With three hours of the race remaining the #4 Phoenix Racing team appears on course to win the 2014 ADAC Zurich Nurburgring 24 Hours, leading every lap of the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth hour and heading the field by 40 seconds with three hours remaining.
The team, with the combined driving talents of Christopher Haase, Christian Mamerow, Rene Rast and Markus Winkelhock led from the #20 BMW Sports Trophy Team Schubert entry at the end of the eighteenth hour, a penalty for them meaning the Audi squad’s overall lead should only grow, with the third placed #1 Black Falcon Mercedes more than two minutes off the leaders.
The BMW team’s penalty stems from an error of judgement by driver Martin Tomczyk who dived to the inside of a lower class Porsche Cayman through turn two, the resulting contact breaking the Porsche suspension and drawing the ire of the stewards.
Their plight was complicated further when they did not – or were unable to – serve their penalty as part of their first scheculed pit visit following the news of the decision. Thus the car remained in second place, with lap times suggesting the team are trying to make up for the damage they know the penalty will deal them in their search for the best possible finish.
The damage any delay would do their final result was limited by pit delays for the Falken Motorsports Porsche that dropped them back behind Rowe Racing’s #22 Mercedes to fifth overall.
Another car from the overall top ten to find trouble during the three hours to 1pm local time was the Haribo Racing Team Porsche which was trucked back to the paddock after spinning into the barriers on the way up the hill from the Karussell to Hohe Acht with damage to the front end of the #8 entry and with the vulnerable radiators of the rear engined Porsche.
Their retirement promoted the SP-Pro leading Lexus LFA Code X to 12th overall as a total of six class leaders were welcomed into the top 22 – the first page of the event’s timing monitors. The Gazoo Racing #53 was followed in the overall order by Black Falcon’s SP7 leading #67 and by their SP8 class LFA.
Further down – in 21st and 22nd overall – lie the SP3T and SP4T leaders, Raeder Motorsport’s #111 leader the former, less than a lap ahead of Besoplast Racing Team’s own class leading machine, both teams using different specs of Audi TT for their challengers.
The first class leader outside of the top 22 were the SP10/GT4 leaders. Having taken back the class lead they had almost made their own Team Mathol Racing’s #94 Aston Martin was taken out of class contention by the need to replace the right-rear drive shaft. With their issues the lead passed back to the Prosport-Performance Porsche team.
2014 ADAC Zurich Nurburgring 24 Hours overall standings after 21 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 – #22 Rowe Racing Mercedes – Zehe/Hohenadel/Bastian/Engel
5 – #44 Falken Motorsports – Henzler/Dumbreck/Ragginger/Imperatori
Selected Class leaders:
SP-Pro – #53 Gazoo Racing Lexus
SP7 – #56 Black Falcon Porsche
SP8 – #48 Gazoo Racing Lexus
SP10 – #91 Prosport-Performance GmbH Porsche
SP3T – #111 Raeder Motorsport Audi
SP4T – #110 Besaplast Racing Team Audi