24h Nürburgring: Unpredictable Start as Manthey Porsche, ROWE BMW Battle for Lead

    (Nürburgring, Germany – May 20th, 2023)

    The 52nd edition of the ADAC RAVENOL 24h of Nürburgring kicked off with an unpredictable start as heavy rain hit the iconic Nordschleife circuit. Teams were forced to adapt their tyre strategies on the fly, ranging from slicks to rain tyres, setting the stage for a dynamic and thrilling opening to the prestigious endurance race.

    In the early stages, Kevin Estre in the #911 Manthey EMA Porsche 992 GT3 R dominated the proceedings, fending off persistent challenges from Augusto Farfus in the #99 ROWE Racing BMW M4 GT3. Maro Engel in the #130 Mercedes also showed strong pace early on but was soon hampered by an ill-timed tyre choice.

    Dan Harper in the #72 RMG BMW M4 GT3 made a strategic decision to pit for rain tyres right after the start, dropping him down the order. However, the young British driver staged an impressive comeback, climbing back to fourth place before the scheduled pit stops began. The #34 Aston Martin GT3 suffered a puncture early on, losing significant time, while other cars like the #4 Mercedes AMG GT3 and the #44 Falken Porsche faced minor setbacks due to the treacherous track conditions.

    As the race progressed into the second hour, the track began to dry, prompting teams to revert to slicks during their regular pit stops. Estre, who had led for the majority of the initial phase, suffered significant time loss by delaying his switch to slicks, allowing Farfus and Harper to capitalize and take a BMW one-two lead.

    Despite the challenges, the spirit of endurance racing shone through, with teams like the #506 BMW 330i and the #706 SCG 004c overcoming penalties and mechanical setbacks to continue their pursuit of the chequered flag.

    Estre, reflecting on the early tyre decisions, noted the unpredictability of the weather, stating:

    “We started on rain tyres and didn’t know at first whether that was the right thing to do. So it wasn’t a relaxed start, but it was still a lot of fun.”

    As the 24-hour race progressed, the #911 Manthey Porsche, the #99 ROWE BMW, and the #72 RMG BMW emerged as the key contenders, showcasing the tactical depth of endurance racing. The fans, despite the rain, remained steadfast in their support, embodying the enduring spirit of the Nürburgring 24 Hours.

    🔗 Source