24 Hours Nürburgring
The 24 Hours Nürburgring is a touring car and GT endurance racing event on the Nürburgring Nordschleife (north loop). With a lap length of over 25 km (15.5 mi), it allows the participation of more than 200 cars, and over 700 drivers.
Officially called ADAC 24h Rennen Nürburgring in German, it was introduced in 1970 by the ADAC as a real race, unlike the earlier endurance contests that covered 12h, 24h (in 1961 and 1967), 36h, 84h and even 96h, like the Marathon de la Route. This substitute for the Liége-Rome-Liége and Liége-Sofia-Liège rallies was held on the Nürburgring from 1965 to 1971.
It is similar to the Spa 24 Hours, which had been introduced in 1924, following the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The ADAC had held its first 1000 km Nürburgring sports car racing event in 1953. As the 1000 km Spa had been introduced in 1966, the 24h at the Ring gave both circuits a pair of endurance racing events at very long tracks, at least until Spa was shortened in the late 1970s.
Just like the VLN series with its 4 hour races, the 24h race is mainly aimed at amateurs, in order to fill a starting field of around 200 cars. Unlike the VLN races, the 24h is officially an international event, with bilingual (German and English) organization, paper work etc. For each car, an entry fee of €4508 (as per 2010) has to be paid, plus €3000 in advance for fuel. Typical entries range from second hand standard road cars to European Touring Car Championship vehicles and GT3 sports cars like the Porsche 911 GT3. The participation of manufactures and professional teams and drivers has varied over the decades. As spectator numbers had dropped in the 1990s when only rather standard FIA Group N cars competed, more spectacular vehicles were admitted since 1999, like the Zakspeed Chrysler Viper GTS-R which originally was built by Oreca to FIA GT2-spec, turbo-charged Porsche, modified Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters cars from Opel and Abt Sportsline-Audi, and the Schnitzer Motorsport-entered BMW M3 GTR V8 that had been run in the 2001 American Le Mans Series.
Due to various changes and versions of the Grand Prix Strecke, the overall length of the track varied from the original 22.835 km (14.189 mi) to nearly 26 km (16.2 mi) of the maximum length configuration which was in use in 2002 and 2003, after the GP track had been extended by the Mercedes Arena. As this section and its large paved run-off areas was useful as extra paddock zone for the competitors of the support races, it is bypassed with a sharp Z-shape chicane since 2005 for a 25.3 km (15.7 mi) track length.
For practice, 230 cars are allowed, 210 qualify for the race, driven by 800 or more drivers, as 2, 3 or 4 can share a car. One driver is allowed to drive 150 minutes nonstop, and can enter on two cars, yet a rest time of at least 2 hours has to be observed between two turns.
Unlike the two previous races, held on Ascension Day weekend in May in rainy and very cold weather, the 2006 event was run in warm, sunny and dry conditions on Corpus Christi (feast) weekend of June 17–18. Pure factory teams that challenged for the overall win were absent, yet Aston Martin and Maserati had entered factory-backed cars to promote their products, reminding of three overall wins each in the 1000 km Nürburgring decades ago. The Aston Martin car with Aston CEO Ulrich Bez finished 4th in class and 24th overall.
Due to good conditions and stiff competition by similar cars, a new overall distance record (3,832 km (2,381 mi) in 151 laps) was scored by the Porsche 996 GT3 of Manthey Racing that already had been the best privateer team in the previous three years. This team is partially supported by Porsche, though, with factory drivers, a 3.8L 500 PS (370 kW; 490 hp) engine and a sequential gear box. Second place finishers Jürgen Alzen/Uwe Alzen/Klaus Ludwig/Christian Abt of teamJürgen Alzen Motorsport was only one lap down and have beaten the old record, too. They used a conventional gear box and a privately built 3.8L 500PS engine. The third of three fastest Porsche, the Wolfgang Land Motorsport 911, had suffered a fiery failure of its standard 3.6L Porsche 911 GT3-RSR race engine after 21 hours, yet was classified as 14th with 133 laps.
A remarkable 5th place overall was scored by a BMW 120d, which has roughly half the power of some cars it has beaten. It was driven by Claudia Hürtgen (2005 VLN champion), Marc Hennerici (2005 privateer WTCC champion), Johannes Stuck (son of Hans-Joachim Stuck) and team owner Torsten Schubert.
