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Nürburgring Endurance

Nürburgring Post-Race Notebook

Sportscar365’s post-race notebook after the 50th edition Nürburgring 24…

Photo: Audi Sport

***With its sixth Nürburgring 24 victory, Phoenix Racing matched the distance record it set in 2014. Christopher Haase, Christian Mamerow, Rene Rast and Markus Winkelhock completed 159 laps, exactly the same number as achieved by this year’s winning squad.

***Robin Frijns, Frederic Vervisch, Dries Vanthoor and Kelvin van der Linde also completed exactly 100 laps more than 2021 winners Kevin Estre, Michael Christensen and Matteo Cairoli, who won the shortest ever edition of the N24 for Manthey Racing.

***The winning Audi Sport Team Phoenix crew battled a power steering issue for most of the race. This was the reason why the Phoenix mechanics removed the No. 15 Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II’s engine cover for an inspection at each pit stop.

***Kelvin van der Linde explained the problem: “The pump was leaking some oil and we lost some power steering, so we were topping up at every stop. It was quite alarming at the beginning of the race, because we were not sure that we would nurse it for 20 hours.”

***Van der Linde added that his route to N24 glory was a personal “rollercoaster” that required high mental fortitude considering that he crashed out of the race in Phoenix Racing’s No. 5 car before taking the No. 15 machine to the checkered flag. “I’m sorry for that [No. 5] crew because they now have to see us on the podium winning,” he said.

***Audi has now scored six victories in the N24, which moves it clear of Ford as number three in the list of manufacturers with the most wins. It still lacks a long way behind BMW and Porsche, which hold 20 and 13 wins respectively.

 ***GetSpeed Performance was the first team to get two of its cars on the N24 podium without winning since fellow Mercedes-AMG outfit Black Falcon finished second and third in 2018.

***Despite a competitive run from GetSpeed, Mercedes-AMG continued a winless streak at the N24, which stands as the longest of the four major German manufacturers. It has now gone six years without a victory, having last won with Black Falcon in 2016.

***Adam Christodoulou, one of the drivers in that 2016 winning lineup, finished second overall. “GetSpeed has done a brilliant job with supplying us with a crazy quick car so we were able to push and we were able to close the gap,” the Brit told Sportscar365. “It’s just when there are changeable weather conditions, it’s always going to be a little bit of a gamble and a little bit of a tough pill to swallow but we’ll learn from it and we’ll come back stronger next year.”

***Fans turned up in their droves for the first N24 without capacity restrictions since 2019. Event organizer ADAC Nordrhein announced an attendance of 230,000 spectators over the weekend.

***In a traditional part of the N24, fans stood trackside for parts of the formation lap to wave the field around the Nordschleife.

***Aston Martin Racing has published onboard footage of Nicki Thiim’s accident that caused TF Sport to retire after just over seven hours. The Danish driver reported oil on the track surface before sliding off the road at Galgenkopf.

***Another car to crash at the same corner, albeit in the final hour, was the KCMG Porsche 911 GT3 R driven by Dennis Olsen. The team is investigating the cause: “It didn’t appear to be a mechanical failure; maybe something was on the track,” team manager Matt Howson said. “He just had a sudden slide coming onto the Dottinger Hohe. We’ve had incidents with oil in the night, so this could have been a factor. But we haven’t seen the onboard video yet.”

***KCMG had a turbulent weekend that started with a toe link problem in qualifying that saw it fail to reach the crucial top-20 shootout. After patching that, it then had an accident in the warmup that caused mainly cosmetic damage, before encountering an engine mount failure during the race due to repeated bashing. “All of this contact has clearly caused a failure and we were just on the back foot,” Howson assessed. “It was just a very testing day.”

***Manthey was one of a number of high-profile Porsche entries to hit trouble, which resulted in only a single 911 finishing in the top 10. This was Falken Motorsports’ No. 33 car.

***Konrad Motorsport’s Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo was the only non-German car in the top 10. Jordan Pepper drove it to the line, following home fellow South African van der Linde. Pepper went over to congratulate his compatriot during a post-race TV interview.

