The Nürburgring had a eventful weekend hosting its eponymous race, giving two of Germany's biggest names the chance to go at it for a day. BMW and Porsche both showed up looking to be strong contenders again this year (Porsche has won for the past four years).
Stuttgart-based Porsche finally debuted its much-hyped GT3 R Hybrid (more details here) on the track, but the car gave out 22 hours and 15 minutes into the race. Just because the end result was a DNF does not mean that it didn't put up one hell of a show, holding the lead for eight hours.
Porsche factory driver Joerg Bergmeister says he "heard a loud noise at the rear of the car and suddenly the power went."
While the hybrid may need a little more development before anyone goes and starts up a new racing series, Porsche's regular GT3 RS proved just fine. The road-racer, which was driven to the track from Weissach, came in 13th overall.
As for the big winner of the day, that would have to be BMW.
The M3 GT2 came in first after 154 laps. Four of the top ten finishers were BMWs. BMW got ten "class wins" this year, and a little less than 1/3 of all the cars entered were Bimmers. As for history, this year's enduro really locked in BMW as the 'winning-est' touring car manufacturer in history.
BMW M director Mario Theissen says, "The tension was enormous for all of us, so the relief was all the greater when the car crossed the finish line. I must say a big thank you to every single member of the team. Everyone worked perfectly together. Thanks also to our loyal fans, who have taken us to their hearts after a five-year break and given us such great support."
By Phil Alex
2010 Nürburgring 24 Hours Race Results:
1. Müller/Farfus/Alzen/Lamy (D/BR/D/P), BMW M3 GT2, 154 laps
2. Farnbacher/Simonsen/Keen/Seefried (D/AUS/USA/D), Ferrari F430 GTC, + 3:54.1 minutes
3. Rostek/Ludwig/Bronzel/Winkelhock (D/D/D/D), Audi R8 LMS, + 1 laps
4. Hartung/Söderlund/Sandström/Öhlin (D/S/CH/S), BMW Z4 GT3, + 2
5. Jöns/Breslin/Stuck/Heyer (D/GB/A/D), Audi R8 LMS, + 2
6. Alzen/Schwager/Jäger/Bert (D/D/D/D), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup S, + 3
7. Werner/Müller/Priaulx/Adorf (D/D/GB/D), BMW M3 GT2, + 4
8. Zehe/Schelp/Roloff/Bullitt (D/D/D/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup S, + 4
9. Aust/Adams/Übler/Grossmann (D/D/D/D), BMW Z4 GT3, + 5
10. Weiland/Forbes/Riemer/Horn (D/D/D/D), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, + 6
11. Gayday/Kruglyk/Basov/Schratz (UKR/UKR/R/D), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, + 7
12. Dumbreck/Schoysman/Tanaka/Hoshino (GB/D/J/J), Nissan Z33, + 9
13. Simon/von Saurma/Asch/Harris (D/D/D/GB), Porsche 911 GT3 RS, + 9