Audi Sport took a one-two win at the Rowe ADAC 6 h Ruhr-Pokal-Rennen as the #29 Audi Sport Team Land came home ahead of the #32 Audi Sport Team Car Collection. The Audi R8 LMS GT3 driven by Mattia Drudi, Christopher Mies and Kelvin van der Linde approached the final moments of the race well behind the leading #26 Octane126 Ferrari 488 GT3 which was gambling on fuel saving to get it to the end of the race but would ultimately finish third.
With Luca Ludwig behind the wheel of the Ferrari and despite leading going into the final lap, he couldn’t hang on and had to battle to stay on the podium. Christopher Mies in the #29 — with Mirko Bortolotti’s #32 Audi Sport Team Car Collection close behind him — quickly closed on the Ferrari as the seconds ticked down. With less than two minutes of the six-hour race remaining, Mies caught Ludwig on the Döttinger Höhe.
There was no chance of the Octane126 Ferrari holding on to the lead as it went onto its 9th lap on a single tank of fuel. The team had gambled that a slow fuel saving lap would allow them to finish higher up the order than stopping for a splash-and-dash after going out-of-sync early on in the race. Coming in after only four laps did indeed bring the Swiss team forward and had them lead large portions the race, however, as it became more and more apparent that the race would run for 41, rather than the gambled-for 40 laps, fuel saving became top priority.
Even before the end of the lap, the fuel saving meant that in sector four Mies took 15 seconds out of the Ferrari’s advantage before going side-by-side on the start-finish straight on the final lap and taking the lead. Mirko Bortolotti passed the Ferrari further around the final lap and it looked like Ludwig — who shared the Ferrari with Björn Grossmann — might even drop to fourth as the #911 Manthey Racing Porsche 991.2 GT3R of Mathieu Jaminet closed in on Ludwig. It wasn’t to be and Ludwig got the Ferrari around the lap to finish just ahead of ‘Grello’.
At the front Bortolotti also caught back up with Mies after losing some ground trying to overtake Ludwig and it looked like he might steal the win from his Audi compatriot but in the end he held back leaving Mies to take the flag seven minutes past the hour earning himself and co-drivers Robin Frijns, Christopher Haase and Markus Winkelhock second place.
Luwig continued to save fuel on the 41ste and final lap, but managed to hold off the charging Mathieu Jaminet in the #911 Manthey Racing Porsche 991.2 GT3R by just four seconds. ‘Grello’, however, would later be slapped with a time-penalty for ignoring yellow flags and drop back to 13th place, promoting the #2 Mercedes-AMG Team GetSpeed of Fabian Schiller, Raffaele Marciello, Maximilian Götz and Maximilian Buhk to fourth and the #99 Rowe Racing BMW M6 GT3 of race title sponsor Rowe to fifth at the hands of Nick Catsburg, Philipp Eng, Alexander Sims and Nick Yelloly.
Scuderia Camerton Glickenhaus celebrated a milestone this race when the 004c made its competition debut. Built to GT3 spec but entered in SPX while awaiting official GT3 homologation, the American-Italian team focused its attention on the continuing development of the 004c and was thrown a challenge already on Friday when the car caught fire. Overnight repairs with help from Black Falcon and Schnitzer Motorsport got the machine ready for the 6-hour race on Saturday where it raced to a 96th place eight laps behind the winner to gather the necessary data for the upcoming Nürburgring 24 Hours.
The Nürburgring Endurance Series now goes on a two-month break while teams and drivers prepare for the Nürburgring 24 Hours on 26-27th September. The championship is back in action on 24th October.
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