Nürburgring 24 Hours update: Red flag after ~ 8,5 hours
Updated: Sep 27, 2020
The 24h at the Nürburgring was suspended due to extreme weather conditions: with too much water standing water on the track, we have a look at what happened before the stoppage to Carrie Schreiner, Célia Martin, Laura Kraihamer, Claudia Hürtgen, Rahel Frey and Charlie Martin.
Due to extreme weather conditions, the biggest GT race was interrupted during the night, with updates following in the morning. The heaviest rain was expected at around 3 o´clock in the morning.
Second on the starting grid, Jonathan Hirschi - racing with the Octane 126-Ferrari - was the leader into the first corner, but Raffaelle Marciello in the GetSpeed Mercedes, Maro Engel (Haupt-Mercedes) and Martin Tomczyk (Schnitzer BMW) overtook him and pulled away fast. Hirschi had more bad luck and dropped down to P23, reporting issues with his tyres and with a dropping pace as a consequence.
Approximately one hour after the start, the RaceIng Audi #15 was the first car that crashed and stopped. After the first round of pit stops, the GetSpeed Mercedes #9 was the leader, with the Schnitzer BMW and the Haupt-Mercedes right behind him.
The other GetSpeed car, the #8 Mercedes, was back in the garage with a broken gearbox and the team retired from the race shortly after, while Marciello pulled away from his pursuers.
The Walkenhorst-BMW #100 crashed at the exit of Brünnchen after a spin and a hit to the guardrail. Meanwhile, the Konrad-Lamborghini worked itself up to P3, but got stopped off track and needed to be towed back to the pits after leaving oil track on track.
The leading GetSpeed Mercedes, now with Fabian Schiller, drove past the pits as he was expected to come in, but the fuel lasted for another lap. The change for the lead happened only shortly before, with the fast charging Haupt-Mercedes going past. Only Nico Müller was faster on track, in third position.
The KCMG-Porsche was the first team to try to get out with Slicks, but it turned out to be too early, as the best tyre choice was still the drying wets. After three laps, KCMG gave up and changed back to wet tyres again.
The #4 Haupt-Mercedes got a 33-second time penalty because of a too short pit stop time. It then started to rain more again - it was 10:30 pm.
Here was when the madness began: Manuel Metzger in the #4 Haupt-Mercedes lost his car and crashed into the wall. The race was over for him, but there was more drama when the leader Marciello spun off and hit the guardrail without braking power. A heartbreaking moment for both the leading team and Marciello in the driving seat. His race was over as well.
Now, three Audis found themselves at the front of the field: Dries Vanthoor leads with the #1 Phoenix-Audi ahead of the #3 Car-Collection Audi with Christopher Haase behind the wheel and the #29 Land-Audi driven by Kelvin van der Linde.
It was then Vanthoor's time to crash - in the same corner as Metzger before - but this time he was able to continue the race. Haase was now right behind him, but also spun. Luckily, he made no impact and he could continue.
At this point, there was no other choice for race control to interrupt the race. The red flag stayed out for two hours before the next update, but estimates are already pointing to a restart not before 7 o´clock on Sunday morning.
Now, let's have a look at the female drivers in this crazy 24 hours race!
The Girls only Team fielding Carrie Schreiner, Laura Kraihamer and Célia Martin is currently on P61 overall and P2 in class with Célia behind the wheel. The team has a good pace and gained more overall positions in the first part of the race.
Charlie Martin is on P69 overall and P6 in class with her team.
Claudia Hürtgen is in P28 overall and P1 in class with Michael Fischer in the driving seat.
Rahel Frey is on P43 overall and P25 in class with Rahel currently midway through her stint.
Janine Schoffner is the best-placed overall, as she runs in P25, 24th in her very competitive class.
Updates will follow