***Manthey Racing captured Porsche’s 13th win a the Nürburgring 24 and delivered the Stuttgart manufacturer’s fourth consecutive victory in endurance races on the Nordschleife, off the back of recent successes in two NLS rounds and the qualifying race. Manthey has accounted for the last seven Porsche N24 wins.
***Kevin Estre and Michael Christensen have now won the three major European 24-hour races at the Nürburgring, Spa and Le Mans. Their co-driver Matteo Cairoli, who turned 25 last week, notched up the first major 24-hour race victory of his career.
***The youngest member of the Manthey crew also became the first Italian to win the Nürburgring 24 since Roberto Ravaglia in 1995, before Cairoli was born.
***Porsche took a sweep of the SP9 classes as Huber Motorsport successfully defended its SP9 Pro-Am class win from last year. Phoenix Racing’s No. 5 Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo and the Phoenix/WTM Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020 completed that podium.
***GetSpeed Performance had its best N24 outing to date and captured its maiden outright podium. The Nürburgring-based team made its event debut in 2014 with Porsche but now runs Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evos. It became a works-supported team in 2020.
***The heat of competition spilled over onto social media for Phoenix Racing’s Nicki Thiim and GetSpeed’s Raffaele Marciello, after a touch from the Mercedes-AMG driver caused a series of events that resulted in the No. 11 Audi spinning around in the battle for sixth. Thiim expressed his displeasure at the move on Twitter, to which Marciello responded.
***Marciello somewhat made amends for that controversy with a late pass on Sven Mueller’s Falken Porsche at Aremberg to plant GetSpeed’s No. 7 AMG on the podium.
***Philipp Eng described the issue that caused ROWE Racing to retire its No. 1 BMW M6 GT3: “Out of Karussell I realized there was an issue, but I was behind the Glickenhaus so I thought maybe it was the turbulence in the dirty air,” he said. “There was an oscillation and it wouldn’t accelerate as well anymore. Then I drove through Hohe Acht and Wippermann and realized there was an issue. I just didn’t have the engine power anymore. In the end, it was something to do with the electronics.”
***The timing of ROWE’s pit stop before the red flag caused that stop not to be recognized, due to the red flag results being taken when Nick Yelloly crossed the start-finish line whilst entering the pits. This, combined with Eng’s stint after the red flag, rolled two ROWE stints rolled into one. With minimum pit stop times hinging on stint length, ROWE was dealt a significant setback: “We only did two laps before the red flag came out, and everybody was allowed to fuel 20 liters,” said Eng. “So we basically had a full tank of fuel. Then we did seven or eight laps, but basically we did 14 laps. [The stop] felt like forever: the clock was five minutes.”
***After the various issues for its sister car, ROWE’s No. 98 BMW upheld the German team’s recent N24 form with a fourth podium finish in five outings.
***Marco Wittmann praised his starting co-driver for hauling the No. 98 from 25th on the grid up to 10th in the first half-hour, paving the way for a good run. “Martin Tomczyk has certainly laid the foundation for second place with his outstanding first stint,” said Wittmann. “This result is a nice farewell present to our BMW M6 GT3 with which we started this race for the last time this year.”
***Haupt Racing Team split the tire strategies of its Mercedes-AMG Team cars at the start. The No. 4 car ran away from the field with Luca Stolz on cut slicks, while the No. 6 was put on wets during the formation lap in anticipation of rain. “Unfortunately, it didn’t rain enough in this first stint,” said team principal Sean Paul Breslin. “However, we were able to catch up with the top 10 again until the race suspension and we were still on the way forward after the restart.”
***HRT’s No. 6 car retired after Hubert Haupt went off at Klosteral with two and a half hours to go. The victory-contending No. 4 Bilstein car crashed from second at Tiergarten.
***The Glickenhaus 007 Le Mans Hypercar turned its first public lap in a demonstration before Saturday’s race start. Franck Mailleux was at the wheel for the presentation run ahead of the American automaker’s FIA World Endurance Championship debut at Portimao this weekend.
***Glickenhaus used the red flag to fix an issue that caused Richard Westbrook to spin out in the sixth hour. The SCG 004C placed 20th overall in its second N24 appearance.
***Schaeffler Paravan CEO Roland Arnold hailed the 16th-place finish of Space Drive Racing’s steer-by-wire Mercedes-AMG GT3 as an “important milestone” for the project. “You don’t get the bumps in your wrist,” said Philip Ellis, who started the race on full wet tires. “It’s a bit more responsive. You get more feedback from the car and perceive everything a little differently, not through the steering wheel.”
***Johannes Scheid drove a lap of honor for the late Sabine Schmitz, who passed away aged 51 in March, before Top Qualifying on Friday. Scheid won the N24 alongside Schmitz in 1996 and 1997. His lap came at the wheel of a BMW M3 E36 ‘Eifelblitz’ replica.
***The winning Manthey Racing Porsche carried Schmitz’s name, first initial and a German flag alongside the other members of the team’s driving crew.
***Tiago Monteiro and Jean-Karl Vernay, who finished third and second in the TCR category, shared out the wins in the pair of FIA WTCR races. TCR class honors went to Marc Basseng, Manuel Lauck and Moritz Oestreich in the No. 830 Hyundai Elanta N TCR.
***A full class-by-class breakdown of final results can be found here.
***The Nürburgring and race organizer ADAC Nordrhein jointly announced on the starting grid that the N24 event has been extended for another five years, taking it to 2028. Dates for next year (May 26-29) and 2023 (May 18-21) have already been set.
***Race organizer Mirco Hansen commented: “We have just seen in the two corona years how important this mega-event is for the entire region. That’s why we’re happy to now be able to plan until at least 2028. This gives everyone involved – teams, drivers and partners in the world’s greatest race – long-term security.”
***The next endurance race at the Nordschleife is the NLS four-hour contest on June 26. This will feature the debut of the BMW M4 GT3.