An Audi R8 of Team Pheonix has now claimed its, dramatic, fifth win in the last eight years at the warm and dry Nürburgring 24 Hours.
Audi Team Phoenix beat the number 911 Manthey Porsche in dramatic fashion as the latter received a hefty penalty for speeding under a yellow flag. This is the fifth win in the Nurburgring 24 Hours for the Audi team in the past eight years.
After the Porsche penalty, the number 29 Team Land Audi initially seized the lead, but driver Kelvin van der Linde found himself in trouble with a flat tyre. Soon, the number 6 Black Falcon Mercedes, sitting in third, collided with a Gazoo Racing Toyota Supra as darkness fell, causing driver, Nico Bastian, to lose touch with the two leaders.
All the action up front gave the Team Phoenix Audi of Dries Vanthoor, Pierre Kaffer, Frank Stippler and Frederic Vervisch the lead with Kevin Estre in the Manthey Racing Porsche sitting behind. Vanthoor kept Estre at bay in the final hour of the race, taking the chequered flag after completing 157 laps. Hubert Haupt in the number 3 Black Falcon Mercedes in third place.
Kelvin van der Linde told Autosport before the race, “You can almost throw away all the things you learn on a Grand Prix track. This is more about flow; you are never driving at 100 per cent, you’re never braking at maximum pressure.” But the race seemed to go in the opposite direction as the perfect conditions had the drivers pushing harder and faster.
It wasn't just up-front that saw all the action, the back of the grid had an Mk3 Golf being driven way beyond its limits, but it was the fan-favourite that had the crowd whooping and applauding as it crossed the line. The Opel Manta, which was involved in a huge accident earlier, made a return to the track for a lap right at the end to complete the race and the crowd went nuts.
The Nürburgring 24 Hours is always a challenge, and this year was no different, delivering yet another enthralling race.