For the 2007 event held on Corpus Christi weekend of June 7–10, more than 260 teams had applied for the 220 race entries. Prior to the start which had been scheduled for 15:00, an approaching thunderstorm made the organizers delay the beginning of the race. Lightning struck the camp of fans, injuring several, while heavy rain made the track muddy. At 16:51, the race was started after two laps behind a safety car. Veteran Klaus Ludwig at the wheel of the Aston Martin DBRS9 which had been given the number 007 took the lead in wet conditions, but hesitating too long with the change to dry tyres, the favorite Manthey team took the lead in their new Porsche 997 GT3-RSR. More weather related drama occurred in the night, when the race was interrupted due to fog for six hours, thus it was an 18h race only.
When the race resumed, the Land Porsche 996 GT3-RSR was slightly damaged when hitting the back of the Manthey car, and the Aston Martin engine failed. Thus the Manthey team could easily defend its 2006 victory. The reliable, yet no more fast enough Zakspeed Dodge Viper GTS-R came in second, with the Alzen brothers Porsche Cayman in 4th and the BMW Z4 M-Coupe 5th.
Remarkable performances were the top ten finishes of a VW Golf 5, an Opel Astra GTC and a BMW 130i, and the 13th place of a Hyundai Coupe V6 piloted by ex British Touring Car racer Peter Cate.
For the 2008, over 270 cars were entered, of which only 230 could be accepted. The race began in sunny weather with drama for the favorite Porsche teams of Manthey and Land, losing time with a leaky radiator and a tire failure, and the new Alzen 997 Turbo and the Zakspeed Viper battling for the lead. After the Viper was out, only the BMW Z4 of Claudia Hürtgen, pole setter and winner of the recent VLN race, could challenge the Porsche armada and lead for some laps, but it crashed during the night.
Manthey could catch up and win the race for a third time in a row, with the winning car of 2006 (a 996 model) finishing 2nd. The triumph made the team mechanics cut off Olaf Manthey's famous moustache tips. Sabine Schmitz came in third, also on a Porsche 997. A strong showing among the high powered cars gave the three new Volkswagen Scirocco, finishing 9th and 12th, with veteran Hans Joachim Stuck driving both cars.
For 2009, the organizers announced that they wanted to reduce the gap in speeds, by not accepting small capacity cars any more, and by slowing down the fastest classes, SP7 and SP8. Also, the new FIA GT3 and FIA GT4 classes were adopted, called SP9 and SP10. Some of the new rules are controversial, especially the fact that instead of the regular fuel pumps as used in any public station, the top teams have to use expensive equipment designed to equal the times needed to refill, meaning that an economic car is punished compared to a thirsty car. Due to the various rule changes, some teams have declined to take part, namely Zakspeed with their Viper.
Probably also due to the economic crisis, the number of entries is much lower than in previous years, with only 170 cars starting the race. Surprisingly, the pole was set by a Ford GT, followed closely by the four factory-entered Audi R8 LMS and two Porsche GT3 of the Manthey team. They have decided to enter their well-known RSR, which is basically a GT2 car, but now has about 70 hp less due to new air restrictors, and also a 997 GT3 Cup S, the version Porsche homologated for FIA GT3. For the first 19 hours, two of the Audis and the two Manthey Porsche battled for the lead within a lap, the pace likely to result in a new distance record. The Manthey #1 had been punished for approaching an accident site too quickly and had to wait 3 minutes in the box, but the decision was reverted later based on data logging evidence, with the lost time deducted from the results. Around 11:30, the #99 Audi which had a narrow lead was stopped by suspension problems. Following repairs this car finished in 5th position. This left the #97 Audi in second, and with the win in its class, 5 minutes behind the overall winner.
The 2010 event on Ascension Day weekend of May 13–16 saw a return of most prominent entries, except the Ford GT, as team Raeder had discontinued this project. To give teams time to rest or for repairs before the race, the night practice was scheduled on Thursday evening. In cold and wet conditions, the Farnbacher-entered Ferrari F430 GTC set the best lap time before the session was red-flagged due to fog. In Friday afternoon qualifying, held in fair weather, it crashed out and was barely repaired in time for the race. Four of the five factory-backed Audi R8 LMS (officially entered by "customers", which happen to be the Audi-DTM-teams Phoenix Racing and Abt Sportsline) occupied the first four places on the grid, with Marco Werner setting pole at 8:24.753 with a new record average speed of 181 km/h (112 mph). With lap times around 8:29, three of Porsche's new SP9/GT3-class cars occupied places 5 to 7, two of them entered by four-time winner Team Manthey, which had chosen to let the #1 car do only a single lap. BMW had entered two of their ALMS BMW M3 GT2, run by Schnitzer Motorsport. Due to the modifications that include a transaxle gear box, they do not comply to the standard rules set of SP classes and their "Balance of Performance". Along with a factory-entered Porsche GT3 Hybrid, the GT2-BMWs have thus been grouped into the E1-XP class for experimental factory entries. The better BMW and the Hybrid posted times of 8:32 and 8:34 in qualifying. Save for the 16th placed GT3-class Dodge Viper, only several other Porsche, Audi R8 and V8-powered BMW Z4 GT3 have qualified in the top 20, with times up to 8:47, which earns them a blue flash light that is supposed to facilitate passing of the approx. 180 slower cars.
