The 24 Hours of Nurburgring is always an action-packed affair, but 2019’s running of the N24 seemed especially bonkers.
The madness began before the endurance race itself even kicked off, with the WTCR support event giving us a frantic, scrappy battle between Nestor Girolami, Frederic Vervisch and Rob Huff.
There was also the bit where Rudi Adams’ hit the pit wall, having been blinded by the wayward bonnet of his M4, and of course, multiple other crashes. But the best moment of the race? Manthey Porsche’s Kevin Estre gave us that.
With 18 hours and 44 minutes to go the Frenchman went for a rapidly shrinking gap down the left-hand side of the #2 Mercedes-AMG GT3, at the time piloted by Dirk Müller. By the time the front bumper of Estre’s Porsche 911 GT3 R reached the rear of the Mercedes, the gap was already too small.
Undeterred, he made the move anyway, putting two wheels on the grass. While both cars passed a back-marker. Bear in mind at this late section of the long Dottinger Hohe straight, the GT3 R would have been travelling around 170mph.
Estre made the move stick, taking the lead of the race. Unfortunately, the N24 didn’t end brilliantly for either car. The #2 machine was retired overnight following a collision, while Manthey’s #911 GT3 R lost the lead late on due to a lengthy time penalty picked up by Laurens Vanthoor for speeding in a 120kmh zone and ignoring double-waved yellow flags.
This effectively handed Audi Team Phoenix the win – Ingolstadt’s fifth N24 victory.
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