2015 Nurburgring 24 Hours: 21 Hour Update


2015 ADAC Nurburgring 24 Hours (Credit: Tom Loomes Photography)

While the #28 Audi Sport Team WRT started leading the majority of the race, with one less pit stop it became clear that they would have to push if they were going to beat the #25 BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS by the end of the race as the #44 Falken Motorsport car started to fall off the pace.

The #25 and #28 had been swapping for the lead but the #28 had extended his gap as the #44 caught up from behind as the race pushed into its eighteenth hour. After another 2 laps, the second place driver lost another 20 seconds as he was caught out by a 60mph zone.

There was a moment for the #312 BMW M235i as he ran off track, unpressurised, showing that tiredness is setting in further down the field.

It was clear that cars with different strategies were being caught out by the leaders who were running at a different pace. The #29 Audi unlapped himself from the leader however the #25 soon caught back up in the traffic, as a result, the #25 leader made a pitstop to get free air, they also decided to make a driver change during this time. While further round, the #17 BMW diced with the #28 Audi, despite being a lap down.

With 5 hours to go, the #26 found free air to set the fastest lap, but being 3 and a half minutes behind the third place #44 Porsche, it seemed unlikely to make progress. The Porsche itself pitted soon after and swapped Peter Dumbreck with Martin Ragginger in the car, which meant the Porsche had to cover it as well.

A few major issues for the #28 occurred at the end of the grand prix track as it spun off track, it continued but further problems occurred an hour later when it made a mandatory pit stop. The car had another fuel leak and there was a small fire it the pits, despite these problems it continued unaffected.

There was a penalty for the #21 Nissan as it had a 32 second penalty after failing to hold it at its last pit stop.

#5 Mercedes-Benz Black Falcon fell off the pace of the leaders and it became obvious that its race was to keep fifth place from its Mercedes-Benz team mate in the #23. Despite this, the different pit strategy meant that for half an hour it was chasing the fourth place #26 BMW being only 10 seconds down. While it seemed unlikely that they would be unable to keep the pace up, it did allow them to break away from the #23, giving it a gap when it pitted for the 19th time.

Further down the order, in the SP7 category, the #61 Black Falcon now leads its nearest rival by 4 laps as it looks to take the car to the end of the race. In SP3T, the #114 Suburu is another team leading by many laps over their rivals, as all other runners have seen some problems through the night.

It seems likely that the winner will be either an Audi and BMW, however the Porsche team are close enough to pick up any spoils if there are problems ahead.

2015 ADAC Nurburging 24 Hours overall standings after 21 hours:

1 –  #28 Audi Sport Team WRT
2 – #25 BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS
3 – #44 Falken Motorsport
4 – #26 BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS
5 – #5 Black Falcon

Selected Class leaders

SP-Pro – #53 Toyota Team Gazoo Racing
SP10 – #87 Team Mathol Racing
SP8 – #49 Aston Martin Test Centre
SP7 – #61 Black Falcon Team TMD Friction
SP4T – #110 AC 1927 Mayen e.V. im ADAC
SP3 – #146 Kissling Motorsport
SP3T – #114 Subaru Tecnica International