Nürburgring 24 Hour, 2012 (40th Anniversary Edition) – Event information, live coverage

It’s the 40th anniversary edition this year. There’s multiple significant (yet subtle) differences within this year’s event, as compared to that of 2011 – particularly in the fight for overall honours. The distinct lack of factory supported GTE/2 machines suggests a near certainty 2012 will see the first overall victory from a GT3 machine.

There’s a decent volume of factory-supported entries from BMW, Mercedes, and Audi. AMR fields a factory supported 2012 Vantage GT3 (via Young Driver AMR). Porsche’s factory efforts remain within the Manthey stable. There’s also a GT3 Corvette laden with works drivers (Milner, Magnussen, Westbrook and Keilwitz) entered under the Haribo banner.

Schnitzer’s migrating to full-time DTM operations has triggered BMW’s shift from the M3 (GTE/2) to the Z4M (GT3) as BMW’s primary (works-supported) endurance effort within Europe. Schubert takes the reigns as BMW’s primary factory outfit, and assumes factory drivers from the M3 programme. MarcVDS, and Vita4One also field factory-supported Z4M GT3 entries.

Despite an earlier reported boycotting of the event by Porsche (in factory capacity – the stated result of Manthey’s BoP disenchantment), there’s a considerable factory (driver) presence within multiple Manthey entries.

Audi’s efforts are primarily represented by affiliate entries via Phoenix and WRT outfits, as Abt no longer serves the factory within GT racing. Raeder, and Mamerow also field supported entries on behalf of the marque.

Mercedes hopes rest with affiliate entries from Heico, Black Falcon, and Rowe racing. Within which there exists a not-so insignificant volume of factory drivers and, hired guns of a free-roaming nature.

Relevant details below.

Live Video:
– Official ADAC stream
– Audi.tv
– SportAuto
– PistonSpy (KabelEins TV feed)

*There’s a considerable likelihood of additional streams emerging.

Live Audio:
– Radio Le Mans (English)

Live Timing:
– Live timing is embedded within the ADAC official stream page linked above.
 – Independent live timing (ADAC)

GPS Entry Tracking:
– http://www.24stundenonline.de/event.php

Event timetable:
– Time plan (PDF)

Enjoy,

Sportscargeek

LM24: Porsche announces Le Mans return for 2014.

The 917K sports 5000 prototype of KG Salzburg; Porsche's first outright Le Mans winner. - Image courtesy Porsche Motorsport.

The 917K sports 5000 prototype of KG Salzburg; Porsche's first outright Le Mans winner. - Image courtesy Porsche Motorsport.

After years of intense speculation, Porsche AG today confirmed its long-rumoured intentions for a return to the top-tier of sports prototype racing via the release of a promotional video (see below), signaling its plans to enter the currently factory-diesel dominated LMP1 ranks as of 2014.

Porsche Motorsport revealed preliminary details of the marque’s historic return by announcing the undertaking of its LMP1 development programme, with a planned factory assault for outright honours at the the 2014 edition of the Le Mans 24 hour event.

Technical information has not yet been provided. Further details regarding the nature of the chassis, engine, or programme are yet to be confirmed.

Porsche's most recent outright Le Mans winner, the 911 GT1. - Image courtesy Porsche Motorsport.

Porsche's most recent outright Le Mans winner, the 911 GT1. - Image courtesy Porsche Motorsport.

“Porsche’s successes in Le Mans are unrivalled. We want to follow up on this with the 17th outright victory.” – Matthias Müller, President of the Executive Board at Porsche AG.

Given Porsche’s already clear desire for the development, demonstration, and motorsport application of energy recovery technologies (as evidenced by the GT3R Hybrid), the manufacturer’s new LMP is expected to be bear a petrol-hybrid powertrain. This is yet to be confirmed by official sources, and likely dependent on allowances afforded by (not-yet published) ACO technical regulations.

Porsche last raced for outright honours in 1998, when the marque’s factory lineup of McNish, Ortelli and Aiello secured the German manufacturer’s sixteenth and most recent outright victory at Le Mans.

What effect (if any) the announcement may have on the motorsport future of VAG sister company, Audi is yet to be confirmed.

Edit:

AudiSport official response:

“This is the decision of Porsche company, a decision in which Audi is not involved. Audi relishes the prospect of every strong new opponent at Le Mans and in the new FIA World Endurance Championship. Porsche’s entry into the LMP1 class is evidence of the high level of attraction of sport prototypes.”

Video:

Comments: 

Hartmut Kristen, Head of Porsche Motorsport:

“We’re looking forward to the task of developing new technologies and to continue on with the success of the Porsche RS Spyder. After the conclusion of our works-supported sports prototype programme in the American Le Mans Series we have kept up with the latest technological advances.

Now we will begin with detailed research in order to evaluate the various concept alternatives for our new car. These obviously depend on how the regulations for the year 2014 look in detail. In principle, these regulations are interesting for us because the integration of our hybrid technology in the vehicle concept is one possible option.”