After 24 grueling hours and a nine-hour rain delay, Mercedes-Benz has won the Nurburgring endurance race for the first time.
Held on the infamous Nordschleife, the Nurburgring 24 is one of the most grueling of endurance races in the world. As you might expect, the race is usually won in a German car. Porsches and BMWs have won most of the races in its 43-year history, with notable exceptions for the Viper GTS-R that won three times around the turn of the millenium. Audi won for the first time last year, and now Mercedes has followed by claiming its first victory there as well when an SLS AMG GT3 took the checkered flag at the 41st ADAC 24h Rennen Nurburgring.
The race-spec Gullwing was fielded by the Black Falcon team and piloted by five-time DTM champion Bernd Schneider and teammates Sean Edwards (a former FIA GT3 champion and son of a former F1 driver), Jeroen Bleekemolen (a former Le Mans class winner) and Nicki Thiim (an up-and-coming Danish driver). The Black Falcon team had to fight of a tough challenge from the BMW Z4 fielded by Marc VDS and a red flag that halted the race for 9 hours due to rain. Two more SLS AMGs finished third and fourth, but the best result for a Porsche – whose 911 accounts for far more victories than any other car or manufacturer – was seventh.