Reigning Champions take First Win at Nürburgring

A year on from their first victory, the #1 Porsche took its first win of the season on home soil in what was proved to be a dramatic fight.

The #1 car beat out the sister #2 Porsche of Neel Jani, Marc Lieb and Romain Dumas and the two Audi R18s which had race-winning pace to take its first win of the year. Audi took second and third, the #8 car leading the #7 across the line whilst Neel Jani took 4th after a tense final stint and an incredibly close battle with the third place Audi.

The #36 Signatech Alpine dominated in LMP2 scoring valuable points in their hunt for the P2 Championship. RGR Sport continued with their strong form, taking the second step of the podium with the #31 ESM Ligier rounding out the top 3.

AF Corse took a 1-2 finish in GTE-Pro ahead of the pole siting #95 Aston Martin which had lead for the majority of the race. The British marque took the top step of the podium in GTE-AM in the hands of Pedro Lammy, Mathias Lauda and Paul Dalla Lana, ahead of the #83 AF Corse Ferrari and the #50 Larbre Competition Corvette.

Both Audi’s looked capable of taking the win as the race unfolded, the #8 car looked dominant during the middle stint whilst the #7 car took an early lead. Both cars suffered under badly timed full course yellows which saw the #2 Porsche inherit the lead. As the race entered the final third, everyone's attention was on the #2 Porsche which was charging hard. A mistake from Lieb saw him collide with the #88 Abu Dhabi Proton Porsche and receive a drive through penalty. The slipped back to third as it re-joined the race with 80 minutes left on the clock and a charging Jani at the wheel with Duval just ahead. Duval and Jani ran side by side for the ensuing laps, Jani was forced wide at T1 and pulled alongside again as the pair fought their way through traffic, demonstrating their skill and talent that makes them two of the best drivers in the championship. The fight came to an early end however, Jani was forced to pit after losing a piece of bodywork through contact with an SMP LMP2 car. It was a much simpler run to the flag for the #1 car which crossed the line with a minute in hand.

It was a quiet race for Toyata, the pace from Le Mans nowhere to be seen. Both cars finished a number of laps off the lead.

In LMP2, G-Drive held an early lead before transmission trouble with Alex Brundle at the wheel saw their race come to an early end, the car retired part way through the third hour. The #36 car inherited the lead and claimed the teams third consecutive victory. The RGR Sport Ligier took a solid second place whilst a last minute move from the #31 ESM car saw it out accelerate the #42 Strakka on the run to the finish line, the out dated Gibson showing its age in comparison to the new generation of Ligier’s. On a more positive note, it was an incredibly impressive performance from the newest driver to the Strakka line up, Lewis Williamson in his debut outing.

Aston Martin looked to be running away with the race in GTE-Pro before Gianmaria Bruni took the lead with two and a half hours to run. This seemed to shake the Aston Martin drivers as the car slipped down the order, becoming entangled with the battle between the #71 Ferrari and #66 Ford GT. A notable change in performance for the GTE field, the Fords struggling in comparison to their dominance just 6 weeks before at La Sarthe with Aston fighting at the front again after a poor first half of the season.

The #98 Aston Martin took victory in GTE-AM with a strong performance from Lamy, Dalla Lana and Lauda. The lead changed a number of times throughout the race, Larbre Competition, KCMG and the Abu Dhabi Proton Porsche all leading as the race unfolded. The AF Corse 458 challenged at the midway point before Perrodo threw the car in to the gravel at the final chicane.