Audi has won the 50th edition of the 24 hour race at the Nürburgring. After a spectacular race with many overtaking manoeuvres, lead changes and a dramatic finish in rain showers, Robin Frijns, Kelvin Van der Linde, Dries Vanthoor and Frédéric Vervisch celebrated victory with the Audi R8 LMS of Team Audi Sport Phoenix. This is the sixth overall victory in a decade for the brand with the four rings.
Generally glorious weather, thrilling rain-induced drama in the final hours, 230,000 spectators back on track and a triumph for all four rings with the overall win and three more Audi R8 LMSs in the top 10 – the 50th edition of the 24 Hours of Nürburgring has proven to be a festival for all motorsport fans. “Congratulations to Team Audi Sport Phoenix,” said Chris Reinke, Head of Audi Sport Customer Racing. “This victory has a special meaning, as it required strong nerves following the changing conditions, especially during the last hours – from the drivers on the track, as well as the mechanics, engineers and strategists in the pits. The fact that fans were finally allowed on the track again turned this race weekend into a big celebration that makes success especially welcome.
The 2022 edition of the classic was a 24-hour sprint race. This is also reflected in the total distance covered by the winning car in 159 laps – with which the number 15 car equaled the record also set by Audi in 2014. The four teammates started the race from the 22nd position on the grid. , incurred no penalties and avoided any major skids throughout the race. During brief but heavy rain showers at some points on the track in the final hours of the race, the team made the right decisions in terms of tire selection. For Van der Linde, Vanthoor and Vervisch, this is their second victory with Audi and the first success for Frijns. The Phoenix team led by Ernst Moser won the race for the fourth time with Audi.
“Congratulations to the whole team. This victory is once again proof of a solid team performance. Our new Audi R8 LMS GT3 evo II has proven to be a successful car against extremely tough competition. »said Julius Seebach, Managing Director of Audi Sport GmbH and Head of Motorsport at Audi.
The triumph of the four rings on the Nordschleife was completed by the other Audi R8 LMSs entered in the field. Christopher Haase, Nico Müller, Patric Niederhauser and René Rast just missed out on the podium with fourth place. The Audi Sport Team Car Collection quartet started the race from the second row and has long been the most promising R8 LMS on the grid. Two time penalties put the number 22 team back before returning to the leading group during the final hours of the race.
Two other Audi R8 LMS cars managed to enter the top 10 overall: Michele Beretta, Kuba Giermaziak, Kim-Luis Schramm and Markus Winkelhock in the Scherer Sport Team Phoenix car finished fifth. Car number 24 for the Lionspeed by Car Collection Motorsport team, with Mattia Drudi, Patrick Kolb, Christopher Mies and Patric Niederhauser sharing the cockpit, finished in sixth place. Lionspeed by Car Collection Motorsport’s sister car, featuring Dennis Fetzer, Klaus Koch, Dennis Marschall and Simon Reicher, finished 13th. Scherer Sport Team Phoenix’s number 5 car, shared by Ricardo Feller, Kelvin Van der Linde, Vincent Kolb and Frank Stippler, was the only one of a total of seven Audi R8 LMS cars to have to retire early after the Van der Linde collision. Linde with a run-in car overnight.
Success also for the Twin Busch by team speed team, which contested the Pro-Am classification with Elia Erhart, Michael Heimrich, Pierre Kaffer and Arno Klasen, and finished 14th overall. The Audi RS 3 LMS of the Max Kruse Racing team, which was racing in the hotly contested TCR class, was forced to retire after an accident in the morning.