Nürburgring 24h Race features a top-class field

• Nordschleife classic from 20th to 23rd June

• 160-car field comprises nearly three dozens of potential winners

• Excellent driver line-ups, to teams and numerous brands

The 2019 ADAC TOTAL 24h-Rennen, held from 20th top 23rd June, will be a summit of motor-racing superstars. The entry list for the longest and most gruelling race at the longest racetrack in the world comprises some 160 cars, inter alia about three dozens of teams for the top categories with winning potential. Audi, BMW, Mercedes-AMG and Porsche will contest the race with works drivers and highly competitive customer-sport projects. Meanwhile, Toyota, Subaru and Hyundai will try to secure class wins in different categories. Independent GT3 teams that contest the race with Lamborghinis, Ferraris ad Nissans also will be among the front-runners. Due to the diversity of brands and the course of the season so far, making predictions regarding the race result is extremely difficult. All the German premium-car manufacturers delivered in fine style, in the rounds of the VLN Endurance Championship, with the reigning champions, Manthey Porsche, and the BMW team having been the fastest most recently, in the 24h Qualifying Race. So, an ultra thrilling 2019 edition of the 24h race is virtually guaranteed!

It’s the race of the year and the race of superlatives: When the biggest car-racing grid worldwide will start into the race on the Corpus Christi weekend (Thursday, 20th June to Sunday, 23rd June) the Nürburgring will be buzzing: The organisers are expecting more than 200,000 visitors that will camp around the 25.378-kilometre circuit. More than 2,000 helpers – from the Race Director to the car-park attendants – are involved to make for fair and safe motor racing and cope with the huge visitor rush. The fans once again will turn the combination of GP circuit and the legendary Nordschleife into a huge party zone where the smell of barbecue fires will be mixed with the typical motor-racing mixture of fuel and hot tyres. It’s the ‘Chanel No 5“ for true motor-racing enthusiasts that will have the chance of witnessing a unique battle. After all, the fact that teams and manufacturers make a huge effort when it comes to cars and drivers demonstrates the meaning of the win in this greatest race of the year.

Porsche and BMW the favourites

One thing can be taken for granted: the battle for the Nordschleife crown will be close and intense. The #1 will decorate one of the two Porsches 911 GT3 R entered by the reigning champions, Manthey Racing. Last year, Richard Lietz, Frédéric Makowiecki, Patrick Pilet and Nick Tandy won the race at ‘The Ring’ and made history by doing so as they gave their Manthey team the record-breaking sixth victory in the legendary race. The team also delivered in the 24h Qualifying Race and seemed to be on the way to secure a podium – but a final safety stop in the closing stages of the race made them drop back and offered BMW the opportunity to celebrate a one-two-three: the BMWs M6 GT3 entered by Walkenhorst and Rowe Racing clinched all the three podiums in the final test for the 24h Race and both teams also will contest the season highlight with two GT3 racers each. Porsche will be represented by – in addition to Manthey Racing – the 911 GT3 R of Ring Police and the vehicles of the public’s darling, Frikadelli Racing. And one of the two Falken Motorsport racers also will be a 911 that will be raced by an excellent line-up. The sister car of the works team of the Japanese tyre manufacturer is a BMW M6 that is just as competitive – what means that Falken could have two hot potatoes in the battle for the overall win. Another two BMWs will be entered by Speedline Racing and BMW Team Schnitzer. The latter squad has got five 24h-Race overall wins under their belt, thus being one of the most successful teams in the history of the event – and their driver line-up with racers who already demonstrated their skills in DTM, WTCR and the 24h Race underlines that the Bavarians will give their very best to again draw level with Manthey Racing.