Porsche test driver Walter Röhrl had intended to enter on a standard road legal Porsche 911 GT3 RS, but had to withdraw due to health reasons from the team that comprises racers Roland Asch and Patrick Simon, plus journalists Horst von Saurma and Chris Harris. The car, entered in cooperation with sport auto (Germany), is registered as S-GO 2400, and was driven from Weissach to Nürburg. It has qualified with 9:15, 42nd overall, and 9th among the 17 SP7 class entrants, only beaten by its race-prepped Porsche 997 siblings.
The race was started on Saturday 3 p.m. in sunny but cold weather. Already on the Grand Prix track, the #1 Manthey Porsche driven by five-time winner Marcel Tiemann passed all Audis, taking the lead and pulling away about 100 m (330 ft) before catching up in lap 2 with the slowest cars of the third group, which were still in their first lap. After lap 3, three Porsche lead ahead of three Audi, a BMW M3 and the Hybrid-Porsche, which due to his larger range could take the lead after the others pitted. The #1 Manthey Porsche led by a couple of minutes until got involved in a collision after seven hours. At halftime, the race is on pace to another distance record, with the Audi #99 leading by a small margin ahead of the Hybrid Porsche, the only remaining representative of his brand in the top 8, which used to be dominated by Porsche in recent years. Places three to eight were occupied by three Audi R8, two BMW, and, rather surprisingly, on p 5 the Ferrari which had started in row 21. The Porsches that occupy most places up to 15th were followed by the CNG-powered Volkswagen Scirocco GT24, the road-legal Porsche GT3 RS and a Nissan Z33. On Sunday morning, the #99 Audi needed a rear axle change, and with less than 5 hours to go, also the second place #2 Audi failed. This left the Hybrid Porsche in a one lap lead ahead of the #25 BMW GT2 with gearbox woes and the Ferrari, until also the Porsche stopped with less than two hours to go. The BMW made it to the finish, giving Pedro Lamy a record-tying fifth win ahead of Ferrari and Audi. The best Porsche, entered by Alzen, finished only sixth, six laps ahead of the Falken Nissan and the road legal GT3.
The class SP4 has been wone by 4 Argentinian drivers on the BMW 325i E92 Coupe of motorsport team Sorg Rennsport. This has been the first victory of Argentinian at the 24h race Nürburgring and the first at all at the Nürburgring since Juan Manuel Fangio!
With Corpus Christi weekend being rather late in 2011 on June 23–26, the 2011 event was held two weeks after the 2011 24 Hours of Le Mans. The first five VLN races of 2011 were won by a factory-entered BMW, a GT3-class Mercedes SLS, a new Ferrari 458, the Hybrid Porsche GT3 and finally an Audi R8 LMS, so at least these five different brands were expected to challenge for the overall win in the 24 hours. In the first qualifying session, the Hankook-sponsored Farnbacher-Ferrari used soft tyres and was about 7 seconds faster than the competitors, lapping at an average speed of over 181 km/h, the fastest since 1983. This earned the team the pole position, but also an extra weight of 25 kg in the pre-race update of the ‘Balance of Performance’. Team Manthey decided to find out in the early stages of the race which class was more effective under the current conditions, entering their four Porsche factory drivers on two yellow and green Porsche 997 GT3: two pilots shared the #11 SP9/GT3-spec ‘R’, which had more power and qualified 8th, two others the #18 SP7/GT2-class ‘RSR’, which had more downforce, but was only 16th on the grid. After a few hours in changing weather conditions, the team retired the ‘R’ to focus on the ‘RSR’ which already had won three times since 2007. Without any problems, it went on to win its fourth Nürburgring 24 Hours, with a new distance record of 156 laps. Second place was taken by another GT2-spec car, the #1 factory BMW M3 GT which had won in 2010. Five GT3 cars of Audi and Mercedes followed. The SP8/GT2-class #2 Ferrari had run into early problems, but set the fastest race lap in the final hours, finishing 8th and James Glickenhaus’ P4/5 Competizione finished 40th, third in the E1-XP2.
