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The 52nd edition of the 24 Hours of Nürburgring will be remembered as the shortest in the history of the renowned Green Hell circuit. The third round of the Intercontinental GT Challenge was significantly impacted by adverse weather conditions. A dense fog descended shortly before midnight on Saturday, forcing race officials to display the red flag and suspend track activities. Even on Sunday morning, the fog did not lift, preventing the resumption of the race, which concluded under the safety car.

Frank Stippler, Christopher Mies, Ricardo Feller, and Dennis Marschall, driving the Audi R8 LMS GT3 of Scherer Sport PHX, emerged victorious, completing only 50 laps in 7 hours and 22 minutes of actual racing. This result marks the seventh victory for both the Audi brand and the Scherer Sport PHX team, formerly known as Phoenix Racing, thereby equaling the record held by Manthey Racing.

From the outset, weather conditions played a decisive role. Tire choice proved critical due to the heavy rain. Pole-sitter Dan Harper, driving a BMW, had to pit at the end of the formation lap to replace slicks with wet tires, starting a comeback from the back of the grid. Kevin Estre quickly took the lead, leveraging the wet performance of his Porsche 911 GT3 R but lost ground as the track dried, yielding to Sheldon van der Linde in a BMW, who later retired following an accident.

With intermittent rain, teams varied their strategies. Stippler opted to stay on slick tires, putting the Audi R8 LMS GT3 of Scherer Sport PHX in the lead. The competition remained tight with numerous position changes. As the track dried again, the Audi regained its competitiveness. Feller recovered lost ground during pit stops before handing over to Mies, who took the lead just before the red flag was shown at 23:23 due to thick fog.

Despite efforts to resume the race on Sunday morning, persistent fog forced race officials to permanently halt the event. Cars returned to the track at 13:30 to complete five laps behind the safety car. The 24 Hours of Nürburgring ended with a total of 1268.9 km covered by the Audi quartet.

Although Scherer Sport PHX is not entered in the Intercontinental GT Challenge, the maximum points, halved due to the shortened race, were awarded to the Manthey Racing Porsche team of Estre, Laurens Vanthoor, Thomas Preining, and Ayhancan Güven, who finished second. The BMW team RMG, featuring Dan Harper, Max Hesse, and Charles Weerts, completed the podium.

The Mercedes AMG team of Daniel Juncadella, Luca Stolz, and Maximilian Götz finished in fourth place. Kelvin van der Linde, along with Marco Mapelli and Jordan Pepper, brought the Abt Lamborghini Huracan to fifth place overall. Last year's winners, Frikadelli Racing, settled for twelfth place, while the Ferrari 296 GT3 of the German team fell out of the top 10 due to a late pit stop under the safety car.

The Schnitzelalm Racing trio of Marcel Marchewicz, Jay Mo Härtling, and Kenneth Heyer secured the ProAm class victory with their Mercedes AMG GT3. Meanwhile, Glickenhaus, returning to the Green Hell, won the SPX class with their SCG 004, driven by Come Ledogar, Franck Mailleux, Thomas Mutsch, and Lance David Arnold, despite a gearbox change early in the race.

© Cavalieri Garage & Co.


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