Nürburgring 24h 2018: result

Stefan Baldauf /Guido ten Brink
Nürburgring 24h race 2018 (race result)
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J ubel at Porsche: For the first time since 2011, the sports car manufacturer has won the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring. It is the 12th overall victory for Porsche. A success that was achieved in a dramatic final phase.

Up to three and a half hours before the end of the race, everything looked like a victory for Mercedes. Black Falcon's AMG GT3 with starting number 4 led the race with around four minutes ahead of the Porsche 911 GT3 R with starting number 912. But then a break in the race wiped out the lead. Heavy rain and thick fog forced Walter Hornung's management team to interrupt the 46th edition of the long-distance classic for two hours. At 11:59 a.m. the marshals showed the red flags. The race started again at 13:58.

Hot final phase in the rain

This was followed by a 90-minute sprint in the rain between Mercedes and Porsche. For two laps, Adam Christodoulou maintained the top position in the Mercedes-AMG GT3. But then pursuer Fred Makowiecki took advantage of a little uncertainty to grab the lead. On the approach to the first corner, the Frenchman sits on the brakes next to his competitors. Christodoulou put the brakes on, but he couldn't slow down the 911 completely. Makowiecki passed on the outside before turn two. Christodoulous counterattack failed. He leaned against the 911 and lost control of his AMG GT3 while accelerating out. But after half a spin it continued. The 29th change in leadership should be the last.

Stefan Baldauf /Guido ten Brink
Mercedes has to be content with second place.

At the end of the 129th lap, the race for Christodoulou would have ended a hair early. The Mercedes-AMG GT3 floated up in the gallows head and the Briton slammed the left side of the vehicle against the guardrail. Christodoulou was able to continue. One last attack fizzled out. Then Makowiecki drove the victory safely to the finish. After 135 laps he cheered together with his colleagues Richard Lietz, Patrick Pilet and Nick Tandy. The quartet Adam Christodoulou, Maro Engel, Manuel Metzger and Dirk Müller landed in second place. “Our fight was incredible. We drove like mad ”, explained Makowiecki. “The contact between me and Adam wasn't that bad. That was racing. We are very happy with the victory. ”

Extra role for Audi and BMW

The last place on the podium went to the two Mercedes-AMG GT3s from Black Falcon in the last hour and a half the starting numbers 5 and 6 and the Aston Martin Vantage GT3 (# 7) from one another. They were one lap behind the leading duo, but on the same lap themselves. The decision was made in the 133rd round. Yelmer Buurman overtook Maxime Martin on the hilltop of the Schwedenkreuz. Mercedes-AMG can therefore look forward to a double podium. Aston Martin finished fourth ahead of the next AMG.

Audi and BMW were only the extras. The brand with the four rings lacked speed in both dry and wet conditions. In addition, there were accidents like that of Dries Vanthoor's WRT-Audi on Saturday evening. After a high-speed crash at the exit of the Tiergarten, it was no longer possible to continue driving. Last year's winner's car also had an accident. On Sunday morning, Kelvin van der Linde threw the car with starting number 1 into the guardrails in the Hohe Acht track area. BMW was able to bury the dream of their 20th overall success on Saturday. The M6 ​​GT3 did not look bad on the track, but fines and accidents put the Munich on the cross.

To sum up the race: Porsche had the fastest car. Mercedes the second fastest. While the top cars with the star mostly stayed out of accidents and made it over the distance without major penalties, Porsche weakened itself in the first 20 hours. Romain Dumas threw away a safe lead in the Porsche with the starting number 911. Even before the rain started. And the later victorious car had already lost a good three minutes on the first lap due to a creeping puncture and subsequent pit stop. A penalty for a Code 60 offense cost the team another 3:32 minutes. Butwith the red flag everything that had happened before was wasted. Porsche was lucky enough to be in the same lap as AMG and prevailed in the final sprint.

24h- Race Nürburgring 2018 (Top 30 qualification)

Porsche grabs pole position

It was the big Porsche show. In contrast, Audi was noticeably slow. Manthey Racing took pole position in the top 30 qualifying for the 2018 Nürburgring 24h race. Laurens Vanthoor rounded the combined track of the Nürburgring and the Nordschleife in 8: 09.105 minutes. The Belgian achieved the best mark in the second of two laps. “No traffic, you drive like a madman to get on pole. I had a heart rate of 197. I think that says it all. On the first lap I made a small mistake and even hit the wall. Still, I lost very little time. Everything went well on the second lap, ”summed up the Pole man.

