Strong performance by BILSTEIN at the Nürburgring!
BILSTEIN and Mercedes-AMG Team Black Falcon narrowly missed the overall victory at the 46th ADAC Zurich 24h-Race 2018: In a race characterised by freak weather, team Black Falcon had an excellent start until the four-man team Maro Engel, Adam Christodoulou, Manuel Metzger and Dirk Müller in the Mercedes-AMG GT3 were spoiled by thick fog just a few hours before the end of the race. And so, only the Porsche 911 GT3 from Team Manthey Racing was faster on the 25.378-kilometre combination of the Nürburgring Grand Prix circuit and the Nordschleife. Also, the third place went to BILSTEIN and Black Falcon! Yelmer Buurman, Thomas Jäger, Jan Seyffarth and Luca Stolz took the place on the podium. In qualifying, the teams equipped with BILSTEIN suspensions were already able to set their first exclamation marks and place three cars in the top 10.
Pure drama at the Nürburgring
On Saturday a thrilling race developed in bright sunshine right from the start. After the Porsche 911 GT3 R with start number 911 took the lead at first, there was an open exchange of blows – in the first five hours alone the overall lead changed eight times.
During the night, events turned upside down: In the lead the GT3 R “911” took off. The second Manthey-Porsche immediately made a front run at the Nürburgring before BILSTEIN took the lead just one minute later with Black Falcon’s start number 5. Then, eleven hours after the start of the race: rain. As expected. This was Manuel Metzger’s chance in the second-place Black Falcon Mercedes. The adverse conditions were perfect for him. With a thrilling race to catch up, the 2016 winner made up second by second to the leading Porsche and announced shortly after three o’clock: the Mercedes-AMG GT3 with BILSTEIN power had taken the overall lead!
Although the team could not keep their place in the sun all the way through, the regulations played into their cards on sunday morning: When the then leading Manthey-Porsche had to serve a time penalty of 3:32 minutes, Black Falcon’s Mercedes-AMG GT3 once again took the overall lead. In total, four BILSTEIN cars were now in the top 5 in increasing fog.
Only the fog could stop BILSTEIN
It went almost perfectly for BILSTEIN. But three and a half hours before the end of the race, the fog was so thick on many sections of the track that the safety of the drivers was no longer guaranteed. It came as it had to come: At just before two o’clock the race was restarted – the reassuring lead of over four minutes for the Mercedes-AMG GT3 with start number 4 was gone. In the following heartbeat final for the overall victory at the Nürburgring Fred Makowiecki in the Porsche 911 GT3 R with the starting number 912 pushed past Adam Christodoulou in the Black Falcon Mercedes after a light touch and grabbed first place. He was not to give up the lead until the finish.
Nevertheless, there were enough reasons to celebrate: The Ferrari 488 GT3 from Wochenspiegel Team Monschau won the unofficial Pro-Am category. The Aston Martin Vantage GT3 (SP 9-LG), the Porsche 991 Carrera (V6) and the Mercedes-AMG GT4 (SP 10) from Black Falcon, as well as LMS Racing by Bas Koeten Racing with the Cupra TCR in the TCR class won in class.
“Congratulations to Manthey Racing! Unfortunately, this year we were not able to take the victory. But to have five cars in the top 10 is a great success. All BILSTEIN teams had a strong performance,” concludes Florian Hägemann, Head of Marketing & Motorsport at BILSTEIN, who made no secret of his ambitions for the upcoming 24h race at the Nürburgring: “We are postponing ‘The Legend Strikes Back‘ until next year.”