24hour race at the Nürburgring
Nürburgring, May 2012. The Nürburgring 24 Hour Race has taken place at the Nürburgring circuit of Germany. This year's race is the commemorative 40th race since its start in 1970. There were well over 100 thousand spectators here to see the battle between 200 racing machines, in the forest of Eifel also dubbed the "Green Hell",
According to some counts the Nordschleife has 73 corners twisting and turning through the Eifel Mountains. The 40th edition of the Nurburgring 24 Hours had just as many twists as four manufacturers and more than a dozen teams battled it out at the top of the 180 car field.
As with last year, major German works teams of Porsche, Audi, BMW, and Mercedes clash, while Aston Martins, Corvettes, and the new McLaren jump into the fray. From Japan are the Lexus LF A, Subaru Impreza and the Toyota 86, while the Peugeot RCZ and MINI face off in the compact car class.
In total eight different driver crews took their turn in the lead of the race but all but a few fell out contention as the pace necessary to win the race dominated by factory assisted teams with GT3 machinery was translated into a spiralling rate of attrition. The steady stream of retirements and delayed rather left a winner by process of elimination rather than sheer performance as the no.3 Audi Sport Team Phoenix line of Marc Basseng, Christopher Haase, Frank Stippler and Markus Winkelhock emerged victorious by almost a complete lap of the legendary 25km venue. Audi takes its first overall victory in the Nürburgring 24 Hours.