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No Further Action on Final Lap Contact in N24
- Updated: May 29, 2016
There will be no further action between the No. 29 HTP Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT3 and the race-winning No. 4 Black Falcon Mercedes, after the two cars collided while battling for the win on the final lap of the Nürburgring 24, according to AMG.
Head of AMG Customer Sports Jochen Bitzer confirmed to Sportscar365 that Race Control has dismissed HTP’s protest, which was lodged post-race after the two factory backed entries had a coming together in Turn 8 of the Grand Prix track.
Christian Hohenadel and Maro Engel were locked into a frantic down-to-the-wire battle, following a late-race fuel stop for Hohenadel’s then-leading HTP entry, which put him out just marginally ahead of Engel.
Engel made his move for the lead on the final lap, with the two cars making contact.
“[HTP] decided to protest the overtaking but the race director had a look at it and decided no further action,” Bitzer told Sportscar365.
“We already talked to both teams and of course it’s a big race and there was a fight until the end for the victory. Of course if you are in front and finish second in the end you will be disappointed.
“The overtaking was tough and we have to accept what the team did with the protest, but it was decided.”
Engel said post-race he felt that he had to make the move for the win.
“I had a run on him and I was surprised [Hohenadel] didn’t cover the inside line,” he told Sportscar365. “If you get an opportunity to overtake on the last lap, you have to take it.”
Hohenadel crossed the line in second, 5.697 seconds behind Engel, in what was the closest finish in race history.
It also marked a historic 1-2-3-4 sweep for Mercedes, and also the first 24-hour victory for its new Mercedes-AMG GT3.
“First and foremost we are very happy about the overall result, 1-2-3-4 and 6, which is amazing,” Bitzer added. “We put a lot of effort into this over the last year I would say.
“After last year’s race here we decided we have to do something for next year, which is when the project started and it paid off with all the effort from the teams, drivers, our people at HWA.
“That’s a very special moment here at the Nürburgring with the new car. For sure we will celebrate and both teams will be there.”
James Newbold contributed to this report