Audi has claimed its first overall victory at the Nürburgring 24 Hour race with the R8 LMS Ultra finishing in both first and second place. The win comes after a slew of endurance race wins for Audi in the last 12 months including the Bathurst 12 Hour and the 24 hour races at Spa and Zolder.

The winning Phoenix Racing R8 LMS Ultra, driven by a German quartet of Marc Basseng, Christopher Haase, Frank Stippler and Markus Winkelhock, managed to complete 155 laps of the Green Hell free of technical issues or crashes, and finished over three and a half minutes ahead of the second place R8 run by Abt. A Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 claimed the final place on the podium.

"We are absolutely delighted about this long desired victory," said Dieter Gass, Head of Racing Commitments at Audi Sport, after the race. "For three years the Audi R8 LMS was always the best GT3 car at the Nürburgring. Now we have taken overall victory in the fight with seven other brands."

Scroll down to see the official announcement from Audi or view photos from the race in the high-res gallery above.
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Ingolstadt/Nürburgring, May 20, 2012 - Erratic weather, an extreme pace, tough competition, bitter setbacks and a great triumph: Audi emerged from a genuine emotional roller-coaster ride as victor of the Nürburgring 24 Hours. In the 40th running of the Eifel classic the brand recorded its first overall victory with the new Audi R8 LMS ultra. The German driver quartet Marc Basseng/Christopher Haase/Frank Stippler/Markus Winkelhock shared driving duties in the car entered by Audi Sport Team Phoenix. Christian Abt/Michael Ammermüller/Armin Hahne/Christian Mamerow from Team Mamerow Racing completed the one-two success.

Audi has achieved yet another milestone in endurance racing within just eleven months: in June 2011 the brand celebrated its tenth victory in the 24 Hours of Le Mans with the R18 TDI LMP sports prototype. Last July the customer racing R8 LMS race car also won the 24 hour classic at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium for the first time. The Nürburgring triumph now rounds off the endurance record. The competition around the Nordschleife was regarded as a particularly brutal test of endurance this year. The pace of the eight different brands represented in the GT3 class was unusually high, many leading teams were struck by technical defects and numerous accidents whittled the field down still further. While the Audi GT3 race car, which is derived from a production line car, ran technically reliably for 24 hours, the Audi teams did not escape unscathed from accidents either.

In this way, the Audi R8 LMS ultra with start number '2' driven by Christopher Mies at the time was hit by an opponent in the rain while leading. The repairs took 53 minutes and stole any chance of victory from him and his team mates Marcel Fässler and René Rast - they were fifth at the flag. In the night the car with number '4' from Speedhunters Team WRT lost a huge amount of time after a collision with a competitor damaged the steering. The Belgian team finished 32nd. Team Raeder Motorsport held a promising fifth position after 17 hours of racing when Thomas Mutsch was unable to avoid a lapped car as it changed line. After hitting the guardrail any it was impossible to contemplate driving further in start number 9. The Audi race experience finished in 17th place with Christian Bollrath/Pierre Ehret/Peter Venn/Marco Werner. The sister car driven by Luca Cappellari/Florian Gruber/Warren Luff/Alexander Yoong retired due to damage caused in an accident.

In the closing stages the pressure to succeed in the overall classification weighed heavily on the start numbers 3 and 26. Audi Sport Team Phoenix won its home race thanks to a combination of balanced pace, clever driving and reliable pit work. It was overall victory number three for the team from Meuspath and the first with Audi. Almost simultaneously Ernst Moser's squad clinched third place as best Audi team in the third DTM race at Brands Hatch. Team Mamerow Racing also clinched an excellent result. Team director Peter Mamerow only changed his allegiance to Audi this year. With the support of Audi Sport customer racing the team fielded an R8 LMS ultra with Christian Abt/Michael Ammermüller/Armin Hahne/Christian Mamerow on board. Second overall is richly deserved for the private team from Castrop-Rauxel.

"We are absolutely delighted about this long desired victory," explained Dieter Gass, Head of Racing Commitments at Audi Sport. "For three years the Audi R8 LMS was always the best GT3 car at the Nürburgring. Now we have taken overall victory in the fight with seven other brands. Over the last 24 hours nothing whatsoever was handed to us on a plate. Our victorious drivers and teams produced a fantastic, consistent and error free performance. My sincerest congratulations go to our winners. This victory in a race car closely related to the production based car once again proves that Audi Sport customer racing provides its customers with a well refined, versatile and successful race car."


