Audi crowned King of the Ring in weather-shortened Nurburgring 24 hour

Audi crowned King of the Ring in weather-shortened Nurburgring 24 hour

MANTHEY EMA AND PORSCHE CLAIM SECOND IGTC VICTORY OF 2024

Feller/Mies/Marschall/Stippler beat Estre/Guven/Preining/Vanthoor
Half points awarded to Intercontinental entries
Result remains provisional subject to appeal

 


Ricardo Feller, Christopher Mies, Dennis Marschall and Frank Stippler have won the 2024 ADAC RAVENOL 24h Nürburgring after their Scherer Sport PHX Audi beat the leading Intercontinental GT Challenge contender, Manthey EMA’s Porsche, in the shortest-ever running of the event’s 52-edition history.

 

Just eight hours and 57 minutes of green flag running took place after dense fog enveloped the Nordschleife late on Saturday night. Conditions on the GP circuit did not improve sufficiently until 13:30 on Sunday when five laps were run at reduced speed before the race concluded just under an hour early.

 

As such, and per SRO Motorsports Group regulations, only half points will be awarded to IGTC’s BMW, Mercedes-AMG and Porsche entries once the provisional result – which remains subject to appeal – is finalised.

 

As it stands, Laurens Vanthoor and Ayhancan Guven have extended their drivers’ championship lead after also winning the season opener at Bathurst, while BMW M Team RMG’s Dan Harper, Max Hesse and Charles Weerts completed the overall podium and scored second place IGTC points.

 

Mercedes-AMG Team BILSTEIN’s Maximilian Goetz, Luca Stolz and Daniel Juncadella finished third of the Intercontinental contenders and fourth overall. And Antares Au bagged IGTC Independent Cup top spot aboard the Lionspeed GP Porsche that came home ninth and won the event’s Pro-Am class.

 

Incidentally, Audi’s victory is the first for a non-Intercontinental entry at an IGTC-counting race since Walkenhorst’s BMW won at Spa in 2018.


MIES MAKES DECISIVE MOVE BEFORE MIDNIGHT


It’s not often a 24-hour race is effectively decided before half-distance, let alone after just over seven hours. But that was the scenario that played out at the Nordschleife where Mies relieved Harper of the lead on Döttinger Höhe just before organisers judged the gathering fog too thick for the race to continue.

 

The call was made just after the BMW pitted from second. And it was that decision, albeit thanks to the event’s regulations, that would drop RMG’s M4 to third behind Manthey EMA’s Porsche when the new dummy grid began forming at 09:30 on Sunday.

 

Cars remained stationary on track for four hours while an expected weather window failed to materialise. The decision was then made to complete five formation laps at reduced speed behind the Safety Car before judging if it was safe to resume in anger. But when it became clear conditions would not improve, the race concluded with Feller leading Estre and Harper across the line for the final time 55 minutes before the event’s scheduled conclusion. Never before in 24 Hours history had the race ended ahead of time.

 

Saturday’s changing weather conditions, which fluctuated between heavy rain and periods of damp and dry running, meant there was never one single optimal tyre choice. Indeed, opinions were split at the start when pole man Harper – unlike most of his rivals – opted for slicks. Pitting at the end of the formation lap allowed Estre and Augusto Farfus to dispute top spot early on before ROWE’s #99 BMW – now driven by Sheldon van der Linde – crashed heavily at the Foxhole while lapping traffic.

 

Another pre-race favourite, the #130 GetSpeed Mercedes-AMG, also lost significant time due to contact and a subsequent puncture, while the team’s sister car incurred terminal damage just before darkness fell.

 

Elsewhere, Harper’s early fightback brought RMG’s BMW into play as day turned to night. And it was a similar story for Team BILSTEIN’s Mercedes-AMG, which was up to fourth when the 14-hour red flag period began.

 

Red Bull Team Abt’s Lamborghini was a top six contender throughout and, like those ahead, duly finished where it took the restart. However, there was a change in sixth after several teams gambled on the race going ahead by pitting for fresh rubber. That moved Falken Motorsports’ #33 Porsche shared by Julien Andlauer, Klaus Bachler and Sven Müller up to fourth in IGTC’s classification, while the best placed of the stoppers – ROWE’s #98 BMW – took seventh overall and fifth in IGTC courtesy of Raffaele Marciello, Maxime Martin, Marco Wittmann and Augusto Farfus who drove both of the team’s M4s.

 

Team BILSTEIN’s second Mercedes-AMG came home 11th overall but scored sixth place Intercontinental points on behalf of its manufacturer.

 

Next up, and in just one month’s time, it’s the centenary CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa where BMW and ROWE will be eager to collect a second victory in as many years. 


PROVISIONAL MANUFACTURERS' STANDINGS
58.5 pts - Porsche
37.5 pts - Mercedes-AMG
26 pts - BMW

PROVISIONAL DRIVERS' STANDINGS (TOP-SIX)
37.5 pts - Laurens Vanthoor / Ayhancan Guven (Porsche)
25.5 pts - Luca Stolz (Mercedes-AMG)
18 pts - Kenny Habul / Jules Gounon (Mercedes-AMG)
18 pts - Joel Eriksson (Porsche)
17 pts - Maxime Martin / Raffaele Marciello (BMW)
16 pts - Bastian Buus (Porsche)

 

IGTC INDEPENDENT CUP
25 pts - Jefri Ibrahim
12.5 pts - Antares Au


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