2015 Nurburgring 24 Hours: Hour 6 Update


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

After three hours, the BMW domination was clearly over as the top four positions contained four different manufacturers, as the lead two were seperated by half a second with Al Faisal in the #5 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG covering the #26 BMW Z4.

There were technical issues as the #84 Bentley Continental GT3 as the door hinge came off causing a safety hazard and dropping it down out of the top 10 as it pitted multiple times. While the #26 was the first to react of the leading group.

The undercutting strategy for the #26 worked, as various cautions and a slow pit stop for the #5 Black Falcon saw it drop down the order and allowing its competitors to fly past it. Further problems saw it fall further out of contention as the hours went on. This included the #25 and #17 BMW Z4 cars who pitted together, 3 seconds apart and used the opportunity to move ahead.

By 7:30 local time, most of the front runners had pitted as the #1 Audi Sport Team Phoenix set the fastest lap and was catching the leaders. By using a different pit stop strategy he managed to make the jump on the other drivers allowing him to gain positions more easily as he came through from his ninth place start.

The SP-Pro class leader, #10 Porsche 911 came to a stop on track. The car was later restarted as it crawled to the pits for a long stop. While in the SP7 class, the #92 Porsche build the lead back up after a close battle with his Porsche team mate in the #61.
27 laps in and the #26 had built a 45 second lead, but would struggle to keep it as the #1 car caught the leader because of traffic in front. Because of the hold up he came in to make a fourth stop and had to relinquish the lead.

With 19 and a half hours left a close battle for third saw the #19 BMW Z4 catch and harass the #2 Black Falcon. The pair had to slow down because of a yellow flag zone, but the #2 did not disengage his limiter and eventually came to stop as his wheel rolled off the car. The driver Adam Christodoulou tried to repair it but the effort seemed fruitless and it would not be recovered back to the pits for an hour. While problems for the team saw the #5 Black Falcon drip fluid in the pits, however; he continued.

It was clear the darkness and rain were catching many drivers out. Some decided to change onto wet tyres while others continued making up time in the dryer parts. The rain also saw accidents for the #112 and #132 causing more problems for the field. However; the largest incident involved the #14 Audi who crashed into the #56 Porsche in the SP7 class, putting a competitive end to both of their races.

Meanwhile the smashed #208 was dragged back to the pits as many drivers failed to see the tow truck resulting in many competitors driving over the grass and having to take avoiding action.

But at the front the #1 and #26 seemed to be breaking away from the pack as the #30 Porsche came in at the end of the sixth hour.

2015 ADAC Nurburging 24 Hours overall standings after 6 hours:
1 – #1 Audi Sport Team Phoenix
2 – #26 BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS
3 – #30 Frikadelli Racing Team
4 – #28Audi Sport Team WRT
5 – #19 BMW Sports Trophy Team Schubert

Selected Class leaders
SP-Pro – #53 Toyota Team Gazoo Racing
SP10 – #87 Team Mathol Racing
SP8 – #50 Aston Martin Test Centre
SP7 – #92 Manthey Racing
SP4T – #109 Rotek Racing
SP3 – #142 Schlappi Race Tec