After 24 hours and a total of 134 laps around the 25km combination of Grand Prix circuit and Nordschleife the difference between first and second was a mere 5.7 seconds.
However, it was not the small gap between Maro Engel in the #4 Black Falcon Mercedes AMG GT3 and Christian Hohenadel in the #29 HTP Motorsport sister car on the finish line that left people gasp in shock, but the last-lap dare-devil move Engel pulled to make his way past Hohenadel to claim P1 and, eventually, the overall victory, too.
“It’s a pity for Christian to lose the win on the last lap,” said Engel. And Hohenadel echoed these thoughts: “It’s a very bitter end to this race. Definitely not a nice experience.”
But it will not stop there as Hohenadel’s team HTP Motorsport already lodged a protest against Engel’s move to try and see whether the stewards would reconsider the situation.
Immediately after the finish, however, 24h race director Walter Hornung had declared that he didn’t see the need for an investigation into the matter.
On track, Black Falcon’s #9 car and Haribo Racing’s #88 Mercedes AMG GT3 completed the 1-2-3-4 of the German brand with the #23 Schubert-BMW finishing fifth and best of the rest in front of another Mercedes, the #75 Zakspeed machine.
Bentley, Audi and Porsche also managed to bring home top 10 results but overall didn’t stand a chance against Mercedes.
The Mercedes cars had taken control of the race early on, and even though the lead changed several times during the 24 hours were always up front. On the other hand Audi, BMW and Porsche all lost their best placed cars due to accidents or technical problems which helped Mercedes to shine even more.
Engel shares the winner’s glory with Adam Christodoulou, Manuel Metzger and DTM hero Bernd Schneider.
Race results (top 10):
|1||4|| Bernd Schneider
|2||29|| Christian Vietoris
Renger van der Zande
|3||88|| Uwe Alzen
Lance David Arnold
|4||9|| Hubert Haupt
|5||23|| Alexander Sims
|6||75|| Kenneth Heyer
|7||38|| Christopher Bruck
|8||2|| Stuart Leonard
|9||44|| Peter Dumbreck
|10||16|| Marc Busch