Another penalty against a team may have played a deciding role in the outcome of the 2014 ADAC Zurich Nurburgring 24 Hours as it split a titanic battle before the lead between Phoenix Racing’s #4 and the #1 Black Falcon entry.
After getting out the pits ahead of their Audi rivals Black Falcon took the lead of the race, albeit with the BMW close behind. One two consecutive laps the lead pair came across with the timing system unable to tear them apart as the crossed the line in a dead heat. After running side-by-side down the pit straight the #4 Audi was able to take the lead though unable to build a lead.
That task was completed by a penalty, the previous Black Falcon pitstop deemed not to have met the minimum time. When the time in the penalty box was added to their next scheduled pitstop the #1 was dropped from the race for the lead to a fight for second place with the #20 BMW Sports Trophy that it lost in the closing minutes of the 18th hour when Dominik Baumann drove around the outside of a back marker and the Mercedes at Aremburg.
The other of the great battles from the previous ours was also broken up as the Falken Motorsports team were called to serve a penalty after their driver – in an attempt to make the minimum pit time slowed almost to a complete stop near the end of the pitlane. Once served the Porsche team fell to fifth, being pushed off the lead lap. However, when a left-front puncture forced the #22 Rowe Racing Mercedes to limp back to the pits out of fourth place the Falken team were given back the position they had been fighting over before.
Having worked their way solidly into the top ten a pitstop for some repairs dropped the #502 Audi Race Experience entry down the order to 12th, one place ahead of the Lexus LFA Code Z, the Gazoo Racing team cementing their SP-Pro class lead following the tumbled down the order from the #11 Manthey Porsche in the class. With the more modified LFA runs 13th overall the more standard model continues its domination of SP8 from within the top 20 overall.
It does, however lie behind the top two in the all Porsche SP7 class, the #56 Black Falcon entry still heading the class as they have for much of the race while the leaders of both SP3T and SP4T lie within striking distance of the top 20 should any of the current top teams hit delays in the six hours of racing that remain at the Nurburgring.
Further back, having lost the lead of the SP10 class to the Prosport-Performance Porsche briefly earlier on Sunday morning Team Mathol Racing’s #94 Aston Martin retook the position at the front of the class.
2014 ADAC Zurich Nurburgring 24 Hours overall standings after 18 hours:
1 – #4 Phoenix Racing Audi – Haase/Mamerow/Rast/Winkelhock
2 – #20 BMW Sports Trophy Team Schubert – Klingmann/Baumann/Hurtgen/Tomczyk
3 – #1 Black Falcon Mercedes – Bleekemmolen/Simonsen/Menzel/Arnold
4 – #44 Falken Motorsports – Henzler/Dumbreck/Ragginger/Imperatori
5 – #22 Rowe Racing Mercedes – Zehe/Hohenadel/Bastian/Engel
Selected Class leaders:
SP-Pro – #53 Gazoo Racing Lexus
SP7 – #56 Black Falcon Porsche
SP8 – #48 Gazoo Racing Lexus
SP10 – #94 Team Mathol Racing Aston Martin
SP3T – #111 Raeder Motorsport Audi
SP4T – #110 Besaplast Racing Team Audi