In the full light of a sunny Sunday in Germany the 2015 Nurburgring 24 Hours has evolved into a race between two teams, the #28 Audi R8 LMS of Audi Sport Team WRT and BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS’s #25 BMW Z4, the Audi leading the way with six hours to go.
With just six hours to go the pair are approximately a minute apart on track, but on different pit routines allowing the lead to be passed back and forth between them. At times – though this too has fluctuated around the leaders’ pitstops – there have been only three cars left on the lead lap. The trio is completed by the Falken Motorsports Porsche which, by virtue of being tied to the same stint lengths as the BMW, has been unable to add to it’s time in the lead. Fourth and fifth overall are occupied by the #5 Black Falcon Mercedes and Marc VDS’ #26 entry.
The make-up of the top ten continues to change with teams falling down the order – or out the race altogether. It was the latter fate that befell the #6 Aston Martin Racing Vantage GT3, a mechanical issue removing it from eighth overall. The blow to those in Aston colours was doubled by a crash for the #50 GT12 that had dominated the SP8 class. However, the car was damaged heavily in the off a Bergwerk, putting the Aston Martin Test Centre squad out of the race.
While the number of accidents had decreased in the daylight, the #50’s off was a reminder that the Nordschleife, and the GP-Streke for that matter, will punish any mistake. Penalties are the other factor that could yet spoil the race for one of the front runners. Fortunately the race at the very front has been largely unaffected by stewards’ decisions, the exclusion of Audi Race Experience’s Franky Cheng one of the relatively few times GT3 have come under fire.
The #35 Nissan team were handed a three minutes penalty for ignoring flag signals, a penalty which, when served, dropped the car two places in the top 20 to run behind both the #33 Mercedes and the Nissan of Schulze Motorsport.
The Black Falcon TMD Friction #61 team continue to lead SP7 from inside the top 20 with four laps in hand over the Frikadelli Racing Team entry that is now their closest rivals in class. The #91 that had been the incumbent of that role lost time when it was forced to pit through the ‘back door’ off the GP track after losing a wheel.
The Team Toyota Gazoo Racing Lexus LFA Code X is now almost guaranteed SP-Pro victory with the SP4T class leading Subaru also in the top 20 overall ahead of the #7 Aston Martin, recovering after it’s off during the night.
2015 ADAC Nurburging 24 Hours overall standings after 18 hours:
1 – #25 BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS
2 – #44 Falken Motorsport
3 – #28 Audi Sport Team WRT
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 – #50 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