Competitive overall-win contenders and dark horses

This year, seven Mercedes-AMG GT3 vehicles entered by the three teams Black Falcon, GetSpeed and Mann Filter will represent the Stuttgart based manufacturer. Recently, Black Falcon succeeded in shining particularly. They secured the pole for the 24h Qualifying Race and also delivered in the race. With fifth and 10th places, the Meuspath based squad even secured two top-10 positions. And last but not least, Audi, represented by five R8 LMS, signed a great mix of endurance-racing specialists, DTM drivers and Nordschleife aces for their 24h Race line-up. Phoenix, Team Land and Car Collection are the squads representing the Audi colours. And in the early stages of the 24h Qualifying Race Marcel Fässler demonstrated the potential of the racing cars from Ingolstadt. The Swiss made the perfect tyre choice into the race and virtually outclassed the entire field. In the end, his R8 LMS finished eighth. And the battle for the overall win will be spiced up by independent teams that also will contest the race with husky vehicles. Konrad Motorsport, for instance, will contest the race with a Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo. Or the Wochenspiegel-Team and Octane 126 that will enter Ferraris 488 GT. And don’t forget Kondo Racing and KCMG from Far East with their Nissans GTR Nismo GT3. Particular KCMG from Hong Kong demonstrated their potential by winning in the Pro-Am ranking and finished ninth overall. Also very interesting are the Lexus involvements: Totoya Gazoo, the official works team of the biggest car manufacturer in the world, enters an LC and Japan’s Bandoh-Racing-Team travels to Germany with a FC F GT3. And there is – of course – the team around the US investor, filmmaker and Nordschleife fan James Glickenhaus. With the special design SCG003C the team will not only enter one of the most beautiful cars on the grid but a really fast one. By finishing sixth in the 24h Qualifying Race the American squad demonstrated that it mustn’t be underestimated.

German stop of the Touring Car World Cup

The ADAC TOTAL 24h Race also will be the venue of the German FIA Touring Car World Cup. The highest international touring-car category will contest the fifth of its 10 race weekends at the Nordschleife and consequently will celebrate its half-time champion, at the end of the weekend. And the chances for a good German result look promising. After all, the drivers of the German All.inkl.com team proved to be really competitive in the so-called ‘Supergrid’ although the regulars have got 14 FIA championship titles and another 29 titles under their belts. With their Honda Civic, the two Argentineans Esteban Guerrieri and Nestor Girolami made a fantastic start into the season and currently hold the championship lead with 296 points, followed by Cyan Racing (258) and BRC Hyundai (236). Guerrieri travels to the home races of his team as championship leader. He scored 161 points, to date, and recently defended his lead in the Netherlands. On the Dutch race weekend, Thed Björk in the Chinese TCR racer of Lynk & Co finished second to steal the second championship position of Gurrieri’s team mate Girolami. Björk shone in particular on the previous race weekend at Zandvoort where set the fastest practice lap time and won the first and third races of the weekend. In the second race, however, Guerrieri consolidated his lead – that just had been secured by his team-mate Girolami – with a lights to flag win. Second and third positions were clinched by the Volkswagen drivers Benjamin Leuchter (GER) and Johan Kristoffersson (SWE), who took VW back to the front-runner just in time for the German race weekend. But the drivers of the other brands on the grid – Audi, Alfa Romeo and Cupra – also succeeded in impressing with strong performances, in the season so far.

Support programme with numerous highlights

The great motor-racing programme is completed by the Audi Sport Seyffarth R8 LMS Cup, the ADAC 24h-Classic and the performance test of the ‘Rundstrecken-Challenge’ (RCN).While numerous events and activities aloof from the track also have proven to be extremely popular with the crowds, in the past. Such as the Adenauer Racing Day on Wednesday, 19th June, representing the start into the 24h Race weekend. And the simultaneously held One World Charity Cup, a football tournament for drivers and fans. On Thursday, the official autographing session will lure the fans to the ring°boulevard where numerous exhibitors, teams and partners will showcase themselves throughout the weekend. The Falken Drift Show at the in Müllenbachschleife and the pit walk taking place at the same time a will be the Friday-evening highlights. In the historic paddock, the Fan-Arena featuring drift and motorbike-stunt shows as well as the Stihl Timber Sports tree-felling demonstrations have got what it takes to entertain and thrill the visitors.

24 Stunden Nürburgring 2019, Qualifikationsrennen, Nürburgring-Nordschleife – Foto: Gruppe C Photography; #006 Mercedes-AMG GT3, Team BLACK FALCON: Patrick Assenheimer, Nico Bastian, Yelmer Buurman

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