Published on May 30th, 2016 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Mercedes 1-2-3-4, AMG Wins on Final Lap of the Nürburgring 24 Hours
The 44th running of the Nürburgring 24 Hours had everything. Mercedes came out and dominated, with the #4 Black Falcon Mercedes AMG GT3 of Maro Engel, Bernd Schneider, Adam Christodoulou and Manuel Metzger taking the win in what turned out to be a four-way battle for the lead for much of the second half of the race between AMG GT3s from three teams. But it was by no means a traditional formation finish for the Stuttgart brand. The #4 Black Falcon and #88 Haribo Mercedes showed a grandstand.
With the result, Mercedes claimed its second victory at the N24, which remarkably were both with Black Falcon, and Schneider. Engel, Metzger and Christodoulou meanwhile, took their debut wins. It was also the second year in a row in which a new GT3 car won on its debut at the race, after the R8 LMS won in 2015.
In a race which included a fleet of new GT3s from three of the four German factories gunning for the win, Mercedes provided the answer to the question on everybody’s mind before the start: could one of the new cars take the win, and if so, in what fashion?
The BMWs, Porsches, Audis, Aston Martins, Bentleys, and Lamborghini were in the end no match for the new AMG GT3. Of the eight that took the start, four of them had faultless runs to the finish in tricky conditions. The #18 Schubert BMW took the lead of the race, but its engine blew while going down the Döttinger Hehe just after the sixth hour concluded, ending it, and effectively BMW’s chances of victory. All the other M6s in the race would suffer mechanical issues, delays or crash out.
The the RJN Nissan fending off the #999 BMW for 11th. Porsche and Audi too, couldn’t mount a challenge. Nick Tandy crashed out in the opening laps. Audi’s chances of victory ended within the space of 20 minutes, with the #1 WRT Audi, #6 and #23 R8s all retiring simultaneously. The highest finishing R8 was the #2 WRT Audi of Stuart Leonard, Robin Frijns, Frederic Vervisch and Edward Sandström. The entries from Bentley, Aston Martin, and Lamborghini meanwhile never challenged up front.
At the flag Engel came home with a 5.6 second gap, the FIA GT World Cup winning driver scoring pole for the #9 Black Falcon car, and bringing home the sister #4 car for the win.