Here's the top of the field!
#9 in front was the overall winner, the Black Falcon Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3. It's fastest lap was 10th of 88 total at 8:38.411. #9 qualified fifth and was piloted by Schneider Bernd, Bleekemolen Jeroen, Edwards Sean, and Thiim Nicki.
Trying to draft is #44, the Falken Motorsports Porsche 997 GT3 R who placed 20th overall. Coincidentally, his fastest lap was also 10th (of 82) showing drafting and following a fast driver's good line is really helpful.
|#23 is the ROWE Racing Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 who placed 3rd overall. They qualified 24th with Graf Klaus, Jäger Thomas, Seyffarth Jan, Bastian Nico behind the wheel.|
Noticing a theme? 4th overall Rowe Racing Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3. Fastest lap was 23 of 87 with Arnold Lance David, Roloff Alexander, Seyffarth Jan, and Jäger Thomas driving.
#29 DNF: Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi R8 LMS ultra.
#29 was positioned pretty well for a pole finish qualifying 7th and with three of four drivers (Christopher Haase, Christopher Mies and Edward Sandström) experienced with the 24 Hours and one rookie driver. Haase was actually one of the drivers that piloted Audi last year to its first win.
Unfortunately, with young Belgian rookie Laurens Vanthoor at the wheel, the Audi hit a spot of oil on the track not flagged by the marshals and played bumper cars with the barriers until it was rendered useless. Vanthoor was not injured.
|#20 is the BMW Team Schubert BMW Z4 GT3- 6th overall with the fastest lap 22nd of 87. The BMW was driven by Adorf Dirk, Hürtgen Claudia, Klingmann Jens, and Tomczyk Martin.|
|And then conditions went to hell in a hand basket. Thick fog blanketed the track and the rain drenched the pavement, doused the bonfires, and left spectators feeling like soggy dogs. 10:30pm- red flagged for 9.5 hours making this one of the shortest 24 Hours in history.|
The race resumed the next morning. Hopefully not too many spectators lost their buzz… With the red flag, I was hightailing it back to my hotel in Cologne. Halfway asleep, some blurry specs passed me like I was a sitting duck. Oh yeah, this is the part of the autobahn with nein geschwindigkeitsbegrenzung or “no speed limit”; yeah, I know- hence my lack of German!
The 335 made the 92km in a comfortable 30 mins where I enjoyed a nice 10 hour nap on a padded wooden plank the hotel referred to as a “bed.” Not sure why Germans make medieval contraptions and call them furniture!
I never ran into Bill (or Paul). I heard he slept comfortably in a Fiesta ST with a spare tire full of beer. I headed to Belgium to indulge my liver with some spontaneous fermentation and be another type of nerd. If the cars alone don't get you to book your ticket (then why are you reading MIQ?), the spectacle that goes along with the 24 Hours of Nürburgring should. Don't forget to venture out further than just the grandstands and paddock. The camping areas offer an entirely different point of view just feet from the track and some “wildlife” you have to experience for yourself. It's one of the top motorsports events I've ever been a part of and is not to be missed!!!!
For a full list of results, check out the ADAC website.