An historical moment for BMW Motorsport. In an exciting race, No. 25 BMW M3 GT2 won the 24 hr Nurburgring race. While Audi dominated qualifying and Porsche looked set to make history, it was BMW that ended up on top after 154 laps in the 38th annual Nürburgring 24 Hours. The Bavarian manufacturer’s return to the famed 15.5-mile Nordschleife circuit was rewarded with an unexpected victory in the twice-around-the-clock German classic.
The No. 25 BMW Team Schnitzer M3 GT2 of Jorg Müller, Augusto Farfus, Uwe Alzen and Pedro Lamy had its share of minor setbacks, including an overnight radiator change and late-race gearbox concerns, but managed to take the win, five years after the Charly Lamm-led team’s last triumph at the famed German circuit.
History was made with Lamy scoring his fifth Nürburgring 24 victory, matching German Marcel Tiemann as the most successful drivers on the ‘Green Hell’.
In front of 220,000 fans, the #1 Manthey Porsche stormed from 7th on the grid up to 1st on the opening lap, a position it held for the first few hours before crashing early in the night.
GT3 R Hybrid incredibly took the lead up until the 22nd hour and appeared to en route to re-writing the history books, but ground to a halt with less than two hours remaining. With suspected engine issues, the race was over for Jörg Bergmeister, Richard Lietz, Marco Holzer and Martin Ragginger.
It gave the slower, yet more reliable BMW the lead and the unlikely victory in a weekend that was dominated by Audis and Porsches.
The No. 26 Schnitzer BMW of Dirk Müller, Dirk Werner, Dirk Adorf and Andy Priaulx recovered from a first-hour accident to finish seventh overall, one position behind the highest-placed Porsche from the Jurgen Alzen-run H&R Spezialfedern squad.
A memorable day for BMW at Nurburgring and BMW proved one more time that M Power is still very much so alive.
1. 25 BMW M3 GT2 – 154 laps
2. 43 Ferrari F430 GTC +3:53.191
3. 97 Audi R8 LMS +1 lap
4. 76 BMW Z4 GT3 +2 laps
5. 102 Audi R8 LMS +2 laps
6. 20 Porsche GT3 Cup S +3 laps
7. 26 BMW M3 GT2 +4 laps
8. 18 Porsche GT3 Cup S +4 laps
9. 69 BMW Z4 GT3 +5 laps
10. 35 Porsche 997 GT3 +6 laps