We've recently written in here that the Lexus LFA, the Peugeot RCZ as well as the 4 door Aston Martin Rapide were entering the Nurburgring 24 Hours Endurance Race to prove their worth. Well folks, the race was held last weekend and the results were a surprise victory for Team BMW Motorsport with the M3 GT2. Car Number 25, a BMW M3 GT2 driven by Jörg Müller (DE), Augusto Farfus (BR), Uwe Alzen (DE) and Pedro Lamy (PT) was surprisingly first, followed by a Ferrari 430 GT and an Audi R8 LMS belonging to Phoenix Racing.
Nearly 200 cars started the race last weekend (15-16 May) and this endurance race featured various classes and makes of cars. The classes include the GT2, GT3 and touring car class. Everything from the above mentioned Lexus, to Subaru Imprezas, Porsches, various generations of BMW M3s, Honda Civics took part, fighting it out with each other for a total 24 hour period. The Nurburgring race track for this race consisted of the Nordschliefe circuit and also the modern Gran Prix circuit. The distance for each lap for this race is 25.42km.
Porsche has won this race for the past four years and were the favourites this time too. Manthey Racing, which is very well known in the Porsche tuning circles have been running the winning Porsches (for the factory). This also marked the debut of the Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid. This car is unique in that it utilizes a flywheel to store kinetic energy that is used to give the Porsche an extra boost of power when needed and improves fuel economy of the car too. It utilizes a system much like the KERS system in the Formula 1 cars.
Everyone had expected Porsche to win again, especially since the hybrid system enabled the GT3 R to run 10 laps between pit stops instead of the 8 laps that their competitors need for refueling. Two GT3 Rs entered but one stopped after 12 hours. The other was in a very strong position to win and it was unfortunate that in the 22nd hour, the GT3 R's engine broke. And surprisingly, the BMW M3 GT2 stepped into the first spot somehow overtaking the second placed Audi R8, which also had its own issues in this very long race.
The M3 GT2 ran 154 laps. It was three minutes ahead of the Ferrari 430 GT in second. The Audi as stated above was third. The other impressive results were that two other BMWs (privately entered Z4s) came in fourth and ninth overall. Fifth was another Audi R8. So there you have it. The result to one of the most famous of all endurance races.
Full results are at the [url="http://<a%20href="http://adac.24h-rennen.de/Ergebnisse-2010.214.0.html"%20target="_blank">http://adac.24h-renn...tml</a>"]race site[/url], and unsurprisingly it is in German and in .pdf format. Took me awhile to understand what was published.