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Category: 24 Hours Nürburgring

Finlay CrockerThe FleetMatics-backed Finlay Crocker is in a jubilant mood following a momentous maiden outing on Germany’s infamous Nurburgring Nordschleife (17-19 May).

The daunting 14-mile circuit, nicknamed ‘The Green Hell’, hosted the 41st running of the legendary Nurbugring 24 Hours endurance race, as well as a prestigious bill of supporting action that included the Renault/MINI Trophy for both Clio Cup and MINI Challenge machinery.

With 147 corners – including the notorious 180-degree Karussel turn – as well as adverse cambers, blind rises and an unpredictable climate, the Nordschleife deserves its infamous reputation for pushing both man and machinery to the limit.

It’s a formidable opponent at the best of times, yet a rain-soaked track surface made Crocker’s first sortie on the 14-mile circuit on Friday (17 May) all the more unnerving.

Scuderia Vittoria’s Crocker, backed by FleetMatics – a provider of real-time GPS fleet tracking and management systems – acclimatised well to the lay-out and went progressively quicker as the weekend wore on to end Saturday’s (18 May) dry qualifying session within 40 seconds of the pole time.

“I was told before the session that if I got within a minute of pole I should be very satisfied,” said Crocker. “I was really surprised to hear that because we usually talk in terms of tenths, hundredths or even thousandths of a second on short circuits in the Renault UK Clio Cup, but they were absolutely right. I may have qualified 17th, but the guys in the team were delighted and so enthusiastic.”

Sunday’s highly-anticipated race got off to a positive start for Crocker and his Scuderia Vittoria team, as he made up several places as a result of a rapid getaway and a first-corner incident involving two of his competitors.

The Scot was 12th as the field headed out into the Eifel Mountains but had his race ruined when a collision left him with a bent rear axle and severe front-end damage, including misaligned steering.

However, he stubbornly continued on his way and, against all odds, nursed his ailing Clio across the finish line to conclude his first ever race at the Nurburgring in 21st place.

“Another driver got a run on me once we got onto the Nordschleife and tried an ambitious move around the outside through one of the high-speed left-handers,” Crocker explained. “He bounced off the barriers and collected me as he returned to the track. The move was never on. It wasn’t an overtaking place.

“I was disappointed to have been denied an opportunity to translate the pace we showed in qualifying into a result, but the whole event far exceeded my expectations,” said Crocker. “We went there to do the best job we could and we had an absolutely amazing time. I just wanted to continue driving – I’ve never had so much fun in my life!”

Crocker continued: “I can’t thank FleetMatics enough for their support because without them none of it would have been possible. In addition, I must thank Scuderia Vittoria, as well as my engineer Jay Cox. The experience was so amazing because of the people I shared it with.”

Scuderia Vittoria Team Manager, Tom Ferrier, added: “It was a brilliant weekend for Finlay and the team – it’s an incredible event and it was great to see Finlay so enthused.

“I was impressed that after only eight flying laps, four of which were in the wet, he was within 40 seconds of the quickest time in qualifying. I was gutted that he didn’t get the race he wanted, but we’re still very pleased and want to thank FleetMatics for providing us with the opportunity of contesting such a fantastic event.”

For more information on Scuderia Vittoria’s racing activities, please like the team’s Facebook page or follow @ScudVittoria on Twitter.

Dörr MotorsportStefan Aust, Rob Thomson, Frank Weishar and Andreas Weishaupt secured the class victory at the 41st ADAC Zurich 24-Hour Race. Four Dörr Motorsport cars finished the race.

Dörr Motorsport entered five cars for the 41st ADAC Zurich 24-Hour Race. The conditions were a challenge for the drivers due to heavy rainfall, starting at sunset. For safety reasons, race control decided to suspend the classic endurance race shortly before 11 p.m. until 8 a.m. the next morning

The drivers faced difficult conditions again in the second part of the race. However, all drivers handled them well.

Eighth class victory at the 24-Hour Race

Stefan Aust, Rob Thomson, Frank Weishar and Andreas Weishaupt at the wheel of the BMW Z4 M Coupé had ups and downs during the 41st ADAC Zurich 24-Hour Race. Having started from the first position in their class, Weishaupt from Ulm was forced to pit after only a few minutes, when the air duct near the radiator became loose. The four drivers managed to regain the lead in their class during the next few hours, until they dropped to fourth place and lost valuable time due to a collision through no fault of their own.

Stefan Aust took the Z4 M Coupé over for the restart of the race at 8.20 a.m. on Whitsunday, pushing forward to the third place. Subsequently, the four drivers were able to gradually gain places. Team Manager Uwe Isert acknowledges the performance of his drivers, especially considering the changing weather conditions: “Our drivers did a fantastic job, despite the difficult conditions. They were able to push forward during the final hours due to their consistent performance.”

In the end, the last driver, Stefan Aust, grabbed the lead shortly before driving across the finish line, securing the eighth class victory for Dörr Motorsport at the ADAC Zurich 24-Hour Race. The Z4 M Coupé finished 61st in the overall standings.

