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After seeing the top spot on the podium go to BMW in 2010, Porsche has back on top at the Nurburgring 24 Hour Race with the Manthey Racing Porsche 997 GT3 RSR claiming the victory at what might be the world’s most grueling endurance race. The Manthey racing car has placed first five out of the six past years.
The cockpit was shared by Porsche works drivers Marc Lieb, Timo Bernhard, Romain Dumas and Lucas Luhr, all of whom have won in the past in a Manthey Racing Porsche.
Just 30 seconds later the BMW Motorsport M3 GT driven by Jorg Muller, Augusto Farfus, Alzen Uwe and Pedro Lamy crossed the finish line, placing second. In third place, rounding out the podium in a Germanic fashion was the Audi R8 LMS driven by Marc Basseng, Frank Stippler, Marcel Fassler and Andrea Piccini sitting in for Mike Rockenfeller, who was injured in a dramatic crash at the 24 Hour of Le Mans.
Audi also took fourth and fifth spots with the first Mercedes team placing sixth.
After a successful run in the fourth round of the Nurburgring Long Distance Championship just a few weeks back, Porsche’s GT3 Hybrid R had a less than impressive result at this, its biggest test. First the car was penalized by race officials, and was forced to use an air intake restrictor, bringing power down to 448-hp (compared to 480-hp). Then, near the end of the race, driver Patrick Long was forced to pit after a spin resulting from contact with a slower car. The GT3 R Hybrid finished just 28th.
Unfortunately you can’t watch the Nurburgring 24 Hour race live on TV, an incredible shame considering the field of 250 cars that will take to the track in just over an hour. Thankfully, there’s the internet, with numerous channels streaming video – although you might have to learn German in a real hurry.
Both Porsche and Audi have their own channels covering the race, and there will be live streaming official coverage on the race’s official site.
If you’re interested in a little improvisation, RadioLeMans.com will have streaming audio in English, so just put up one of the other video feeds and play the audio feed on top of it.
Adding to the fun for this year, the official site is also offering a live map of the race, so you can follow many of the top teams and know exactly where on the track they are.
The race begins at 4 p.m. local time in Germany (10:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time).
Hit the jump for a full list of live-streaming links:
Having just unveiled the new Cooper Coupe, MINI is looking to drive home the car’s performance message by competing with a race-prepped version of the two-door at this weekend’s Nurburgring 24 Hour race.
Prepped for race duty the John Cooper Works Coupe Endurance race car gets all the usual equipment like a serious roll cage and a stripped out interior with just one big Recaro race seat. In all, the weight savings totals over 500 lbs compared to the street-going machine, weighing under 2,200 lbs, compared to 2,735 lbs for the road-going version.
The weight reduction will help the Coupe perform better in all areas, while a bump in horsepower will help pull the MINI out of the apexes and down the straights. In total, the turbocharged 1.6-liter now makes 247-hp and 243 lb-ft of torque, compared to 208-hp and 207 lb-ft in the stock JCW model.
Aerodynamic upgrades are also a part of the package with that unmistakably massive adjustable rear wing and huge rear diffuser, while the windshield has been angled 13 percent downward to reduce drag. As for the suspension, it’s been donated by the MINI Challenge race.
MINI will field two JCW Endurance race cars during this weekend’s 39th running of the Nurburgring 24, with both models competing in the SP 3T class.
GALLERY: MINI John Cooper Works Endurance Race Car
Volkswagen just made the famed Nurburgring 24 hour race even more exciting by announcing their Golf24 touring car will compete at the historic endurance event this year.
Along with some seriously aggressive aerodynamics and a much wider track, the Golf24 touring car is powered by a modified 2.5L five-cylinder turbocharged engine that pushes out 398 ft-lbs of torque in addition to its 434-hp. The power plant is combined with a six-speed sequential gearbox with paddle shifters.
“With the new Golf24 we are continuing our successful commitment at the Nürburgring 24-hour race. [The race] represents a very big technical challenge…[and] we want to provide an additional highlight in front of a large audience – right in time for the 35th anniversary of the GTI,” said Volkswagen Motorsport Director Kris Nissen.
The Nurburgring 24 Hour race takes place June 25-26th.