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Just a week after the 24 Hours of Le Mans, this year’s Nurburgring 24 Hour race promises to bring plenty of motorsports excitement.
Godzilla may be heading to the movie theaters soon, but he’ll also be making an appearance in Germany next month at the world famous Nurburgring.
Are you ready for the biggest motorsport event of the season?
Arguably the world’s toughest endurance race, the 2012 Nürburgring 24 Hours ended with the Audi Sport Team Phoenix R8 LMS ultra capturing the victory after 155 grueling laps on the ‘Green Hell’.
It’s the first victory for the German automaker at the famous Nürburgring 24 race with drivers Marc Basseng, Christopher Haase, Frank Stippler, and Markus Winkelhock at the wheel. Second place also went to Audi with Chris Mamerow, Christian Abt, Michael Ammermüller, and Armin Hahne finishing behind their fellow Audi teammates while representing Mamerow racing.
Third place went to the Hankook-Team Heico Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 driven by Christian Frankenhout, Andreas Simonsen, Pierre Kaffer, and Lance David Arnold who barely edged out the Wochenspiegel-Porsche 911 GT3 R with Marc Lieb, Romain Dumas, Lucas Luhr, and Richard Lietz behind the wheel.
As expected, the race was not without any drama with less than one-third of the 31 GT3-spec race cars having trouble-free races. Team Schubert’s BMW Z4 GT3 held the pole and the race early on but lost six laps from a driveshaft failure. Its sister car experienced gearbox issues after leading, leaving the race down to fellow German automakers Audi and Mercedes-Benz to face off.
Audi’s top entry, the number-2 Phoenix car, crashed in the early morning after rain fell in the 15th hour. The ROWE Racing Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 took over the lead before it found trouble with a suspension failure that ultimately took it out of the race with six hours to go.
This is the fourth Nürburgring 24 Hour attempt for the Audi R8 LMS race car and marks a historic 1-2 sweep along with Audi’s first win. As for Team Phoenix, it’s enjoying its second win after capturing the title in 2003 with an Opel Astra V8 Coupe.
“It was a great weekend for us, for the whole team,” Winkelhock said. “We had a perfect car that had no problems. It’s just amazing to stand on the podium. It was a really tough race and is really competitive.”
There’s one question that will be asked by motorsports enthusiasts across the country today and it won’t be who will win next weekend’s Indy 500 or if the the Monaco GP will be a parade this year. No, it will be about another world famous test of man and machine (and one that’s actually happening this weekend), the Nurburgring 24 Hour Race. And the question on the minds of so many racing fans will be: Where can I watch it online?
Toyota is extremely proud of its new GT 86, and out in Japan, its motorsports partner Gazoo Racing has built a pair of GT 86s to compete in the famous Nürburgring 24 Hours race.
The race will take place from May 17th to the 20th and Gazoo Racing will also be fielding a Lexus LFA in the competition. Before one of the GT 86s compete in the Nürburgring race, however, it will make its way to the Japanese Rally Championship. Both custom Gazoo Racing Toyota GT 86s will be on display at the upcoming Goodwood Festival of Speed in the UK from June 29th to July 1st.
It appears that the GT 86s will have around 200-hp and will be equipped with a six-speed manual for the race. We’re excited to see how well it does during the grueling endurance classic.
Watch a video of the Gazoo Racing Toyota GT 86 below
Gran Turismo’s creator, Kazunori Yamauchi, has taken his GT500 “Stealth” GT-inspired Nissan GT-R to a class victory at the 24 Hours of Nurburgring. Complete with his team comprised of Tobias Shulze, Michael Schulze and Yasuyoshi Yamamoto, the GT-R battled through a dramatic race full of mechanical issues to claim 36th overall, but first-in-class.
This is a great follow-up to Yamauchi’s class victory last year in a Lexus IS-F in the four-hour Nurburgring VLN race, but this year he didn’t have to settle for fourth place in his class. Despite having to spend time in the pits addressing their mechanical issues, the time was able to officially complete 134 laps in 24 hours, 2 minutes and 26.9 seconds with a fastest lap time of 9:17.707.
Now if only his team of developers could work that quickly on Gran Turismo 6. Check out a video of the GT-R in early Sunday morning action after the break.
[Source: GT Planet]
The venerable MINI Cooper has served in almost every form of motorsport possible—rallying, Dakar, racetrack underdog, drag racing, tractor pulls, and setting land speed records. Now, it gets a chance to prove itself at the Nürburgring at its legendary 24-hour endurance race.
On June 25th, MINI Motorsports and three privateer MINI teams will tackle 24 hours’ worth of the Nürburgring with 200 other competitors. MINI has never entered an endurance event prior to this, and as if surviving the ‘Ring’s 14+ miles wasn’t hard enough, teams will have to contend with changing weather, exhaustion, insomnia-induced hallucination, and other racing foibles and mishaps guaranteed to put hair on any race car’s chest.
No idea what car MINI plans to enter in the event—the photo shows the faint outline of a Cooper. And in typical MINI stiff-upper-lip fashion, the entire thing is known as “The Green Hell Adventure.” Good luck, MINI. May they fare better against the Germans than they did at Arnhem.
James Glickenhaus took his custom made P4/5 Competizione to the Nurburgring ahead of its first race there at the Nurburgring 24 Hours.
Driver Mika Salo was able to get ample seat time in the hand-built racer, but co-driver Luca Cappellari was limited to a single lap after a red flag came out for unidentified reasons.
Fortunately, there was plenty of video shot during the session, and no less than 4 clips have surfaced online, and we have them all after the jump.
[Source: P4/5 Competizione]
Having failed to complete the grueling Nürburgring 24 Hour endurance race last year, Gazoo Racing took home the SP8 class victory (18th overall) at this year’s around-the-clock race at the 12.9-mile Nordschleife in the #50 Lexus LFA.
In a field of over 200 cars including privateers and full-on factory efforts and with some very stiff competition from Aston Martin, the Gazoo Racing LFA’s battled heavy traffic and the constantly changing weather conditions the Nürburgring is famous for on their way to taking the checkered flag and the SP8 class win. Based in Japan and with a driver’s lineup drawing from the Japanese Super GT series, Gazoo Racing has certainly done Toyota and the Lexus brand proud with their performance at the Green Hell this past weekend, which leads us to wonder if/when we’ll start to see the LFA popping up in other racing series. We’d love to see Lexus enter the fray in the FIA GT1 World Championship, a series Nissan seems to be getting some very good value from with their GT-R entries.
Coming in second in the SP8 class was the Aston Martin Rapide, which even topped the V12 Vantage in 3rd.
For a full photo gallery go to Gazoo Racing, but in the meantime enjoy a few photos of the LF-A at the Ring after the jump.
[Source: Gazoo Racing]