Motorsport

Gallery: The 7 Hours and 22 Minutes of the 2024 Nürburgring 24 Hours

by Alex Sobran
13 June 2024 2 min read
Gallery: The 7 Hours and 22 Minutes of the 2024 Nürburgring 24 Hours
(Photos: Alex Sobran)

The 52nd edition of the day-long endurance race through the Green Hell was the shortest in history, clocking a total of just 7 hours and 22 minutes of racing over the course of 50 laps. The stunted duration of the “N24”, which took place 1–2 June, was thanks to the Eifel region’s infamously inclement weather, which draped the course in a dense layer of helicopter-immobilising haze that compromised emergency safety services and wafted through the forested hills as if pouring from the devil’s very own fog machine.

The red flags flew at 11:23pm local time, and the nearly 130-car field was rendered stationary until a handful of formation laps were run behind the safety car in the final hours of the race weekend – a small but welcome concession for the soggy fans. The #16 Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II of Scherer Sport PHX claimed the big trophy, local favourites Manthey Racing snatched silver in their #911 Porsche 911 GT3 R, and BMW M Team RMG’s #72 M4 GT3 filled out the podium’s third spot. 

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2024 Nürburgring 24 Hours racing action

The result marked the seventh overall victory for the Audi R8 and Scherer Sport PHX at the N24, which sees the team now tied for the record with Manthey Racing. But it was a bittersweet moment for the blue-and-white R8, as this was the first year that it raced without Audi’s factory support. It will also likely be the model’s last chance at winning the event due to Audi’s withdrawal from GT racing, and a Scherer team that is readying itself to compete with a new car next season. There are worse ways for a competition car to age into retirement than winning at the Nürburgring, even if it was under weather-shortened circumstances.

Despite the race’s record-breaking brevity, there was still sufficient time for motorsport drama. Cars caught fire, were flung into the air, and fiercely fought for position on the Nordschleife’s narrow and undulating asphalt. It might not have the same prestige as the 24 Hours of Le Mans, but there’s nowhere but the Nürburgring where you can see a top-spec GT3 Porsche getting airborne before weaving through a bunch of 3 Series sedans – and a Dacia Logan! – and clipping a moving apex in the form of a flatbed truck hauling the carcass of a wrecked race car. At the N24, the recovery vehicles share a live track with the racers, making for some spectacular displays of adaptive driving and adding another bit of flavour to this singular event.

2024 Nürburgring 24 Hours racing action

When combined with the Grand Prix circuit, the full course for the 24-hour race is a memory-testing 15.77 miles long, and during the race weekend it was lined with more than 240,000 spectators and their architecturally questionable homebrewed grandstands, sausage-sizzling barbecues, and bountiful beer bottles. Like the infield at Talladega and the ritzy balconies of Monaco, the atmosphere during the ‘Ring’s premier race weekend is its own spectator sport. More on that in a story to follow – in the meantime, enjoy the sights of the shortest-ever Nürburgring 24.

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2024 Nürburgring 24 Hours racing action
2024 Nürburgring 24 Hours racing action
2024 Nürburgring 24 Hours racing action
2024 Nürburgring 24 Hours racing action
2024 Nürburgring 24 Hours racing action
2024 Nürburgring 24 Hours racing action
2024 Nürburgring 24 Hours racing action
2024 Nürburgring 24 Hours racing action
2024 Nürburgring 24 Hours racing action
2024 Nürburgring 24 Hours racing action
2024 Nürburgring 24 Hours racing action
2024 Nürburgring 24 Hours racing action
2024 Nürburgring 24 Hours racing action
2024 Nürburgring 24 Hours racing action
2024 Nürburgring 24 Hours racing action
2024 Nürburgring 24 Hours racing action
2024 Nürburgring 24 Hours racing action
2024 Nürburgring 24 Hours racing action
2024 Nürburgring 24 Hours racing action
2024 Nürburgring 24 Hours racing action
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