Phoenix Audi crew wins Nurburgring 24 Hours after Porsche penalty

Audi Team Phoenix secured its fifth win in the Nurburgring 24 Hours after the leading #911 Manthey Porsche was hit with a hefty penalty in the final hours of the race

Phoenix Audi crew wins Nurburgring 24 Hours after Porsche penalty

Dries Vanthoor brought the #4 Team Phoenix Audi R8 LMS to the finish after keeping a furious Kevin Estre in the #911 Manthey Racing Porsche at bay in the last hour of the race.

Dramatic scenes in the final hours had a significant impact on the result.

The #911 Porsche was leading in a comfortable fashion when it was hit with a big penalty of 5m32s after speeding in a 120kph speed zone and ignoring double yellow flags.

Laurens Vanthoor, driving at the time of the infringement, completed the zone with a speed of 172kph.

After Michael Christensen served the penalty, Vanthoor took over and originally dropped to fourth.

But major dramas for several frontrunners meant Vanthoor was back in second soon.

The #29 Team Land Audi initially grabbed the lead of the race when the leading Porsche took its penalty but Kelvin van der Linde then hit trouble because of a flat tyre.

The flapping Michelin tyre shredded the back end of the R8 LMS and caused problems to the cooling system with van der Linde was unable to bring the car back.

The third-placed #6 Black Falcon Mercedes also lost touch with the leaders when Nico Bastian crashed the car at Wippermann.

All of this gave the #4 Team Phoenix Audi of Dries Vanthoor, Pierre Kaffer, Frank Stippler and Frederic Vervisch the lead.

Vanthoor kept Estre at bay in the final hour of the race and brought the R8 LMS home after completing 157 laps.

Estre did a lap less but finished comfortably in second with Hubert Haupt in the #3 Black Falcon Mercedes in third place.

Christopher Haase fell short of a podium in the #14 Car Collection Audi he shared with Markus Winkelhock, Marcel Fassler and Rene Rast as they were hit with a time penalty in the penultimate hour of the race.

The #12 Frikadelli Porsche of Matteo Cairoli, Otto Klohs, Lars Kern and Dennis Olsen finished fifth and took the win in Pro-Am.

BMW endured a shocking race after it lost five of its six protagonists for the win in the opening half of the race and the sole surviving M6 GT3 ended up in sixth.

Fabian Vettel, the younger brother of four-time Formula 1 world champion Sebastian, brought the #18 Mercedes AMG GT3 home in seventh.

After briefly leading in the second hour, the defending #1 Manthey Racing Porsche of Richard Lietz, Nick Tandy, Fred Makowiecki and Patrick Pilet retired early on Sunday morning.

The car had suffered a flat tyre which dropped it to 30th place in only its second stint.

After repairs it came back on track and was cruising just outside of the top 10 when it was involved in another incident.

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Series GT
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Author Mark Bremer
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