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 19 Comments
      waetherman
      • 2 Years Ago
      It's pretty clear how they did it from the picture; they used a flying R8. Cheaters.
      jvshenderson
      • 2 Years Ago
      Have any pictures of anything other than Audis?
        ceradent
        • 2 Years Ago
        @jvshenderson
        Sorry .... Audi pays the bills on this site
      Lachmund
      • 2 Years Ago
      and on it goes......congrats!
      Dwight Bynum Jr.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Let me just take a moment to point out the fact that Toyota finished first in their classes with the LFA and GT 86. And now... downvote me and bring on the Toyota hate, telling us all how Toyota "isn't serious" about (fun) performance cars. Can't argue with facts. ;) http://www.autoguide.com/auto-news/2012/05/toyota-gt-86-lexus-lfa-finish-first-in-class-at-nurburgring-24-hour-race.html
        Lachmund
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Dwight Bynum Jr.
        who were the competitors?
        Jonathan Arena
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Dwight Bynum Jr.
        The LFA placed 15th overall, and won the SP8 class, which consisted of 6 entries including 2 Aston Martins and handful of other cars that I don't know anything about because the official website is such crap. Congrads to them for finally winning something with a v-10 powered carbon fiber chassis race car that has been in development on that track for some 6+ years. Whoopdie do.
      Jonathan Arena
      • 2 Years Ago
      Why is it IMPOSSIBLE to find a coherent results list for this race?? Christ allmighty... all I want to know is how bad the GTR's got beat
        Russell English
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Jonathan Arena
        Jonathan I totally agree, I was there and I couldn't even tell you the results!
        onewayroll
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Jonathan Arena
        sorry, didn't happen http://www.gtplanet.net/team-gt-academy-secure-nurburgring-24hr-victory
          Jonathan Arena
          • 2 Years Ago
          @onewayroll
          Dude, they won the SP8T class, which consisted of two GTR's. They didn't even have any competition.
          Jonathan Arena
          • 2 Years Ago
          @onewayroll
          I wish I knew what these classes were, but I'm going to assume that SP8T is the same as SP8 but with turbos. No, they didn't win the SP8 class either. I want to know how the supposedly bone-stock GTR finished- the one that we were hearing about on AB a few weeks ago: http://www.autoblog.com/2012/04/09/nissan-entering-stock-gt-r-in-24-hours-of-nurburgring/
          sparrk
          • 2 Years Ago
          @onewayroll
          that bone-stock GT-R was a modified Japanese only race version of the GT-R, it's not a car one can buy from a dealer.
        sparrk
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Jonathan Arena
        After looking at the qualifying list , it looks like that "stock" GT-R didn't even show up at the race.
        Georg
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Jonathan Arena
        The classes are easy ... there are two main classes... the SP (special pure race cars specially developt for the 24h northloop race) and the V class (close to production cars with very limited modifications allowed) the most interesting for sure are the SP they are seperated by displacement and if forced or n/a SP 1 up to 1.4l n/a SP2 1.4 to 1.75l n/a SP2T up to 1.6 Turbo SP3 1.75 - 2.0l n/a SP3T 1.6 - 2.0l Turbo SP4 2.0 -2.5l n/a SP4T 2.0 - 2.6l Turbo SP5 2.5 -3.0l n/a SP6 3.0 - 3.5l n/a SP7 3.5 - 4.0l n/a SP8 4.0 - 6.25l n/a SP8T 2.5 -4.0l Turbo SP9 FIA GT3 calss SP10 SRO GT4 class SP11 ATG gas and alternative fuel cars SP12 Hybrid class E1-XP special race cars that did not fit in any of the classes (like the ALMS BMW M3 that raced the 24h) smaller groups are the Cup class (Porsche Carrera Cup, Renault Clio Cup) and the H group of historic race cars (everything build befor 2002)
      Carbon Fibre
      • 2 Years Ago
      What a shot.
      larshafner
      • 2 Years Ago
      here are the results: 1. Basseng/ Haase/ Stippler/ Winkelhock Audi Team Phoenix - Audi R8 LMS(#3) 155 rounds 2. Mamerow/ Abt/ Ammermüller/ Hahne Mamerow Racing - Audi R8 LMS - 3:35.383 Min. 3. Frankenhout/ Simonsen/ Kaffer/ Arnold Hankook-Team Heico - Mercedes SLS GT3 - 11:31.116 Min. 4. Leinders/ Palttala/ Martin Marc VDS - BMW Z4 GT3 - 1 round 5. Fässler/ Mies/ Rast/ Stippler Audi Team Phoenix - Audi R8 LMS - 4 rounds 6. Abbelen/ Schmitz/ Brück/ Huismann Frikadelli - Porsche 911 GT3 - 4 rounds 7. Müller/ Müller/ Alzen/ Adorf BMW Team Schubert - BMW Z4 GT3 - 5 rounds 8. Hürtgen/ Schwager/ Bastian/ Adorf BMW Team Schubert - BMW Z4 GT3 - 5 rounds 9. Klingmann/ Wittmann/ Göransson/ Lamy BMW Team Vita4one - BMW Z4 GT3 - 5 rounds 10. Zehe/ Hartung/ Rehfeld/ Bullitt ROWE Racing - Mercedes SLS GT3 - 5 rounds others: Glickenhaus Ferrari P 4/5 Competizione 12th Lexus LF-A 15th Aston Martin Zagato 26th Nissan GT-R 30th
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