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ADAC Nürburgring 24hr race 2015

On 16-17th May over 150 cars took part in the ADAC Zurich 24hr of Nürburgring on the combined Nordschleife and Grand Prix track. Cars ranged from the SP9 GT3 class, to a humble Golf GTI and an Opel Manta.

The top cars the past couple of years have been Porsche 911 variants, the Audi R8, Mercedes SLS, and BMW Z4. New this year was the Bentley Continental, with two cars from Bentley Motorsport. Notably absent was the McLaren 12c, which qualified well last year but failed to finish due to reliability and accidents.

All teams, cars, and drivers on the official entry list

The clock below shows local time at the Nürburgring. The race started at 4pm on Saturday and finished 4pm Sunday. The pictures on the right are in race order at the finish.

Finish

After 24hrs #28 Audi Sport WRT R8 LMS finished 40 seconds ahead of the #25 Marc VDS BMW Z4 GT3. This is apparently the closest finish on record for the 24hr race. The order 3-10 is the same as at update #9 apart from #23 ROWE Racing Mercedes SLS GT3 fell back to 17th place after it retired. It's been an exciting race with two cars crashing out from the lead: Sabine Schmitz' car #30 Frikadelli Racing Porsche 997 GT3R, and last year's winner #1 Audi Sport Phoenix R8 LMS.

Marc VDS Racing is - unfortunately - once again pushed into a runner-up position in the Nürburgring 24hr and must be wondering what they have to do to win (maybe buy an R8). They were also pipped to the fastest lap title by Audi, by a mere six thousands of a second.

ADAC live stream

Official coverage of the race streamed on Youtube with commentary from Radio Le Mans.

Tracktime.info live timing screen

Vodafone live stream

New for 2015, Vodafone stream from cars and drones around the track. Darren Langeveld from our friends at Destination Nurburgring will be commentating. I have both streams running at the same time without any bandwidth issues. Vodafone's pictures seem to be a few seconds ahead of the ADAC one.

Update #9

Fifty minutes to go. 1st placed #28 Audi Sport WRT R8 LMS is one minute ahead of the #25 Marc VDS BMW Z4 GT3. The race won't be won on racing or strategy now; Marc VDS needs something to go wrong with the Audi to have a chance of winning. #23 ROWE Racing Mercedes SLS GT3 has just retired with radiator damage. A new entrant into the top ten is #35 Nissan GT Academy Team RJN GT-R GT3.

Update #8

Two hours remaining. 1st placed #28 Audi Sport WRT R8 LMS is only 48 seconds ahead of the #25 Marc VDS BMW Z4 GT3 after taking a brief pitstop a couple of laps ago. The race won't be won on racing or strategy now; Marc VDS needs something to go wrong with the Audi to have a chance of winning.

Update #7

12:45pm. 1-4 is unchanged; 1st placed #28 Audi Sport WRT R8 LMS has a 1:40 minute lead over #25 Marc VDS BMW Z4 GT3. #44 Falken Motorsport Porsche 997 GT3R has dropped to one lap behind the leader. #26 Marc VDS BMW Z4 GT3 took the fastest lap record, with a 8:18.690 on lap 120.

Update #6

10:30am, five and a half hours to go. The order is unchanged by #26 and #5 have swapped places again. 1st placed #28 Audi Sport WRT R8 LMS has extended its lead over #25 Marc VDS BMW Z4 GT3 to 1:36 minute from 59 seconds. It just pulled into the pits but barring any mishaps will likely be in the lead again when #25 pits. The Audi recently recorded the fastest race lap so far: 8:19.728 minutes. #44 Falken Motorsport Porsche 997 GT3R has closed the gap to the top two and is now only four minutes behind the leader.

Just outside the top ten, #35 Nissan GT Academy Team RJN GT-R GT3 and #21 Schulze Motorsport Nissan GT-R GT3 are running 11th and 12th. Top non-GT3 entrant is the #68 Frikadelli Racing Porsche GT Cup America in 14th. Also notable is the 20th place #114 Subaru Tecnica WRX STI, which qualified 44th.

Update #5

8:45am, seven hours to go. #28 Audi Sport WRT R8 LMS still leads with #25 Marc VDS BMW Z4 GT3 now 59 seconds behind. The two cars have been swapping the lead since lap 69, when current 3rd place car #44 Falken Motorsport 997 GT3R led for one lap; #26 Marc VDS BMW Z4 GT3 has taken fourth from #5 Black Falcon Mercedes SLS GT3.

#6 Aston Martin Racing Vantage GT3 has retired from 8th place, but #11 HTP Bentley Continental GT3 has risen back to 8th. #33 Team Premio Mercedes SLS GT3 is still in the top ten, having qualified 30th.

Update #4

It's early morning with just over nine hours to go and the top ten order is little changed since 2am, but only three of the original top ten qualifiers are still leading the field. The top five is unchanged: #28 Audi Sport WRT R8 LMS leads with #25 Marc VDS BMW Z4 GT3 only six seconds behind. #44 Falken Motorsport 997 GT3R is 3rd; #5 Black Falcon Mercedes SLS GT3 is fourth but is one lap behind; #26 Marc VDS BMW Z4 GT3 is 5th.

#6 Aston Martin Racing Vantage GT3 has climbed to 8th from 9th, and #11 HTP Bentley Continental GT3 has slipped to 9th from 7th. #33 Team Premio Mercedes SLS GT3 is a new entrant in the top ten, having qualified 30th.

Update #3

Ten hours in and after losing #1 Audi the order has been shaken up. #28 Audi Sport WRT R8 LMS has moved to first from tenth. Marc VDS has BMW Z4 GT3s in 2nd and 5th positions. #44 Falken Motorsport 997 GT3R has been climbing the ranks and is 3rd. #7 and #6 Aston Martin Racing Vantage GT3s have entered the top ten.

#1 and #4 Audi Sport Phoenix R8 LMS have both been lost to accidents, and Team Schubert has retired both of its cars - #19 and #20 BMW Z4 GT3s. Bentley Motorsport's #84 is also out and its #85 is way down the field.

Update #2

After three hours #5 Black Falcon Mercedes SLS GT3 is leading, coming up from 18th qualifying position. #26 Marc VDS BMW Z4 GT3 is just heading into the pits; it is the first of the leaders to take three stops. The Porsches are coming: Sabine Schmitz is driving for Frikadelli Racing and their 997 GT3R is 3rd, up from 14th qualifying position, and #44 Falken Motorsports 997 GT3R is currently ninth. It rained early on in the race but is currently dry.

Update #1

Qualifying

Full qualifying result

Previous winners

All three winning teams are based at the Nürburgring and are regular N24 entrants. My detailed report of the 2014 race can be found here.

More links

Nurburgring #N24H Twitter feed

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Preparation

At the Ring

Safety

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