Works M3 prevails at the Nurburgring

The BMW M3 GT2 of World Touring Car Championship drivers Jörg Müller and Augusto Farfus, Peugeot LMP1 driver Pedro Lamy and 1994 Porsche Supercup champion Uwe Alzen won the Nürburgring 24 Hours in May.

The works BMW (below) only qualified eighth on the grid, but made the most of the retirements of other cars and held off the Ferrari F430 GTC of Dominik Farnbacher, Allan Simonsen, Lehman Keen and Marco Seefried – which had worked its way up from 46th on the grid – to the finish.

Lamy, who has now won the race five times in Chrysler Vipers and BMWs, said: “This win was the most difficult as we were suffering near the end of the race with mechanical issues. The team did a great job – the other car (which finished seventh) was not as lucky as we were – but I’m just very happy for everyone at BMW.”

The race-favourite Manthey Racing Porsche, which has won the event for the past four years, looked set to add to its record. However, in the seventh hour it was involved in a collision with a backmarker while leading by three minutes and was forced to retire.

The seven Audi R8 LMS customer racers suffered similar luck, and after locking out the first four spots on the grid its cars fell foul of backmarkers, drivetrain failure, broken engine mounts and coolant loss after hitting a kerb. The number 100 Audi of DTM driver Oliver Jarvis briefly held the lead after the Manthey Porsche retired, but a matter of moments later it too was caught out by a slower car. The Porsche GT3 R Hybrid (with an electric motor on each front wheel) that Williams F1 ace Nico Hulkenberg tested in April came close to becoming the first hybrid car to win the 24 Hours, but broke down while leading by a lap with less than two hours left to run.

The gas-powered Sciroccos lamented the lack of rain throughout after being extremely competitive in damp conditions earlier in the weekend. But the number 117 car, with Nasser Al-Attiyah, Vanina Ickx, Dieter Depping and Klaus Niedzwiedz at the wheel, still managed to finish 16th overall.