His first pursuer, who also comes from the Porsche warehouse, but drives on Falken instead of Michelin tires and at Falken Motorsports for the racing classic is employed, achieved its record in the first attempt. Sven Müller missed first place on the grid by just 0.407 seconds. Norbert Siedler lost three tenths more in the Frikadelli Porsche with the starting number 31, which even broke off his second lap because, in his opinion, the first could no longer be surpassed.

What's going on with Audi?

Maro Engel also cracked the 8:10 mark in the individual time trial. This brings the number 4 Black Falcon into fourth position. Nicki Thiim burned the fifth fastest lap time in the Aston Martin Vantage GT3, which is only allowed to take part in the 24h race with a special permit. This was followed by the second Manthey Porsche from Fred Makowiecki, the HTP Mercedes from Daniel Juncadella and Maximilian Götz and the second Black Falcon Mercedes with Yelmer Buurman at the wheel. The first nine drivers of the top 30 qualifying each beat the fastest pole time on the Nordschleife. Kevin Estre set it up in a McLaren MP4-12C in 2014 (8: 10.921 minutes). Jesse Krohn rounded off the top 10 in the best BMW.

Audi was weak. At least that is the impression you get when you look at the bare result. You may still be working with target times to show your real potential in the race. Frikadelli driver Norbert Siedler smugly commented on the balance of power: “Audi was slow in practice. As always. They'll be strong in the race. As always. ”

24h race Nürburgring 2018 - 2nd qualifying

Porsche in the last second in front

The second qualifying for the Nürburgring 24h race 2018 was characterized by many caution phases. In keeping with this, a yellow car secured the top position: LaurensVanthoor in the Porsche 911 GT3 R with starting number # 911 ousted the Rowe BMW with the 98 at the last moment.

In the second qualifying, the teams actually had 110 minutes to push their lap times into one to bring a better starting position for the 24h race Nürburgring 2018 or to get one of the 15 remaining places for the top 30 qualifying in the evening. Actually, the conditions were also right. The asphalt strip was more grippy than the day before. However, several Code 60 phases reduced the time window for fast laps to 20 to 25 minutes.

BMW presents, Porsche is following

Right at the start of training, an accident caused the BMW M235i Racing with the start number 248 the first yellow phase. Whereupon the rest of the field crept through the Wippermann /Eschbach section at just 60 km /h. Towards the end of qualifying, there was a much more serious crash. Rudi Speich lost his green Audi TT with the start number 89 at the airport, turned sharply left into the tire wall and rolled over. After the involuntary somersault, the TT landed in the middle of the road. With a torn tail.

The Rowe BMW with starting number # 98 secured second place in the second qualifying.

That Rowe-BMW made the most successful use of the narrow time window between the Code 60 phases. John Edwards drove his M6 GT3 in 8: 17.811 minutes, the provisional best time. It was the first time on the previous training days that a BMW really attacked. In the first qualifying, not a single car with a kidney grille made it into the top ten positions.

It wasn't enough for the record. In the final sprint, Laurens Vanthoor drove his Porsche 911 GT3 R (# 911) 3.308 seconds faster around the 25.308 kilometer long traditional circuit. 8: 14,503 minutes: That's faster than the Pole brand in 2017. The competition is impressed: “That's a huge number. We don't have that time. I hope Porsche drove with a super soft tire. It doesn't work so well on our car. We lack torque and top speed, ”stated Audi driver Christopher Mies.

Third was the Landgraf-Mercedes, 4.182 seconds behind. Tristan Vautier took care of thelast lap for the number 16 Mercedes-AMG GT3 to qualify for the prestigious top 30 shootout.

The Land-Audi team did not improve on Friday afternoon. Christopher Mies, Kelvin and Sheldon van der Linde and Rene Rast therefore fell from first to fourth place. HTP-Mercedes with the starting number 48 positioned itself behind. You don't have to worry. In the individual time trial in the evening, which kicks off at 7 p.m., the lap times previously driven no longer count. And the drivers have a really free track for the first time.

24h race Nürburgring 2018 - 1st qualifying

Best time for Land-Audi

In the first qualifying for the Nürburgring 24h Race, Land Motorsport set the fastest time. In the three-hour session, which went into the darkness, Christopher Mies was fastest ahead of Mercedes and Porsche.

The scramble for the fastest time in the first qualifying for the Nürburgring 24h race did not last long. Half an hour after the start of the session shortly after 9 p.m., when it was slowly getting dark, Christopher Mies in the Audi R8 LMS (# 1, Mies /van der Linde /van der Linde /Rast) from Land Motorsport set the record with 8.18 , 914 minutes. After that there was no really serious attack on this time, because there was usually a Code 60 phase somewhere.

