Scherer-Audi wins prematurely ended 24-hour race

The Audi team Scherer Sport PHX won the much shortened 52nd edition of the 24h Nürburgring. The race had to be interrupted for 14 hours and 8 minutes shortly before midnight due to persistent fog. After a restart on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. and five formation laps, the race management decided not to restart the race and to wave it off early at 3:05 p.m.

The finish was actually supposed to take place at 4:00 p.m., but the foggy weather conditions did not allow for a clear drive under safe conditions. The #16 Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo2 with drivers Frank Stippler, Christopher Mies, Ricardo Feller and Dennis Marschall thus achieved victory safely behind the safety car. 240,000 spectators watched the Nürburgring 24-hour race on site at the weekend.

Scherer-Audi wins 24h Nürburgring ahead of Manthey-Porsche

The #911 Manthey Porsche with DTM champion Thomas Preining, Kevin Estre, Laurens Vanthoor and Ayhancan Güven crossed the finish line in second place after a total of 50 laps – the fewest in the history of the Nürburgring 24-hour race. Third place on the podium went to the #72 RMG-BMW M4 GT3 with the young drivers Max Hesse, Dan Harper and Charles Weerts.

For Scherer Sport PHX, formerly known as Phoenix Racing, it was the seventh overall victory in the Eifel classic. The team of owner Christian Scherer and team boss Axel Randolph thus moved up to the all-time winners’ list with their Nürburgring neighbors from Manthey, who were previously the sole record holders with seven victories.

Even without Audi factory support: Scherer R8 triumphs

The Scherer-Sport-PHX victory can be considered a small surprise, after all, Audi Sport has stopped its previous factory support for all customer teams since this year. Team boss Scherer still managed to put together a strong lineup. Christopher Mies, who has already said goodbye to Ford as a factory driver, celebrated his third overall victory at the Nürburgring. So did his team-mate Frank Stippler, while Feller and Marschall stood at the top of the podium for the first time.

The #16 Scherer Audi delivered a flawless performance from third place on the grid and intermittent rain showers and stayed consistently in the leading group. Marschall, the son of the racing driver, took the lead for the first time after around three hours. His team-mate Stippler then had some impressive duels with the Grello Porsche for the top position. When the race was stopped on Saturday at 11:22 p.m. after 45 laps, the #16 Audi was leading ahead of the #72 RMG BMW and the Manthey 911.

As the rules stipulated that the intermediate result two laps before the red flag was used at the restart on Sunday, the Grello with final driver Kevin Estre was in second place when the race resumed. As the race was no longer allowed to continue after the formation laps due to the continued poor weather conditions, the Frenchman crossed the finish line behind Scherer ace Ricardo Feller. 13 cars were in the lead lap on Sunday.

BMW youngsters fight their way to the podium after drama

While the Manthey Porsche was able to fight back strongly after a wrong choice of tires – slicks instead of wets on a wet track – the #72 RMG BMW experienced a small drama right at the start: The pole setters were the only top team to risk slick tires, but had to head to the pits to change to rain tires immediately after the formation lap. As a result, Harper, Hesse and Weerts managed a huge comeback that catapulted the M4 GT3 back into the front group.

The #4 HRT-Mercedes (Stolz/Götz/Juncadella/Maini) achieved a similar ‘hero story’ in the late evening hours, when ex-DTM driver Daniel Juncadella gained one place after the other thanks to the right choice of tires and at times plowed through the field 30 seconds faster.

The #27 Abt Lamborghini (K. van der Linde/Mapelli/Pepper) and #33 Falken Porsche (Andlauer/Bachler/Müller/Picariello) finished the race in fifth and sixth positions. The #54 Dinamic Porsche (Holzer/Seefried/Buus/Dienst) and #98 Rowe BMW (Marciello/Martin/Wittmann/Farfus) completed the top eight in the overall result. Some GT3 representatives had changed tires during the formation laps in the hope of a possible race clearance.

Both GetSpeed ​​Mercedes retired early

Before the midnight race interruption, several favorites had already said goodbye to the fight for overall victory. This even included both Mercedes-AMG GT3s from GetSpeed. The #130 GetSpeed ​​Mercedes (Engel/Gounon/Schiller/Christodoulou) was more damaged than initially expected in an early collision with the #24 Lionspeed Porsche and was later withdrawn from the race.

The sister car with starting number #8 (Auer/Christodoulou/Ellis/Grenier) with double starter Adam Christodoulou at the wheel hit the guard rails in the Metzgesfeld area at around 11 o’clock at night.

Permit revoked after accident with leading Rowe-BMW

Rowe Racing also had to complain about an early retirement with the #99 BMW M4 GT3 (Frijns/S. van der Linde/D. Vanthoor/Farfus). The former DTM champion Sheldon van der Linde was in the lead when a Porsche Cayman hit him on the side and pushed him into the track barrier. The person who caused the accident, Alesia Kreutzpointner, was subsequently given the DPN permit revoked and a fine of 1500 euros imposed.

The #34 Walkenhorst Aston Martin (Krognes/Giermaziak/Pittard/Thiim), one of the favourites, suffered an early setback: a puncture in the starting phase threw the Melle-based racing team’s Aston Martin back several laps. The #706 Glickenhaus (Mutsch/Mailleux/Arnold/Ledogar), which returned to the 24-hour race, also fell behind several laps early on due to a gearbox change. The rollover of a VW Golf GTI and a fire accident involving an Audi RS3 caused moments of shock.

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