After 2010 Sorg Rennsport took the victory in class SP4 again. Gianvito Rossi, Diego Romanini, Alfredo Varini and Alexander Rappold have been the only team in that class, but as it has been the first 24h race for Rossi and Rappold the 122 laps they did and final 78th place overall have been great result!
Year Drivers Car Team Remarks 2011 Marc Lieb
Porsche 997 GT3-RSR Manthey Racing New distance record 156 laps. Record-tying 5th victory for Bernhard 2010 Jörg Müller
BMW M3 GT2 BMW Motorsport
154 laps. Record-tying 5th victory for Lamy 2009 Marc Lieb
Porsche 997 GT3-RSR Manthey Racing New distance record 155 laps, record 5th victory for Tiemann, 4th in a row for Manthey 2008 Marc Lieb
Porsche 997 GT3-RSR Manthey Racing Winner came from 1 lap down up to nearly two laps ahead for victory. 2007 Marc Lieb
Porsche 997 GT3-RSR Manthey Racing Race stopped for about 6h due to fog 2006 Lucas Luhr
Porsche 996 GT3-MR Manthey Racing Officially a private entry, supported by Porsche with drivers. 2005 Pedro Lamy
BMW M3 GTR BMW Motorsport
Final race for the M3 GTR V8. 2004 Dirk Müller
BMW M3 GTR BMW Motorsport
BMW prevails against ABT-Audi in changing weather conditions. 2003 Manuel Reuter
Opel Astra V8 Coupé Phoenix Racing
OPC Team Phoenix
Three factories enter V8 powered race cars: Audi, BMW, Opel. Turbocharged Porsches by Manthey and Alzen. 2002 Peter Zakowski
Chrysler Viper GTS-R Zakspeed 2001 Peter Zakowski
Chrysler Viper GTS-R Zakspeed 2000 Bernd Mayländer
Porsche 911 GT3-R Porsche Zentrum Koblenz Factory backed Porsche effort beats a very heavy Viper, and with 145 laps, the old distance record of 1990. 1999 Peter Zakowski
Chrysler Viper GTS-R Zakspeed Return of powerful cars, with Viper dominating the season. None of the new water-cooled Porsche 996 GT3 is entered yet. 1998 Marc Duez
BMW 320d Schnitzer Motorsport First Diesel victory in a major 24h race. After 28 years, a second win for Stuck, the first winner. 1997 Johannes Scheid
BMW M3 E36 Scheid Motorsport 1996 Johannes Scheid
BMW M3 E36 Scheid Motorsport 1995 Roberto Ravaglia
BMW 320i Team Bigazzi 1994 Karl-Heinz Wlazik
BMW M3 1993 "Tonico de Azevedo"
Porsche 911 Carrera Konrad Motorsport 1992 Johnny Cecotto
BMW M3 Evo. 2 Team Bigazzi Race stopped for hours due to fog. 1991 Joachim Winkelhock
BMW M3 Evo. 2 Schnitzer Motorsport 1990 Altfrid Heger
BMW M3 Evo. 2 Linder Motorsport 144 laps, new distance record. 1989 Emanuele Pirro
BMW M3 Team Bigazzi 1988 Edgar Dören
Porsche 911 Carrera RSR Dören The privateer '74 Porsche beats modern factory-backed turbocharged Fords 1987 Klaus Ludwig
Ford Sierra Cosworth Eggenberger First win by a turbocharged car. 1986 Markus Oestreich
BMW 325i Auto Budde Team 1985 Axel Felder
BMW 635 CSi Auto Budde Team 1984 Axel Felder
BMW 635 CSi Auto Budde Team 1983 (no race due to construction work) 1982 Dieter Gartmann
Ford Capri Eichberg Racing 1981 Helmut Döring
Ford Capri Gilden-Kölsch 1980 Dieter Selzer
Ford Escort RS 2000 Berkenkamp Racing 1979 Herbert Kummle
Ford Escort Cavallo Matras 1978 Fritz Müller
Porsche 911 Carrera Valvoline Deutschland 1977 Fritz Müller
Porsche 911 Carrera 1976 Fritz Müller
Porsche 911 Carrera 1975 (no race due to oil crisis) 1974 (no race due to oil crisis) 1973 Niki Lauda
BMW 3.0 CSL Alpina Race held in two heats of 8h each, with 8h break at midnight. 1972 Helmut Kelleners