***As wished for by several drivers before the weekend, this edition of the N24 ran without any red flag interruptions. In both 2020 and 2021, the race was red-flagged due to adverse weather, although rain played a factor in determining the overall winner.

***Frijns captured his first N24 victory, having been the only driver out of the winning quartet not to have won it previously. The Dutchman came close in 2017 when he notably lost out to none other than future teammate van der Linde on the final lap of the race.

***In contrast, Vervisch, Vanthoor and van der Linde all won their second N24 crowns. Van der Linde captured his maiden win with Land-Motorsport in 2017 while Vervisch and Vanthoor were part of Phoenix Racing’s 2019 triumph.

***The trio joins an exclusive club of drivers that have won the Eifel classic twice. Other two-time winners include Bernd Schneider, Lucas Luhr, Uwe Alzen, Roberto Ravaglia and the late Sabine Schmitz.

***The Glickenhaus 004C finished 12th overall in its third N24. Franck Mailleux was running in the top 10 when he had an accident after contact with another car at around 1:30 a.m. The impact ripped off the diffuser and bumped Glickenhaus back down the order.

***Team owner Jim Glickenhaus told Sportscar365 that the SCG 004C will not be present at the remainder of this year’s NLS rounds in a factory capacity but he hasn’t ruled out that the car could make an appearance in customer hands.

***Two FIA World Endurance Championship Hypercar entrants converged in one of the pit garages, as Glickenhaus shared working space with a car driven by a team of Stellantis executives including Jean-Marc Finot, who is the head of Peugeot’s LMH program.

***The No. 89 Opel Astra Cup that Finot shared with Jean Philippe Imparato, Carlos Tavares and Francois Wales finished 79th overall and fifth in the SP3 class. 

***Tavares, the CEO of Stellantis, had a scare in the night when he collided with the stationary No. 44 Falken Porsche. The Porsche had been tagged into a spin by Audi Sport Team Car Collection’s Nico Mueller, who received a hefty stop-hold penalty.

***Several key Audis incurred penalties during the race. Car Collection’s No. 22 machine was handed a 32-second penalty later on for not respecting flag signals. The No. 16 Phoenix Audi took the same type of penalty in hour 18, en route to finishing 5th. There was also a two and a half minute stop-hold for Phoenix’s No. 5 car, also for disrespecting flags. And finally, the winning Phoenix R8 took an inconsequential 32-second post-race time penalty for having the engine running while refueling at the last pit stop.

***Class winners in some of the other categories included one-two finishes for Doerr Motorsport (SP8T) and Toyota Gazoo Racing Team Thailand (SP3). The AT class for cars with alternative fuel was won by the No. 320 Four Motors Bioconcept-Car Porsche 991 GT3 Cup.

***Out of 129 cars to start the race, 93 of them were classified as finishers. The lowest classified car was Ring Racing’s No. 84 Toyota GR Supra GT4, which was notably driven by former overall podium finisher Lance David Arnold.

***The fan-favorite No.118 Dacia Logan, which raced in the SP3 class, reached the finish and was classified in 88th overall. It finished 67 laps off the leading GT3 runners and set a personal best lap time of 1:11.41.713.

***Aside from the winning Audi, eight other SP9 cars assumed the overall lead of the race at some point throughout the 24 hours. These include Octane126’s pole-sitting Ferrari, the Konrad Lamborghini, ROWE Racing’s No. 99 BMW, TF Sport’s Aston Martin, the Manthey Porsche, Schubert Motorsport’s BMW, the No. 22 Car Collection Audi and the No. 3 GetSpeed Mercedes-AMG.

***There were reports on social media from viewers who tuned into the YouTube live stream of the race start, only to be later notified that the broadcast was geo-blocked. Sportscar365 understands that the initial ability to view the race in restricted territories was accidentally permitted and subsequently corrected. YouTube streaming of the race was unavailable in some markets including the U.S. where MotorTrend hosted the coverage. This deal was in place before the event.

Daniel Lloyd contributed to this report

Davey Euwema is Sportscar365's European Editor. Based in The Netherlands, Euwema covers the FIA World Endurance Championship, European Le Mans Series and Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS, among other series.

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