The Nurburgring 24 Hours is one of the most prestigious and difficult events in motorsport. An entire day’s worth of racing on one of the most grueling tracks in the world can put any race car to the test. Yet, the Audi R8 has proven to be quite successful at the N24 over the years. In fact, it’s just won its fifth N24 in eight years.
During this most recent Nurburgring 24 Hours, a Manthey Porsche racing team 911 GT3 had the lead for almost the entire race. In fact, there was an intense battle between that 911 and a Mercedes-AMG GT. The 911 eventually shot ahead of the AMG after a stunningly brave passing maneuver to take the lead. The AMG collided with a Gazoo Racing Toyota Supra, which ended its day and put a Phoenix Racing Audi R8 in second place.
The Audi R8 wasn’t too far behind the Porsche but far enough that the Porsche was the favorite to win the race with hours left to go. Yet, in the last two hours of the race, the leading Porsche committed a penalty by passing where it wasn’t supposed to and suffered a five-minuted delay; an eternity in the N24.
Thanks to that penalty, the second-place Audi R8 was able to take the lead, a lead it would never relinquish. What’s interesting is that even after it took the lead, it was running slower laps than the 911, which actually almost caught the R8 after its penalty punishment.
Still, the Audi R8 was able to do enough to keep the Porsche off its tails until the final minute of the race. So penalty or otherwise, the Audi R8 has now won its fifth N24 in eight years, which is an incredibly impressive achievement. Congrats to the Phoenix Racing team,to Audi Sport and to all of the R8 customers who now have some more street cred.