Collective team performance of the Toyotas GT86

The drivers of the three Dörr Motorsport Toyotas GT86 secured places two to four in their category.

Having started from the fourth position in their class, Hans-Martin Gass, Heiko Hahn, Roland Konrad and Kristian Vetter finished second, the best result of the three Dörr Motorsport Toyotas. Just like their team-mates, the four drivers did not face major issues during the race. The four drivers also shared the podium with their team-mates Dirk Heldmann, Alexander Hofmann, Rolf Scheibner and Giampaolo Tenchini, who finished third.

Narrowly missing the podium, Markus Grossmann, Dierk Möller-Sonntag, Guido Naumann and Maximilian Sandritter finished fourth in their class of the production cars with a cylinder capacity of up to 2 litres, which topped off the result for Dörr Motorsport.

The only downside: the McLaren was forced to retire early

After technical issues had prevented Rudi Adams from setting a fast lap during the Top40 qualifying, Peter Kox took over the McLaren MP4-12C GT3 during the first part of the race. Starting from start position 39 The Dutchman gained a few places right away. However, the joy did not last for long. After completing only a few kilometres at the Nordschleife, the engine of the English super sports car stopped working, resulting in an early retirement for Rudi Adams, Arno Klasen and Peter Kox.

Team Manager Uwe Isert described the situation after the 41st ADAC Zurich 24-Hour Race: “We have worked for months in order to prepare for this event, and we were pretty confident after the first practice sessions. Retiring that early without being able to show what we are capable of is very disappointing, considering the work we had put in.”

Team Principal Rainer Dörr praised the work of his team: “It was a tough weekend and everybody in the team gave their all. We were extremely disappointed by the early retirement of the McLaren. However, the class victory of the Z4 M Coupé and the great results achieved by the Toyotas motivate us for future races.”

GDL RacingThe 35th position in the Green Hell, in a very difficult condition with the rain and fog, is an extraordinary result for the GDL Racing team.

Ravenna-based team hit the target at its debut in the 2013 edition of Nürburgring 24 Hours, taking an excellent overall place at the end of the Nordshleife race, on Monday afternoon.

Italians Roberto Fecchio, Dario Paletto, Marco Mapelli and Australian Paul Stubber managed a perfect final race, despite of the weather that caused the red flag during the night.

Porsche 997 GT3 Cup S of the Gianluca De Lorenzi’s team did not have any trouble since the first laps to the chequered flag. Not a mistake for the GDL Racing drivers that scored an other positive result to be added to the most important participations at the endurance international races.

Dörr MotorsportSix hours after the start, four Dörr Motorsport cars are still contesting the race, which is currently suspended. Technical issues cause early retirement of the McLaren MP4-12C GT3.

The Dörr Motorsport team has completed the first quarter of the 41st ADAC Zurich 24-Hour Race. Four cars are still contesting for the team from Frankfurt. However, the race was suspended just before the completion of the sixth hour due to heavy rainfall and fog.

Early retirement of the McLaren MP4-12C GT3

After technical issues had prevented Rudi Adams from setting a fast lap in yesterday’s Top40 qualifying, Peter Kox started into the 24-Hour Race from start position 39 at 5 p.m. today. The Dutchman gained a few places right away. However, the joy did not last for long. After completing only a few kilometres at the Nordschleife, the engine of the English super sports car stopped working, resulting in an early retirement for Rudi Adams, Arno Klasen and Peter Kox.

Adams explained: “It is very disappointing. The car ran really well until the last qualifying session last night. And now we have to retire early again after our short stint in last year’s 24-Hour Race.”

Uwe Isert added: “We are not sure yet, what caused the engine failure. Accepting a setback like this is very hard, especially considering the hard work our mechanics put into the car again last night.”

Z4 M Coupé lost the lead after collision

Stefan Aust, Rob Thomson, Andreas Weishaupt and Frank Weishar have faced a few challenges in the race so far: Having started the race from the first position in the respective class, the first driver, Frank Weishaupt from Ulm, was forced to pit after only three laps. After the crew of Team Principal Rainer Dörr had fixed the air vent of the radiator, the four drivers pushed hard and regained the lead. After a little more than three hours the BMW Z4 M Coupé dropped to the fourth place in its class as a result of a collision through no fault of the driver.

Toyota GT86 without problems

Two of the Toyotas GT86 were among the Top3 in their class at the time of the race suspension. Having started from the pole position in its category, the GT86 of Heldmann/Tenchini/Hofmann/Scheibner is currently in second place. Just behind it, in third place, are Hahn/Konrad/Gass/Vetter in the Toyota #211. The third GT86 with Sandritter, Möller-Sonntag, Grossmann and Naumann at the wheel was in fifth place in its class at the time of the race suspension.

It is still unclear, when the 41st ADAC Zurich 24-Hour Race can be resumed.

Dörr MotorsportThe Dörr Motorsport McLaren MP4-12C GT3 did not manage to complete a timed lap in the Top40 qualifying, which determines the starting grid of the fastest cars for the 24-Hour Race.

