BLACK FALCON  ADAC Zurich 24-Hour Nürburgring Race - Results

BLACK FALCON ADAC Zurich 24-Hour Nürburgring Race - Results

15.05.2018: BLACK FALCON have scored an unprecedented set of results at a particularly grueling Nürburgring 24 Hours, taking two of the overall podium positions as well as the fifth place with their factory-backed Mercedes-AMG GT3.

BLACK FALCON have scored an unprecedented set of results at a particularly grueling Nürburgring 24 Hours, taking two of the overall podium positions as well as the fifth place with their factory-backed Mercedes-AMG GT3.



They also scored a class victory in the SP10 class with the #66 Mercedes-AMG GT4 and in V6 with the #138 Porsche 991 Carrera. The team were always in the fight for the overall lead and came so close to taking what would have been their third overall win at the 24 Hours: the #4 AMG finished just 26 seconds behind the eventual winner.



The Nürburgring 24 Hours is known as the most challenging endurance event on the planet, and the 2018 edition just proved the point. Fluctuating weather conditions over course of the whole event stretched the drivers to the maximum, and the huge grid of 150 entries meant no respite from either traffic or the challenges of the track itself.



 Torrential rain and heavy fog descending on the Nordschleife bought a temporary halt to the race at midday on Sunday, leaving a 90-minute sprint to the flag in treacherous conditions which saw BLACK FALCON come oh-so-close to winning.





#4 Mercedes-AMG GT3


 The #4 AMG was driven by Maro Engel (Germany), Manuel Metzger (Germany), Adam Christodoulou (United Kingdom) and Dirk Müller (Germany) – the first three were part of the winning Mercedes-AMG Team BLACK FALCON crew in 2016.



The car had already qualified for the all-important Top 30 Qualifying shoot-out thanks to their performance in VLN 2, and Maro ensured #4 would be right at the sharp end for the race start, setting a time in the shoot-out that would put #4 in an appropriate fourth place on the grid, just 0.8 seconds off pole.



From the moment the first wave of GT3 cars stormed across the line to begin 24 hours of hard racing, #4 was right in the mix. They led for a stretch during hour five and then again consistently during the deepest part of the night and early morning as the rain hammered down hardest, right up to the race interruption as the red flag was shown just before midday on Sunday.



 Adam took over #4 for the run to the finish, but despite his best efforts and maximum attack, he just wasn’t able to wrestle the lead away – but second place for #4 was still a fine and deserved result after a thrilling battle. 




#5 Mercedes-AMG GT3



 #5’s driver squad comprised Luca Stolz (Germany), Thomas Jäger (Germany), Jan Seyffarth (Germany) and Yelmer Buurman (Netherlands). They had also automatically made the Top 30 shoot-out, their position obtained during the Qualifying Race, the prologue to the 24 Hours that saw the #5 crew victory. Their shoot-out lap-time would place them ninth for the start.



After a strong opening couple of hours, the drivers had to fight back after the setback of an early race penalty dropped them out of the top 10.




However, solid driving by the crew during the worst conditions of the night brought the car back into contention, with the drivers of the #6 AMG showing similar quality. #6, featuring Nico Bastian (Germany), Hubert Haupt (Germany), Erik Johansson (Sweden) and Gabriele Piana (Italy), had qualified in 12th, barely three seconds from pole after setting a time of 08m12s, and was soon knocking on the door of the top 10 after race start.



Hour by hour they made their way forward, and while cars around them fell by the wayside, both AMG delivered excellent performances to close up to #4 and put all three BLACK FALCON cars solidly in the top 10 for the final part of the race. 





#6 Mercedes-AMG GT3



 #6, featuring Nico Bastian (Germany), Hubert Haupt (Germany), Erik Johansson (Sweden) and Gabriele Piana (Italy), had qualified in 12th, barely three seconds from pole after setting a time of 08m12s, and was soon knocking on the door of the top 10 after race start.



Hour by hour they made their way forward, and while cars around them fell by the wayside, both AMG delivered excellent performances to close up to #4 and put all three BLACK FALCON cars solidly in the top 10 for the final part of the race. 




#66 Mercedes-AMG GT4



 BLACK FALCON Team Identica was represented in the SP10 class for GT4 machinery by the #66 Mercedes-AMG GT4, which was driven by Carlos Gomez (USA), Stefan Karg (Germany), Fidel Leib (Germany) and Kim-Luis Schramm (Germany).



Fast during all the early sessions, they would start the race from 67th position, third in class, but battled to the SP10 lead by hour three. The car ran almost metronomically from then, braving the weather and a mechanical issue - that the crew resolved in record-breaking time - while also fighting off the GT4 competition to eventually win the class by an impressive three laps. 





#138 Porsche 991 Carrera



 Similarly, the V6-class #138 BLACK FALCON Team TMD Friction Porsche 991 Carrera put in a fantastic run – fast and consistent – that meant Stephan Köhler (Germany), Axel König (Germany), Alexander Böhm (Germany) and Norbert Schneider (Germany) walked away with winners trophies.



They had started on the V6 class pole, which meant 103rd on the sprawling grid. #138 was pushed all the way through the 24 hours by close competitors, but their superlative driving broke the opposition, and they would finish five laps clear of their nearest rival.




Jürgen Bleul (Germany), Moritz Oberheim (Germany), ‘Takis’ (Switzerland) and Tim Zimmermann (Germany) were due to drive the #64 Porsche 991 GT3 Cup MRII in the SP7 class, but unfortunately, the car had to be withdrawn after qualifying and wasn’t able to make the race start. 



Appalling weather conditions around the Nordschleife were countered by inspired tactical decisions at BLACK FALCON, and in the end, the team could still be immensely proud of a truly spectacular set of results.



The drivers of the four AMG and #138 Porsche delivered exemplary performances, backed up but the usual stellar work of the Team BLACK FALCON pit crew. But by no means is the hard work over: the next round of the Blancpain GT Endurance Cup is just a week away, where three BLACK FALCON AMG GT3 will again be battling for honors – and then there’s the matter of the legendary Spa 24 Hours coming in July.



Stay tuned to all thing BLACK FALCON across all social media platforms: follow the team via twitter.com/TeamBlackFalcon, facebook.com/teamblackfalcon/ and instagram.com/teamblackfalcon to get live action updates directly from the tracks, as well as fantastic images of the team in action




RACE DATES



Blancpain Endurance Series
Round 2: 19-20 May (Silverstone)
Round 3: 1-2 June (Paul Ricard)
Test Day: 3 July (Spa)
Round 4: 26-29 July (Spa 24 Hours)
Round 5: 29-30 September (Barcelona)

 

Black Falcon GmbH & Co.KG

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/black-falcon-24h-nuerburgring-race-results---176153.html

15.05.2018 / MaP

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