The Audi Sport Team WRT line-up of Christopher Mies, Edward Sandstrom, Nico Mueller and Laurens Vanthoor took victory in the 2015 ADAC Nurburgring 24 Hours, giving Audi their third win in the race in the last four years and putting the new look R8 LMS atop the podium after its first N24.
The final three hours continued the trend that had emerged throughout the morning. While the #28 Audi and the #25 BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS team made up of Maxime Martin, Lucas Luhr, Markus Palttala and Richard Westbrook swapped the lead as each made their regular pitstops if was the Audi crew who were able to eke out their advantage until they could pit off sequence and still maintain the lead.
The move converted a race of strategy into a race on the track, concerns about strategy removed from the battle, leaving it up to the BMW team to catch and pass the Audi.
They never succeeded. The Audi crew’s stop reduced the lead to less than a minute, but even after the two leaders made their final stops a lap apart the margin was too large for the BMW team to make up. The lead pair completed 156 laps, finishing 40.7 seconds apart.
A lap behind the Falken Motorsports Porsche (driven by Peter Dumbreck, Wolf Henzler, Martin Ragginger and Alexandre Imperatori) completed the podium, the #44 increasingly cut adrift of the lead battle in the closing hours. The second of Marc VDS’ BMWs finished in fourth ahead of the #5 Black Falcon entry, the best of the Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 in the field.
The #17 Walkenhorst Motorsport example made it three Z4 GT3 in the top half dozen. The second Team WRT Audi, Bentley Team HTP, Nissan GT Academy Team RJN and the Team Premio SLS completed the overall top ten.
That count was due to include the #23 Merc from SLS but it toured into the pits from seventh place just eleven laps short of the number that would form the final count. They were not the only team to suffer late mechanical problems. Both the Schulze Motorsport team and the #12 Manthey Racing squad were taken out of top 20 spots, the Nissan left stranded out on track by a gearbox failure, the Porsche hamstrung by two punctures.
The Black Falcon TMD Friction team completed a dominant showing to win the SP7 class, likewise the Toyota Team Gazoo Racing Lexus LFA Code X to win in SP-Pro. Both finished inside the top twenty, the Black Falcon crew taking the honour of finishing as the best team from outside the GT3 class.
The Subaru Tecnica International team also dominated their class and took a top 20 place overall in winning the SP 3T class.
2015 ADAC Nurburging 24 Hours overall standings after 24 hours:
1 -#28 Audi Sport Team WRT #25 BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS
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 winners
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
SP3 – #146 Kissling Motorsport
SP3T – #114 Subaru Tecnica International