Congratulations to the Phoenix Racing team on their victory in the Nurburgring 24 hours.
The winning Phoenix Audi R8 V10
The race was as many of the N24 races have been, eventful!
The top 30 shoot out for pole was claimed by the Dorr Motorsport McLaren MP4-12C GT3 setting a staggering lap of 8:10, this roughly equates to a 6:35 Nordschleife only, very, very quick. The majority of the top 30 was GT3 cars Mercedes SLS, Audi R8 V10, Porsche GT3R, Nissan GTR, McLaren MP4 GT3, BMW Z4 GT3, Aston Martin Vantage V12 GT3 made up the main body of the SP9 catagory and the fastest cars in the race, add in a large helping of Porsche GT3 Cup cars, BMW 235’s, Opel Astra OPC’s, then add in a collection of many other varying marques to make it up to 160+ cars and you have your grid. There is no other race like it in the world.
Pole sitting Dorr Motorsport McLaren
The opening hours were complete carnage, GT3 cars running into each other, GT3 cars running into all the other cars they could find and the barriers, in fact probably the most tweeted comment (#N24 and #N24h) was regarding the extremely aggressive nature of all of the front running GT3 cars and their overtaking, its hardly a surprise and to some extent and it makes it more of a spectacle, but it must have been quite an issue for the slower cars.
The video below shows the SP9 cars overtaking…
The Dorr Motorsport McLarens (No 66) set a phenomenal pace in the early stages of the race only to run into technical issues after a few hours, after this it was always going to be down to the hordes of Mercedes and Audi’s to battle it out. The Porsches seemed to be suffering from lack of numbers next the others but the No44 Falken Motorsport finishing in 4th place was a positive for a team that has had plenty of bad luck before. The Nissan GTRs also suffered from accident damage and technical issues meaning they would be out of the running.
In the later stages of the race the Black Falcon No1 Mercedes SLS and The No4 Phoenix R8 were battling hard, there were other cars pushing hard (No007 Aston Martin and the GTRs once they were cured) but late difficulties for the No1 car resulted in the win for the No4 R8.
The winning Audi battling the Black Falcon SLS
There are plenty of other honorable mentions, the SP3T class that was dominated by the superb Audi TT RS cars, the No144 Opel Manta completing the race again in an impressive 76th and of course the UK journalists in the No100 Aston Martin V8 Vantage (Richard Meaden and Chris Harris) and the No235 BMW 235 (Jethro Bovingdon), these writers should produce some great write ups for their experiences of a unique race.
I have to say how disappointing the coverage of the race was for a UK spectator, only Radio Le Mans live YouTube footage was available (thanks to Radio Le Mans for this), considering 7 days before all of the Le Mans qualifying and race was broadcast in HD on Eurosport it is poor that the N24 was not featured at all. I had a good look at the programming during the time of the race and trust me there was ample less important airtime to feature one of the best races of the year.
Bentley have announced that they intend to participate in 2015 in the SP9 (GT3 cars) category with their Continental GT3, the more the merrier, well, for the spectators at least. Great race again.
The Haribo Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R, one of my favourite from the race