Two violent accidents

It all started with the BMW M235i # 253 from Sorg Racing. In the swallowtail area it crashed into the guardrails with full force after touching the Giti Lamborghini. The following Code 60 phase dragged on for a long time.

Stefan Baldauf /Guido ten Brink
Heavy impact of the BMW M235i.

The next accident followed shortly afterwards: Jordan Tresson flew off in the Walkenhorst BMW in the Fuchsröhre. Apparently the trigger was a collision. A brief fire has also been reported. Tresson was taken to the medical center for a check-up, but then released. The accident meant a longer Code 60 phase again.

Accordingly, there was little potential for improvement - especially for the teams that are still hoping for a ticket for the Top 30 qualifying.There are still 15 places left - last year's winner Land was also not yet qualified. What counts are the times from the combined first and second timed practice, which takes place on Friday afternoon.

Close time gaps

If you look at the top ten, the times are definitely worth seeing. The best pursuer of Mies was the Mercedes AMG GT from HTP Motorsport (# 11, Assenheimer /Schmid /Bleekemolen /Marciello), which is equipped with Hankook tires. He was only 0.379 seconds short. Mike Rockenfeller was one of the few who could improve again in the end. He put the Mücke-Audi (# 24, Winkelhock /Rockenfeller /Haase /Müller) in third place, 0.488 seconds behind.

This is followed by the Team75 Porsche (# 17, Bergmeister /Lotterer /Cairoli /Christensen) and the Car Collection Audi R8 (# 15, de Leener /Kaffer /Trummer). Like Car Collection, Black Falcon's Mercedes AMG GT3 (# 6, Haupt /Al Faizal /Johansson /Piana) has to get by without factory support. The Phoenix-Audi (# 3, Vervisch /Stippler /Müller /Haase) secured seventh place ahead of the privately entered Manthey 911 (# 12, Kern /Klohs /Olsen /Frommenwiler)), the also privately entered Audi from Mücke ( # 25, Mücke /Jöns /Fässler /Kaffer) and one of the two Manthey top cars (# 912, Lietz /Pilet /Makowiecki /Tandy).

Nürburgring 24h Race 2018 - Free Practice

Slide in the first practice

For the first time on Thursday afternoon, the 24h roared -Race Nürburgring the engines. In the first free practice session, the 150 teams expected slippery conditions. Heiko Hammel was fastest in the Renault R.S.01.

On Wednesday the sun was still shining around the Nordschleife, at the first test of strength on Thursday (May 10th) in free practice the fans had to unpack their umbrellas. It was drizzling, especially at the beginning of practice, and parts of the 25.378-kilometer combination of the Nordschleife and Grand Prix track were still damp. Choosing the right tires became a puzzle. You had the choice between slicks, cut slicks and rain tires.

Decision made at the last second

No wonder that the chase started very slowly at first. Christian Krognes in the Walkenhorst BMW M6 GT3 was the first to undercut the 9-minute mark. Later, the track continued to dry out, which initially brought Connor de Phillippi to the top in a Rowe BMW.

However, the last bit in the last few seconds was brought out by a surprise candidate: Heiko Hammel lapped the circuit in a Renault RS 01 from the SP-X class in 8.26.703 minutes. But under optimal conditions there is still a long way to go. For comparison: The pole lap of the Glickenhaus SCG003c was 8:15, 427 minutes last year.

100 minutes ran the free practice at the Nürburgring.

Still BoP discussions

In second place Porsche sponsorship candidate Dennis Olsen lined up in the privately entered Manthey-Porsche # 12, 1.150 seconds behind. Last year’s winner de Phillippi landed behind, 2.120 seconds short. The other places in this training session, which is not very informative, went to Tristan Vautier in the Landgraf-Mercedes AMG GT3, who is also on the road without factory support. The top 5 is completed by the Aston Martin Vantage GT3.

That the top teams are still holding back, apart from the fact that the conditions were not ideal, is not surprising anyway. The latest BoP changes are still being hotly debated in the paddock.

Slip into the grass

Christopher Haase gave an impression of the first kilometers on the track: “At the beginning of my stint was it is still relatively difficult to drive. The racing line was dry, but the rest was still damp. But in the last two laps it dried up quickly. However, the track is relatively dirty. ”

Accordingly, there have been one or two slip-ups. Among other things, a Porsche from the SP7 class rumbled into the grass. One of the Hyundai TCRs had a technical defect at the Dunlop turn.

The first qualifying, which some teams still want to use for the ticket to the top 30 qualifying, starts at 8.30 p.m. and lasts until 11.30 p.m. .

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