***Nicky Catsburg, Alexander Sims and Nick Yelloly all became first-time Nürburgring 24 winners, as well as the first trio to take victory in the race since Pedro Lamy, Peter Zakowski and Robert Lechner in 2002.
***Their win was a landmark occasion for BMW in several ways. The Munich manufacturer notched up its 20th overall victory in the race, while it also triumphed on the 50th anniversary of its first win at the inaugural running of the event.
***Despite being shown on the entry list, Philipp Eng did not drive the winning No. 99 ROWE Racing BMW M6 GT3. The Austrian instead focused on the No. 98 car which he shared with Marco Wittmann and Tom Blomqvist.
***Lucas Auer was supposed to drive the No. 98 machine and the DTM race winner was at the Nürburgring, but a BMW spokesperson told Sportscar365 that ROWE decided to utilize its more experienced Nordschleife drivers in the extreme conditions for the available racing time. Therefore, Eng assumed Auer’s place in the lineup, creating trios in both ROWE entries.
***The winning car’s total of 85 laps was the second-lowest number achieved in Nürburgring 24 history. The shortest lap count remains that of the rain-affected 1992 edition, during which the victorious BMW M3 completed only 76 laps of the Nordschleife.
***Sheldon van der Linde reckoned BMW Team Schnitzer could have made it a BMW one-two had it not received a 32-second stop/hold penalty for failing to comply with its minimum pit stop time by 0.1 seconds. Van der Linde helped bring Schnitzer into podium contention, charging into second as one of the first to switch to drying wet tires with around five and a half hours to go.
“It would have been close for P2 I think,” van der Linde told Sportscar365. “In the end, we missed one minute to P1, which was slightly out of reach.”
***The No. 1 Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo that led into the overnight red flag period underwent a precautionary gearbox change during the stoppage after the Audi Sport Team Phoenix crew noticed a missed shift coming up on their data.
***Despite Marco Mapelli’s brilliant drive into third position from 23rd on the grid in the opening stages, Konrad Motorsport’s N24 ended in disappointment after its Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo suffered a terminal oil leak in the third hour.
“We wanted to go to the car [at Ex-Mühle] but then we turned around again because the race management said that you couldn’t get there and the car would be brought back into the pits,” said team principal Franz Konrad. “So far everything had been correct, it’s a real shame.”
***Italian challengers Lamborghini and Ferrari couldn’t match the reliability and sheer numbers of the major German brands, which continue to dominate at the N24. Racing One had the highest-placed Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo, 14 laps down in 44th position.
***After losing the lead in an incident, the No. 9 GetSpeed Performance Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo faced yet more drama during a turbulent race for Raffaele Marciello, Fabian Schiller, Maximilian Buhk and Maximilian Goetz. Their car was ordered to serve a stop/hold penalty for Goetz spinning a GT4 car around before Schiller crashed out at Hatzenbach with two and a half hours left.
***The No. 8 GetSpeed AMG’s race essentially ended before it could begin when a gearbox failure struck after less than an hour. The team’s other car, the No. 10 Pro-Am entry, finished 17th.
***10Q Racing Team had an encouraging 24-hour race debut with its Mercedes-AMG until its retirement late in the day. Daniel Juncadella told Sportscar365 that his co-driver Kenneth Heyer clipped the barrier on the kink leading to the Karussell before parking up on the high-side of the banked corner.
***A total of 11 SP9 cars retired from the race or were not classified at the finish, while 18 made it to the end.
***Lars Kern was critical of the time penalty issued to his Frikadelli Racing Team Porsche 911 GT3 R for Mathieu Jaminet “pushing another car repeatedly”, which dropped the Porsche from sixth to seventh after the race. The call referred to Jaminet’s attempts at regaining third place from Eng in the No. 98 ROWE BMW.
“What we do here we do for the fans and this [action] is what we want to see,” voiced Kern. “If we get a penalty for something like this, it’s just really stupid.”
***ROWE Racing’s No. 98 BMW received a hefty time penalty of its own equating to 77 seconds for not respecting the minimum pit time. However, Marco Wittmann finished far enough up the road from Dries Vanthoor to keep hold of fourth position.
***The Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus SCG 004S road car, which is based on the American automaker’s 004C racer that debuted this weekend, appeared in public for the first time on Friday. Company founder Jim Glickenhaus drove the car on a lap of the Nordschleife and onto the grid to present the Glickenhaus Pole Trophy before the start of the race.
***SCG’s 004C model earned a top-15 overall finish with Franck Mailleux, Thomas Mutsch, Felipe Fernandez Laser and late addition Richard Westbrook.
***Dan Harper described winning the SP8T class in the highest-placed GT4 car as a “dream come true” for the BMW Junior Team development program which also includes Max Hesse and Neil Verhagen.
“Getting our permits in the M240i Racing at NLS 1, that was the first tick, said Harper. “And then to win NLS 3 in the 240 was another surprise and another tick, but it’s all been working towards this event to get this result. To be 19th overall as the first non-GT3 car is quite an achievement.”
***Among the other class winners were Huber Motorsport (SP9 Pro-Am, SP7), Black Falcon Team TEXTAR (CUP 3), Pixum CFN Team Adrenalin Motorsport (KI. Cup, V2T), Hofor Racing by Bonk Motorsport (SP10), and the No. 149 BMW E90 325i (V4).
***The four-car TCR category was won by the Honda Civic TCR driven by Esteban Guerrieri, Dominik Fugel, Markus Oestreich and Tiago Monteiro.
***Decorated GT racing outfit Garage 59 took a class podium on its N24 debut with Darren Turner, Jonny Adam, Chris Goodwin and Alexander West finishing third in SP8T with their Aston Martin Vantage GT8R.
***View a full class-by-class breakdown of the results here.
***The SP3T-class Opel Astra Cup that included Peugeot executives Carlos Tavares, Jean-Philippe Imparato and Francois Wales among its driver lineup crashed out heavily with three hours to go. Herbie Schmidt tangled with the No. 304 KKramer Racing CUP 3 Porsche heading through Eiskurve, which resulted in both cars careening into the barriers. The drivers walked away
***Maxime Martin was feeling relaxed, if a little worn out, having achieved consecutive high finishes in the 24-hour races at Le Mans – which he won with Aston Martin Racing – and the Nürburgring 24 which he contested with Frikadelli. “For sure it’s tiring but we also have the 24 Hours of Spa test now, so still going,” Martin told Sportscar365. “A good night’s sleep will be nice.”
***Frikadelli’s Porsche is heading straight to Spa for the official test starting on Tuesday. Other teams heading to Belgium include ROWE Racing, Haupt Racing Team and KCMG.
***The next major GT3 endurance race at the Nordschleife is the four-hour sixth round of the NLS, taking place on the same October 24-25 weekend as Spa. The 49th edition of the Nürburgring 24 is bookmarked for June 3-6 next year.