suffered. Kevin Estre broke the left front fender of his Manthey Porsche, called Grello, in a three-way battle with Earl Bamber (KCMG, #18) and Christian Engelhart (Dinamic Motorsport, #29).
The race is on! The Octane126 Ferrari with Jonathan Hirschi at the wheel has maintained its lead. Behind him was Philipp Eng in the Rowe-BMW (#99), but he was under a lot of pressure from his junior team colleagues (#72). After a great start, they moved up from sixth to third position. It is followed by the Konrad-Lambo (#7), the Car Collection-Audi (#22), and the Scherer-Audi (#16). Kevin Estré in the defending champion's Manthey-Porsche (#1) is 26th after one lap and has lost 12.7 seconds to the leader. The #44 Falken-Porsche was already in contact with the enemy because things were tough and narrow in the GT3 field.
We return from the starting grid. Just look at how many fans were hanging around the cars there. After two years of limited spectator numbers, the Nürburgring-Nordschleife is back in full swing. Meanwhile, the cars are moving on the warm-up lap. The GT3 cars trundle through the Green Hell at slow speed. The marshals wave at them.
The cars have lined up on the start-finish straight of the Nürburgring. The classic starts in half an hour. 134 cars fight for positions on the 25.378-kilometre Nürburgring-Nordschleife. A Ferrari leads the field. Octane driver Jonathan Hirschi will start in the 488 GT3 Evo20 with starting number 26.
The Rowe-BMW (#99), which will initially be driven by Philipp Eng, will start with him from the front row. This is followed by the Konrad-Lamborghini Huracán GT3 (#7) with Jordan Pepper and Nico Müller in the Car Collection Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo2 (#22).
What's the weather like? The air temperature is 13 degrees Celsius. The wind is relatively fresh. We expect an exciting race. Or as BMW driver Augusto Farfus summed it up yesterday: "Everyone in the top 20 is capable of winning. The track isn't that crowded with over 130 cars. That's why I'm expecting a fast race."