Michelin is looking to extend its score of 20 Nürburgring 24 Hours victories at this year’s running of the German classic around the circuit’s awesome Nordsc...
The 49th running of the Nürburgring 24 Hours – which was shortened to just 10 hours due to fog – was won by the Michelin-equipped Porsche 911 GT3 R of Manthey Racing’s Estre/Cairoli/Kern/Christensen who earned the tire firm’s 21st victory in the notoriously punishing German classic since 1992.
Endurance races around the Nürburgring’s Nordschleife are rarely straightforward affairs. If the 25.378-kilometre, 70-turn loop wasn’t tough enough in itself, the challenge is more often than not heightened by the weather in Germany’s Eifel Mountains, whatever the time of year. And this time around was no exception, since a whole 14 hours of the race was truncated because of fog which shrouded the local forested hills from 9:30pm Saturday until 11:40am Sunday morning!
The surviving 10 hours were essentially marked by a delicate cocktail of wet, drying and dry conditions, but Michelin’s Pilot Sport range stepped up to the plate to collect the French manufacturer’s 21
The winning N°911 Manthey Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R of Estre/Cairoli/Kern/Christensen finished eight seconds clear of Rowe Racing’s N°98 BMW M6 (Van der Linde/de Philippi/Tomczyk/Wittman), while the N°7 Mercedes-AMG GT3 (GetSpeed Performance, Marciello/Schiller/Juncadella/Götz) was third.
“This year’s Nürburgring 24 Hours produced another incredible race,” reports Pierre Alves, the manager of Michelin Motorsport’s endurance racing programs. “We had good weather for the different practice sessions but ominous clouds gathered for Saturday afternoon’s start, when the majority of the cars were on slicks. Most of the circuit was dry, but there were some wet and therefore tricky portions.
“When the heavens opened a few hours into the race, the MICHELIN Pilot Sport Full Wet enabled our partners to pull out big gaps over their rivals thanks to lap-time differences of up to 15 seconds! When action resumed after the long interruption, the track was still damp but our ‘cold weather’ slick did a magnificent job before our partners switched to medium slicks until the finish. All the different types of tire we had at the Nürburgring were used, across the full spectrum of conditions!”
The result was Porsche’s eighth Nürburgring 24 Hours victory on Michelin rubber and follows the brands’ joint successes in the two rounds contested so far in this season’s NLS endurance racing series which takes place exclusively at the German circuit.