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136 Cars for Nürburgring 24 Including 33 in Top Category

136-car grid for Nürburgring 24 including more than 30 cars in top SP9 division…

Photo: Gruppe C Photography

A field of 33 GT3 cars will line up in the headlining SP9 class at next weekend’s Nürburgring 24 as part of a 136-vehicle entry list for the Nordschleife enduro.

The SP9 grid includes the four major German manufacturers BMW, Mercedes-AMG, Porsche and defending winner Audi, as well as Aston Martin, Ferrari and Lamborghini.

Porsche and Mercedes-AMG are the best-represented brands in SP9 with seven cars each, although all of the new Porsche 911 GT3 Rs are racing in the higher Pro division while three Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evos are running in Pro-Am.

The Porsche contingent includes seven-time N24 winner Manthey EMA with its factory lineup of Kevin Estre, Michael Christensen, Frederic Makowiecki and Thomas Preining.

Laurens Vanthoor, who drove for Manthey last year, is now with Dinamic GT alongside Ayhancan Guven, Christian Engelhart and Porsche Junior Laurin Heinrich.

Lionspeed by Car Collection has factory aces Matt Campbell and Mathieu Jaminet on its roster, while Falken Motorsports is again bringing two Porsches. Rutronik Racing and Huber Motorsport are also involved, whereas KCMG has switched to SP10 this year.

Mercedes-AMG has four SP9 Pro cars, split equally between GetSpeed Performance and Haupt Racing Team.

Both of GetSpeed’s lineups are the same as last year when Adam Christodoulou, Maximilian Goetz and Fabian Schiller finished third and Jules Gounon, Daniel Juncadella and Maro Engel took third.

HRT has also retained Raffaele Marciello, Philip Ellis and Luca Stolz, while the Bilstein-backed team’s second car contains drivers from outside the Mercedes-AMG factory pool.

All six Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo IIs are racing in SP9 Pro, with two-thirds of them competing under the Audi Sport Team banner denoting enhanced factory support.

The factory quartet includes an extra car for Audi Sport Team Scherer PHX that will be driven by past DTM champions Martin Tomczyk, Timo Scheider and Mike Rockenfeller.

The collaborative effort between Scherer and Phoenix Racing also includes the No. 1 works-assisted Audi which counts Frederic Vervisch as part of the driver lineup.

Vervisch is the only member of Phoenix’s winning crew from last year who has remained with Audi. Dries Vanthoor and Kelvin van der Linde, who won in 2022 alongside Vervisch and Robin Frijns, are driving BMW and Lamborghini machinery this time around.

ROWE Racing and the RMG-operated Junior Team are fielding all-factory lineups from BMW. Walkenhorst Motorsport adds to the BMW M4 GT3 charge with a pair of Pro cars.

The hopes of the non-German manufacturers this year are carried by the likes of Ferrari squad Frikadelli Racing Team, which won at the N24 Qualifiers, and ABT Sportsline which has Lamborghini factory drivers Marco Mapelli and Jordan Pepper in its crew alongside van der Linde and Nicki Thiim.

Frikadelli, which receives support from Rinaldi Racing, is entering one of three Ferrari 296 GT3s in the race but is the Italian marque’s only representative in SP9 Pro.

Earl Bamber, Nicky Catsburg, David Pittard and Felipe Fernandez Laser — who previously drove for the now-absent Glickenhaus squad — form the Frikadelli quartet.

Aston Martin’s representation consists of single-car entries from continental customer teams Doerr Motorsport and PROSport Racing after TF Sport flew the flag last year.

Outside of the headlining SP9 field, there are several GT4 cars signed up in SP10 including BMWs, Aston Martins, Mercedes-AMGs and Toyotas including the GR Supra GT4 EVO run by KCMG. The GT4-spec Porsches compete in their own categories.

Haupt Racing Team and Schnitzelalm Racing are giving the new Mercedes-AMG GT2 its N24 debut in the SP-X class.

One of the TCR entries from Hyundai Motorsport features the all-American lineup of Mason Filippi, Harry Gottsacker, Taylor Hagler and Michael Lewis. There is also an Opel Astra TCR being driven by Stellantis executives including the group’s CEO Carlos Tavares.

Other notable entries in a typically eclectic field include a factory Subaru WRX, a Mini Cooper Works from Bulldog Racing, and the fan-favorite Opel Manta and Dacia Logan.

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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