2010 N24 Australian update – hour 15

2010 Nurburgring 24 hour

The sun has now risen at the Nürburgring 24 hour race and there are developments at the head of the field. The #9 Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid now holds the lead over the #2 and #99 Audi R8 LMS cars. That’s a very impressive result for the Hybrid which is making its N24 debut this year.

Updated placings for the Aussies and Kiwis is given below. After that is a press release from Porsche explaining what happened with the #1 Manthey Racing Porsche GT3 R.

Car #28 – Porsche 997 Cup (Class SP9 GT3)
22nd overall (87 laps)
Barton Mawer (AUS), Maher Algadri (IND)

Car #148 – Subaru Impreza WRX STI (Class SP3T)
42nd overall (81 laps)

Mal Rose (AUS), Mike Rimmer (GB), Peter Venn (GB)

Car #243 – Honda Civic Type R (Class N2)
101st overall (72 laps)

David Glasson (NZ), Rod Hicks (NZ), Peter Milliner (NZ), Gregory Spark (NZ)

Car #244 – Honda Integra (Class N2)
100th overall (72 laps)

Nicholas Chester (NZ), Mark Corbett (NZ), Brian McGovern (NZ), Mathew Noonan (NZ)

Car #111 – Audi R8 LMS (Class SP9 GT3)
115th overall (69 laps)
Rob Wilson (NZ), Michael Ammermüller (D), Sean-Patrick Breslin (GB), Vimal Mehta (TZA)

Car #128 – Volvo S60 (Class SP4T)
120th overall (68 laps)
Martin Bailey (AUS), Kean Booker (AUS), Mike Reedy (AUS), Klaus Ebbing (D)

Car #225 – BMW M3 (Class V5)
122nd overall (68 laps)
Richard Gartner (AUS), Paul Stubber (AUS), Ray Stubber (AUS)

Car #71 – Audi RS4 (Class SP8)
128th overall (66 laps)

Andy Booth (NZ), Stuart Owers (NZ), Lewis Scott (NZ), Alistair Taylor (NZ)

Car #172 – Volkswagen Golf TDI (Class D1T)
overall (66 laps)

Wayne Moore (NZ), Morris O’Reilly (NZ), Heiner Immig (D), Eberhard Rattunde (D)

Car #67 – Aston Martin Vantage N24 (Class SP10 GT4)
146th overall (59 laps)
Stephen Borness (AUS), Robert Rubis (AUS), Ric Shaw (AUS), Mark Griffiths (GB)

Car #108 – BMW 130i (Class SP5)
195th overall (3 laps)
Richard Shillington (AUS), Rob Thomson (AUS), Angus Kirkwood (HKG), Matt McFadden (USA)

Car #57 – BMW M3 GTRS (Class SP7)
197th overall (1 lap)
Damien Flack (AUS), Heribert Steiner (D)

Nürburgring 24 Hours, Interim report after nine hours

Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid steady at the fore

Stuttgart. The 911 GT3 R Hybrid performs excellently at its first long distance race. Just after the start, the orange-and-white liveried 911 had led, only to drop back with a slow puncture and a time penalty, before gunning its way through the field to the front. From the eighth hour, an Audi and the squad at the wheel of the hybrid-Porsche have been swapping the lead position. The crew, consisting of works drivers Joerg Bergmeister (Germany) and Richard Lietz (Austria) as well as Porsche junior Marco Holzer (Germany) and Martin Ragginger (Austria), are benefitting from the innovative hybrid technology: They only need to pit every ten laps to refuel.

After being caught up in another vehicle’s accident, last year’s winners in the Porsche 911 GT3 R were robbed of their big chance to claim their fourth straight overall victory. Shortly before 11.30 p.m., a competitor crashed into the barriers in front of Marc Lieb (Germany) and was ricocheted across the track right into the Manthey Porsche with Lieb at the wheel. Lieb had no chance whatsoever to avoid the collision. The car, which had held a clear lead with its perfectly performing driver line-up, was so badly damaged from the incident at Mezgesfeld that team boss Olaf Manthey withdrew it from the race. “It is bitter to retire like this,” said the visibly disappointed Marc Lieb, one of the winning Porsche drivers of the last three years. “It was going so well with an absolutely perfect car. We are all very disappointed.” This also marked the end of the race for works drivers Timo Bernhard (Germany), Romain Dumas (France) and Manthey pilot Marcel Tiemann (Monaco).

The crew at the wheel of the Porsche 911 GT3 RS had a frightening moment after eight hours of trouble free driving. Lapping a slower car, Patrick Simon’s production-911 was nudged slightly from the side while turning into a corner. Luckily, the outcome was only a fright and several scratches. The strategy for the quartet that had mounted a spirited attack through the field to rank 16th was altered accordingly. “Drive carefully, finish,” is now the tactic. Simon and his teammates Roland Asch (Germany), Horst von Saurma (Germany) and Chris Harris (Great Britain) are determined to prove that a normal street-legal vehicle from Zuffenhausen is up to the challenges of a 24 hour race.