BMW 2800 CS Alpina 1971 Ferfried Prinz von Hohenzollern
BMW 2002 Alpina 1970 Hans-Joachim Stuck
BMW 2002 TI Koepchen BMW Tuning 5 wins Timo Bernhard 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011 Pedro Lamy 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2010 Marcel Tiemann 2003, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 4 wins Marc Lieb 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011 Romain Dumas 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011 Fritz Müller 1976, 1977, 1978, 1981 Marc Duez 1992, 1995, 1998, 1999 Peter Zakowski 1997, 1999, 2001, 2002 3 wins Hans-Joachim Stuck 1970, 1998, 2004 Herbert Hechler 1976, 1977, 1978 Klaus Ludwig 1982, 1987, 1999 2 wins Altfrid Heger 1990, 2000 Axel Felder 1984, 1985 Dieter Gartmann 1981, 1982 Frank Katthöfer 1993, 1994 Gerold Pankl 1971, 1972 Hans-Jürgen Tiemann 1997, 1999 Joachim Winkelhock 1990, 1991 Johannes Scheid 1996, 1997 Jörg Müller 2004, 2010 Klaus Niedzwiedz 1982, 1987 Lucas Luhr 2006, 2011 Michael Bartels 2000, 2001 Roberto Ravaglia 1989, 1995 Sabine Reck 1996, 1997 Uwe Alzen 2000, 2010 Winfried Vogt 1979, 1986 1 win Alexander Burgstaller 1995 Andreas Bovensiepen 1998 Andy Priaulx 2005 Armin Hahne 1991 Augusto Farfus 2010 Bernd Mayländer 2000 Boris Said 2005 Christian Danner 1992 Christian Menzel 1998 Clemens Schickentanz 1970 Dieter Selzer 1980 Dirk Müller 2004 Duncan Huisman 2005 Edgar Dören 1988 Emanuele Pirro 1989 Fabien Giroix 1989 Prince Ferfried of Hohenzollern 1971 Frank Schmickler 1990 Franz Geschwendtner 1978 Franz Konrad 1993 Franz-Josef Bröhling 1984 Fred Rosterg 1994 Gerhard Holup 1988 Hans Widmann 1996 Hans-Peter Joisten 1973 Helmut Döring 1981 Helmut Kelleners 1972 Herbert Kummle 1979 Jean-Michel Martin 1992 Johnny Cecotto 1992 Jürgen Hammelmann 1985 Karl Mauer 1979 Karl-Heinz Quirin 1976 Karl-Heinz Wlazik 1994 Kris Nissen 1991 Manuel Reuter 2003 Markus Oestreich 1986 Matthias Schneider 1980 Mike Rockenfeller 2006 Niki Lauda 1973 Örnulf Wirdheim 1993 Otto Rensing 1986 Peter Faubel 1988 Peter Oberndorfer 1984 Robert Lechner 2002 Robert Walterscheid-Müller 1985 Steve Soper 1987 Timo Scheider 2003 Tonico de Azevedo 1993 Wolfgang Wolf 1980
- List of Nordschleife lap times (racing)
- ^ For 2010: 38. ADAC Zurich 24h Rennen resp. 38th ADAC Zurich 24h Race 2010 
- ^ http://homepage.mac.com/frank_de_jong/Pages/Belgian%20Touring%20Car%20Races.html
- ^ As of 2010: Numbers of cars are allowed to start: Practice: 230 cars Race: 3 starting groups with 70 cars each
- ^ http://adac.24h-rennen.de/portals/24h/extern/ResultDB/live.asp
- ^ 
- ^ 911 GT3 R Hybrid Celebrates World Debut in Geneva - Porsche Intelligent Performance makes Racing Cars even More Efficient
- ^ 
- ^ 
- ^ 
- ^ a b http://www.motorsport-xl.de/automobil/tourenwagen/24h_nbr/24h_nbr_00.HTM
- ^ http://homepage.mac.com/frank_de_jong/Races/1973%20Nurburgring%2024hrs.html
- ^ de:Ferfried Prinz von Hohenzollern
- ^ 
- ^ http://www.dunlop.de/de/daten/motorsport/pdf/2000/schickentanz_clemens.pdf
- ^ de:Hans-Peter Koepchen
- Official website of the event
- Information about the event on the official Nürburgring-website
- Road to 24h race Nürburgring Nordschleife 2012
Automobile endurance races 24 hours 12 hours 6 hours 1000 miles 1000 km Other Defunct races are indicated in italics
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