It was the first setback for the team of Team Principal Rainer Dörr at a weekend, which had been perfect so far. The team did not have any luck in the crucial qualifying session. Rudi Adams did not complete any timed laps in the McLaren MP4-12C GT3 since a wheel of the British super sports car became loose on his out lap.

As a result, Rudi Adams, Arno Klasen and Peter Kox will start into the 41st ADAC Zurich 24-Hour Race on Sunday from start position 39.

The BMW Z4 M Coupé will start from position 52 (first in class), the three Toyotas GT86 from 132 (second in class), 150 (fourth in class) and 151 (fifth in class). More information can be found in the report about the second qualifying session.

Champion motor racer Nathan Freke clocked up his second finish in the world famous Nurburgring 24 hour race in Germany. In addition to completing the gruelling race around the 13 mile Green Hell Nordschleife circuit the Jaguar XF24 took an unexpected class win after a near faultless run, ending up 92nd overall in front of more powerful and better funded cars in the 190 starters. Nathan drove the car for 8 out of the 24 hours registering the fastest lap in the car of the 3 drivers.

“I am ecstatic to have brought the car home in what is probably the most difficult of the 24 hr races on the calendar. The mix of cars means that you have to be concentrating a peak level all the time and as the circuit is so long you never really get to master it completely. Driving in the dark is particularly hard when the faster cars can be closing with speed differentials of 50 mph with their lights flashing. To finish is fantastic, to finish 92nd even better, and to win the class in the cars first 24 hour race is unbelievable. My thanks to my co drivers, Colin White, and Rob Carvell, and to Carvell Racing for doing a super job keeping the car going.”

Nathan FrekeMultiple British Champion racer Nathan Freke has concluded a deal to race a Jaguar XF 24 at the Nurburgring 24 Hour race held on the full Nordschleife circuit which is 13 miles in length. In terms of endurance racing the Nurburgring ranks 2nd behind Le Mans on the European scene and is unusual in that it allows 190 cars on the track at once. Nathan will be partnered by two other British drivers Colin White and Rob Carvell. After considering a number of offers to drive different cars Nathan decided that the unique Jaguar would be the best proposition in terms of car and team setup, Carvell Motorsport being very close to his own Century Motorsport business.

‘ I’m really excited about the 24 hour event. I’ve done it once before but it was in a slower car so I am excited to get in something more purposeful. The original plan was to use our own Ginetta but it was a lot of work to convert our car to GT4 spec and the deal with the Jaguar and Carvell Motorsport was very attractive. The prime objective is to finish the race and after that if a class win is possible then that would be a huge bonus’

Nathan will also be running a car in the British GT series at the same meeting so will have his work cut out to be team boss for Century Motorsport and drive in the most gruelling of 24 hour races.

Bryce WashingtonSouth Australian driver Bryce Washington has today confirmed that he will make his international Sportscar racing debut when he tackles the 1000km of the Nurburgring in two weeks time.

The 22-year-old ADRAD Racing driver, currently a leading competitor in both the Wright Patton Shakespeare Australian Carrera Cup Championship and the Speed Energy Drink Australian GT Championship, will tackle the historic event behind the wheel of a Porsche GT3 RSR with JWA Racing.

The race will mark the first international foray for the Adelaide driver as he investigates potential career avenues for the future.

The Nurburgring 1000km event has been held since 1953, when it was contested over 44 laps of the famous 22.8km Nordschleife circuit. In 1984 it moved to the current Grand Prix circuit before being shortened, then eventually discontinued in the late 1980s.

The race was resurrected in 2000 and now serves as one of five rounds of the LeMans Series in Europe, Australian David Brabham winning the event that year driving with Jan Magnussen in a Panoz LMP 1.

The James Watt Automotive outfit is a well credentialed Porsche team and has some Australian history, with both Dane Allan Simonsen – a man with plenty of Aussie Racing experience – and Jack Elsgood having driven for them in the past.

JWA Racing will run a Porsche GT3 RSR in the GT2 Class against a field that includes cars from Porsche, Ferrari, TVR, Spyker and Panoz.

Adelaide – based Washington is the defending Australian GT Champion, and has proved himself to be a leading competitor in the Carrera Cup one-make series despite a run of bad luck in the first two rounds this year that has proved to be a setback to his championship campaign.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity that I have been given, and I intend to make the most of it,” Washington said today.

“I am really looking forward to it. To be able to compete in the premier Sportscar series in Europe and at the Nurburgring circuit is an awesome opportunity. There is so much history at the circuit and in this event and to be a part of that will be great.

“It will be also really good to check out the European scene and look at some options for next season.

“I’ve done plenty of laps of the Nurburgring on the Play Station and it’s always been one of my best circuits,” he joked.

”Whether that helps or not, I don’t know, but I can’t wait to get over there and race.” He said.

The 1000km of the Nurburgring will be held on July 15 – 16 and is the third round of the 2006 LeMans Series.

This weekend sees Washington taking part in the third round of the 2006 WPS Carrera Cup Australia Championship with ADRAD Racing, the South Aussie placing a solid 11th in the first race despite getting ‘hung out to dry’ on the opening corner at Hidden Valley in Darwin.